Saturday, 13 April 2013

Walt, About Your Studio...

Some weeks ago, we posted news and reviews about the animated cartoon world for the second half of 1928 from the pages of The Film Daily, a trade publication based in New York City. Let’s do the same thing for the first half.

One key development in the industry took place at the time, but only part of the story was told in The Film Daily. Winkler Productions’ Charlie Mintz, who had been a middle man between Universal and Walt Disney in the release of Disney’s Oswald the Rabbit cartoons, stole Disney’s staff—then told Walt that a contract stated that Oswald was the property of Universal. That left Disney with nothing. The Film Daily merely reported on Disney’s trip to New York, but nothing about the backstabbing shenanigans. And there’s nothing—yet—about Disney’s creation of a new (silent) mouse character that appeared on screen at a preview in Los Angeles that May.

Incidentally, the Take-Oswald-Away shenanigans had a gestation period that began before this. Mike Barrier’s book Hollywood Cartoons states Hugh Harman was approached in summer 1927 about taking over for Disney.

Disney’s name was certainly known as it appeared on each Oswald cartoon (none of the animators were credited, a fact that may have rankled someone like Harman), and Disney was given favourable reviews in The Film Daily. You can read the reviews of the cartoons after the news items; beware, one of the Felix reviews contains slang for a Chinese man not considered proper. There’s little news that’s significant, though Nat Mintz pens a couple of items that appeared in the newspaper’s special Shorts editions. A contest to re-name Henry the Cat from the Aesop’s Fables was announced but the winning name isn’t revealed. And I’ve included a review of a two-reel live action comedy starring Walter Lantz. There was no animation it appears. Lantz soon packed up for the West Coast and a short career as a gagman before getting back into the cartoon business.

January 11, 1928
Our Passing Show. Charles B. Mintz visiting Universal City...

January 11, 1928
Paul Terry, creator of and supervising artist for Aesop's Film Fables, released by Pathe, is enjoying his first vacation in three years. Mrs. Terry and Paul are visiting the Coast, where the artist began his career as a newspaper cartoonist.

January 20, 1928
"U" Releasing "Maestro"
Universal is releasing "The Maestro," a one reel carto[o]n novelty, made for tie-ups with picture theater orchestras. It was first presented at the Colony, New York. The reel caricatures the conductor of an orchestra. It shows a cartoon dog taking the baton and leading the orchestra throught various passages of John Phillip Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever." The reel is synchronized with this music.

Harry Hershfield gives a real plug to cartoon comedies in his "Abie the Agent" cartoon strip, reviewing "Gridiron," one of the 26 Charles B. Mints cartoon subjects. He calls it "perfect animated draughtsmanship —smooth as possible and no effort on the eye."

February 10, 1928
Paul Terry Returns
Paul Terry, creator of Aesop's Film Fables, has returned to New York from a vacation on the Coast.

February 16, 1928
Extends Winkler Contract Additional Three Years
Universal has completed arrangements with Charles B. Mintz, president of Winkler Prod., for an additional three years' supply of the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoon comedies. The contract provides for 26 cartoons a year, which is similar to the existing arrangement.

February 16, 1928
Paul Terry, creator of Aesop's Fables, is to give the lowdown on his animated cartoon characters over WEAF, New York, today, with Don Hancock doing the interviewing act.

February 28, 1928
Mr. and Mrs. Walt Disney are in New York on the first trip in years. Confirmed Californians. Had no sooner stepped on the Eastbound train when homesickness almost made them turn back. That's what the climate "out thar" does.

March 4, 1928
Cartoon Popularity

Vice President of Charles B. Mintz Co.
CHARLES B. MINTZ CO. is the producer of the Krazy Kat and Oswald cartoons. The former series has to its credit Broadway bookings for its first sixteen releases which have played at practically every first-run theater on the street.
IN spite of all that has been said regarding the evil of presentations and the menace they represent insofar as the future of short subjects is concerned, one form of short subject, the cartoon, continues serenely on its way to wider use in motion picture theaters.
Since its screen debut in the form of Windsor McCay's immortal "Gertie," the cartoon has remained firmly fixed in public favor. More than this, it is becoming more popular with each season.
The cartoon occupies an unique position in that there is no action its characters cannot portray. Situations impossible in the usual form of screen entertainment, stunts which no living character could possibly perform, ideas which the limitations of even the trick cameras make impossible of realization, fall into the routine of the cartoonist to whom are entrusted the accomplishments of the tasks called for in the script.
Aside from psychological elements accounting for the cartoon's popularity, this form of short subject is strongly favored by not only the smaller theaters, but by the managing directors of the largest and finest first run houses. The reason for the latter is readily apparent. In addition to being truly funny, a cartoon is a short subject. While cartoons are frequently 600 ft. long, the best of these subjects is seldom over 550 ft. in length. There is a sound reason back of this limit in film footage. A cartoon could contain as much action as does the average high grade two reel comedy. It should contain the same number of gags. Action and gags can be padded out with extraneous material in a two reel comedy, but as much as ten feet of padding in a cartoon is deadly because patrons have come to demand action every foot of the way.
The managing director of first run presentation theaters is always crowded for time. His overture, newsreel, presentation and feature picture take up a specific number of minutes. Seldom does he find the twenty to twenty-five minutes which the running of a two reel picture must have. Occasionally he finds that a feature picture is shorter than anticipated and it is then, and only then, that the two reelers finds its place on the screen.
The great advantage possessed by the cartoon is that, as most, it requires from three to five minutes of running time. In nine cases out of ten, the managing director finds that he has this space to fill. Knowing how desirable the comedy element is in his show he immediately spots in a cartoon. The result is that no other form of motion picture is given such widespread usage in first run theaters as is the cartoon.
Charles B. Mintz Co., producers of cartoons for more than fifteen years, feels that as regards its particular form of short subjects the cartoon is destined to experience even wider usage and greater popularity.

June 1, 1928
Charles Mintz Returns
Charles B. Mintz of Winkler Pictures has returned to New York from the Coast.

June 3, 1928
Mintz Back in N. Y. After Opening New Coast Studio
Charles B. Mintz, president of Winkler Pictures and producer of the "Krazy Kat" cartoons released through Paramount, returned to his New York office on Thursday of this week after an absence of six weeks spent covering the Universal and Paramount conventions. While in Hollywood, Mintz opened a new studio for the production of the Oswald, the Lucky Rabbit series of cartoons which are released through Universal. A staff of 25 cartoonists and animators, under direction of George Winkler is working at the new studio.

Publicize Fables Through Radio Cat Name Contest
Widespread publicity for Aesop's Film Fables has been secured by Van Beuren Enterprises through a contest to select a new name for "Henry", the cartoon cat in the series. News about the contest has been broadcast each Thursday afternoon from Stations WEAF in New York and WRC in Washington. Henry's new name will be announced via radio Thursday afternoon, June 7.

Vice-President—Charles B. Mints, Inc.
Producers of "Krazy Kat" Cartoons

IN these days of sophisticated fans there are, perhaps, few angles to the screen entertainment field which prove puzzling to the average movie goer. The mystery of studio work and the secrets of trick photography have been exposed so many times that scenes of the hero meeting and shaking hands with himself, or ocean liners being sunk at sea, or people walking on the edge of window sills, a hundred feet from the sidewalk no longer bring puzzled frowns to the faces of the followers of the silent drama.
But in spite of this general knowledge there still is one phase of screen entertainment that very few people seem to know about. I refer to the making of cartoon comedies. Everyone knows, in a general way, that artists draw the characters in the cartoons, animate them and the film is ready for showing. But just how these sketches are made to move about, how many drawings are needed for each scene, the size of the staff needed to create these cartoons, etc., all seems to be somewhat hazy in the minds of the uninitiated.
Before a new comedy is started, a conference is held and each artist has the chance to express his views as to the theme and characters in the proposed scenario. All suggestions are taken down by a stenographer and typed, and a scenario is thus formed by the head of the department. This man then boils down the score or more suggestions into a short story. With the characters decided upon, the scenario is developed in detail. Scenes, actions and titles are put into proper continuity in the same manner as a scenario for a twelve reel picture. Backgrounds are the first pictures to be drawn. These are sometimes exterior scenes showing woodland country or mountains. After the backgrounds are made the artists immediately set to work animating the various scenes.
Each animator is assigned a series of scenes and his drawings are made on translucent tissue paper. Thus the animator may see the lines of his preceding drawing as he places a new paper over each completed sketch. On the new paper he traces the previous drawing, but moves the arm or leg to head, as the case may be, up or down to give the completed action of the character. This means that each drawing of a character is made in an entirely different position and the mere action of Krazy Kat lifting his paw may mean a series of forty to fifty different drawings. After the picture has been completed by the total number of drawings being made on the tissue paper, these pictures are handed to the "tracers" who transfer the drawing from the tissue to celluloid sheets, which are of the same size as the paper.
Tracers then fill in the "blacks," or bodies. As we know, Krazy Kat and most of his companions are of a very dark hue. Water colors, black and white, are always used so that after the celluloids have been photographed they may be washed and used again. The completed drawings are numbered by the supervising artist and the number of photographic exposures necessary to register the desired action is made.
The ordinary motion picture camera takes sixteen pictures, or "frames," per second, but the cameras used in photographing Krazy Kat are so arranged that only one "frame," or picture, is taken with each turn of the camera handle.
The entire cartoon is handed over to the photographers, and is usually between ten and twenty thousand sheets of celluloid. The background of the first of these sheets is placed under the camera eye and fits the celluloid over two pegs that protrude from the camera table.
These pegs are, of course, the exact distance apart as are the pegs on the animator's and tracer's drawing boards. The first action picture is then placed over the background and, as all pictures of action are made on celluloid, the background shows through to give the necessary effect.
Upon the completion of the photographing process the exposed negative is developed and edited.

June 5, 1928
Don Hancock is ballyhooing the fact that the Orpheum Circuit has booked "Topics of the Day" and "Aesop's Fables'" solid for 1928-29 for all its houses. This is the tenth consecutive year that the Van Beuren product has been so treated by Orpheum, which has never given such a break to any other product.

CARTOON REVIEWS, January-June 1928

January 1, 1928
"Carnival Week"
Aesop Fables—Pathe
The Farmer Turns Showman
Type of production....1 reel cartoon
Al, the farmer, stages a carnival in front of his barn. The festivities end hectically with a race between an elephant and an ostrich. Trouble starts popping when the farmer, intoxicated, announces that the rabbit won—but there wasn't any rabbit in the competition. This film is typical of the others in the series.

January 8, 1928
"The Ole' Swimmin' 'Ole"
High-Grade Cartoon
Type of production. . .1 reel novelty
Action in this short centers around the ole' swimmin' 'ole, as the title indicates, with the traditional sheriff endeavoring to spoil the sport. This picture is gagged with new ones, distortion of characters playing an important and entertaining part in the proceedings. An exceptionally diverting number.

"High Stakes"
Usual Cartoon Stuff
Type of production. . .1 reel novelty
Entirely lacking in plot, even as plot goes in cartoon series, this picture is moderately pleasing. A few new gags are incorporated. The action is assorted and insane, ranging from a poker game to the customary concluding chase.

"A Short Circuit"
Aesop Fables—Pathe
Tricky Cartoon Stuff
Type of production....1 reel novelty
In this number the farmer tries operating his farm by electricity, with a flock of trick and entertainingly impossible things following. Among other phenonemas the hen lays eggs by the bushel and the cow literally flows milk. It is up to the standard set by this series.

January 22, 1928
Krazy Kat Cartoon—Paramount
Type of production. . . .1 reel cartoon
Clever animation makes this Krazy Kat cartoon an amusing little number. The cat's experiences on this occasion take him to the football field and concern his efforts to nab a touchdown for his team. He does finally, of course, by means of a good deal of nonsense which causes chuckles here and there. And that's all it is supposed to do.

"The Smoke Scream"
Pat Sullivan—Educational
Cartoon Antics
Typo of production. . .1 reel animated
Felix the Cat helps his boss to smuggle smokes against the wife's orders. The boss's whiskers catch fire, and he runs to town and dashes up the stairs of a skyscraper. Smoke bursts out from every floor and the tenants are yelling at the windows to be rescued. Felix organizes himself into a fire department. His stunts for rescuing the people are highly original. He finally saves his boss from the burning whiskers, and is elected a hero. As a screen hero, Felix is still holding his own.

January 29, 1928
"Wandering Minstrels"
Aesop Fables—Pathe
How to Rescue a Lady
Type of production....1 reel novelty
This Fable has a medieval background and a story in which a wandering minstrel rescues a fair damsel when her horse runs away and then again from a band of thugs. It all ends in the hero slaying the heavies a la Doug Fairbanks in a prolonged duel. Better than the average number of this series.

February 5, 1928
"Everybody's Flying"
Aesop Fable—Pathe
Better Than Usual
Type of production. . . .1 reel novelty
In this chronicle of cartoonland all inhabitant stake to aviation, with a variety of animal's converted into "planes." The usual chases occur, with characters more than ordinarily distorted. It manages to be entertaining as cartoon films go.

February 12, 1928
"Rival Romeos"
Good Audience Stuff
Type of production....1 reel novelty
Oswald, in his cartoonland flivver, goes to call on his lady love and so does his rival, in a magnificent machine. After a flock of insane but entertaining gags Oswald arrives at her home and serenades her until a goat eats up his music. Then, while the rivals are arguing over the lady, she goes riding off with another suitor. This is one of the best novelties of its kind Universal has displayed in many weeks.

"Draggin' the Dragon"
Pat Sullivan—Educational
Fun With Felix
Type of production. . .1 reel novelty
Felix the Cat steals a chop suey recipe book, and is pursued by the Chink all the way to China. Here the army and the secret police and all the machinery of the law are called on to capture him. The cartoonist's inventive genius was going full steam on this one, and he managed to turn out an animated that has plenty of novelty and fun. The dragon on a flag comes to life, and then Felix has his hands full.

"The Good Ship Nellie"
Aesop Fables—Pathe
Cartoon Pirates
Type of production....1 reel novelty
This is the best Fable Pathe has released in some weeks. Paul Terry and his associates have gone in for more-than-usual distortion of characters and action and fine entertainment has resulted. The business has to do with a pirate attack upon a ship mastered by a mouse and his wife. It's fast and furious stuff.

February 19, 1928
"A Blaze of Glory"
Lively Cartoon
Type of production. . .1 reel animated
Old Al assigns the Cat to clean out the mice that infest his home, but poor Thomas is licked almost unconscious. So Al gives Tabby the air. As Al sleeps, a fire occurs in his home, and the mice make matters worse by filling a patent fire extinguisher with benzine. When Al uses this, his property becomes a total loss. Nothing new. Just the average cartoon, but it moves at a lively clip.

February 26, 1928
"The County Fair"
Aesop's Fables—Pathe
Good Animated
Type of production....1 reel cartoon
Farmer Al is assisted by Mr. Cat in getting his entry ready for the county fair. They feed the hen some magic meal that bloats it up to an enormous size, and it looks like a walkaway for the blue ribbon. But things happen unexpectedly, and all hands have an exciting time before the event is over. The reel has the usual appeal of this series, and proves reasonably diverting.

March 4, 1928
“Sadie Sagebrush"—Winkler Cartoon
Good Burlesque
Type of production .. 1 reel animated
Oswald plays the part of the bold cowpuncher who arrives at the Sagebrush Salon. There is the heroine, Sadie, who tries to keep Oswald from getting his face messed up. But the hero strides boldly inside. He is sent sprawling by the villain, who jumps out in pursuit of the heroine. Oswald pursues on his horse, and that highly intelligent animal helps his master cook the villain's hash in approved Western style. It is all good kidding of the Western hokum, and carries the laughs nicely. Walt Disney did the animation.

"The Oily Bird"-Pat Sullivan
Animated Larks
Type of production. . .1 reel animated
Felix the Cat is accused by the lady of the house of stealing her jewels. He sets out to find the real criminal, who proves to be a wise old hen. Felix does a regular Sherlock Holmes, and at last tracks down the guilty one. Up to the usual standard of this series.

March 11, 1928
"On the Ice"—Fables
Good Cartoon
Type of production . . 1 reel animated
All about the adventures of Milton Mouse who enters a sleigh race. But the villain Thomas Cat steals his girl while the race is on. Milton has entered the race to win a diamond ring which the villain has offered as a prize. So when the hero gets back victorious, he finds he has another race to catch the gal. Old Al Falfa does his stuff, and adds to the general merriment. This one carries the usual snap and comedy of the Fables cartoons.

March 25, 1928
"Africa Before Dark"
Clever Cartoon
Type of production . . 1 reel animated
Walt Disney is turning out a steady stream of crackerjack Oswald cartoons, and this one rates well up with the rest. Oswald is here seen on his trained elephant hunting in Africa. The artist gets some original twists into the drawing. The comedy work is first class.

"Ohm Sweet Ohm"
Pat Sullivan—Educational
Type of production . . 1 reel animated
Felix the Cat steps out into a thunder storm, and gets a bright idea. He bottles the lightning bolts, and starts to use them in a practical way. First he tries an experiment on a cabby with an old plug. He furnishes him a bolt of lightning in place of the old nag. Then things start to happen to the cabby. Finally he harnesses some lightning to an old lady's broom, and before the electrified sweeper gets through, it has cleaned up the works—including Felix. Well done on cartoon gags, and has the laughs.

April 1, 1928
Cartooon Comics
Type of production . . . 1 reel animated
Felix the Cat starts on an unexpected trip for Japan. He has learned something about the art of Jiu Jitsu, and tries it on the natives. But it doesn't go so well. Then he gets the idea of introducing chairs into Japan. He winds up by selling the idea to the Mikado. Done in the original style of the Pat Sullivan studio. Makes good amusing entertainment.

"Barnyard Rivals"
Whirlwind—Bray Studios
Sad Stuff
Type of production. . . .2 reel comedy
Walt Lantz is featured to carry the comedy, but the story is so crude that he can do little with it. He and his helper on the farm meet the gal from the city and start to show her the joys of farm life. One gag consists in showing her how a cow is milked. As there is no cow on the farm, they rig one up out of props, and proceed to stage some business that is very sad. The final sequences drag in the old wheeze of an auto race. Walt Lantz is a darn good animated cartoonist. If they can't do any better by him than this, he is losing time on the wrong end of the screen. Directed by Stan de Lay.

April 8, 1928
"Oozie of the Mounted" [sic]—Oswald
Good Burlesque
Type of production. . .1 reel animated
Oswald the rabbit is used to kid the Northwest Mounted mellers in this offering. The hero starts out to get his man, Foxy Wolf. But Oswald runs into a lot of trouble with his mechanical horse, who gets his rider into difficulties due to static and other air interference. By a ruse he captures the bandit. The art work is clever. Another entertaining cartoon.

April 15, 1928
"Barnyard Lodge No. 1"
Lively Cartoon
Type of production. .1 reel animated
Farmer Alfalfa joins the barnyard lodge, and what they do to him when they initiate him is plenty. All the different animals finds some original method for torturing him, and when it is all over Alfalfa is pretty well done up but happy that he has made the grade. The animal gags are original and worked out with good comedy angles that should get the laughs.

"Felix in Polly-Tics"
Pat Sullivan
Lively Animated
Felix, the Cat, finds a home at last after he saves the bottle of milk which the mice were trying to steal. But the rest of the domestic animals including the parrot, goldfish and pup get jealous and start to make things tough for Felix. Every time they get rid of him Felix finds some clever way to get back into the house again. A bright and funny number, done in the best style of the Pat Sullivan studio.

April 22, 1928
"Hungry Hoboes"
Hobo Gags

Type of production. . .1 reel cartoon
Oswald the Rabbit does his stuff as a hobo. He meets a regular gent of the road and the two land on a fast freight filled with livestock. The animal gags are highly original, and Walt Disney, the artist, turns out a very snappy and entertaining cartoon. The windup is especially good, with Oswald and his pal pulling a line of nifty stunts in their frantic efforts to get away from a railroad inspector who spots them stealing a ride.

"Comicalamities"—Pat Sullivan
A Pip
Type of production. . .1 reel animated
Here is a nifty cartoon with a bright idea that is refreshing. Starts looking for a beautiful girl to star in the movies. He runs across a homely dame, and changes her facial expression until she's so good looking he falls for her himself. Then she pulls the usual line: "I wanna hat, and jooels and furs 'n everything." So Felix starts out. And when he's all through giving, she gives him the cold shoulder, so he tears up the gal, remarking: "She's only paper, after all." It's done with class—and a laugh.

"Barnyard Artists"
Type of production . . 1 reel animated
Alfalfa and Henry Cat draw their own animated cartoons and go through all the technical maneuvers of creating an animated reel. When finished, it is shown in a theater, and then we see the story. It shows a conceited pup chasing elephants and all the rest of the jungle animals. Very clever idea, and one of the best in the recent Fables releases.

April 29, 1928
"Jungle Days"—Fables
Type of production . . 1 reel animated
This one goes back to the stone age when the men wooed their women with strong arm methods. The caveman sends his sweetie a stone heart for a valentine, and she returns it to his dome for the count. Then the hero starts out in earnest to get a gal who escapes on a tiger. After he overtakes her and she is in his arms he thinks he is all set, but she changes her mind again and knocks him for a goal. It's sprightly cartoon stuff, and should please the Fables fans.

"A Bum Steer"—Krazy Kat
Komical Kartoon
Type of production . . . Cartoon
Usually very amusing, "A Bum Steer" one of the Krazy Kat series lives up to the reputation of the series. It's all a lot of good-humored nonsense, made entertaining, of course, by the clever animation work of Ben Harrison and Manny Gould. Good for kids and grown-ups as well.

"Oh What a Knight"
Type of production . . 1 reel cartoon
This is one of the cleverest of the Oswald series, and the funny rabbit is handled so amusingly by the cartoonist that it will get the laughs from grownups as well as the youngsters. Oswald as the knight gallops to the castle to visit his lady love. There he encounters all sorts of terrible adventures with the alligators guarding the castle, and has a thrilling fight with the gal's father. In the windup Oswald and the lady float out of the balcony window, using her skirts for a parachute.

May 6, 1928
"Coast to Coast"—Fables
Auto Race
Tyne of production. . .1 reel cartoon
Alfalfa, the cat, and his pal enter the auto race from coast to coast, and all sorts of funny things happen to the racing cars as they speed over hill and dale. The windup is fast and furious, with the cat winning by a tail. Good cartoon stuff, worked up with some novelty gags.

May 13, 1928
"Poor Papa"—Oswald Cartoon
Very Good
Type of production. . . .1 reel cartoon
Clever and original cartoons. In this offering Oswald the rabbit goes through some fine comedy antics. A flock of storks visit his cabin, and drop batches of little rabbits down the chimney. The idea is played up for a variety of gags, all funny and exceedingly original. One shows Oswald giving the kids their Saturday bath on the wholesale plan, and he runs them through a washing machine and hangs them on a line to dry. As cartoons go, it is easily above the average, and will click with all the fans.

"Sure-Locked Homes"—Pat Sullivan
Type of production....1 reel cartoon
Felix starts out to do a Sherlock Holmes and the atmosphere is worked up in the real detective thriller fashion with clever cartoon work. There is the Bat and the Spider, and the latter is made a partner by Felix to help the cat sleuth capture the criminals. So he has the spider weave a web to snare the villains. Clever and unique.

May 13, 1928
"Eskimotive"—Pat Sullivan
Fine Cartoon
Type of production..1 reel animated
Felix, the adventurous cat, goes on a journey to the Arctic by means of a bubble. It serves as his airship, and after many unique experiences he lands in the realm of snow and Northern Lights. The cartoonist has started to develop a new technique in the Felix series, and it shows to fine advantage in this number. It consists in employing shadows and blackouts, and gives the cartoons an appearance of depth and body similar to actual shots of outdoor views. The boy who is doing the creative work on this series is using the old bean. Bound to please.

May 27, 1928
"A Jungle Triangle"
Animal Comics
Type of production . . . 1 reel cartoon
Tells of the adventures of Martin Monk whose sweetie is stolen by Jumbo the elephant. Martin pulls a fast one and slips a sleeping powder in Jumbo's drink at the Jungle Night Club. Then he beats it back to the cocoanut tree with his sweetie, and everything is hotsy totsy. Good animal cartoon gags, with a fair share of giggles for the kids who love this series.

"The Fox Chase"—Oswald
Type of production . . . 1 reel animated
Walt Disney has turned out another clever Oswald cartoon that will please all the fans. Oswald starts on his horse to take part in the fox chase, but the hoss plays some pranks and gets Oswald's goat. Meanwhile brother Fox is pulling all kinds of funny stunts fooling his pursuers. By the time Oswald catches up the fox is cornered, but managers to escape by a very original ruse. Good cartoon number wherever these are appreciated.

June 3, 1928
Type of production..1 reel animated
A highly entertaining cartoon idea gives Felix the Cat a chance to adventure in Arabia. It's a good burlesque on the Arabian Nights Tale of the Forty Thieves. Felix finds himself on a magic rug that transports him to Bagdad. He swaps the magic rug for a bag of jewels. The Forty Thieves set out to steal the jewels, and Felix is kept busy and the fans will be kept well amused. As usual, the Sullivan studios have turned out a cartoon that is done with class and carries a good percentage of merriment and real entertainment.

June 17, 1928
"The Mouse's Bride"
Very Good
Type of production .. 1 reel animated
Old Al has his troubles taking care of the various animals that share his home. First the goldfish call for a drink, and then the cat and the mouse insist on being waited upon. A clever idea is worked with two mice trying to spoon in the parlor, while Danny Duck is constantly walking in and out and interrupting the fun. It is well up to the Aesop Fables standard.

June 24, 1928
"Ride 'Em Cowboy"—Fables
Type of production. .. .1 reel cartoon
The further adventures of Milton Mouse show him on his wedding day starting on the honeymoon. But the two bad cat bandits waylay them and steal the bride. Soon Milton is on their trail, riding his trusty horse. The latter proves a good ally by using his feet on the outlaws, and the fair dame is rescued and the honeymoon proceeds. It is a good burlesque on the western outlaw stuff.

"In and Out Laws"
Pat Sullivan—Educational
Travel Cartoon
Type of production. . . .2 reel comedy [sic]
Felix the Cat comes into possession of a game rooster, and decides to take it to Mexico and clean up on the fights. He matches his bird against the champion Mexican rival, and a hot battle ensues. Felix' bird wins, a villain steals the bankroll, but Felix manages to turn the tables on him in a very original manner. Cleverly executed as always, and the comedy antics of the cat are well up to his usual standard.

"Sleigh Bells"—Oswald
Type of production....1 reel cartoon
Oswald, the funny rabbit proves himself a fancy ice skater, and meets up with a pretty dame who is willing to let him teach her a few fancy capers. Oswald hits on the idea of using a balloon to keep the girl on her feet. She is carried skyward and by some very ingenious work Oswald succeeds in bringing her back to earth. A very entertaining and clever animated that will please old and young.

“Tall Timber”
Good Cartoon
Type of production....1 reel comedy
Oswald the rabbit goes out into the open spaces for a day's sport, and all kinds of queer things happen to him. He has a tough time trying to shoot ducks, and almost sinks himself in his canoe. Then he is chased by various animals, and even the rocks roll down the hill on him. He finishes with a bear, but succeeds in winning the final bout. Very original, and the gags are clever and laughable.

And here are a few more ads for Krazy and Oswald.

1 comment: