Saturday 14 September 2013

The Wonderful World of Color of 1936

It’s time to take care of some unfinished cartoon business. We’ve had news items from The Film Daily about the animation world for 1936 and we ran down some of the developments at the Leon Schlesinger studio that year. But we skipped the cartoon reviews and a few feature stories. So let’s rectify that today and make this the last of the 1936 cartoon posts so we can move on.

The April 28th edition of the trade paper was geared toward shorts so there were a number of relevant items published that date. And we have a piece signed by Harman and Ising about the future of cartoons. They were unable to predict the failure of their own studio in two years after MGM decided to set up its own cartoon operation in 1937. Maybe the most telling thing is their interest in the Arabian Nights. Mike Barrier’s book The Animated Man points out Harman, Ising and Max Maxwell made an Arabian Nights cartoon in Kansas City in 1924.

A column about Disney’s training school in New York includes a few names even someone who has only casually studied Disney’s history should recognise.

As for the reviews, the majority are positive. It’s nice to see a few credits given; Art Davis and Sid Marcus warrant mentions. The Barney Google cartoons were destroyed by order of King Features so none are believed to exist. These little synopses are the closest we’ll get to knowing about them, I’m afraid. As for the studios, Ub Iwerks and producer/distributor Pat Powers parted ways; Iwerks’ studio began to peter out. And this is when the world bade farewell to Molly Moo Cow, the folks in Toonerville and the rest of the Van Beuren cartoons. The studio closed; Amadee Van Beuren’s reconstituted live-action shorts company failed a year later.

April 28, 1936
New Cartoon Production Problems Added to List by Advent of Color

The average film fan has but a hazy idea of the great amount of time and painstaking effort that go into the making of a Mickey Mouse or Silly Symphony production. And now that color has been added, another factor of time and effort has to be taken into consideration. Almost the same processes necessary for the production of other motion pictures are employed for our productions, except that artists and an art process replace the actors.
For example, we have our story conferences; scenario writers compose a regulation script, adaptors break it down into sequences, scenes and shots and the scenic backgrounds are studied.
Ideas are talked over and roughly outlined. We even have three kind of directors; the director of the picture itself, the musical director and the casting director.
All three work closely together during the production of the picture. Three kind of artists work on the picture. They are technically known as the Animators—who develop the various sequences of action, but draw only the beginning and end of each action, the In-Betweeners—who draw the small delicately graded changes of action, and the Inkers—who trace the drawings of the other two artists on celluloid sheets.
The artists all work with lightweight. semi-transparent drawing-paper placed on an illuminated board. The light paper and illuminated drawing-board are necessary because, after one drawing has been completed, the second piece of paper is placed right on top of it, so that the artist can vary his drawing just enough to make the movement smooth.
After the drawings are completed, they are turned over to a corps of girls, the Inkers, who trace them on sheets of celluloid. Action is photographed by superimposing these transparent drawings over the painted backgrounds which have been placed under a camera. It takes from 10,000 to 15,000 drawings to make one reel of Silly Symphony film, about 750 feet.
We try to secure the utmost in smoothness of action and perfection in animation. To do this we use a vast number of drawings, which frequently approximate the number of frames on the films.
The celluloids and backgrounds then go to the camera man. A special camera is used and every photograph must be taken separately. From the negative, which is developed by the Technicolor process, positive prints are made. Color often-times plays a big part in the telling of our story. Remember how the Big Bad Wolf turned blue in the face from blowing at the Three Little Pigs' house, and the Grasshopper turned blue with the cold? Obviously, it would be quite impossible to put over such an idea in black and white film.
Music, of course, plays an all important part in the production of the Mickeys and Sillies. The musical director begins to work out the musical score at the same time as the plot is being formulated. Perfect synchronization is secured by mathematical means.
These few paragraphs are meant only to give you the general story of producing Mickeys and Sillies. A description of the various technical processes involved would take up too much space and most certainly too much of your time.

Hollywood—Brevity is the backbone of cartoon subjects and it is folly to make them in two reels or feature length, according to Leon Schlesinger, producer of the "Merrie Melodies" and "Looney Tunes." He declares that more of a story can be told in a 650 foot cartoon than in a two-reel comedy and contends that a cartoon will win more laughs than a comedy.
"A program without a cartoon is like a newspaper without a sports section," said the producer. He asserted the average cartoon runs 650 feet and no cartoon exceeds 900 feet.
Schlesinger believes cartoons should have a minimum of dialogue, keeping the foreign market in mind. He pointed out that action, gags and music in cartoons are understood equally well throughout the world.
Schlesinger stated that the technique of cartoon-making has improved greatly and that animation is so smooth that the characters really live.
The producer observes that eight of the nine leading cartoon producers are independent and that the national producing and distributing companies found the making of cartoons too hazardous.

Festival Of Color In Cartoons
Forecast By Producer Charles Mintz

This year's animated cartoon will be a festival of color, in the opinion of Charles Mintz, producer of Columbia's "Color Rhapsodies," "Scrappy," "Barney Google" and "Krazy Kat" animated cartoon series.
The latest improvements in the three-component Technicolor method, now used exclusively by the Mintz Studios, open a vast color world of violets and pastel shades, now used for the first time, he says. But even more lavish use of colors is assured before the end of the year, because the animated cartoon is the ideal experimental field for perfection of color photography. This, Mintz believes, is because it is possible to exercise a closer control of color in animated cartoons than in motion pictures of flesh-and-blood players.
The chief bar to more extensive use of color is the prohibitive cost, Mintz declared. This, however, is being cut down by development of greater efficiency.
Since the introduction of the color cartoon at the Mintz Studios the staff has been doubled—120 artists are now employed.
While the "Scrappy" series is still being done in black and white the juvenile character is being used in the Color Rhapsodies whenever a boy is needed in the script, it was pointed out.

Two more "Silly Symphonies" and another "Mickey Mouse" production, all of which are expected to be delivered by the first of year, constitute the balance of Walt Disney's work for United Artists release before removing his pen and ink for distribution by RKO Radio. The three pictures will be made in Technicolor.
The last year has been a banner one for Disney shorts, with the acquisition of the Academy award for shorts for the fourth consecutive time and the consequent opening of new exploitation and publicity outlets, and the creation of a new star, "Donald Duck."
Poses of "Mickey Mouse" and "Donald Duck" have been reproduced in the color section of a N. Y. Sunday magazine section repeatedly. Good Housekeeping Magazine publishes a full page in color of the Disney characters each month, and "animated animation" will result from a deal with Fanchon and Marco, whereby the characters will be portrayed in stage units by midgets.
Other honors for the creator of "Mickey Mouse" in 1935 were the increase in marquee billing for the animated shorts, an international broadcast celebrating the birthday of "Donald Duck" from WGY, Schenectady, and selection of "Who Killed Cock Robin," a "Silly Symphony," as one of the year's ten best by The National Board of Review.
Three representatives of the Hollywood studios are now quartered in Radio City, where they interview artists daily in an effort to increase the staff. It is estimated that 4,500 applicants have already submitted copying samples in an effort to join a staff that already has 350 members.
Meanwhile, "Three Little Pigs" is still playing in New York and a number of other pictures, more than two years old, are being re-booked.

Scrappy, Columbia's mischievous animated cartoon star, is getting a 24-houra-day promotion in the nation's retail stores through the cooperation of the character's many merchandise licensees.
Five movie-years old Scrappy, and his pals Margy, Oopy and Yippy proudly boast that they have conquered the children's merchandise market. Scrappy airplanes fly overhead. Scrappy shoes trod the playgrounds, and with Scrappy balloons, stationery, dishes, clothes, movies, pencils, pens, etc., the child audience eats, sleeps and lives Scrappy all through the day and night. This continuous promotion is always ready and waiting for the enterprising exhibitor to tie up with it.
It has been getting Scrappy new and extra bookings everywhere. For example, the J. C. Penney "Back to School" campaign brought in 1,500 bookings. The Boston Store (Chicago) campaign increased the Balaban & Katz bookings for the entire local circuit. An Irwin projector—Woolworth tie-up multiplied New England bookings.
Another fertile field for a promotional campaign was prepared by Scrappy's drawing text book, "How to Draw a Cartoon," all editions of which were quickly exhausted. This book was distributed to 5,000 schools and 1,000 children's camps throughout the country and was approved by the Board of Education of New York City for delivery to all its drawing teachers.

May 11, 1936
The Future of Cartoons From Producer's Viewpoint
"WE believe the prediction of Mr. Hays that "—with improved technique and with the advantages of color, sound, and music, it is not difficult to foresee dramas spun from fantasy, which with kindly humor or satire, may come to have large social or even educational significance, and which may draw audiences undreamed of by Aristophanes when he fashioned his comedies from the adventures of insects and birds."
It is now a far cry from the days when an audience thrilled to see a caricatured cat walk on his hind legs across a jittery, glaring screen, or when they shed tears of laughter to see him remove his tail and with it bat some offending canine over the head. It needs no prophecy to foretell that in all likelihood the animated films of the future will be just as far removed from these colorful, tuneful, amusing reels which we are seeing today.
Amazing progress has been made since the advent of sound, and now the use of color is giving added impetus to a medium which, we believe, offers almost limitless opportunity for expressing things to a vast and receptive audience — things which perhaps can be told in no other way. The gift of the human characteristics of thought, speech, and action to birds, animals, and imaginative beings is only one of the possibilities of this plastic medium which permits movement and rhythm of form and line with sound and color. It is truly a new form of graphic and audible art, such an art as the Angelos and Chopins of the past might have visioned.
There is no doubt that the medium of animated drawings offers in many cases, the same superiority that the painting or illustration has over the photograph in the delineation of truer and more expressive illusion. It offers a freedom and flexibility that can achieve almost miraculous results in the hands of those who acquaint themselves with its technique. It furnishes the means of creating character and apparent life where before no life has existed; the means of exaggerating beyond the wildest reality. It is an instrument to play upon all the emotions from the humble funny-bone to the ecstasy aroused by an immortal symphony. In fact, we feel that this instrument of expression that we are beginning to use is so far-reaching in its conception and possibilities that we are like Alice in Wonderland. We just push some of the buttons to see what happens.
There is every reason to believe that comedy will continue to play a most important part. It will range from the blatant slapstick variety to Chaplinesque pathos, delicate whimsy, and subtle satire. But we feel that as cartoon films become more refined in other ways, the more prevalent will become the subtler forms of comedy. That these types of humor in cartoons evoke audience appreciation has already been proven. To all this comedy, as has already been pointed out, will be given the added advantages of the medium, those extremities in which cartoons alone are able to indulge.
Fantasy will be the subject for many such films, and even the tales from the Arabian Nights will be rivalled by the color, the atmosphere, the enchantment, the glamor of places and of beings that exist only in the farthest realms of the imagination. Folklore, poems, myths, fairy tales will be interpreted as never before; and the classics of music and opera will live again in a setting of harmonious color and sound and motion. A few hundred feet need not be the limit imposed on the exploitation of these ideas. Instances already shown seem to point the way to the ultimate future of this art as the finest vehicle for fantasies of feature length, with all the details and ramifications of the modern screen play. But we feel that directness and simplicity, which are almost imperative from the very nature of the medium, will maintain a degree of brevity and unity much to be desired.
The mission of animated films may become manifold as this progress is made. For these pictures to educate is excellent; for them to stir the depths of the imagination and play upon the higher emotions of our audience is a worthy objective; but whether we achieve the sublime or the ridiculous in our efforts, we are going to try to remember that their mission, as we see it now, is first of all to provide wholesome entertainment, and to that end we pledge our best efforts.
—Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising.

June 16, 1936
Phil M. Daly column
• • • TRAINING SCHOOL for film cartoonists a Walt Disney enterprise that has proved highly successful over at the RKO building in Radio City where men with artistic talent and experience in many lines from all parts of the country have been receiving an intensive training in the technique of the sound cartoon
• • • THE SCHOOL opened in April and will close the end of this month in that short time under the expert training of George Drake and his staff 15 men with marked ability for cartoon work will have been developed and sent to the Walt Disney studio in Hollywood to become a part of the staff of over 100 creative artists not counting the in-betweeners and the rest of the studio staff outside the actual cartoon-makers in all a force of over 300
• • • IT TOOK an investment of 15 grand to discover 15 potential good workers so the few weeks training meant an investment of $1,000 in the preliminary preparation of each of the men but Walt Disney figures it is worth it for he long since learned that CREATIVE talent IS the film biz without that, Hollywood would become a deserted village in a few weeks movie theaters would close their doors and you and you and you and us would be looking for other jobs
• • • OF COURSE Mister Disney may have something up his sleeve in the way of Expansion his studio has been hard at work on that feature cartoon, "Snow White", for six months and it will be somewhat sensational to say the least when it is released to the screens of the land next February and there are rumors of cartoons and television in a marriage ceremony when the time comes for the long-awaited arrival of the latter . . . s-o . . . naturally Walt Disney will need plenty of creative talent
• • • HERE ARE some of the lucky gents who have been selected for a career in the Disney Studio . . . with a possibility of earning 15 grand a year and more . . . IF they can qualify . . . Mike Angelo, whose drawings have appeared in the Satevepost, Life, College Humor, Ballyhoo, etc—also has done extensive work in commercial art field . . . Armin Shafer, an art school student with natural talent for cartoon work . . . Dunbar Roman, portrait painter and cartoon experience . . . Nicholas deTolly, chief guide at Rockefeller Center, studied in universities in Russia and France . . . Don Nabours, free lance artist . . . Louis Terri, started his career as cartoonist on a college comic . . . Henry L. Porter, an art director of many years' experience . . . John Elliotte, free lance cartoonist David Rose, newspaper experience . . . David Icove, newspaper cartoonist . . . Robert Lennen, commercial artist . . . Lester Novros, art teacher . . . and these are some of the gents who will supply the future Walt Disney cartoons.

Setember 16, 1936
Animated Cartoons Maintain Position

ALTHOUGH short subjects, as a class, have suffered through the widespread use of double features, the animated cartoon has retained its position because of its brevity and, what is probably more important, its novelty and quality. The animated cartoon has made rapid and far-reaching strides during the past few years. Today's accepted standard is far ahead of that of a few years ago.
Sound and color have proven valuable adjuncts, but the advances made in the technique of animation is considered of equal importance. A few years ago there was a great scarcity of artists capable of producing good animation — men competent to give the characters specific personality and able to properly secure dramatic value through the art of animation. During the last few years, our studio has spared no effort in the discovery and raining of additional manpower.
We have scoured the country for likely young artists and, when found, we have given them the most thorough training in the technique of cartoon animation. The result of all of this effort and expense is now beginning to show on the screen. A good story can now be well told and well acted from every angle.
In our estimation, there are no limits to the possibilities of the animated cartoon. We believe that the cartoon of the future will be able to develop and maintain all of the entertainment and production value possessed by any kind of motion picture. This confidence in the future of the animated cartoon, coupled with full confidence in the ability of our organization, has caused us to undertake our most ambitious venture, namely, the production of a feature motion picture cartoon. We have reason to be confident of successful results.

Although already voted by many exhibitors the most popular of short subjects, the cartoon has by no means reached its ultimate attainments, according to Paul Terry, creator of the Terry-Toons for Educational.
After long experimentation with new and novel forms of cartoon construction, Terry predicts that the next few years will bring cartoon innovations as impressive as any of those which have carried the animated subject to its present wide popularity.
"The cartoon is the one specialized form of screen entertainment that seems sure of going on and on without limit," said Terry. "There being no limit to the cartoon except the limit of the imagination of its creators, it is the screen's freest form of expression, and is therefore possessed of a perpetual youth which always leaves still bigger achievements ahead. Neither double features nor any other trade practice can affect its growth, because its peculiar appeal makes it the one picture which all the people want to see.
"Another important factor in the continued growth of the cartoon lies in the personnel making it. Men are not trained in cartoon work for graduation into feature fields. They are trained in a field which keeps them permanently, and thus as new and talented cartoon workers are found or developed, they add to the brain power that is the sole source of the cartoon's strength."
As exhibitors realize the certain future growth of the cartoon, Terry believes, they will make bigger and better use of it in their publicity and exploitation. The continuity of the cartoon series . . . the kind of continuity that builds the fame of continued newspaper features, and of the most popular radio features . . . gives this short subject a business building value to theaters that will be more and more reflected in their advertising.


January 3, 1936
"Kannibal Kapers" (Krazy Kat Cartoon)
Columbia 7 mins. Clever
Shipwrecked on a cannibal isle, Krazy Kat gets in right with a Mae West hot momma and by his own clever dancing keeps the King from using him for his supper till such time as it looks good for a getaway. The cartoon is cleverly gagged, and moves fast. Produced by Charles Mintz.

"Patch Ma Britches" (Barney Google Cartoon)
Columbia 7 mins. Lively
The drama of Barney Google who goodnaturedly throws a party for his pals—Rudy, the ostrich, Snuffy Smith, Bunker Hill, Sully, the twins and all the other famous cartoon characters. But the guests prove ungrateful, and wind up by pasting Barney with food as he tries to make a speech. Snappy cartoon action, with plenty of good gags. A Charles Mintz production.

January 7, 1936
"The Mayflower" (Paul Terry-Toon)
Educational 7 mins. Neat Cartoon
The Paul Terry cartoon character comes over on the Mayflower and helps to enliven the voyage of the early fathers of our Best Families. Landed on Plymouth Rock (which consists of a small boulder with a Plymouth hen hatching her brood), the cartoon hero and his blunderbuss and dog soon run afoul of the Indians. They are friendly at first, and sell hot dogs and suspenders to the new arrivals, but turn into howling savages when the hero takes a pot shot at a brave's feather headdress, mistaking it for a Thanksgiving turkey. Then the fun begins, and continues with plenty of laughs and clever gags. Produced by Frank Moser and Paul Terry, with musical score by Philip A. Scheib.

January 17, 1936
"Scrappy's Boy Scouts" (Scrappy Cartoon)
Columbia 7 mins. Snappy
Scrappy qualifies in this one as a Boy Scout, although much undersize and age. He does it with the help of his three little dog pals, who rescue the Boy Scout troop from a blizzard on top of a mountain where they strike camp. Done with peppy technique and some good laugh gags. Produced by Charles Mintz.

January 24, 1936
"The Cat Came Back" (Merrie Melody)
Vitaphone 7 mins. Clever
A Leon Schlesinger cartoon in Technicolor, and one of the cleverest of the series. It is a domestic drama of the Cat family and the Mouse family, showing the respective mothers training their offspring to fight the eternal battle between their kind. But one of the kittens falls in the drain, and is carried away toward destruction in the sewer, till the kitten's mouse friend rescues her. This starts friendly relations between the two warring families, that winds up in the traditional enmity of cat and mouse.

February 4, 1936
"Toonerville Trolley" (Rainbow Color Parade Cartoon)
RKO Radio 7 mins. Okay
Good characterizations taken from Fontaine Fox's famous cartoons of the Skipper, Katrinka and the Toonerville Trolley. Katrinka gets the trolley washed up for the trip to the depot, but on the way a bull goes into action against the outfit, with disastrous consequences to the Skipper and the trolley. Again Katrinka comes to the rescue and vanquishes the bull with her terrific strength. The kids will enjoy it.

February 5, 1936
"Doctor Bluebird" (Color Rhapsody)
Columbia 8 mins. Fine
Done in Technicolor, this Charles Mintz cartoon will herald in the spring in advance. The bluebirds come to the aid of a crippled lad, and administer to him with fruits and flowers and the sunshine, and cure him so he can forget his game leg and go out on that fishing trip. The mechanical devices employed by the birds based on nature's technique are novel and clever. The vivid blue of the birds contrasted with the yellow of the sunshine—denoting Happiness, associated with the bluebird—makes a grand color harmony that is very appealing to the eye. Art Davis did the animation.

"The Bird Stuffer" (Krazy Kat)
Columbia 7 mins. Lively
The cartoon character Krazy Kat appears as a taxidermist who has trouble with a gangster bulldog who wants a fish stuffed to look like a bird. Krazy Kat goes into a scared trance and dreams that all the stuffed animals in the shop have ganged up on him. When he comes to, and the bulldog comes back for his stuffed fish, he is so mad he wraps the fish around the customer's neck and chases him out of the shop.

February 7, 1936
"Mickey's Polo Team" (Mickey Mouse Cartoon)
United Artists-Disney 8 mins. A Knockout
For fast and furious animated entertainment, this just about tops anything turned out to date by the Walt Disney shops. It's in Technicolor, and aside from delivering laughs in machine gun style, it packs diverse interest because of the fact that its cast includes caricatures of a group of screen stars including Jack Holt, Laurel & Hardy, Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable, Edna Mae Oliver, W. C. Fields, Shirley Temple and others, along with Mickey Mouse, Pluto, the Three Pigs, the Big Bad Wolf, Donald Duck, etc. Action is motivated by a polo game that is more like a free-for-all slugging match. It was a grand idea and the Disney boys put a lot of ingenuity and effort into it, resulting in a cartoon comedy that is one big riot from start to finish.

February 13, 1936
"Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" (ComiColor Cartoon)
Celebrity 7 mins. Hits High
Very sprightly presentation of the Arabian Nights tale of young Ali Baba who busted into the thieves' den and got away with the boodle. The action moves very fast, with the thieves on their camels thundering out of the den and across the desert to the neighboring towns which they loot, and back again to their hideout. Ali Baba follows them, gets into the cave with the magic "Open, Sesame!" and after hair-raising experiences with the returning thieves who spy him, manages to get away with some of the swag. The kids should love it.

"Tom Thumb" (ComiColor Cartoon)
Celebrity 7 mins. Sure Fire
A funny cartoon version of the old nursery fable of Little Tom Thumb who finds himself out of place in a world of giants which normal size folks seem to him. So he cheerfully adapts himself to fate, and manages to get by with a few minor mishaps till one day he secretes himself in his father's fishing basket as the old man goes to the creek. In a struggle with a bait worm that is as big as a python to Tom Thumb, he is kicked into the creek, swallowed by a fish, which the father hooks and brings his son back to earth. Nice imaginative touch with plenty of comedy.

"Dr. Bluebird" (Color Rhapsodies)
Columbia 8 mins. Swell Animated
A very neatly done Technicolor cartoon. It shows a little boy, saddened because an injured foot prevents him from going fishing, being cheered up and finally cured by a flock of bluebirds. One of the birds, seeing the unhappy lad, broadcasts a cry for help and brings in a flock of his bird pals, who put on a show for the boy and then apply violet rays from bluebells to the lame foot, which immediately gets well and permits the boy to dash off to his fishing.

February 25, 1936
"The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg" (Rainbow Color Parade)
RKO Radio 7 mins. Snappy
Felix the Cat has an exciting adventure with a pirate ship whose captain comes to the seacoast town and steals the Goose that lays the golden eggs. Felix finally gets aboard the ship, and makes the crew prisoner. But he has a tough battle with the captain, and finally overpowers him, too. Then he loads the pirate gold coin into the cannon, and fires the plunder ashore to the happy villagers. So Felix comes back a hero. Done in color and a sprightly number with clever cartoon technique.

February 26, 1936
"The Headless Horseman" (ComiColor Cartoon)
Celebrity 10 mins. Fair
While not so attractively presented as some of this colorful series, it holds an interest for younger fans for its burlesque telling of Washington Irving's story of Ichabod Crane and the headless horsemen—a tale of Dutch days in New York. Color work is good, animation leans too far to the burlesque, but the cartoon affords a number of laughs.

"A Clean Shaven Man" (Popeye the Sailor)
Paramount 7 mins. Swell
A fast and very funny cartoon with Popeye and his pal Pluto beating it to a barber shop to get clean shaves when they hear Oliveoyl the waitress singing a number, "I Want a Clean Shaven Man." The barbers are out getting shaved, so they go to work on each other, with disastrous consequences for Popeye. But he evens the score with the big goof by taking his daily dose of spinach and then wiping up the barber shop with his friendly enemy and rival in love. The payoff comes when they reach the lunch counter in time to see their sweetie stepping out with a gent with long flowing whiskers.

March 6, 1936
"Slumberland Express" (An Oswald Cartoon)
Universal 7 mins. A Pip for the Kids
Oswald and his little brother all but miss the express to slumberland. It carries the assorted animals to childhood's dream of paradise—an amusement park where all the games are free, and windows are provided just to be broken by thrown rocks, and old men wear silk hats just that they may be knocked off by well-aimed snowballs. Oswald's little brother wanders into nightmare land where terror reigns—the soap and comb and brush and tooth paste that plague a child's existence, come to life. But Oswald comes to the rescue and after a terrific fight with pen-and-ink and soap, frees his brother. He wakes up in bed—it was all a dream.

March 11, 1936
"Cartoonland Mysteries" (Going Places with Lowell Thomas, No. 18)
Universal 11 mins. Entertaining
Lowell Thomas is the commentator for this short which illustrates how animated cartoons are made, every step of the process is illustrated, from the original drawing of the characters, through the copyists and cameraman's work, to the synchronizing of sound and music with the action. A short of general interest, instructive as well as entertaining.

March 12, 1936
"Mickey's Grand Opera" (Mickey Mouse Cartoon)
United Artists 8 mins. A Scream
All the leading characters in Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse cartoons appear in this "glorified" take-off of grand opera in Technicolor. Mickey himself conducts the orchestra, while Donald Duck and Clara Cluck are the singers. Donald's sword gets stuck through a set-piece in the scenery, and all kinds of untoward incidents dog his steps—including Pluto, Mickey's dog, who is intrigued by a magician's tall hat, out of which rabbits and pigeons appear. Pluto stalks the hat upon the stage in the midst of the duet. The hat takes refuge in the mouth of the tuba and all the concealed rabbits and pigeons are blown out, wrecking the duet and the scenery. A stiff dose of laughing gas for every member of every family.

"The Orphans' Picnic" (Mickey Mouse Cartoon)
United Artists 8 mins. A Pip
Mickey himself does not have much to do in this Disney Technicolor cartoon, but the irascible Donald Duck is there in all his glory and ready to fight at the drop of a hat. He is fair game for the orphans, and they steal the picnic cake and sandwiches all but out of his bill, sending him into a terrible quacking temper. Pretending repentance, they give him a flower with a wasp in it. The wasp stings Donald who throws a rock at the nest and flees before a whole swarm of stinging insects. Donald's antics stir sober age as well as antic youth to loud guffaws.

"Scrappy's Pony" (Scrappy Cartoon)
Columbia 7 mins. Pretty Good
Scrappy's new pony arrives in a bad mood. Little Oopy sees his older brother thrown a few times and then discovers the pony wants sugar so they bribe the animal and put it to bed. Just a routine subject with nothing outstanding.

Popeye the Sailor in "Brotherly Love"
Paramount 7 mins. Good
Oliveoyl is the leading spirit in an organization advocating brother ly love. Inspired by this example, Popeye sets out to practise what Oliveoyl preaches and runs into a brawl between two rival gangs of bruisers in which he gets badly licked as does Oliveoyl. Popeye downs his spinach and soon thereafter the gangs are laid out cold on the sidewalk.

Betty Boop in "Not Now"
Paramount 7 mins. Amusing
Betty's slumbers are disturbed by the yowling of a cat on the back fence who refuses to heed her plea to scat. Betty's pup gives chase to the cat over fence and building. There is a battle, the cat gets a number of allies and chases the pup back home into Betty's arms.

"Li'l Ainjil" (Krazy Kat Cartoon)
Columbia 7 mins. Just Fair
The usual troubles of Officer Pupp while trying to keep Ignatz Mouse from socking Krazy Kat with bricks. The wild mouse is arrested but is freed when he helps apprehend another convict, only to reopen the chase when he pops Krazy with his last brick. Produced by Charles Mintz.

"The Band Concert" (Mickey Mouse Cartoon)
United Artists 8 mins. Fun for Everybody
Mickey Mouse conducts his barnyard band with all the gestures of great conductors in this Disney Technicolor cartoon. Everything is lovely until Donald Duck appears and insists on joining the band to play upon his flute. He has but one tune, and as soon as Mickey breaks one flute, Donald gets another. Finally, in playing a piece entitled "The Storm" a cyclone appears and sucks all the players up into the sky. But the bandmen can't be conquered by a mere tornado: they continue to play through all their gyrations, and at length are landed right side up upon their platform. Donald Duck gets the last laugh—and a good share of the others.

March 14, 1936
"Off To China" (Terry-Toon)
Educational 6 mins. Good Cartoon
Except for a rather abrupt ending, this cartoon is pleasing entertainment. Subject shows a cat and three assistants taking off on a flight across the Pacific to Hawaii and thence to China. Treatment is novel and amusing.

March 20, 1936
"I'm A Big Shot Now" (Merry Melody Cartoon in Technicolor)
Vitaphone 7 mins. Good Tale of a Tough Bird
Public Enemy No. 1 in "Birdville" sets out to fulfill his boast that only suckers work. After beating up a (bird) cop in a saloon, his gang robs the "Birdville National Bank." The tough guy is captured in the fadeout which shows even the police force of birds in action. This Leon Schlesinger film is especially funny in its dialogue.

"The Blow-Out" (Looney Tune Cartoon)
Vitaphone 7 mins. Good for the Kiddies
Porky, the pig, sets out to get an extra nickel for an ice-cream soda and winds up by collecting a large reward for the capture of an elusive maniac who plants time bombs all over town. He accidentally stumbles on the villain when he discovers the profit in retrieving a glove, hat and purse dropped by people who reward him with a penny. An exciting chase starts when he persists in returning the bomb to the maniac. Leon Schlesinger produced the piece.

April 7, 1936
"Spark Plug" ("Barney Google" Color Cartoon)
Columbia (Charles Mintz) 7 mins. Exceptional Color Work
"Barney Google's" horse, "Spark Plug," runs second to fine color work in his first starring role. Although the short has fine comedy moments, especially when "Sparky" can't get away from the post in a race with "Omaha," the color management is fine, especially when the comedy horse is shown running throughout the night in order to finish the race. The picture, although short, is on par with better animated cartoons.

"Miss Glory" (Merry Melody Cartoon in Technicolor)
Vitaphone 8 mins. Amusing
Expecting that "Miss Glory" is a picture star of great importance, the management of a small town hotel makes "elaborate" preparations for her reception but the gangling bellhop falls asleep. In a fanciful dream, he pictures himself the bellhop at a ritzy New Yorker hotel, with everything, including the lobby plants, streamlined. He is kept in a constant huff trying to please the old and young men about town who want to meet "Miss Glory." When he is suddenly awakened by the clerk of the small town hotel, he is hurried to the limousine of "Miss Glory", a five-year-old sucking a lollypop! Leon Schlesinger produced it.

April 8, 1936
"Three Little Wolves" (Silly Symphony)
United Artists-Disney 9 mins. Swell Successor
In anticipation of the natural and provocative question: "It it as good as 'The Three Little Pigs'?"—the answer is emphatically: "Yes!" Although "Pigs" had the edge because it was original, for all commercial purposes the sequel should be better. Benefitting by the well-publicized reception given its predecessor, "Wolves" is the only cartoon subject that can command as much fan interest as the return appearance of a feature production star. "Wolves" is a panic in showing three offsprings of the Big Bad Wolf, one being instructed in the appreciation of fresh pig as pork, sausage, chops, etc. In a funny plot beyond the limits of trade review detail, Papa Wolf and his little ones go after the three little pigs. Ultimately, B. B. Wolf is trapped by the "Wolf Pacifier," a Rube Goldberg type invention perfected by the only sane pig. The buffeting he takes provides a howl big enough to climax the snickers and laughs in the earlier sequences.

April 9, 1936
"Elmer Elephant" (Silly Symphony)
United Artists-Disney 9 mins. Good Color Cartoon
"Elmer Elephant" saves his face by virtue of his highly-criticized nose when he rescues "Tillie Tiger," his girl friend, from death in a burning building. When the assembled guests at "Tillie's" birthday party criticize him for his "schnozzle," he leaves the party dejected but returns to become a hero, extinguishing the blaze by using his trunk as a hose after the fire department fails. Incidentally, the first giraffe with vocal chords is introduced by Disney in this one.

April 18, 1936
"Betty Boop and Little Jimmy" (Cartoon)
Paramount 7 mins. Not Up to Par
"Betty" and "Jimmy" get a few laughs when the girl is left in the gym on a reducing machine set at high speed while the youngster runs out for an electrician to disconnect it. First forgetting whom he is supposed to get and later engaging in window shopping, he returns to find "Betty" reduced to an unbecoming stretch of skin and bones. When she sees herself in a mirror, however, she laughs until she takes on the proportions of a circus fat lady. Noticing the change, "Jimmy," too, laughs himself out of shape. But all told, audience laughs are too sparse.

April 28, 1936
"The Little Stranger" (Color Classic Cartoon)
Paramount 8 mins. Amusing Animation
A "foundling egg," left in a duck's roost by a distraught hen, is hatched by the duck in the line of normal duty which is rewarded when she brings three of her own breed into the world. Amusing situations arise when she can't teach the chick to "quack" and swim like her own. Ostracized, the orphan finally redeems herself by causing the death of a hawk which threatens them all. For comedy of the cute variety, one would recommend the finale, when the appreciative ducks learn chicken talk to show their forgiveness.

"Dick Whittington's Cat" (ComiColor Cartoon)
Celebrity (Cinecolor) 9 mins. Good Kid Stuff
"Dick Whittington," fantasy idol of day-dreaming kids, comes to life as the regular feller who is rewarded richly for saving the life of a stray cat. When Dick is ordered by his cook-master to drown the animal, the youngster hides it in a cargo bound for an Oriental country. There, the captain appreciates his formerly undesired passenger and puts him to work cleaning out a tough gang of rats that has reduced the king of the country to skin and bones by snatching all food before his royal nibs even has a chance to nibble. In the characteristic disproportion of cartoons, everything comes off with laughs because the rats are rough-tough and drag-'em-out and the cat is timid until his "nine lives" are threatened. Even after the cat has brought the treasure chest to London for Dick, he gets scared stiff when he sees the neighborhood rat, his lifelong nemesis.

"The Early Bird and the Worm" (Harman-Ising Technicolor Cartoon)
M-G-M 9 mins. Standard Animated
Working out literally the adage that "the early bird catches the worm," the animators concoct a fairly amusing episode of a chase between a worm that walks on two legs and a bird that does more walking than flying. The bird, an extremely ethical bird, gives up the pursuit and shakes hands with "his breakfast" when the worm saves him from being devoured by a rattlesnake. Even a couple of lazy birds, with voices suspiciously like those of 'Amos 'n' Andy," make an appearance.

"Bottles" (Harman-Ising Technicolor Cartoon)
M-G-M 10 mins. Better Color Drawing
The various bottles in a chemist's shop come to life when the chemist winds up in a nightmare after working hard on a poison solution. In his disturbed sleep, the skull-shaped bottle containing the poison becomes a skeleton that punishes him by reducing him in size and putting him through twisted test tubes and distilling apparatus. The comedy is fine and the color, even better.

May 8, 1936
"Major Google" (Barney Google Cartoon)
Columbia 7 mins. Good Amateur Burlesque
The familiar comic strip buddies of Barney Google come together again as contestants on an amateur radio program directed by Barney, who employs voice and mannerisms suspiciously like those of Major Bowes. The proceedings are mainly of the slapstick variety but the short is good fun, especially when a disgruntled hill-billy shoots up the place because he gets the gong. Bowes' familiar "all right, all right" runs through the entire short, together with other expressions closely identified with the Major by radio fans. Charles Mintz produced it in Technicolor.

"Football Bugs" (Color Rhapsody)
Columbia 8 mins. Amusing
Spiders, centipedes and bugs of more simple build get together for an interesting football game that is finally won by the smaller insects, the underdogs. After being knocked out of the game repeatedly, the bug hero pours rum into the water buckets of the opposing team, gets them beautifully plastered and finds broken-field running a cinch. The Technicolor in this Charles Mintz production is handled effectively.

May 13, 1936
"The Old Mill Pond" (Harman-Ising Happy Harmonies)
M-G-M 9 mins. Fine Cartoon in Color
This musical comedy cartoon is a knockout. Following the opening, which is the song "Down By the Old Mill Stream", the impersonations are Cab Calloway and His Band doing the "Minnie the Moocher" routine, "Fats" Waller doing his piano number, Bill Robinson his taps, the Mills Bros, their "Hold That Tiger," Stepin Fetchit is presented, and a dancing chorus does "Jungle Rhythm." The Technicolor is beautiful, especially in the water numbers. This short is just one load of entertainment all the way through.

"Let It Be Me" Merrie Melody
Vitaphone 7 mins. Good Animated in Technicolor
The pestiferous crooner invades the poultry kingdom, with results that are very amusing. Broadcasting too frequently for the comfort of home-loving husbands, a rooster with a loud voice, breaks up the romance of a country girl and her farmer boy friend, brings the little gal to the big city, where he follows the villain's role so familiar in old-time mellers. When she is turned into the street to sell flowers, her farmer-boy friend comes to the big town, knocks the stuffin's out of the crooner and literally takes little Nell home to roost. The picture fades when one of their offspring gets a lump on his head from papa for trying to croon. Leon Schlesinger produced.

May 15, 1936
"Football Bugs" (Color Rhapsody)
Columbia 7 mins. Fair Animated
A football game between an assortment of bugs is depicted in this cartoon comedy in color. It's a rather fantastic affair, with a little too much congestion of varied bug characters and art work in general, so that the total effect is somewhat scrambled. Just a fair subject of its kind.

"Barnyard Five" (Oswald Cartoon)
Universal 7 mins. Good Quin Take-Off
A worried duck plays the part of the anxious father while the missus is hatching quintuplets. When they let out their first squawk, papa duck receives a wire of congratulations from Oswald the Rabbit and an invitation to dine with him. The silly ducklings are amusing when they mess things up at the dinner table, especially a black one, who takes an awful beating from a clam he is investigating. This would have rated even higher in color.

"The Fun House" (Oswald Cartoon)
Universal 7 mins. Fair Fun
An amusing chase takes place after Oswald's dog is refused admittance to an amusement park when Ossie and his girl friend go out for a good time. The pooch sneaks into the resort, coming up through a trap door in the shooting gallery. In later sequences, slam-bang stuff takes place when the private police chase the mutt through the roller skating rink.

"Farming Fools" (Oswald Cartoon)
Universal 7 mins. Amusing Monkey Biz
Three hitch-hiking chimpanzees, chronic followers of the open road and dodgers of work, are put to labor as farm hands in payment for pies stolen from the industrious Oswald Rabbit. Proceedings are amusing when the monks find it tough milking a cow, painting a house and trapping a water bucket after hauling it to the top of a well. Particularly amusing is the trapeze method used by the simians in painting the house.

June 1, 1936
"Old Mill Pond" (Harman-Ising Cartoon)
M-G-M 8 mins. First Class
In Technicolor, a swell interpretation by the frogs in the mill pond of the famous colored artists of tap dance and orchestra. The leading lights among the colored entertainers are presented in fine imitations, the technique is very clever, and the entire production a real novelty in cartoon with beautiful color and catchy music.

June 5, 1936
"What—No Spinach?" (Popeye Cartoon)
Paramount 7 mins. Funny—with Speed
A lot of trouble in the restaurant when Wimpy, the waiter, hands Popeye a roast duck seasoned with red pepper, and Bluto the restaurant proprietor starts to pick on Popeye when he protests. But the hero gets his can of spinach, and then starts to mop up the place with the big bully, as usual.

"I Don't Want to Make History" (Bouncing Ball Cartoon)
Paramount 7 mins. Novelty
Featuring Vincent Lopez and his orchestra. This one is presented as a theater number, with the news items being flashed on the screen. The Lopez orchestra appears as the main feature on the bill. The title of the short is also the pop number which the orchestra plays. The Bouncing Ball is the usual device for pointing the words as the musicians play.

"We Did It" (Betty Boop Cartoon)
Paramount 6 mins. Neat
The pup and three little kittens turn the house upside down when Betty Boop steps out for awhile. Pudgy, the pup, tries to rescue the kittens as they get themselves into all sorts of jams, and when Betty comes home she blames the pup for the damage. But the kittens take the blame, and everybody is happy as Betty throws an ice cream party.

June 9, 1936
"The Sailor's Home" (Terry-Toon)
Educational 7 mins. Lively
Very lively and cleverly executed cartoon of the brave sailor who recounts his experience with a mermaid on one of his early voyages. The romantic adventure is at the bottom of the sea, with Father Neptune himself marrying off his daughter to the brave sailor lad. But when it comes time to take his bride aboard ship, she gives him the gate, and so all the sailor has is the memories.

June 9, 1936
"Scrappy's Camera Troubles" (Scrappy Cartoon)
Columbia 7 mins. Entertaining
In this one, the popular kid cartoon character totes his camera to the woodlands to "shoot" the furry and feathered inhabitants. It's entertaining stuff for both the youthful and matured, dealing as it does with such a human interest topic as taking pictures. A clever and realistic touch is the focusing of the motion picture camera to give the illusion that Scrappy's camera is focusing as he looks into it when photographing his grotesque, limp-limbed dog—Yippy.

June 11, 1936
"Bold King Cole" (Rainbow Color Parade Cartoon)
RKO 7 mins. Fine Cartoon
A Felix the Cat cartoon done in gorgeous colors and handsome settings representing the ancient castle of Old King Cole. Felix enters the castle during a thunderstorm, and is instrumental in saving the old king from the ghosts of his ancestors who start mauling him around because he is bragging too much about his war deeds in his youth. Felix concealed in a suit of armor attracts the lightning bolts and shoots them out again on the heads of the ghosts, and the King crowns his rescuer "Prince Felix."

June 12, 1936
"I Love to Singa" (Merrie Melody Cartoon)
Vitaphone 7 mins. Extremely Clever
Filmed in Technicolor, this cartoon is superb, extremely clever entertainment and the type of short that comes along once in a blue moon. Packed with laughs, it is actually a travesty on "The Jazz Singer," brought up-to-the-minute with swell touches. Pa Owl, a strict classical music professor, is presented with quadruplets. The fourth egg hatches out the "bad egg" of the family,—a young owl who's a hot, hotcha crooner. His musical papa exiles him in disgust, but the jazzy offspring wins an amateur radio contest and is forgiven.

June 18, 1936
"Fish Tales" (Looney Tune)
Vitaphone 7 mins. Lively Animated
This cartoon comedy from the Leon Schlesinger shops is a generally amusing concoction, with enough lively doings to hand out a good batch of laughs. The central character, a fat porker, goes fishing and falls asleep, dreaming that the fish have turned tables and yanked him down below. After a number of exciting incidents, porky makes his getaway, cured of the desire to fish.

June 24, 1936
"Glee Worms" (Color Rhapsody)
Columbia 7 mins. Pleasing
A Charles Mintz cartoon, done in color, and featuring the romance of a pair of glow worms. They do their romancing to harmony, but the villain in the form of a spider gets the heroine in his clutches. But Sir Glee Worm rides to the rescue, and after a terrific battle, saves his beloved. Nice treatment throughout makes this a pleasing cartoon.

July 11, 1936
"Two Little Pups" (Harman-Ising Cartoon)
M-G-M 8 mins. Swell Pups
A very clever and lively cartoon in Technicolor, with the two white puppies engaging in conflict with the big red hen that starts to dig up the garden. The hen gets mixed up with a lawn mower, and practically tears the garden to pieces before the pups finally do their duty and get rid of the pest. These pups are a fine contribution to the roster of cartoon animals, and should make a big hit with the kids.

July 16, 1936
"Moving Day" (Mickey Mouse Cartoon)
United Artists 8 mins. Acrobatic Fun
The new Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck cartoon in Technicolor contains a barrelful of laughs. Mickey and Donald are dispossessed for non-payment of rent and the sheriff orders their furniture sold at auction. With the aid of the ice-man they try to move out their furniture before the sale, but run into all sorts of difficulties. Donald Duck undergoes a series of absurd adventures that elicit one laugh on the heels of another. In fact, Donald is the hero, Mickey a sort of stooge (and often forgotten).

July 24, 1936
"Music Hath Charms" (Oswald Cartoon)
Universal 7 mins. Lively
This time Oswald is the hero who saves his hillbilly folks from the ravages of a swarm of grasshoppers. The head of the hillbillies tries to soothe the grasshoppers with hillbilly music, but it only makes them madder, and they start to destroy everything. Then Oswald tries his hot jazz with his saxophone. The invaders respond, and lulled into peacefulness, they restore the damaged properties.

"Kiddy Revue" (Oswald Cartoon)
Universal 7 mins. Good Gags
The rabbit hero Oswald puts on a kiddy show, but the jealous poodle who wasn't allowed to go on with his violin act started to mess up the show. He drops sneeze powder into the Scotty dog's bagpipe. Then he shoots peas at the bubbles in Lilly the Duck's sensational dance number and busts all the bubbles. She gets even by dropping ants in the pup's pants when he goes on with his violin act, and that stampedes the show and the audience.

July 28, 1936
Popeye the Sailor in "I Wanna Be a Lifeguard"
Paramount 7 mins. Very Good
Another lively and very amusing animated cartoon comedy in the Popeye series. The spinach-eating sailor and his giant rival, Bluto, apply simultaneously for a lifeguard job. The bathing pool manager asks them to show their stuff so he can decide which is the best man. Bluto manhandles Popeye for a while and nearly drowns him, but the hardy sailor and his spinach eventually come out on top.

August 7, 1936
"Mickey's Circus" (Mickey Mouse Cartoon)
United Artists 8 mins. It's the Tops
There are several barrelsful of laughs in this Technicolor Mickey Mouse cartoon from Walt Disney's workshop. The very ridiculousness of the antics of Donald Duck, Mickey and the trained seals bring laughs whether one wants to laugh or not. Donald gets the seals to perform by carrying around a basket of fish, into which the baby seal is forever getting and stealing the fish. Following the seal-ette into the mouth of a cannon, Donald and Mickey are shot to the top of the tent and light on a tight rope upon which they go through many dizzy antics, finally plunging into the seal tank and being fed fish by the seals.

"Alpine Climbers" (Mickey Mouse Cartoon)
United Artists 9½ mins. New "Highs" in Fun
This Technicolor Disney cartoon takes Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Pluto into the mountains where their farcical adventures are many and hilarious. The pay-off comes with Donald Duck's encounter with a mountain goat. Donald believes he is tracking the goat, but the goat is tracking the duck, and when Donald discovers him the goat gives a butt that sends him skidding up the mountain side. Each time Donald rolls down the goat repeats the butt. Donald, knocked through a tree, gets sore and sails into the goat, knocking him down into a tree-top where he is left hanging by one horn.

"Mickey's Rival" (Mickey Mouse Cartoon)
United Artists 8¼ mins. Fun for All Ages
Mortimer, an old-time sweetheart of Minnie Mouse, thrusts himself into the picnic lunch which Minnie and Mickey are holding near a pasture. He's a show-off and performs his whole bag of tricks to make himself look important and Mickey small in the eyes of Minnie. Mortimer sees a bull in the pasture and flaunts the red tablecloth. The bull runs around the fence and Mortimer takes to ignominious flight, leaving Mickey to battle the bull. Mickey's car, telescoped against a tree by Mortimer's heavier car, after battling the big auto, comes to Mickey's aid and they hold off the bull until Minnie is safe. They speed away in the end, with Mortimer, the old rival, the farthest thing from Minnie's thoughts.

"Toby Tortoise Returns" (Silly Symphony)
United Artists 8 mins. Funny Fisticuffs
Max Hare, the champion fighter, is challenged by Toby Tortoise. Max is over-confident and apparently has the slow-motioned tortoise down for the count. But Toby is not out. He takes refuge in his shell and Max tries to get him out by pouring water into it (to find Toby supplied with a diver's helmet) and then by pouring a box of assorted fireworks into his shell and lighting them. Toby then becomes a skyrocket of activity and bursts of flame, and finally Max is knocked from the ring into a waiting ambulance. Aside from its many loud laughs, it's beautifully done in Technicolor.

"Bingo Crosbyana" (Merrie Melody)
Vitaphone 7 mins. Fair Cartoon
Done in Technicolor, this is a fairly amusing animated short from the Leon Schlesinger studio. Characters are a collection of dolled up bugs, with a guitarist-crooner headlining the antics.

August 8, 1936
"Glee Worms" (Scrappy Cartoon)
Columbia 7 mins. Okay Color Animated
Taking its idea from the classic musical number, "Glow Worm", this cartoon comedy in Technicolor is an entertaining number of its kind. It shows the little bugs getting charged with light current at a power house before starting out for their nightly meanderings, after which they disport themselves through the glens in amusing fashion.

August 11, 1936
"Happy You and Merry Me" (Betty Boop Cartoon)
Paramount 7 mins. Mirthful
Good stuff for the juvenile patrons and grown-up Betty Boop addicts. Episode shows the race against time and death to save a kitten which has wandered into Betty's home and gobbled-up a box of candy while Betty is busy playing the piano. Perceiving the writhings of the young cat and the depleted candy box, the clever Miss Boop dispatches the pup Pudgy to the drug store for catnip. The exotic contents of the box serve two immediate pm-poses, namely to cure the ailing kitten and attract all the cats in the neighborhood. Thus the parent of the strayed kitten finds its offspring, and Pudgy is a hero. Good fun.

"The Hills of Old Wyomin'" (Screen Song)
Paramount 10 mins. Appealing
Combining cartoon subjects with serious musical moments, this short has a good change of entertainment pace. It starts out burlesquing newsreels, then after becoming a musical short for a few moments, back it goes to poking good clean jest as newsreels again. There are a number of good gags in the cartoon section of the film and some decidedly good harmonizing by Louise Massey and the Westerners who sing the title song. Animating the lyrics of the theme song adds to the potential appeal of this short.

"It's a Greek Life" (Rainbow Color Parade Cartoon)
RKO 7 mins. Peppy
Fun in a classical cartoon background. The scene is ancient Athens, Acropolis and all. The messenger of the gods, Mercury, drops in to get his winged shoes repaired by an aged centaur. The grotesque old centaur has a yen to fly himself because he has watched Pegasus doing a bit of aviating. So he straps a pair of ducks on his own back to course into the heavens, but he's a flop. Taking Mercury's winged shoes, he succeeds in taking off. The ducks attack and the centaur is sorely harassed. When Mercury returns, he furiously attacks the old shoemaker and flies away. An amusing idea, well executed and one which provides some peppy moments.

August 13, 1936
"Sunday Go to Meetin' Time" (Merrie Melody)
Vitaphone 7 mins. Very Good Animated
A lively, tuneful and generally amusing animated cartoon in Technicolor. Its characters are colored folk and the action depicts the punishment befalling a shiftless darky who prefers dice playing to church attendance on the Sabbath. Catapulted into Hades, he is put through the works down there, and eventually wakes up to find he has been dreaming, whereupon he makes a bee-line for church.

August 14, 1936
"Porky the Rainmaker" (Looney Tune Cartoon)
Vitaphone 7 mins. Clever
This one demonstrates that it's ideas that make clever shorts. Pa Pig and his little son Porky are in a panic from the drought. Crops burn up, farm animals are thirst-parched and it appears that it ain't goin' rain no more, no more, on their stricken farm. Pa has only a dollar left in the old sock and he sends Porky to town to buy the last ration of feed. Porky en route runs across a medicine man and buys a box of capsules with that last coin. There are particular pills that will make it thunder, lightning and even make it rain, but they make Pa furious when he sees them instead of feed. The pills are spilled and each is gobbled by an animal with amusing consequences. The goose grabs the rain pill and what occurs terminates the drought.

August 18, 1936
"Highway Snobbery" (Krazy Kat Cartoon)
Columbia 6¾ mins. Amusing
Krazy Kat goes a'motoring with his girl friend in a fast motor car with so much flexibility that he wends his way in and out of traffic in serpentine style. When he "steps on it" the auto terrifies even the trees in the arbored countryside, and his recklessness is equally alarming to other motorists. But finally his fellow drivers along the highways gang up on Krazy, smash his car, and retribution really sets in fully when a carload of passersby give his girl friend a lift into town and leave Krazy in dejected solitude by the wayside.

"The Novelty Shop" (Color Rhapsody)
Columbia 6½ mins. Scores
This Charles Mintz-produced short in Technicolor is diverting stuff that will literally help fill the bill for exhibitors. Scenes is a shop stocked with all kinds of toys, novelties and what-nots. The elderly proprietor goes away for a holiday. No sooner does he turn the key in the latch when departing than all the objects in the store forsake their stilted places and frolic and parade to their hearts content. Dogs, dolls, birds, plants cavort about in hilarious style. The theme song for the gambolling toys is rendered by the little quintuplet dolls. Short is well put together and the scoring by Joe Nat scores, as does the original story idea by Sid Marcus.

August 19, 1936
"Kiko and the Honey Bears" (Terry-Toons)
Educational 7 mins. Swell
Introducing the new cartoon character, Kiko the Kangaroo. He proves to be a very amusing, lovable and diverting character, and will no doubt please the kids no end. He has plenty of snap in his movements, making tremendous leaps across the screen. In this one he hires out as a nurse to the three little bears, and saves them from a hunter who comes upon them in the forest with his three hounds. Kiko looks like a real contribution to the cartoon division, for the funny gent has plenty of personality.

August 26, 1936
"Bottles" (Harman-Ising "Happy Harmonies")
M-G-M 10 mins. Good Color Cartoon
A good deal of ingenuity and effort went into the making of this animated cartoon in Technicolor. It's about an old bottle maker who falls asleep and has a nightmare about being given the works himself in his laboratory. The bottles on the shelves come to life and go into a series of singing and dancing specialties, while the bottle-maker, who has been greatly reduced in size, scrambles around to escape a menacing skeleton. Though a little more scary than comical, it's a good subject of its kind.

September 10, 1936
"Toonerville Picnic" (Rainbow Color Parade Cartoon)
RKO Radio 7 mins. Fun
More adventures of the Toonerville folks, who go on their annual picnic to the beach. The Terrible Tempered Mr. Bang has been advised by his doctor to go to the beach to rest his nerves, and he runs into this wild picnic party. His day is one mad riot of excitement, winding up by being rescued by Katrinka from a watery grave. She throws the trolley car in to save him, in lieu of a life preserver. Good cartoon antics, and lots of fun for the kids.

September 11, 1936
"The Pups' Picnic" (Harman-Ising "Happy Harmonies")
M-G-M 8 mins. Swell
Fast, furious and very funny, representing a good deal of production effort, this animated cartoon in Technicolor will have no trouble getting audience applause. A couple of timid pups, straying from the family fold while on a picnic in the woods, witness and get tangled up in a fox hunt. The action deals mostly with the whirlwind pursuit of the fox by a pack of hounds and riders on horses, with the pups looking on and occasionally getting whipsawed in the proceedings.

September 11, 1936
“Toy Town Hall” (Merrie Melody)
Vitaphone 7 mins. Amusing Cartoon
When Junior is unwillingly put to bed when he wanted to listen to a radio program his various toys came to life and put on the show. With a jack-in-the-box caricature of Fred Allen as the M.C. the playthings imitate many of the radio favorites. Produced by Leon Schlesinger.

"Porky's Poultry Plant" (Looney Tune)
Vitaphone 7 mins. Good Cartoon
Plenty of action develops when a hawk grabs a chick from Porky's Poultry Farm. Porky takes off in his airplane and after a lot of swell takeoffs on airplane "dog fighting" disperses the flock of hawks. Produced by Leon Schlesinger.

September 17, 1936
"Music Hath Charms" (Oswald Rabbit Cartoon)
Universal 8 mins. Lot of Fun
Humorous and well conceived, this is one of best of series starring that personality-filled young gent, Oswald Rabbit. It's harvest time, and Oswald is blowing melodiously on h's saxophone in lively tempo. His fellow farm and field musicians try to keep the locust swarms at bay by playing classical tunes and upbraid sincere little jazz-loving Oswald for blowing pop stuff on the sax. But swing-tempo is what is soothing to the locust breast, and Oswald triumphs when his melodies save the crops and foliage of the countryside. A lot of fun.

September 30, 1936 [released October 3, 1936]
"Milk and Money" (Looney Tune Cartoon)
Vitaphone 7 mins. Good Animated
A generally entertaining cartoon comedy from the Leon Schlesinger shops. It is a very lively affair and well sprinkled with humorous gags. Action revolves around the adventures of Porky as a milkman, with a horse that shifts from plodding to a lightning pace when bitten by a horsefly, which enables the nag to win a race which it entered by accident.

October 3, 1936
"In My Gondola" (Color Rhapsody Cartoon)
Columbia 7 mins. Lively
The precocious Scrappy and his gal are romancing in a gondola in Venice, when Scrappy's dog goes overboard and engages in some weird adventures at the bottom of the canal. Finally the dog is rescued by his master, and they celebrate with a spaghetti supper at a casino. Some fantastic cartoon effects are achieved, and it is all in Technicolor. Animation by Art Davis.

October 9, 1936
"The Unpopular Mechanics" (Oswald Cartoon)
Universal 8 mins. Cartoon Antics
The popular hero Oswald builds a radio, and it has some surprising reactions on Pooch the Pup, who starts to croon. So Oswald takes his radio over to the Ducks, with that happy family going into a rhumba and jazz performance. But little Fooey woke up, came downstairs, and monkeyed with the radio, which blew up and ruined the show.

"Puppet Show" (Oswald Cartoon)
Universal 8 mins. Peppy
In which Oswald puts on a puppet show, and is stung by a bee and falls and is knocked unconscious. Then he has a terrible nightmare in which one of his puppets goes through some terrible experiences without his master Oswald to pull the strings. Oswald comes to his senses in time to complete the show, and everybody is happy.

October 19, 1936
"Boulevardier From the Bronx" ("Merrie Melody Cartoon" Series)
Warners 7 mins. Mirthful
This is a dandy short, mirthful and thoroughly enjoyable. All in Technicolor it deals with a baseball game between the Giants and Hickville, in which participating players are barnyard animals. The mighty pitcher of the Giants, a bloated and chesty rooster named Dizzy Dan, takes a great toll of enemy in strike-outs to impress a young and personable hen. The feathered lady is the girl-friend of the Hickville twirler, — another rooster, — who saves his team and his romance by blasting a prodigious homer in the ninth inning to down the conceited rival pitcher, Dizzy Dan.

October 21, 1936
"Kiko Foils the Fox" (Terry-Toon Cartoon)
Educational 7 mins. Lively
The trained kangaroo, Kiko, proves himself a pal of the little folks in the woods, especially the family of three young birds when they get into trouble with the crafty fox, and their parents are unable to protect them. One of them falls right in the path of the foxy Reynard, and Kiko comes to the rescue. Before he does his great life-saving act, he stages a novelty bombardment of the rascally fox with the help of the feathered folk of the woods, using the fruit of the trees as the ammunition. The youngsters will go for Kiko, for he has a way about him that will make the kids cheer. Authored by Paul Terry, Mannie Davis and George Gordon. Scored by Philip A. Scheib.

October 28, 1936
"Merry Mutineers" ("Scrappy" Cartoon in Technicolor)
Columbia 7 mins. Appealing
Caricaturing film personalities, this short is appealing even though its story seems a bit disjointed. Two youngsters are sailing their toy boats on a garden pool when the mutinous, piratical crews come to life. There are amusing moments when the sailors, who are none other than the Marx Brothers, Bing Crosby, W. C. Fields, Major Bowes, George Arliss, Wallace Beery, Laurel and Hardy, Jimmy Durante, Joe E. Brown and "Scrappy" who cavort about the decks and rigging. Joe de Nat's music is cleverly arranged and cartooning of the actors makes their identity easy to recognize. Subject maintains generally solid standard set by producer Charles Mintz.

"To Spring" (Harmon-Ising Cartoon in Technicolor)
(Hollywood Preview) M-G-M 8 mins.
The battle of the underground elfs to bring on spring against Old Man Winter's efforts to repulse them makes pleasing entertainment. The Technicolor is very good and the music is most expressive.

“Krazy’s Newsreel” (Krazy Kat Cartoon)
Columbia 7 mins. Fun
Poking good clean fun at current newsreels, this short presents the famous feline Krazy handling narration of nonsensical current happenings. A peace conference ends up in gun-play; sport shots are similarly silly, and the fashion parade has a chuckle in every line. Then there's a new game that ingeniously couples golf and hunting, wherein the golfer drives, his ball in flight is gobbled by a bird and the latter shot above the green. The feathered victim disgorges the pellet in his dying moments and the ball drops into the cup for a literal "birdie." Final scene satirizes wrestling matches.

October 29, 1936
"Boulevardier From the Bronx" (Merrie Melody Cartoon)
Vitaphone 7 mins. Snappy
This cartoon in color exploits the work of Dizzy Dan, the great pitcher, who arrives with his team to mop up the country lads in Hicksville. Elmer is the hero and the captain and pitcher of the local team. The animals are filled with excitement as the rival pitchers do their stuff, and it looks like a whitewash for Elmer's team till the last inning. Then Elmer socks a homer with the bases full.

October 30, 1936
"Milk and Money" (Looney Tune Cartoon)
Vitaphone 7 mins. Good Gags
The old mortgage on the farm yarn is adapted to the use of Kid Porky and Pa Pig. When the villain says he is going to take over the farm on the morrow, Porky gets busy. He goes to the city and lands with his horse that was in the milk business in a real hoss race, and wins when a horse fly stings his mount into activity Porky comes home in a limousine with the winnings and saves the farm from the villain. Produced by Leon Schlesinger. Animation by Charles Jones and Virgil Ross.

November 4, 1936
"Popeye Meets Sinbad"
Paramount 17 Mins. Top-Notch
All in fun and all in color is this rollicking chapter of the adventures of Popeye the Sailor, his spindly spouse Olive Oyl and the redoubtable Wimpy. Their craft cruises near the island retreat of the mighty Sinbad, with the accent on the last syllable of this gent's name,—for he is bad, tough and tyrannical. He sends the super-giant bird, the roc, to destroy Popeye's ship and carry away the fair Olive Oyl. But Popeye swims to the rescue, and after being beset with dragons, lions, gorillas and other fearful creatures he comes to grips with Sinbad himself. But a stout heart plus a handy can of spinach bring Popeye out on top. Olive is rescued and the beasts capitulate to the visiting conqueror. Kids and grown-ups alike will love this episode. It's topnotch.

November 9, 1936
"Birds In Love" (Scrappy Cartoon)
Color Rhapsody Columbia 7 mins. Lively
The story in color of two little lovebirds and the trouble when the villain vacuum cleaner salesman invades their home while hubby is away. He returns in time to welcome his sweetie from the unwelcome attentions of the stranger. The neighbors misunderstand the presence of the stranger in the home while hubby is absent, and start a scandal. But the heroic work of the hubby straightens everything out. Produced by Charles Mintz.

"Three Blind Mouseketeers"
(Silly Symphony)
United Artists 8 mins. Lively Adventure
The Three Blind Mice start out for their night's adventure, but do not know that the terrible Captain Cat has placed all sorts of cunning traps to catch them. Each in turn walks toward the bait in different traps, but by clever work they get the cheese bait and miss getting caught. But Captain Cat is awakened finally as they revel in the banquet of cheese on the dining room table. At the finish the villain thinks he has three victims all bottled up in a shell game, with a mouse under each shell. But they fool him by some clever team work, and the Cat is finally vanquished by an army of mice that the Three Mouseketeers summon to their aid. A very lively adventure.

"Donald and Pluto" (Mickey Mouse)
United Artists 9 mins. Swell Gags
A series of very funny and clever gags are built around a magnet, which is part of the tool equipment of Donald Duck who plays the role of a plumber. As he goes to work on the water pipe in the house, Pluto the Pup gets tangled with the magnet which attracts the dog's metal eating plate. Then the fun begins and continues to the finish as Pluto tries to rescue his plate and gets into all sorts of side-splitting mixups with the magnet. He finally swallows it, and the magnet still goes on working from the inside, with disastrous results to Pluto who is kept busy dodging all sorts of metal things, including table cutlery and big carving knives zooming at him.

"Mickey's Elephant" (Mickey Mouse)
United Artists 9 mins. Very Original
The action in this is carried on between Pluto the Pup and Bobo, a new pet Mickey has acquired in the form of a baby elephant. The latter tries to be friendly and play with Pluto, who finds his new pal has some upsetting ideas about what fun is. Then the Green Devil inside every pup jumps out and whispers to Pluto that this new pal is going to take Pluto's place in Mickey's home, and to get rid of him. The Green Devil furnishes a can of red pepper for the purpose. The young elephant Bobo sniffs the red pepper inside, and then sneezes everything in sight into splinters, including Pluto's kennel. So Pluto finishes the Green Devil with one swipe of his paw. This is one of the most original of the Mickey Mouse current series, and very laughable with the antics of the two animals who do not understand each other.

November 18, 1936
"Robin Hood in An Arrow Escape"
Educational 7 mins. Elaborate
Quite an elaborate cartoon production done along the lines of a light opera, with male choruses appropriate to the theme, and a fine original score written by Philip Scheib. Robin Hood and his loyal ragged followers in the forest are seen as their chief starts out on a romantic adventure. He enters the king's castle, and romances with the daughter till the king discovers him. The king decides to marry her off right away to the knight who wins in the jousting on the morrow. Robin Hood, the hero, comes in at the last moment and engages the villain who is about to claim the bride-to-be. After a furious conflict Robin Hood triumphs, and rides away with his queen.

November 19, 1936
“Kiko the Kangaroo in a Battle Royal” (Terry-Toons)
Educational 7 mins. Exciting
The cartoon kid acts as manager for Al Falfa, the Farmer, who decides to try for the $100 reward to anyone who can stay around with the Demon Pug at the county fair. Al needs the dough to get back his farm that the villain has foreclosed. In the ring the champ almost tears Al Falfa apart, but Kiko comes up for the next round, and gives the champ an awful beating. They march home in triumph with the award. Plenty of action in this animated.

November 20, 1936
"Loony Balloonist" (Scrappy Cartoon)
Columbia 7 mins. Lively
The cartoon kid Scrappy has his troubles with the youngster Oopy, who keeps interfering as Scrappy tries to get his balloon ready for the air races. Finally Oopy sets the balloon adrift with an old snoopy gent, Scrappy and himself as passengers. By a fluke the balloon wins the race from the fast airplanes, and everything is okay. A Charles Mintz production. Story by Allen Rose, animation by Harry Love.

"Two Lazy Crows"
(Color Rhapsody)
Columbia 7 mins. Good Animal Stuff
The sad story of two lazy crows who loafed all summer and made fun of all the other woodland animals for working so industriously. When the real wintry weather caught them still up North, they had to seek shelter in the home of hospitable squirrel. But when Mrs. Squirrel came home, she threw the three of 'em out. Done in Technicolor, with fine musical direction by Joe de Nat. Directed by Charles Mintz.

December 1, 1936
"Gopher Trouble" (Oswald Cartoon)
Universal 7 mins Exciting Action
The trials of Henrietta the Hen with her beautiful garden, when Billy Gopher started to dig holes in it and wreck everything. So Henrietta calls in Oswald, the gopher exterminator. The latter arrives with his assistant, Elmer the Pooch Before they land Billy they are forced to use dynamite and blow the entire garden up.

"Turkey Dinner" (Meany, Miny, Moe Cartoon)
Universal 8 mins. Lively
The drama of the turkey who turned the table on the three monks trying to get him to decorate their Thanksgiving dinner. After they have prepared everything, Moe goes out to snare the turkey, but he is too smart to get his head chopped off. Winds up with the turkey sneaking in and cleaning the table of all the food, while the monks wind up eating at a hot dog stand.

December 3, 1936
"Cats In a Bag" (Terry-Toons)
Educational 7 mins Okay
The little pup has an exciting adventure when he attempts to mother the little kitties. After risking his neck with his human baby pal, they arrive home in a terrible storm, and the pooch is left outside with a nice turkey and a bottle of milk for a dinner. He takes these back to the barn where he feeds the kitties. Very lively and with a lot of cute little tricks in technique that bring the laughs.

December 11, 1936
"Dizzy Ducks" (Scrappy Cartoon)
Columbia 7 mins. Lively
This cartoon features a duck hunt with Scrappy and Oopy in then boat hitting everything but the ducks. They are getting frantic and their ammunition is being used up and no ducks to show for it. The climax has the youngsters tumbling out of bed, for it was all a night mare. Story by Art Davis.

"A Boy and His Dog" (Color Rhapsody)
Columbia 7 mins. Very Good
The story of a little boy who was always teasing his dog, and his mother warned him of the consequences when the dog grew up to be bigger than he was. The youngster falls asleep, and in his dream the doggie becomes a monster that makes his life miserable by tormenting him as he had been in the habit of worrying the pup. Has a good moral for the kids that will please the mothers. Produced by Charles Mintz in Technicolor. Story by Sid Marcus.

December 23, 1936
"Knights for a Day" (Meany, Miny, Moe Cartoon)
Universal 7 mins. Good Xmas Spirit
For the Christmas season the monks start out to sing carols and wind up doing a kindly deed for the Wido Duck and her kids. The stockings were empty for the four babes, so the three monks go to the rich Henrietta Hen's home and move out the Christmas tree and all the presents to the home of the poor Duck family. Mrs. Hen forgives all when she sees how happy the Duck youngsters are with the toys.


  1. merci de nous faire partager toutes ces merveilles !

  2. PATCH MAH BRITCHES is in the Library of Congress nitrate cartoon collection in Technicolor!
    Mark Kausler

  3. It's interesting reading the 1936 reviews and seeing that even at this early stage, the reviewers were catching on to the changes emerging at the Schlesinger studio and acknowledging them favorably.

  4. It's interesting, too, that reviewers in 1936 noticed Mickey Mouse being "forgotten" in his own cartoons; commented on it negatively, and the studio staff more or less paid no attention.