Saturday, 1 July 2017

Cartoons of 1959, Part 1

There was still a bit of life left in theatrical cartoons in 1959, but the attention in the first half of the year was on two features—“Sleeping Beauty” and “1001 Arabian Nights” with Mr. Magoo. As for shorts, well, there were very few developments. UPA and Columbia came to a parting; Columbia had money in Hanna-Barbera, so it didn’t need an outside studio. Walter Lantz announced he was making a series directed at teenagers. “Hickory, Dickory and Doc” ended up being directed at people who liked B-list cartoons.

The main story continued to be expansion of animation on television. Stations signed up to run new made-for-TV Felix the Cat cartoons. Hanna-Barbera was expanding (“Pete and Repete” and “Arf and Arf” became the Augie Doggie series). TV Spots planned a series in addition to “Crusader Rabbit” (it never got made). Terrytoons was developing Hector Heathcote. And ABC signed a deal to put Harveytoons (né Famous Studios cartoons) on the air in a show called “Matty’s Funday Funnies.”

You can read what was in the pages of Variety, cartoon-wise, over the first half of 1959.

January 6, 1959
Walt Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" feature cartoon, originally shot in Technirama, has been converted to 70m, compatible with Todd-AO, with a special printer lens, Micro-Panatar, developed specifically for Disney by Panavision.
Adaptation of the pic makes it particularly suitable for roadshowing and was designed to make the pic more attractive to houses set up with the Todd-AO screen. Pic is now advertised as in "Technirama 70," a combination of the Technlcolor-Technirama process with Panavision's adaptation. Panavision prexy Robert Gottschalk said the printer lens was designed specifically for cartoon work and is not particularly suited to other types of pix.

Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists, Local 841, of New York, yesterday filed suit in L.A. Superior Court making $19,350.66 in action brought against C. Morie Foutz and five unidentified shareholders of Academy Pictures Inc., also a N.Y. corporation.
Coin repped unpaid wages to Local's members and welfare fund payments said to be due, according to suit, which was filed under a N.Y. law providing that stockholders of a corporation can be held personally responsible for wages and welfare fund payments if a corporation defaults on such payments. No reason was given for the filing here.
Complaint stated that Aug. 6, 1958, the corporation's assets were assigned to the N.Y. Credit Men's Adjustment Bureau for distribution to creditors. Since combined assets of corporation weren't enough to pay all of its obligations, union therefore was proceeding against stockholders, according to the suit.

January 7, 1959
Sherman A. Todd has been elected prexy of IATSE Film Editors Local 776 for a two-year term.
Others named to the board were: ... Cartoon editor: Treg Brown (one year).

Screen Gems yesterday gave the go-ahead to Hanna & Barbera Productions for full production on "Pete and Repete," new half-hour cartoon series to be launched next fall. H&B are already in production on two other cartoon series for Screen Gems, "Quick Draw McGraw" and "Snooper and Blabbermouse." H&B are searching for offbeat voice characterizations for "Pete," a father and son format. Besides new entries, H&B are continuing with production of their current "Ruff and Reddy" and "Huckleberry Hound" stanzas.

January 8, 1959
Walt Disney Productions and its domestic subsidiaries skyrocketed to an all-time high in returns for the fiscal year ended Sept. 27, 1968, outdistancing the previous year's record net profit by 5.9% and record gross income by 86%.
Company for the 1957-58 period hit a net profit of $3,866,478, equivalent to $2.51 per share on, 1,587,064 shares of common stock outstanding, proxy Roy O. Disney told stockholders in his annual report.
This compared with $8,649,859, or $2.44 per share on 1,484,041 shares outstanding for year ended Sept. 29, 1957.
An increase of $12,799,020 in total gross income was registered by firm's operations, boosting the previous year's take of $85,778,242 to $48,577,262 for 1957-58. Provision for Federal income taxes for the 1958 fiscal year amounted to $3,925,000, as against $3,850,000 for 1957. ...
In expressing full confidence for the 1958-59 period, board chairman Walt Disney Informed stockholders that company would produce six features during the coming year. These include one animation film, "101 Dalmatians."

January 14, 1959
Four Star Films and UPA Pictures have entered into a reciprocal agreement for a combining of their studio forces. Under the arrangement all future animation coming to either will be made by UPA and all live action sequences done by Four Star.
Dick Powell, prexy of Four Star, and UPA head, Stephen Bosustow, who negotiated the deal, said that it is in no sense a merger but a combination of studio crafts. Each company retains its respective identities and work will be done at their individual studios.
Herb Klynn, veepee of UPA's commercial department, and Walter Bien, also a 4 Star's commercial topper, leave next week for the east to appoint sales reps of the joint companies. UPA has been making commercial cartoons since 1948 and 4 Star was formed in 1950, and recently expanded its operation to include commercials.

WWJ-TV adds "Bozo the Clown" color cartoon series Monday through Saturday at 9:30 a. m.

January 16, 1959
Sleeping Beauty
(Cartoon; Technicolor; Technirama 70; Songs)
PREVIEWED at the Carthay Circle Theatre Jan. 15, 1959. Running Time: 75 mins.
Walt Disney has done it again with his new feature cartoon, "Sleeping Beauty." Despite the huge cost of the simple and fairly short film, in Technicolor and Technirama 70, the boxoffice will undoubtedly recompense. With the picture set for roadshowing, the returns will be over a long haul, but "Sleeping Beauty" will be as much of a sturdy perennial as "Snow White" and some of the other Disney cartoon classics.
The ingredients are familiar, only the mixture is different. There is a handsome prince and a beautiful princess. There is a witch who supplies horror and three good fairies who supply comedy. It is the usual Disney combination of Grand Guignol and Punch-and-Judy, with good triumphant and evil vanquished on the final fade-out.
"Sleeping Beauty," adapted by Erdman Penner from the Charles Perrault version of the fairy tale, is no surprise in its familiar outlines. It's the story of the Princess Aurora, who is put under a spell at birth by the bad fairy, Maleficent. She is to prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die before she grows up. But the good fairies, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather, are able to amend the curse. The princess shall not die, but shall fall into a deep sleep. She shall be awakened by her true love, Prince Philip (latter a character name that is likely to cause some confusion in the British Commonwealth).
Adults must suspend sophistication to enjoy a story such as this, but the effort is worth it, and the production gives them every assistance. Children, even those reared on the redmeat diet of television, will be enthralled. Just when it seems to get too airy-fairy, Disney gives the picture a shot of full-blown horror through Maleficent and her hideous cohorts and cronies.
Mary Costa's rich and express voice for the title character gives substance and strength to that character. It is a stronger yoke than Disney ordinarily uses, and its choice was wise. The music is an adaptation bv George Brims of Tchaikovsky's "Sleeping Beauty Ballet," and it is music — where adapted for song — that requires something more than just a pleasant voice. One number in particular, which Miss Costa introduces, is called "Once Upon A Dream," with music from the enchanting Tchaikovsky waltz, and is the best from the score. Bill Shirley, as the prince, also contributes some good singing. His cartoon character is considerably more masculine than these Disney heroes usually are, and Shirley's voice matches the visual concept.
Some of the most delightful parts of the picture are those dealing with the three good fairies, spoken and sung by Verna Felton, Barbara Jo Allen and Barbara Luddy. Their animation as sprites on the wing are the best conception yet of how these supernatural creatures actually get around. Something like slightly oversize fireflies. Others who contribute speaking or singing voices, or both, are Taylor Holmes, Eleanor Audley and Bill Thompson, all excellent.
The current process used to show “Sleeping Beauty” is the biggest Disney has ever used. The picture was shot in Technicolor and Technirama, and then, when completed, printed for 70m on snecial printer lenses developed for Disney by Panavision. It is suitable for adaptation to 35m CinemaScope and may eventually be shown in that process. The larger areas, and their greater depth and definition, are brilliantly utilized to extend the animation magic and raszledassle. Disney gives generous credit to more than 70 of the contributors on "Sleeping Beauty" In the screen credits. Clyde Geronimi was supervising director, and Eric Larson, Wolfgang Reitherman and Les Clark, the sequence directors. It is an individual credit to all involved, that they have combined to make "Sleeping Beauty" seem all of a piece.
Shown with "Sleeping Beauty," which runs only an hour and a quarter, was one of Disney's nature featurettes, "Grand Canyon." It will be programmed with the feature on its road show. Set to Ferde Grofe"s "Grand Canyon Suite," and shot in Technicolor and CinemaScope, the 28-minute film is a fine color story of the great natural phenomenon. It has the familiar Disney whimsy with animals and the equally trademarked Disney accents of terror in nature. There is no dialog and there are no humans in the film, and no narration behind it. Its few incidents are visually explanatory. The final sequence, literally an eagle’s-eye view of the Canyon at sunset, is magnificent. Ernest A. Heiniger photographed the film and James Algar directed. Powr.

January 19, 1959
"Bozo, the Clown" starts on KTLA today, the half-hour show running 5:30 to 6 p.m. as a five-a-day strip both cartoon and live. Vance Colvig, "Bozo," will intro the Larry Harmon Productions cartoons and do the commercials. Harmon is also exec producers the program.

January 21, 1959
Capitol Records will etch an album, "Rhapsody in Steel," the soundtrack of the U.S. Steel documentary film of the same name, for which an original score is being penned by Dimitri Tiomkin. The 110-piece Pittsburgh Symphony, with William Steinberg as conductor, will play the new "Rhapsody" Feb. 15-20 for the film and the Cap label.
The 26-minute Cinemascope film is being released theatrically in April, given theatres cuffo by U.S. Steel which picks up the tab for production. John Sutherland studios is handling the cartoon, with artist Ivan de Earil assigned to it. Documentary relates the history of steel throughout the ages. Tiomkin's bio, "Don't Hate Me," written with Prosper Buranelli, will be published by Doubleday next year.

Walt Disney's new cartoon feature "Sleeping Beauty" and his touring "Art of Animation" exhibit, part of which is devoted to the film, will be here at the same time. Balaban & Katz hopes to get some bally mileage out of this coincidence when "Beauty" bows at the State-Lake Feb. 12.
The exhibit opens Jan.. 24 at the Museum of Science and Industry, and runs to Feb. 15.

Margaret Hamilton commuting between Broadway in "Goldilocks" and CBS Radio's "Couple Next Door." She's also the voice behind Tip Top lady in bread cartoon tv commercials.

January 27, 1959
New York, Jan. 26.—Suit charging Walt Disney with intentional injury, libel and unfair competition in his depiction of the preparation of the song, "Who's Afraid Of the Big Bad Wolf?" was dismissed today in New York Federal Court.
Plaintiff was Ann Ronell, who claimed to be one of the writers of song, who added she wasn't so identified in an Ed Sullivan television program showing how the tune came to be for the Disney cartoon, “Three Little Pigs.” The scene from the Sullivan show was repeated on the Disneyland tv’er and this similarly neglected her, said Miss Ronell.
Judge John W. Clancy ruled Miss Ronell had no right to the credit line. He decided she simply was engaged by a music publisher to develop the song, as it was presented in a cartoon, into a piece saleable to the public, and her only change in the original chorus was the addition of syllables "tra la la la."

First animated series for television in which individual episodes will be a full half-hour in length has been kicked off by TV Spots. Series, tentatively titled "Sir Loin and the Dragon," will maintain the cartoonery's record production pace in which 2,000 feet of animation is being turned out per week, according to Bob Ganon, outfit's veepee and general manager.
Company is currently winding production of 260 "Crusader Rabbit" episodes for tv. Record pace involved in producing "Rabbit" has skyrocketed the outfit into third largest spot among cartoon filmeries, and footage turned out for that series is equivalent, on a sustained basis, to 10 full-length animated features, Ganon declared.

Short subjects [Oscar] nominees — five cartoons and five live action — will be announced Feb. 12 and screened Feb. 22 at Academy Awards Theatre when all members of the Academy vote the Oscar winners after viewing films.

January 28, 1959
A record production year for cartoons has been set by Hanna and Barbera Productions for the coming year, with 197 cartoons to be made for tv during 1959. This includes segments of "Ruff and Reddy," "Huckleberry Hound," "Arf and Arf," "Quick Draw McGraw," end "Snooper and Blabber," as well as commercial and industrial animation.
Firm headed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, as v.p.'s, and George Sidney as prexy, makes cartoons for distribution by Screen Gems in Europe, Latin America and the Orient, in addition to domestic screenings.

Wall Street's romance with Walt Disney Productions continues to grow in intensity; backing of the independent film company is reaching surprising heights. In a single day, Wednesday (21), the stock climbed $3 per share on a volume of 10,300 shares. For all of last week the price shot up to a new high of $49.25, closed the week at $47.62 ½ for a gain of $4.87 1/2 per share. Total of 25,100 shares changed hands.
This kind of bullishness (the high is more than triple the year's low) is rare for a company paying only 40c in cash as annual dividend, plus some stock. Nonetheless several brokers are touting Disney for a variety of reasons and private investors are heeding the advice.
For one, the professionals, in communications to clients, are citing Disney's continuing profits record. Also being underlined is the expectation that the Disneyland amusement park in Anaheim, Cal., is likely to further bolster the net income now that major expenses have been written off.
On the third count, the money men figure that Disney has a good thing in "Sleeping Beauty." This all-cartoon feature was brought in at a lofty $6,000,000 (meaning considerable risk). The investors who have seen the picture at advance screenings think Disney has his money's worth on the screen.

February 3, 1959
Boff biz being run up by "Sleeping Beauty" and some click holdovers give bright outlook to local first-runs this week. New Disney cartoon feature, which set a matinee house record of $5,800 at Fox Wilshire Saturday and bettered this with $6,700 Sunday matinee, la looking to a smackeroo $30,100 opening frame.

Deal is in negotiations for co-production pact between Hanna and Barbera Productions and Interlingual International, of Tokyo, for filming of cartoons for Japanese market.
Project would call for initial work to be done here and animation and inking to be done in Japan.

February 4, 1959
Don Blauhut, television-radio director of the Parkson Agency..."Our agency feels that action commercials are better than animated blurbs. Animated commercials are shorter lived, once you've seen them the*novelty wears off. With live commercials there is more for the eye to see than in a cartoon and the messages can be repeated more often."

February 5, 1959
Motion Picture Daily
UPA has been signed to create animated titles for Walden Productions' new teleseries, "The Private Life of James Thurber."
The cartoon studio will also create an animated sequence for the initial segment of the series, which is being financed as well as released by Screen Gems.

February 10, 1959
Motion Picture Daily
Stephen Bosustow, president of UPA Pictures, and creator of the "Mr. Magoo" animated cartoons, will appear with that near-sighted character on the second program in the "Tactic" series of television programs on cancer control, this one to be telecast Feb. 17 over NBC-TV network facilities to eductional stations.
Also appearing will be Jim Backus, who supplies the voice of "Mr. Magoo," and songwriters Hy Zaret and Lou Singer. The guests will demonstrate, through the techniques of their particular fields, how they would dramatize facts about cancer.

February 11, 1959
Ward Baking Co. has picked up sponsorship of the five-minute "Clutch Cargo" cartoon strip on WPIX, N. Y.

February 13, 1959
Walt Disney Productions, always a consistent winner in the past, rates two nominations in semi-finals for the Academy's 31st annual short subjects awards, one each for cartoon and live action entry. Academy, which will announce all other nominations Feb. 23, always discloses shorts nominations at an earlier date.
Three cartoons have been nominated by a special short subjects nominations committee headed by Hal Elias, and five live-actioners. Cartoons include "Knighty Knight Bugs," Warner Bros., produced by John W. Burton; "Paul Bunyan," Walt Disney Productions, Buena Vista Film Distributing Co., Walt Disney; "Sidney's Family Tree," Terrytoons, 20th-Fox, William M. Weiss.
Live action subjects: "Grand Canyon," Disney Productions, Buena Vista, Disney; "Journey Into Spring," British Transport Films, Lester A. Schoenfeld Films, Ian Ferguson, producer; "The Kiss," Cohay Productions, Continental Distribution Co., John Patrick Hayes; "Snows Of Aorangi," New Zealand Screen Board, George Brest Associates; "T Is For Tumblewood," Continental Distributing Corp., James A. Lebenthal.
All subjects will be screened for Academy members Feb. 22, when balloting will take place. All other balloting will be made after regular screening of features for various other categories. Winners will be announced at Oscar ceremonies April 6 at RKO-Pantages Theatre.

February 17, 1959
New York, Feb. 16.—Sale of six telefilm series plus a library of Terrytoon cartoons to HRTG-TV in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, gives Fremantle International TV program fare In all Central American countries plus Mexico, according to Paul Talbot, prexy of the distribution outfit.

February 18, 1959
Walt Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" begins a regular run at the Criterion tomorrow, with prices scaled to $2.40 top for adults and $1.25 for children. Weekday tariff begins at $1.25 for adults and 90 cents for kids. Upward revisions start at 1 p.m.
Criterion ads in N.Y. dailies proclaim "popular prices" for the 75-minute cartoon feature which is being run on a grind basis. But specific scale is not given. Meanwhile, in other areas the Disney company is pursuing the idea of group sales for the production.

February 20, 1959
Short subjects nominations, including three cartoons and five live-action subjects, will be screened Sunday at the Academy Awards Theatre for voting purposes, Academy members were reminded last night by proxy George Stevens.
Members will ballot on one entry in each category, with results to be tabulated by Price Waterhouse and announced at Oscar ceremonies April 6 at Pantages Theatre.

February 25, 1959
High status of "Huckleberry Hound," the nationally-spotted Kellogg cartoon show sold by Screen Gems, is reflected (in the Pulse top 20 chart this week) and in the ARB tv rundown.
Kellogg sponsors the stanza in slightly over 200 tv markets. In the 85 markets covered by ARB for the months, of October, November and December, the SG show, the last report available in each market shows "HH" has copped first place over the competition 75 out of 85 times.

As part of its long-range programming, Columbia has scheduled "Magoo's Arabian Nights," a full-length cartoon-feature, as its entry in the Christmas sweepstakes of 1959. The film, the work of UPA Pictures Inc., cost $2,000,000 to make, with Col providing the complete financing.
According to Steven Bosustow, UPA topper, in N.Y. to discuss release plans for the 80-minute film with Col officials, the firm represents three years of labor by his organization. Bosustow maintains that animation, "neglected" in recent years, is a distinct media and he hopes that his first full-length entry "will prove my point." He contends that animation is not only a children's medium and points to the success among adult audiences of the Magoo animated shorts. "With Magoo," he stated, "we have a pre-sold star."
The UPA chieftain says that feature cartoons have not been made with a degree of regularity because of their tremendous cost, the length of time they take to make, and the necessity for the maintenance of a well-organized company to guarantee completion. He notes that his organization could not exist solely on a diet of theatrical shorts which barely recoup their costs in today's market. By combining a theatrical shorts with a program of television blurbs and industrial films, Bosustow declared, he was able to keep his company intact so that it was in a position to undertake a feature.
Blissful Union
The "happy marriage" of entertainment and industrial films, the UPA prexy said, will enable him to: continue his shorts program of eight to 12 films annually. As part of the promotion for "Magoo's Arabian Nights," UPA's 85-man staff will provide a full series of television commercials. In addition, Col is arranging for an extensive merchandising campaign, involving the licensing of toys, music and records. Moreover, UPA has received permission for some of its commercial clients to, insert plugs for the picture in upcoming tv blurbs.
If "Magoo's Arabian Nights" proves a success and Col is willing to provide more coin, UPA is prepared to proceed with a program of full-length cartoons. Already in the planning stage are a followup to the maiden film, to be called "Robin Hood Magoo," a full-lengther dealing with the jazz character Jelly Roll Morton, and a serious biblical subject, "The Story of Ruth."
However, Bosustow cautions that animated full-length films cannot be rushed since they take two and a half to three years to make. And, he adds, "they must be important grossers or they can't be made."

February 26, 1959
New York, Feb. 25.—Loew's Inc. today filed an infringement suit in Federal Court against Cinepix Inc., Cinema-Vue Corp., Morris Kleinerman and Joseph P. Smith. It charged that the defendants wrongfully distributed 16 film cartoons exclusively owned by the plaintiff.
The suit claims the defendants conspired to make positive prints of the cartoons and distribute them without a license. Among the cartoons are "Discontented Canary" and "Early Bird and the Worm."
Loew's asks an injunction to restrain further distribution and wants statutory damages sustained for each alleged infringement.

March 4, 1959
UAA, which last year was known as Associated Artists Productions (before merging with United Artists), grossed over $3,000,000 in 1958 from foreign television sale of its Warner Bros. feature film library, according to Norman Katz, UAA foreign sales chief.
UPA product, most of it from the pre-'49 Warner catalog, is being televised in Australia, where all the available UPA product is sold, in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Japan, Switzerland, Finland. England is carrying all of UAA's "Popeye" cartoons.

March 5, 1959
Thirty-nine one-reel cartoons based on William Box's syndicated strip, "That's the Story Of My Life," will be produced by a company set up in connection with Box Cards Inc., in which Box and Bill Kennedy are partnered.
Cartoons will be made for television market in this country and for theatrical sales overseas.

Ted Galanter, p.r. director for Hanna & Barbera Productions, skies to New York Sunday for two weeks of biz confabs with Screen Gems execs Ralph Cohn, Jerry Hyams, Ed Jutin [sic] and Gene Plotnik to work out promotion campaigns in forthcoming cartoon product.
Galanter will also attend the annual Toy Fair in Gotham, as well as subsequent sessions in Chicago kith Leo Burnett Agency toppers.

March 13, 1959
Motion Picture Daily
The republic of Argentina has invited Stephen Bosustow, president of UPA Pictures, to be that country's official guest at the Mar Del Playa annual film festival being held this month at the resort city outside or Buenos Aires. During the ten day festival, Bosustow will participate in a symposium on the art of the animated film which will be illustrated with several award-winning UPA cartoons.
One of the highlights of the festival will be the invitational presentation of "Me and the Colonel," a William Goetz production for Columbia release.
Before returning to his studio where he is currently producing UPA's first full length feature cartoon "Magoo's Arabian Nights," he will visit Columbia exchanges in Latin America and the West Indies.

Motion Picture Daily
HOLLYWOOD, March 12.-"Magoo's Arabian Nights" (film's tentative title), UPA's animated feature for Columbia, will be completed August and is being planned as a Christmas attraction, it was disclosed here today.

March 18, 1959
ABC-TV has inked for a fresh cartoon series, "Matty's Funday Funnies" for Sunday afternoon showing beginning Oct. 11. Cartoons, which were produced by Paramount, are tabbed for the 5 o'clock time with Mattel, manufacturers of toys, as sponsor.
New cartoon series will present Harvey Famous Cartoons and will feature "Casper," "Herman and Katnip," "Buzzy the Crow" and others. Deal for the animated cartoons, which will be seen for the first time on tv, was set by the Carson-Roberts agency. [Deal is for 80 ABC stations].

March 19, 1959
"Crusader Rabbit," cartoon telefilm series produced by TV Spots, makes its Los Angeles videbut April 6 on KRCA. In addition to the series of regular five-minute frames, station has also acquired rights to 18 full-length "Rabbit" features, which will telecast in color on 13 Saturday afternoons, beginning April 11.
Meanwhile Lee Orgel, sales veepee of Regis Films, which distributes the series, reports that total sales on the animated skein have racked up over $1,460,000. New markets to purchase the show, in addition to KRCA, are WRCA-TV, New York; WGAL-TV, Lancaster, Pa.; WTVD, Durham, No. Carolina; and the Japanese tv network, for telecasting via its six stations.

March 24, 1959
Alex Lovy, formerly with Walter Lantz cartoonery, where he was director on the Woody Woodpecker series, has joined Hanna and Barbara Productions as a director of cartoons.

March 25, 1959
Richard P. Brandt, Trans-Lux Distributing prez, sailed to Europe today (Wed.) to negotiate tv sales of "Felix the Cat."

Playhouse Pictures doing those Ford animated blurbs kidding the Viceroy "Thinking man's filter" commercials.

April 1, 1959
Seldom a strong month at the boxoffice, March this year suffered from the disadvantage of having Lent and pre-Easter influences to contend with much of the month. Actual arrival of Easter last Sunday (29) was so late in the month that it had little influence at the wickets. However, several pix launched in the last 10 days tipped a better period ahead for first-runs currently running well ahead of last year. The past 31 days, too, suffered from an odd combination of severe cold, blizzards, rain and a touch of unseasonably warm weather.
Champion in the March national b.o. sweepstakes was "Sleeping Beauty" (BV), attesting to the popularity of Walt Disney's cartoon factory. It was at the top or near No. 1 spot all month. "Separate Tables" (UA), second-place winner, was only crowded out of top laurels by the remarkable strength of "Beauty." "Tables" was third in February.

Dimitri Tiomkin returns today from Pittsburgh where the Pittsburgh Symphony recorded his background score for commercial cartoon, "Rhapsody of Steel.

Mike Baker, announcer on Pat Boone program, recently completed English dubbing of Russian cartoon of "Snow White and Seven Dwarves." It's Puskin's fairy tale but now rewritten for American tv as a cartoon. Significantly, dwarves in Russian cartoons have been turned into giants.

A deal for the production of two animated tv series has been closed by ABC-TV (of Britain) with Halas and Batchelor, the British cartoonery. The two skeins will each comprise 39 pix with a running time of approximately nine minutes apiece.
The series are being financed 100% by ABC-TV and the British network will have world-wide distribution. The first series will feature "Silly Symphony" type pictures and among the initial titles are "Lion Tamer" and "Insolent Matador." The second skein, which is already in production, will introduce two new characters, FooFoo and Snap.

Moro Studios [in Spain] also now is engaged in an animated cartoon project looking toward five-minute segments to be included in a U. S. children's program.

April 6, 1959
Vet announcer Ken Peters has been signed to host the new "Crusader Rabbit" cartoon teleseries on KRCA, according to station's program manager. Jack Kenaston Series debuts today on the SoCal NBC outlet.

April 7, 1959
Winners of Academy Awards
Short Subjects (Cartoon)
"KNIGHTY KNIGHT BUGS," Warner Bros. John W. Burton, Producer.

Roy Whaley will be heard as narrator, as well as 26 separate character voices, on KRCA's new "Crusader Rabbit" cartoon tele-series, hosted by vet announcer Ken Peters.

April 8, 1959
CBS Film has sold ... 200 shortie cartoons, both for soon-to-go-on tv stations in Adelaide and Brisbane.

April 13, 1959
Batjac Productions, which some time ago registered "The Good Captain" with MPAA as title for a projected feature, has filed protest against Universal-International's registration of "The Good Soldier," for a Lantz cartoon.

April 15, 1959
Three new additions to the staff of Hanna and Barbera's cartoonery were announced yesterday. They are Warren Foster to the story department, and Paul Fennel as assistant cartoon director, and George Nicholas as animator.

April 20, 1959
Warner Bros. will release 12 Technicolor cartoons and six “World Adventure Tours" short subjects between now and the end of June.
Cartoons are: "Backwoods Bunny," "Apes Of Wrath," "Golden Yeggs," "Trick Or Tweet," "The Mouse That Jack Built," "Scentimental Romeo," "Canned Feud," “Hot Rod and Reel," "A Mutt In Rut," "Early To Bet," "Boobs In The Woods" and "Really Scent."

London has five or six theatres always playing cartoons and two-reel comedies exclusively. Loew's Metro Theatre in Berlin often has a program comprised solely of Tom and Jerry cartoons. People stand in line for hours for such programs, [independent producer Herman] Cohen reported.

April 22, 1959
New York, April 21. — Buena Vista, Walt Disney distribution subsidiary, last week had the biggest week in its history, with billings in the area of $1,028,000. This tops by $400,000 any previous week on the books. Largely responsible for it: "Sleeping Beauty," which is the cartoon feature, and "Shaggy Dog," live-action comedy.
Disney's distribution gross for the entire year, which ends Sept. 30, is now figured to wind up at between $22,000,000 and $28,000,000, by far a new record. Last year's total was $15,600,000.

Five of the Westinghouse Broadcasting stations have inked a deal with Trans-Lux Television on "Felix the Cat," new cartoon series being produced by Trans-Lux. Involved in the first major station group deal are WBZ, Boston; WJZ, Baltimore, KDKA, Pittsburgh; KYW, Cleveland; and KPIX, San Francisco. First series of the new cartoon series will consist of 260 four-minute episodes in both Eastman color and black-and-white. Trans-Lux also made a deal for the series in N. Y. with WNEW-TV.

Programming for the 5:30-6 p.m. strip on ABC-TV has been picked by half-sponsor General Mills. Buy includes replays of "Rin Tin Tin" on Mondays and Fridays, replays of "Flicka" on Wednesdays and the use of two brand new cartoon half-hour shows on Tuesday and Thursday. Cartoon shows are one called "Rocky" for Tuesdays and "Johnny Daydream" for Thursdays.

April 24, 1959
By Larry Glenn
Automation has reached the motion picture animation field. It's in the form of a mass production technique, developed at Walt Disney Studios, for duplicating artists' original drawings at a rate which reportedly cuts production time in half, resulting in considerable financial savings and reducing man-hours, or more precisely, woman-hours.
It's now possible in one hour to turn out 30 cells of exact photographic duplicates of the animation artists' drawings, thus halving production time, according to Ken Anderson, supervising art director on "The 101 Dalmations," first animated feature film to utilize the process.
Core of the system is Haloid Xerox Corp.'s Xerox process, which was probably first used commercially in the animation field by Animation Inc. Grant Ray Lawrence and UPA came in soon afterwards. UPA now farms out its duplicating by this method to Graphic Arts Reproductions and is using it to a certain extent in its animated "Magoo's Arabian Nights" feature.
Disney's system amounts to an expanded, de-bugged, automation version of the Xerox process adapted to mass production. Technically, the Xerox process is based on the properties of selenium, a sulfur-like element, which readily accepts a static electrical charge In dim light and discharges it rapidly in bright light. An aluminum plate coated with selenium is used somewhat like a photographic plate except that the developing process does not change the selenium, hence the plate is immediately re-usable.
The Image is captured in an invisible pattern of static electricity, then made visible by a dusting of the plate with a powder composed primarily of resin and carbon. Held in place by the static charge, the powder image is fused by heat directly onto the cell or other surface.
The elimination of the time taken by women tracing the drawings onto the cells would not alone account for the cut in production time by 50%, but Anderson explains that the process makes it possible to skip other steps.
Formerly, the drawing was duplicated by hand five or six times on its way to final print, along the way losing much of its original character through retouching. The black outlines sketched by the artist were rubbed out and reinked in color and the fine lines which show character when done by an artist but which merely look sloppy when traced by an amateur were, of necessity, eliminated, Anderson explained. These steps, he said, have been skipped.
The result, Anderson believes, will be a livelier, more satisfying final print. As an artist, Anderson was also impressed by the effect the process has on morale and creativity, by assuring the artist that It is his drawing and not a pale facsimile that will reach the screen. The wobble perceptible in hand-traced cartoons has also been eliminated, he claimed. The whole effect, Anderson said, has been to increase output all the way along the line.

April 29, 1959
Under a new format of sales and distribution for its "Mister Magoo" program of cartoons, UPA will lease a year's slate of 12 subjects to circuits and individual theatres for a full year's playing time of each short, at a flat rental price to be set for each deal.
Tabbed "The Unlimited Play Agreement," plan offers the advantage of an exhib playing each cartoon for as long or as short a run as he desires, as well as assuring him a continuous supply of quality product.
Plan differs from the conventional release pattern for cartoons, which stipulates exact length or each engagement. By setting up its own sales-distribution program for its own product, UPA will save considerable coin, which otherwise would have cost between 23 and 30% in distribution fees with a regular distrib tie-in.
Up to now, UPA has released through Columbia Pictures. This deal, however, was terminated amicably recently, although Columbia still will handle release of UPA's first feature-length cartoon, "Magoo's Arabian Night."
Roy Haines, former prexy and sales manager of Warner Bros. Distribution Corp., will head up new operation, headquartering at firm's Burbank plant nearby. There will be no branch offices, with consequent overhead, all biz to emanate from here. Haines left last weekend for a four-to-six-week swing through exchange centers to line up bookings, with plan later to be established in England...
Plans now call for first of the 12 subjects to be delivered at end of 1959, with one short each month thereafter. First year's program has already been planned and each subject plotted. Stephen Bosustow heads outfit, which first came into prominence with "Gerald Mcboing-Boing," said to be the first departure in cartoon style in 25 years.

Thousand and One Arabian Nights" has been set as the final title for UPA Pictures full-length cartoon formerly titled "Magoo's Arabian Nights." Stephen Bosustow is executive producer of the Columbia release.

May 1, 1959
First animated space series half-hour episodes is being produced by Sid Freeman, head of Telemat, under the title "Uni-Patrol." Company has been syndicating cartoons for the past four years.

May 4, 1959
Jacques Rupp will work with art director Bob Dranko in designing animation titles for "Magoo's Arabian Nights," UPA's feature cartoon for Columbia release.

May 11, 1959
UPA's new cartoon feature, "1001 Arabian Nights," scheduled for release later this year, will get a "sneak preview" in Moscow.
At the request of the State Department, UPA is making up a special strip of film from the feature for Vice President Nixon to take with him on his Russian visit this summer.

May 12, 1959
Walt Disney Productions and its domestic subsidiaries earned a consolidated net profit of $906,486 for the six-month period ended April 1, 1959. The figure represents a hop of about 44% in comparison with profit for the corresponding period last year.

May 20, 1959
Terrytoons, a division of CBS Films, will place "The Minute and a Half Man," a seven-minute cartoon, in theatrical release early in June.
The film, which will be distributed by 20th-Fox, introduces a new cartoon character, Hector Heathcote. Two Terrytoon staffers, Eli Bauer and Dave Tendler, wrote and directed, respectively. William M. Weiss, v.p. and general manager of Terrytoons, produced. Weiss disclosed that three additional new cartoons will be released by Terrytoons within the next two months.

May 27, 1959
Larry Harmon, producer of the "Bozo, the Clown" cartoon tele-series being syndicated by Jayark Films Corp., and Charles Shows, his associate producer, wing to Paris today to arrangements for several new series which Harmon will produce partially abroad.
Harmon and Shows will inspect European production facilities and meet personally with authors, publishers and copyright owners of the optioned material which will form the basis of the several series mapped during a week of exec conferences in Hollywood.

Transfilm stands ready to channel off some of its production activity into the making of cartoon programming. N. Y. commercial production house, which has lacked a fullscale animation arm of its own, has made a tieup with Wylde Studios for the latter's excusive animation and art services. Immediate plans call for making the animated tv programming, which still appears to be in relatively short supply. In the background are plans for production of cartoon blurbs.
Precise nature of the Transfilm-Wylde arrangement was not disclosed. Transfilm prexy William Miesegaes called it an "affiliation,"which brings with it a move by Wylde from its present 57th St. Manhattan headquarters into Transfilm's existing 45th St. plant.

Appeal of Krazy Kat, Tom and Jerry and other U.S. made cartoons is world wide. Distributors may have trouble with national tastes of a private eye or situation comedy, but when it comes to cartoon kiddie fare, national differences in tastes virtually subside.
Screen Gems has its cartoon backlog sold in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Japan, Argentina, Cuba Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Peru, Puerto Rico, Canada and other territories.
Range of SG cartoons includes its latest Huckleberry Hound to Krazy Kat to Pow Wow to Scrappy. It's no understatement to say America's animators speak the language of the small fry the world over.

May 28, 1959
UPA is starting work on a second feature-length cartoon, "Robin Hood Magoo." The company, which is about to wind its first full-length animated feature, "1001 Arabian Nights," has signed Al Bertino and Dick Kinney to prepare a storyboard for "Robin Hood."
The move is about the same as hiring script writers. Actual production is contingent on Columbia picking up its option to release "Robin Hood." Col's committed to release "Nights" around Christmas, but the distributor and UPA recently dissolved their pact for the releasing of UPA shorts.

May 29, 1959
It's likely that Hanna & Barbera's tv cartoonery will take over UPA's former chore of making theatrical cartoons for Columbia release. Bill Hanna said the animation outfit has "no definite commitment with anyone" but admitted that HB is planning a series of animated theatrical shorts to start later this year.
Columbia's the logical outlet for the cartoon series since HB prexy George Sidney has a picture pact with the studio and the cartoonery's "Ruff and Reddy" and "Huckleberry Hound" are made in association with Col's vidsubsid, Screen Gems. The expanding HB organization has some of its offices at Columbia. UFA and Col recently dissolved their production-distribution deal on short subjects and UPA's doing its own distributing — although Columbia will distribute UPA's feature, "1001 Arabian Nights."

Banner Films has acquired distribution rights to "Cartoon Classics," package of 208 animated shorts, and "Jungle," series of 52 15-minute stanzas. Deal was concluded with William Cayton, prexy of Radio and TV Packagers.
Half of the animated shorts have been released previously for television, with other half new to tv distribution.

June 10, 1959
UPA proxy Stephen Bosustow has given go-ahead signal for start of first two Mister Magoo cartoons which will be sold via org's new "unlimited play agreement" plan of booking series.
New format, set up last April, calls for circuits and individual theatres to lease UPA's program of 12 shorts annually for a full year's playing time of each subject, at a fat rental price, unaffected by number of times each subject is shown.
Decision to launch production at this time was reached following a tour made by Roy Haines, general sales manager, during which he held exploratory talks on plan with theatre heads. Haines on a three-week junket signed such principal circuits as Balaban & Katz Corp, Pacific Drive-In Theatres, Butterfield Theatres, North Ohio Theatres, Interstate Circuit Inc., Stanley Warner Theatres, United Detroit Theatres and Alliance Amusement Co.
Bosustow previously reported that in conversations and communications with prospective purchasers about 60 percent had already expressed a desire to participation project.
First two in series will be "Magoo Meets Boing-Boing" and "I Was A Teen-Age Magoo." Haines resumes his touring this week, to meet with exhibs in Salt Lake City, Denver, Des Moines, Chicago and Cleveland, and huddles with Bosustow late in June to map pitch for eastern and southern trade.

The Hearst Corp. has formed a new division of King Features Syndicate Special Service which will produce and market filmed teleshows based on King Features properties. Al Brodax, for many years in the tele department of the William Morris Agency, has resigned the percentery to go with the new subdivision, to be known as King Features Television Productions.
On the immediate agenda is the production of a new "Popeye" animated cartoon. New features based on the King Features cartoon property will be made as soon as contracts are set. Old cartoons have been shown until now. Brodax will leave for the Coast early next week to confer with animation studios. He will later go to Europe to eye European studios as well. Other properties contemplated for production are one adventure and one comedy pilot with name personalities. KFTP is the newest subdivision of the Hearst organization which owns and operates 25 magazines and 15 newspapers throughout the country.

Motion Picture Daily
Completion of consolidation and remodeling of the Paramount Pictures Cartoon Studios here was announced yesterday by Russell Holman, Paramount Eastern production manager, under whose general supervision the studios operate. The newly redecorated quarters are located at 35 West 45th Street, whereas previously the Paramount cartoon division occupied space at both 25 and 35 West 45th Street.

Screen Gems is deliberately breaking one of the fundamental rules of the telefilm trade. Company is going to dub "Huckleberry Hound," a SG-produced cartoon series, into Spanish, but instead of doing the dubbing in the requisite "neutral" Spanish, it has decided to have the kid cartoon characters speak in various dialects of that tongue.
Countries like Cuba and Mexico, each with its own variation on Spanish, seem to get upset when it can be detected that the telefilm program was dubbed elsewhere in the world; it's a form of local pride and also an indication of local business acumen, since an alien Spanish dialect implies to the local tv operator that the dubbing business was done in some other country when it could have been done by him.
Nonetheless, SG figures it's safe to dub in dialect when it comes to a cartoon show, especially this one. For instance, Mr. Jinks, the cat who studied Method acting in "Hound," will speak a haughty brand of Castillian for Latino viewers. Pixie and Dixie, two small southern mice, will speak Mexican and Cuban dialects, respectively. And "Huck" himself will end up talking like a "typical" Latin-American vaude comic.

A Soviet-made feature length cartoon has been acquired for distribution in the United States and Canada by Universal.
The animated film, in color, is titled "The Snow Queen" and is based on a Hans Christian Anderson fable.
Universal is adapting the film for its American release. A new narration and soundtrack will be utilized. Plans are to release the film around Christmas time.

June 17, 1959
New York, June 16.—Walt Disney, at least, thinks there's still a market for short subjects. At a time when all companies have cut down on the briefies, and for the most part are losing money on those which still are being made, Disney has earmarked a total expenditure of $1,800,000 for the production of shorts this year.
This is just negative investment and doesn't take into account the costs of prints, advertising and distribution. In addition, Disney has placed an order for 2,500 prints of outstanding cartoons of recent years at a cost of $150,000.
Public acceptance of shorts of the better variety hasn't been seriously questioned in the trade. But much exhibitor feeling has been that they just don't sell tickets no matter how good they are. Disney now apparently feels there's a trend in the other direction—specifically, that theatremen believe a good short can help the programming to the extent of contributing to the word-of-mouth about the theatre's entire bill.
Also to be considered is the fact that "A" features are running longer and can't feasibly be accompanied by a second feature. In the customary dual-bill houses a one or two-reeler can mean the adequate substitute for that second feature.
Disney's new shorts fall into three categories, namely, live action, cartoon and "People and Places." Some are sold in forms of a package with a Disney feature and some oldies are block-booked—that is, six or seven at a time combined as a full moppet show.

June 18, 1959
"Hickory, Dickory and Doc," first Walter Lantz cartoon to be slanted to teenage audience, will be directed by Jack Hannah, marking first under his new pact with Lantz. Cartoon goes into production today.
Also, Al Cole, vet animator, has joined the Lantz organization and with La Verne Harding will animate current project.

June 24, 1959
Paramount's cartoon studios now under one roof via an efficiency program, now located in full at 35 West 45th Street. Building next door at 24 West 45th also used to house inkers colorers, cameramen, animators and others has been dropped.

June 30, 1959
In a major product purchase for a newly-programmed hour-long afternoon atrip titled "Cartoonaroony," KCOP has closed a deal with four of the country's largest film distributors for the purchase of over 600 new cartoons just produced for tv. Station will be the first to run the new cartoons.
KCOP veepee-general manager Alvin G. Flanagan also stated the animations are the first new cartoons to be screened on Los Angeles tv in over three years. "Cartoonaroony" will beam Monday through Friday afternoons from 4-5 p.m., starting Aug. 8. Cartoons include "Felix the Cat," purchased through Trans-Lux Television Corp.; "Bucky and Pepito," through Governor Television Attractions, Inc.; "Dorje and the Dragon," through Sterling Television Co., Inc.; and "Animaland," through Telescene Film Productions Co.
Other cartoon strips purchased especially for the new program are "The Ugly Ducklin'," "The Four Friends," "Scruffy," "Rufus and the Rabbit" and "The Happy Scarecrow." [KCOP hired Jimmy Weldon from WRCA to host the show]


  1. Surely the year 1959 was the first big TV animation wave that was repeated in the the 1990s. And since television had such a consumptive appetite for material, there was a dire need for new product.

    One note of interest about the SNOW QUEEN is that Universal acquired the American distribution rights and assigned Dave Fleischer to supervise the English language dubbing. This is probably the last animation assignment of any significance he had in the last years of his career.

  2. Too bad Variety no longer uses the snappy "slanguage" that was a trademark of that publication.

    1/21 article: didn't know that Margaret Hamilton did the "Couple Next Door" show (a revival of Peg Lynch's "Ethel & Albert"). The theme music has that Hi-Q sound; did that show use the Capitol library?
    4/13: Batjac was John Wayne's production company (a name taken from his "Wake of the Red Witch" film). I wonder what film "The Good Captain" became... or if it was even made?