Tuesday, 23 November 2021

A Van Beuren Cartoon is About to Start

I’ve always liked the opening of the Van Beuren cartoons with various animals swaying in time to the music, with the leopard getting clunked on the head and his tail twanged.

If you look at old prints of the cartoons featuring this, you’ll notice tops, bottoms and sides chopped off so you can’t even see some of the characters. I can’t remember the reason for it now. But for you fans of Blinky Owl (or whatever his name is), Steve Stanchfield had transferred some of the Van Beurens for DVD/BluRay from original 35mm prints with the whole frame visible.

The timing is really odd, but on the screen, it works. Some drawings are on fours, some on threes, some on twos and some appear for one frame. There are 14 drawings in a 36-frame cycle. I’ve turned it into an animated gif below. The box with the title jiggles more than I would like, but it’s because I had some problems and the frames are not from the same cycle. Also, I’ve copied the duplicate frames instead of using each of the 36 frames. Still, you can see the movement of the animals, which is the main thing, at the speed in the actual cartoon (in this case, The Office Boy).

Who drew the sequence may be something lost to the ages.

Thanks to Steve Stanchfield and his group for restoring these cartoons.


  1. The caterpillar at the right has a Carlo Vinci vibe.

    1. Yea. But Vinci wasn’t at Van Beuren at 1930

    2. True that. All I'm saying is that it LOOKS like something Vinci would have done.