Monday, February 28, 2011

BoxOffice, February 27, 1943

BoxOffice, February 27, 1943

"They're Gremlins

They may worry the
Walt Disney seems unconcerned. He created 'em. One is a male gremlin; another a Widget (baby gremlin); the third, Fifinella (female gremlin). All will be used in "The Gremlins of the R.A.F."

"Cartoon People Get Together Meanwhile, the cartoon producers got together in an effort to stop pirating among themselves of their limited manpower, and to draft an agreement for presentation to the war manpower commission concerning draft deferments for animators and others considered essential to the pen and ink picture making craft. At an initial meeting, attended by representatives of all of the cartoon studios, a committee was appointed to work out the details of the program. Serving thereon are Leon Schlesinger, Walter Lantz and Hal Adlequist of the Disney organization."

"Walt Disney has returned from a threeweek combination government and company business trip to Washington and New York."

"Under the auspices of the coordinator of inter-American affairs, nine leading Argentine newspaper owners, publishers and editorial directors will visit the Walt Disney Studio March 16. Arrangements for the jaunt were made by Arthur Wild, director of tours for the National Press Club of"


"The Trunk That Flew," fantasy by Dudley Morris, be produced as a Technicolor Puppetoon by GEORGE PAL."

"The record for the league is held by Frances Black of the Disneys, an RKO team; she has bowled a 208"

"with a sore throat, his wife stepped into the gap as a sub for her hub, who was Ernest Nickel, ailing about a week whistler in Walt Disney productions, including "Snow White," was a recent vis. . ."

Sunday, February 27, 2011

February 1943: A Good Month For Watching At Home

I'm going to mention that February 1943 is a great candidate for anyone who wants to watch the cartoons of a given time period. Based on the current dating in this blog, there are 8 theatrical shorts, a feature, and a PSA short all available on commercial DVDs, including from such relatively hard to find on DVD store shelves cartoon makers as Paul Terry. The only cartoons not available from the month is currently not known to exist by the people who would be expected to know of a cartoon's existence, and a Puppetoon that you may not ocnsider to be a cartoon (tho I do).

You'll need the Looney Tunes Golden Collection volume 3, disc 3 and volume 1, disc 3, The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse, a copy of Saludos Amigos or Walt and El Grupo, Du Barry Was A Lady, Woody Woodpecker Volume 1, disc 1 (or volume 3 of the Columbia House set), the Complete Pluto, a Fleischer Superman dvd, and Popeye Volume 3. Other than Dubarry Was A Lady (which I was fortunate enough to find for a couple of bucks at Big Lots), these are all solid additions to your animation collection.

The rundown on the cartoons is:
02/02/43 W Pigs in a Polka LTGCv3d3
02/05/43 T He Dood It Again (TNAMM)
02/06/43 D Saludos Amigos wide release (not a short)
02/13/43 M Bah Wilderness (Du Barry Was A Lady DVD)
02/15/43 L The Screwball WWv1d1/WWCE3
02/19/43 D Pluto and the Armadillo Pl
02/19/43 F Seein' Red, White 'n' Blue Pv3
02/19/43 F The Mummy Strikes (superman)
02/20/43 W Tortoise Wins by a Hare LTGCv1d3
02/26/43 C -There's Something About A Soldier (not currently known to exist)
02/26/43 P Bravo Mr Strauss (not on commercial DVD; many sources wrongly state that this is on the DVD of the Puppetoon movie; unless there is more than one version of The Puppetoon Movie)
02/xx/43 WB - Point Rationing of Foods Chuck Jones 02-XX 1943 LTGC Volume 3, Disc 3 non-theatrical


Friday, February 25, 2011

Point Rationing of Foods

Title: Point Rationing of Food
Studio: Warner Bros.
Date: 02/XX/43
This Production is a Contribution of
Screen Cartoonists' Local 852
B.P.D.P.A. ~A.F.L.
Designed and Animated by the
Leon Schlesinger Unit
Sound and Music Courtesy of
Warner Bros Pictures, Inc.
Series: (US Government)
Running time (of viewed version): 6:12
Commercial DVD Availability: LTGC V3D3

Synopsis: Your government knows what's best for you. But you'd better learn some math.

Comments: Silhouettes. Abstract background. Simplified characters. Sombrero man looks like he'd fit in a Disney short about agricultural brotherhood. The irony of a WB cartoon pimping canned spinach. Almost 4 minutes before some lady walking animation, the first complex animation. "Share and share alike is the American way to victory."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

023 Bravo Mr Strauss

Title: Bravo Mr. Strauss
Studio: George Pal
Date: 02/26/43
Credits: Originated and Produced by George Pal
Series: (Madcap Models; Puppetoon? both are in the retitle)
Running time (of viewed version): 6:50
Commercial DVD Availability: -

Synopsis: Living statue defeats Axis by pretending to be their friend.

Comments: Begins (and ends) with the doleful wartime dreams of a European ex-pat narrated over a field of stars. I think a vampire went and sucked the color from this print. Screwball army. Symphony of destruction; I wonder if Megadeth got the song name from this (they do talk about marionettes in that song). In stop motion, they can just cut paintings out of books, they don't even have to recreate them. Almost halfway through until Strauss shows up. I wonder how they did the fade from statue to living Strauss. Strauss leads the mindless to a deadly piper's call.

Some lists claim the Puppetoon Movie DVD has this short on it as a bonus; this is a transcription error for Mr Strauss Takes a Walk (or else there's more than one version of the DVD).

Monday, February 21, 2011

022 There's Something About A Soldier

Title: There's Something About A Soldier
Studio: Columbia
Date: 02/20/43
Credits: -
Series: (Color Rhapsody)
Running time (of viewed version): -
Commercial DVD Availability: -

Synopsis: -

Comments: This is the first of the relevant cartoons for 1943 that is, for my purposes as of this writing, lost. Assuming it actually exists. I am told it appears in the Library of Congress Copyright Catalog. My question is if a clerical error (or the title before a name change) could progress that far. There was a Columbia feature in '43 with the same name. It seems at best unusual for a short to have the same name as a feature of the same year (especially for as non-generic a title as this). This was listed in Boxoffice on February 27, 1943, and for several weeks afterward, as a Color Rhapsody, and that as much as anything I have access to seems to confirm its existence. It might be worthwhile to look at the description if there is one in the LOC and see if it matches up with either the feature or other Columbia cartoons. If the short does exist, perhaps there were issues with the song it was presumably based on (written by Cicely Courtneidge maybe), or the 1934 Fleischer cartoon of the same name.

1934 film clip

Sunday, February 20, 2011

BoxOffice February 20, 1943

BoxOffice February 20, 1943

This one is messy.

SOmething called the Disney amendment; unclear if it has anything to do with Walt.

"Rationing Foods Short Release Is Moved Up

New York Release date of the OWI short "Point Rationing of Foods," was advanced from March



12 to





confusion in the public's mind about national rationing which starts March 1. according to the War Activities

Committee. The Columbia exchanges are distributing the six-minute cartoon."




Hits at Checking

Philadelphia New Jersey Allied, in annual session at Trenton's Stacy-Trent Hotel, endorsed a proposed measure to make it illegal for distributors to post checkers in front of theatres to ascertain the number of persons patronizing the house during the presentation of a flat rental picture. The theatre owners organization maintains that such checking is "pure espionage on business" by the producer for the sole purpose of increasing the price of film rentals. It is also contended that the checking system on film rentals gives the producers a decided business advantage, and is counter to the Fair Trade Act. Gov. Charles Edison addressed the exhibitors during the luncheon and congratulated the organization for its aid to the state and government. Attorney General David Wilentz

also spoke.


out-of-court settlement for an undisclosed amount terminated trial in the federal court of a breach of contract suit instituted against the Walt Disney Enterprises. Walt Disney Productions and the Brier Manufacturing Co., by Leo F. Phillips. Co., Inc. Plaintiff charged that defendants broke an alleged contract by permitting the Brier Company to produce Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters on buttons and other articles."

"10.000 Eligible to Vote Song nominations, the final vote on which will be by some 10.000 persons in

Barney Balaban of Paramount, Nicholas M. Schenck of Loews. Inc., N. Peter Rathvon of RKO Radio, Spyros Skouras of 20th Century-Fox. Harry M. Warner of Warner Brothers. Nate Blumberg of Universal, Harry Cohn of Columbia and Ed Raftery of

United Artists.

president in looked on.




the industry, are: "Dearly Beloved," from "You Were Never Lovelier." Columbia: "Love Is a Song," Radio; "How from "Bambi." Disney."

""Yankee Doodle Dandy." Warners. On Dramatic or Comedy Film Nominations for the best music score of a dramatic or comedy picture follow: "The Shanghai Gesture." Arnold. UA; "The Gold Rush." Chaplin. UA: "I Married a Witch." Cinema Guild. UA: "The Talk of the Town," Columbia; "Bambi." Disney. RKO Radio; "The Pride of the Yankees." Goldwyn. RKO Radio: "Jungle Book." Korda. UA: "To Be or Not to Be." Lubitsch, UA: "Random Harvest." M-G-M: "Klondike Fury." Monogram: "Take a Letter. Darling." Paramount; "Flying Tigers." Republic; "Joan of Paris." RKO Radio; "Silver Queen." Sherman. UA; "The Corsican Brothers." Small. UA; "The Black Swan." 20th-Fox: "Arabian Nights." Wanger. Universal: "Now. Voyager," Warners."


"war bonds and stamps during January. Harry F. Shaw, division manager, announced. The LoewPoli, New Haven, headed the list with a
morning cartoon show Saturday, ran at

the College with the cooperation of all the downtowns, netted a ton of the precious metals, with 1.500 children attending Collections at all theatres in the state for the March of Dimes, beginning February 18. are in full swing. Theatres are using trailers. I. J. Hoffman. Warner zone head, is chairman for the area. Norman Moran. Vitaphone shorts executive, and chairman of the current drive, paid the New Haven"

"A Saturday morning cartoon show with admission by brass or copper scrap was held by ManaManager Edgar Lynch at the Warner ger Morris Rosenthal of the Majestic and his wife were in New York City to see "Star and Garter" James Hill, former projectionist at the American, is now sta."

"The Screwball

7 Mins. (Walter Lantz) Good. Gorgeous color features this cartoon, which has plenty of action, a number of laughs but a somewhat innocuous
punch line at the close. Woody Woodpecker gets into trouble with the police because he saws his way through the fence into the baseball field. After plenty of trouble with the fans, he finally gets into the game as a pitcher and then as a batter. Quiet is restored after Woody is pinned to the scoreboard by a deluge of


"The Boxer

Maya Films

18 Mins.

shows some new shots of the defense system. Excellent photography. Produced by Frederic Ullman jr., it is narrated by Dwight Weist.

(Mexican Comedy with Cantinflas) Fair. This is the initial showing in the

U. S. of a short starring Cantinflas, MexHe comes with ico's foremost comedian. a garland of bouquets bestowed upon him by our own Charlie Chaplin and Walt Disney, who regard him as one of the world's leading clowns. Undoubtedly, the Mexican is amusing, and comedy, as some one once said, is universal. The short, however, lacks English titles and much of its humor is vitiated on that account for American audiences. Its appeal in average situations in this country, therefore, would be limited."

Cow Cow


7 Mins. (Swing Symphony) Excellent. Plenty of music in the groove and good comedy situations in this cartoon. Cowhands and cows on the "Lazy S" ranch won't work, so the foreman gets an idea when a colored boy comes along singing "Cow Cow Boogie." The boy is assigned to playing boogie woogie on the piano. Every one, including the bovine denizens, respond nobly to the stimulus of the jazz and everybody



"board to call it "the class of the Disneys" This city in the past has never warmed up to the pi-ospects of film fare in legiti. .









"Amigos" Opens Strong at PROVIDENCE The Majestic in Boston



Boston Holdovers in general did no good business this week, but figures were still good enough to mean smiles in the At the Majestic "Saludos front offices. Amigos" opened well to rave notices, and continued to pack them in despite Boston's





request that extra service on busses theatre-going crowds be curtailed will not be carried out by United Electric Railways operating in Greater Providence, says Alonzo R. Williams, general manager Williams said of the utility corporation.

New Haven — Our own "Medal of the Week" goes to Lou Phillips, Modern Theatre

From Asphyxiation

Equipment manager, and

known aversion to film fare in legitimate houses. The figures: Boston— Behind Ihe Eight Ball (Univ), plus 135 stage show Fenway— Lucky Jordan (Para) Army Surgeon lib (WB Majestic Saludos Amigos (Disney); Squadron"

Friday, February 18, 2011

021 Tortoise Wins By A Hare

Title: Tortoise Wins By A Hare
Studio: Warner Bros.
Date: 02/20/43 (01/23 in OMAM; 2/20 in BoxOffice)
Robert Clampett
Bob McKimson
Warren Foster
Musical Direction
Carl W. Stalling
Series: Merrie Melodies
Running time (of viewed version): 7:46
Commercial DVD Availability: LTGCv1d3

Synopsis: Tortoise plans ahead for vicious rabbit mob intervention in race.

Comments: Silhouettes animated on credits. Bugs has bad teeth. Footage is of sperm headed Bugs, but the main Bugs is the ugly uncontrolled look Bugs. Level head and shaky body old Bugs is cool tho. NIce fingers in the blueprint painting. Bugs has a Hephaistion workshop. Lots of political headlines in the Chicago Sunday Tribunk of November 1, 1942. One headline is "Adolph Hitler Commits Suicide". There's a black and white Bugs animated within the paper. Win some bar bets with that one. The short has far more story than any of Clampett's '39 entries. I wonder if the rabbits are specific caricatures of people. Mustache rabbit looks familiar, like an animator. The cartoon ends with a mass suicide. Bugs's dilated pupils in the tree look good.

There was a pice on this in Boxoffice, July 10, 1943, p52; was there an additional joke we're missing, or did they just remove the tribune's appearance in Chicago?:
"Tribune Remark Out
Chicago - The Tribune has proved that it can "dish it out" but some people aren't so sure it can "take it." In the Warner Bros. color short, Leon Schlesinger's "The Tortoise Wins By a Hare," there is a re-mark made about the Tribune. The paper threatened to file suit against Warner Bros. if the objectionable short was not removed from distribution. The matter was finally ironed out when Warner's agreed to remove the film containing the remark."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

020 The Mummy Strikes

Title: The Mummy Strikes
Studio: Famous
Date: 02/19/43
I. Sparber
Ron Waldman Graham Place
Jay Morton
Musical Arrangement:
Sammy Timberg
Series: Superman
Running time (of viewed version): 7:38
Commercial DVD Availability: Image Superman, official DVD, etc.

Synopsis: Clark and Lois do not keep the wrongly convicted from prison, just report when someone else does all the work, except for fighting the zombies.

Comments: Two Famous cartoons on one day. Great Mars Attacks worthy title card. Hypodermic needle; Fredric Wertham would be (and probably was) outraged. Silhouette shot. Johnny Exposition. Somehow, the miracle elixir didn't raise the mummies from the dead. Oh, wait, it totally did. Black Africans who aren't savages (just living mummies, and not stereotypically represented; well, not for cartoons; they may ufortunately count as bucks; at least it's a change from limited blackface depictions). "My mummy done told me" is a riff on the opening line of Blues in the Night ("My momma done tol' me"). They really got around having to animate much in this short. Still visually stunning for the backgrounds tho. 35 seconds panning across one background, with only a few seconds of minimal character animation over it at the end. Sadly it's a flat Egyptian style painting, not a lush depiction of statuary. Hard to believe this is the same studio that made Seein' Red, White 'n' Blue. I had to choose some random image of Superman, as he's almost not in the short, and none of the images are really worthwhile.

By the same reasoning I put the George Pal shorts in this blog (they're cartoons), I should exclude the Superman shorts (they're not cartoons, they're action animation). But I'm putting them here anyway. I'll get around to justifying that later. Or I'll just let it stand there.

Edit: Stats that showed up on eBay: