Friday, June 20, 2008

Kids Get An Education ... from "The Beer Parade"?

From the 'Tales of the Strange and Inexplicable" comes this story. An old childhood friend called the other night to tell me he had successfully completed his teaching practicum thereby qualifying him to teach elementary school unsupervised. Of course that was great news but then he informed me that, as part of his last class, he had shown a class of 11 and 12 year olds a DVD I had made him compiling cartoons centered around alcohol and tobacco! What lesson can be gleaned from "In The Nicotine" and "Hen Pecked Rooster" I have no idea but evidently the kids really responded to the Scrappy cartoon "The Beer Parade" even so much as cheering! Very bizarre choice in educational material if you asked me but it proves again that kids will watch B&W cartoons from 70 years ago like they were new. Too bad they weren't a Scrappy focus group.     

He told me they went particularly crazy for this scene and the 'flying flower' scenes that follow. You tell me ...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Betty ... in the record business!

Here's something I would never had known - a Phil Spitalny recording of the Betty Boop theme song ... and the personnel.  You can find it at over at the Bix forum. More than I needed to know and yet I need to know more!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Popeye Day is Coming!

I'm bustin'! I was fortunate enough to get a look at a rough copy (minus commentaries and bonus features) from expert Popeye-oligist Bob Jaques who lent his knowledge (and collection) to Vol.2. In short: amazing if only for the restoration of the most mistreated cartoon in history - 'Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp'! You bet I'll be there pushing eight year olds out of the way to get my copy when it hits store shelves!  I've read here and there on-line some worries about the soundtrack to 'Aladdin' so let me say don't worry because it's complete for the first time since AAP took a razor to this fine film! So chuck out all your old crappy PD discs folks '- your eyes are in for a treat! Truly cause for ...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Boswell song in 'Sleepytime'

Maybe this is of interest - I finally was able to get the identity of the song leading off The Boswell Sisters' bouncing ball segment in "Sleepytime Down South" thanks to the music experts over at the Bix Beiderbecke forum. I asked Jerry Beck years ago and he thought it was "Tiger Rag" (which seems logical) while I thought it might be "My Pretty Girl" - a song based somewhat on "Tiger Rag". At least according to YouTube we were both wrong - it's called "Louisiana Waddle".

Go here to see "Sleepytime" with the music in question (done as a scat vocal)

and here to see "Louisiana Waddle"

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Ol' Swimmin Crayon

Getting back to what I was saying about some of the Flip Coloring Book images unfortunately rendered in all the colors of the rainbow - if a rainbow consists of yellow, pink, brown, blue and green - is this image: 'The Old Swimming Hole'. Too bad because of the connection to the Oswald cartoon 'The Ol' Swimmin' Hole': an Iwerks' cartoon predating Flip. Nice to see he made friends from 'Flip's Duck Ducks Flip'!

Disney at Science World

Over in my neck of the woods it's unusual for any sort of classic animation screenings or exhibitions. Generally I wince with envy whenever such a thing occurs in New York or LA. The two shows appearing this summer in our little burg are not in that league but they do claim to contain animation 'artifacts' and as I would want to know about an exhibition happening in another city (even a small one) here is a list of  what I was able to notice at the Science World display. A bit more can also be seen here.

Generally Science World is nothing more than an indoor playground (with a light educational bent) where parents can take their kids to run around crazy for an hour or two in order to ensure a few hours of peace later while the kids sleep it off. Every parent I've met swears by the place.  I went with one myself - and his four year old. The Disney exhibit is quite small and is split into interactive stuff for the kids (but strangely no zoetropes to be seen) and a display of Disney artwork and a few props. Here, for the curious, is what I was able to notice ...

-original board to Karnival Kid
-original sheet music to 'Karnival Kid' (Carl Stalling notes)
-original sheet music to 'Steamboat Willie' (Carl Stalling notes)
-program for the premiere of 'Steamboat Willie'
-original sheet music to 'Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf' (Frank Churchill notes)
-printed music for 'Who's Afraid'
-16 storyboard drawings from Pinochio
-3 or so Marc Davis watercolors from Disneyland
-a drawing and set-up from 'Snow White'
-Dick Van Dyke's 'Jolly Holiday' jacket (from 'Mary Poppins') and the kid's jacket as well
-Annette's (?) Mouseketeer dress 

There was a bit more - not much though. The kids seemed to enjoy the interactive stuff and the parents seemed kind of confused by the museum-like display in the middle of a playground. 

*Mind you  parents really couldn't look at the artwork because naturally they're looking out for the safety of their kids - who are going ape all over the place. This stuff deserves a larger proper touring art show if you asked me.  

Monday, June 9, 2008

Flip: Missing Images

Over at Cartoon Brew there's a link to guy who is selling repros of the 30's Saffield Flip the Frog Coloring Book. It might be of interest to know that this one differs somewhat from my copy and appears to be missing a number of images. I certainly sympathize with the nerve racking experience of scanning this fragile piece!  Sadly, some images were colored in black crayon by some precocious depression era urchin and do not appear in the 'Your Movie Star' version. These may be lost for good.  Here are a couple of examples:

Monday, June 2, 2008

Time for a Treat!

A "Dutch Treat" that is (Terrytoons 1930)

*NOTE* 'Uncle John's Crazy Town' will neither confirm nor deny the content of this treat.

Holland is scary.
"Shoo Shoo" (lip assignment)

I don't know what to say ...

I am an a-ni-mal not a hu-man be-ing ...

More great moments in Terrytoons coming soon!