In the Center Ring (Part 27)
Cartoon Research
by Charles Gardner
23h ago
It’s hard to imagine how much of Hanna-Barbera we endured over the years – and how often they trotted out circus stories again and again. It feels like the deeper I look, the more I find. Quality ranges from awful to downright decent, with no predictability as to which point in the spectrum is going to greet you. I’ve vowed today to give these stories short treatment, so we can at least reach a first episode of material from the Disney Afternoon. Sorry then if this article runs a little long, but here goes. Mudsy Joins the Circus (The Funky Phantom, 11/13/71) – Everything that the later Bufo ..read more
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A Musical Up-Roar 1938-39
Cartoon Research
by James Parten
2d ago
If there’s one thing we can say about Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, it’s that they did not want their shorter and less expensive pictures to reflect adversely upon their big pictures. Even live action shorts, such as the Pete Smith Specialties or Crime Does Not Pay series, had to display a certain sheen, a look like they came from Leo himself. This had been the case with the cartoons, at least up to 1937. So, the decision of the suits at Loew’s Incorporated to put a temporary kibosh upon their ongoing cartoons, switching to Sepiatone and going with a well-known property of “The Captain and the Kids” s ..read more
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Dal McKennon: Celebrating His 105th Birthday
Cartoon Research
by Greg Ehrbar
3d ago
Dallas Raymond McKennon, who would have been 105 on July 19th, was a genuine original, a character actor in the literal sense. Few who met him could ever forget him. Few left such a rich legacy of entertainment in so many forms. He was as colorful and animated as the cartoons for which he lent his voice – sometimes more so, as his animation work runs the gamut from Disney classics to Sam Singer kitsch. No one could deny he gave equal intensity to all of them regardless of their scope. As he grew closer to his departure from the world – which he truly saw as his stage – his eccentricities inc ..read more
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Talk to the Animals: The 35th Anniversary of “Creature Comforts”
Cartoon Research
by Michael Lyons
6d ago
In a 1996 interview, Peter Lord, who co-founded Aardman Animations with David Sproxton, said of stop-motion animation: “The great thing about it is that it’s a very human activity. The puppets are tactile. You grab the puppet with two hands; one hand holds the hips; one hand holds the shoulders; and you can sort of feel all the dynamics of the body – you can sense the weight and the way it should move.” This thoughtfulness and artistry can be seen in all of Aardman’s films, including the Academy-Award-winning short subject Creature Comforts, which celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. B ..read more
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Clint Clobber in “Flamboyant Arms” (1959)
Cartoon Research
by Steve Stanchfield
1w ago
First — in Thunderbean news: We’re working on getting a batch of special sets dubbed over here in Thunderbeanland, and getting Technicolor Rainbow Parades cleaned up. We’re also working on some behind the scenes stuff and other projects…slower than I’d like, but progress is going overall well in everything. Summers are great for catching things up here if all the planets align. I love that the accessibility to classic animation is growing— in fact, it’s having a really good year. So many good things happening right now. Thanks also to everyone that bought one of the limited edition T-shirts ..read more
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In the Center Ring (Part 26)
Cartoon Research
by Charles Gardner
1w ago
Every time I think I’ve reached a point of moving into the era of the Disney Afternoon, Hanna-Barbera seems to get in the way. Digging deep into unfamiliar territory, I’ve discovered yet another string of circus episodes churned out by the animation grist-mill in the 1970’s and 1980’s. We’ll try to dart through them as quickly as possible. During this period, skill of execution is often lacking, but a few show at least the glimmer of some respectable writing. At present stage of research, there’s enough here for a full chapter today, plus at least four more left for next week, I’ll take them ..read more
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Jack Benny Plays the Disney Highlights
Cartoon Research
by Kamden Spies
1w ago
Classic Cartoons on Old Time Radio – Part IV Dennis Day and Jack Benny Some of the most frequent songs sung by performers were from movies that were then being released in theaters. To have a song sung on The Jack Benny Program was very good publicity for film studios at the time. And this includes the songs of Walt Disney. The Benny program played many Disney tunes that were then very relevant at the time, including in the parodies from the last post I wrote in this series. Before Dennis Day became Benny’s greatest tenor, Kenny Baker was the singer for the Benny show. However, before Baker ..read more
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The Line That Wasn’t There: “Superman” (1941)
Cartoon Research
by Jerry Beck
1w ago
The line that wasn’t there, or was it? Or was it intended – or not? That is the mystery we are attempting to solve today – as we open this cold case with a solid piece of new evidence. But whose side does this evidence support? Let’s start at the very beginning, the basics. The first Fleischer Superman cartoon, 1941, is a bonified classic. I’ve owned a 16mm print since the 1970s – when a dealer or two at Comic Cons then would sell beautiful bootleg prints, sometime running the cartoon from their film projectors to attract a crowd of comics fans to their booths. I’ve shown the cartoon publicl ..read more
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Classic Cartoons on Summer Vacation Part 2
Cartoon Research
by Michael Lyons
1w ago
Summer vacation. Two glorious words. As we plan for our vacation, we may reflect on summers past and remember those classic cartoons that celebrate summer vacation. Last year, I wrote, Classic Cartoons on Summer Vacation, which served as a round-up of these classic studio cartoons with summer vacation settings. The article inspired readers to leave comments with some of their favorite cartoons with summer vacation backdrops. So, here are some additional “vacation spots” suggested by Cartoon Research readers: A Day at the Beach, The Captain and the Kids, 1938, (MGM) – Suggested by Kevin Wollen ..read more
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Independence Day in the USA, 2024
Cartoon Research
by Steve Stanchfield
2w ago
It’s Independence Day here- but before the usual 4th of July post, here’s some short Thunderbean news: We’re moving forward on various things here, and working especially to dub special discs this next week. We’re been done with Mid Century Modern, Volume 3 for a bit now, and we are throwing everything we have at it to get replication started as soon as we can. To that end,this week we have two ‘limited edition’ Thunderbean -Tee-Shirts— Private Snafu and Van Beuren’s Tom and Jerry. We also have a limited release on Blu-ray of the strange 60s Zagreb-Studio produced Sam Bassett — Hound for Hir ..read more
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