Tuesday, August 31, 2010

114 The Charm Bracelet

Title: Charm Bracelet
Studio: Columbia
Date: 9/01/39
Credits: -
Series: -
Running time (of viewed version): 5:49

Synopsis: Margie loves bracelet, goes to sleep, bracelet lives its life to the fullest without Margie.

Comments: There's a pleasant beige puffiness to the backgrounds, like a pillow of shredded wheat. Odd seeing little kids being shown in a relationship. Kissing your charm bracelet doesn't seem right. Ah yes, the bracelet's charms come to life, thus allowing Scrappy to get ditched from the cartoon. Another appearance of the three monkeys (a the three monkeys, not the same the three monkeys...). Phone number: HO 2097. There's almost a feeling of Famous Studios simplicity in some of the cels. And not just because there's a jack in the box. The bird looks kinda like Buzzy. Lot of pushing in/ zoom shots. (Note that charm bracelets were a fad for girls that lasted for a few generations, but have been long gone as big cultural thing for awhile now.)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Disney Bulletin, August 18, 1939

This image is from a Howard Lowery auction, but I have a complete issue which will pop up in a couple/few weeks I scanned the inner pages from. Neither those scans or the transcription of the text I made are on this computer; hopefully they're both on the computer I scan on.

Friday, August 27, 2010

113 Silly Superstition

Title: Silly Superstition ("The Silly Superstition" on the tv version)
Studio: Lantz
Date: 8/28/39
Credits: None listed on print, and apparently not in the original
Series: Lil' Eightball
Running time (of viewed version): 7:07

Synopsis: Lil' Eightball tries to disprove superstition, but comes into conflict with a lion, which is defeated by his tiny dog.

Comments: Background: Hotel Bathless. Mel Blanc seems to be Eightball's mom too. The sound is too poor on the viewed print for me to tell much of anything else about the audio; something about Friday the 13th, and follow the superstitions. The dog seems to have a slight case of blackface, too (light lips, dark muzzle). I'm not sure what part of the dog pulls down the knot holes. The cat struts like bad luck blackie. The dog stammers breathlessly like Lou Costello. There's a building that kinda looks like the Guggenheim, but that wouldn't be built for 20 years. It's also more realistically proportioned. The lion ends up playing snowspeeder to the firehydrant's AT-AT, but it doesn't go down. I think this may be attempting to be an indictment against reason and for superstition. Teach the controversy, '39 style. The dog ascending the construction site is reminscent of Donkey Kong... This was the last black and white Lantz theatrical (tho I think they eventually made more black and white content, just for television ads and maybe bumpers; it is possible some black and white material I've seen is just a black and white print of material that was made in color tho).

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

112 The Bookworm

Title: The Bookworm
Studio: MGM
Date: 8/26/39
A Hugh Harman Production
Running time (of viewed version): 7:35

Synopsis: Bad characters in books come to life, and try to capture a bookworm for a brew, until a bunch of do gooders come to the aid of the thing that is slowly eating them.

Comments: A long dry spell for MGM; the last cartoon had been on June 15. The other studios put out 31 cartoons between this and that. Shadow figures in the title card. Multiple planes of backgrounds. Again this has the feeling of a funny Disney cartoon. The crappy milquetoast worm's even wearing Mickey shorts and a Donald hat. A crossdressing raven. After the intiial Macbeth witches, there seem to be three male villains with one of the witches; a sallow scientist, a Fu Manchu type, and some sort of Rasputin/Grizzly Adams type. The cast only grows from there. I wonder if naming unusual colors like Magenta and Ultramarine Blue would have resonated more specifically with artists than the general populace. For some reason the raven is stymied by the lack of a bridge. He is not appealing to look at. Which is unfortunate as he is the lead. The worm's a bit like Linus mixed with Lucy in the first few Peanuts specials. More heroes rush in than we saw leave books (Robin Hood, Tarzan, cops, etc.).

The Books: Dracula, The Skull, Murder No. 2 .... Back to... The Dead, The CLutching Hand, Macbeth. The Raven, Who Done It, The Bogey Man, The Red Lantern, Franken(stein, presumably), Tomstone Catalogue (sic), Hound of (Hab...? Rab...?), Sore Fiend, Skull Castle, Green Corpse, Murder, Spooky Stuff, The Noose by Gad..., Dracula (London ...), 39 Steps, and Law (27G). I'm not sure if that's a general dislike of the law, a specific law numbered 27G which would have been generally relevant at the time, or an inside joke about some internal policy 27G. THen, Detective Stories, Art Studies (my first thought he should have stopped and wolf whistled or drooled or something; and then he went back to it and wolf whistled), another Detective Stories, and another, and Tarzan. An indexed book. Dore. Vol. XI (or possibly VI) of something. Horrors (Poe). Murder, Dead Men Tell No Tales. Murder in Reverse (upside down). Gabriel Over the White House. Charge of the Light Brigade (X3). Heroes of Gettysburg (blue and grey come out of it). Vol. X. Axe Murders. Another Vol. X. Boy Scouts. Ten Dead Dopes, The Bat, Skull Hill.

The original title card painting for this cartoon, pictured below, is/was for sale at Van Eaton Galleries.