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Tuesday, June 17, 2008




A Week Gone Cartoon Mad





Sometimes when I’m grooving with cartoons, I’ll say to myself, Why not just move into these and leave the rest alone? A lot of collectors have. They look at animation and little else. Cartoons are colorful and seductive and the best of them make live action seem staid by comparison. Those Looney Tunes Golden Collections are like bags of chips where the first one you consume dissolves quickly to thirty-five or so cartoons I watched this week. The panel of experts behind DVD extras (along with informative websites several of them maintain) made me aware of rivalries and resentments those WB animation directors harbored over lifetimes. For decades, it didn’t matter so much who introduced Bugs Bunny. It was probably as well so little praise was bestowed upon artists during those (amazingly) prolific peak years, for too many slaps on the back might have gone to their heads, or at the least slowed them down (and its surprising how minimal was Warners' trade support compared with Disney, Metro, and even Columbia). With the seventies and its inaugural crop of serious animation historians (most of them still very active, by the way), the question of credit for Bugs and other characters became vital bones of contention among Termite Terrace inmates then in their (mostly) early sixties. Sniping that went on among Chuck Jones, Bob Clampett, and Tex Avery reminds me of high school feuds sustained long past urgency as to who threw that touchdown pass or kicked the winning field goal. These men who’d once animated as much for fun as money now staked claims in deadly earnest to Bugs, Porky, and Daffy. Carefree home movies taken on the Warner lot in the thirties contrasted sharply with selective recalling interviews and bitter rebuttals that followed. Clampett told his story to Michael Barrier for Funnyworld magazine and on screen in 1975’s Bugs Bunny Superstar. Jones hit the ceiling and induced Avery to add his signature to a poison-penned manifesto Chuck wrote in defense of he and Tex’s seminal work on cartoons made forty years prior. Subsequent memoirs and career profiles were laced with snubs and hatchets. You’d not call it a blood feud among these gray eminences … more like a pen and ink one. Fans got caught in the middle. They were either on Chuck’s side or agin’ him, and Jones kept score. His ego demanded first placement. Maybe that came of staying active in the business longer than the others. Some of Avery’s spirit had been knocked out by personal loss (a son) and being put on the shelf by studios no longer making his kind of quality cartoons. The latter was so for Clampett as well. His own son was barely aware of the greatness Dad achieved at Warners, thanks to Blue Ribbon syndicated prints with titles shorn of Bob’s credit. LA kid fans teenaged and in their twenties were welcomed guests at rancho Clampett where Bob watched his old cartoons with them and dragged out original animation cels he’d squirreled whenever they had questions. It was through such hospitality that Clampett secured his immortality, for many a youthful Boswell went on to write animation histories we refer to today.





Many of the faithful watch cartoons alone. Adults more casually interested burn out after one or two. Mavens who mean business were raised on plates-full running an hour if not more. That’s at least six at a sitting, which I can do standing on my head thanks to non-stop childhood TV exposure. The shared cartoon experience is pretty much lost now that so many are on DVD. Animation festivals that used to play crowded theatres are kaput. Kid matinees wash further out into memory. An ad shown here promised bingo in addition to a numbing onslaught of screen fare (topped off with The Invisible Boy!). This exhibitor poised between twin towers of 35mm cartoons is preparing to haul twenty reels and cans up to the booth for what looks to be a strenuous day for projectionists. Back then they’d sometimes let you in for bottle caps. Enough of them might be rewarded with a bike prize such as one here for which its winner appears to have redeemed half a million RC Cola tops at least. Such promotion lured crowds not unlike these queued up for A Lawless Street and the heaven only knows how many Bugs and Daffys said mob sat through once inside. Shows I attended were punk beside these, as the bloom was off the rose of such marathons by stripped down Saturday bills of my youth. Coming late to the party meant I had to bring my own cartoons. By the seventies, a few of them were being pirated on 16mm. I’d drop my Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs (bought for $35 from an obscure post office box in California) into any number of campus shows secure in the knowledge that classmates would never have seen it before (query to experts --- was Coal Black ever shown on TV with the others? --- my print had an AAP logo and the 16mm negative was apparently made up for the package going to local stations --- does anyone recall seeing it?). One time a fraternity (not mine) ran King Kong for one of those drunken gymatorium blanket affairs (site of my own 8mm Phantom Of the Opera debacle) and made the mistake of renting a Road Runner Parade reel from, I think, Audio-Brandon. Now one R.R. is great --- two might get by --- but this program featured four in grueling succession, overkill that engendered dangerously hostile reaction among co-ed coyotes several sheets to impatient winds. As a collector, I learned quickly that not all Warner cartoons are created equal. A wise sage once noted that of the thousand or so they made, one third were good, another third OK, and the rest dogs. Fair assessment? I wouldn’t know, not having made a clean viewing sweep of the library, though as long as I’m putting out questions to those more expert in this area than myself (and there are lots of you, I know), here’s another one: Were post-1953 Warner cartoons supposed to shown in 1.85 widescreen? I assume theatres played them with the same masking used for feature programs, and by the mid-fifties, wide apertures would have been standard for virtually all shows. WB cartoons I see on DVD are always full-frame. Are these cropped and missing information on the sides? Most look right enough to me, but I can’t help wondering…























Kids don’t appear to be watching Warner cartoons anymore. Their popularity had a long run, but I’d say Looney Tunes are over but for nostalgia probes. One look at so-called animated features today explains it. The current crop doesn’t look like cartoons as I knew them. Pixar is aggressive and dimensional in ways that are unnerving. I’m always afraid they’re going to fly off the screen and engulf me like the Fiend Without a Face. Daffy and Porky operated at a safer distance. Pixar invades my space. Vintage cartoons look prosaic beside such hard chargers. Do they generate all this stuff on computers? Do cartoons even involve drawing anymore? Maybe the term itself is archaic. Go back to cels and paints and you might as well hire Ray Harryhausen to dig out his Cyclops and have another run at Dynamation (wish they would). I looked at one of the cartoon message boards to see if anyone shows Warner cartoons on television now. Sad to say they mostly don’t, unless it’s three in the morning and even those come and go with scheduling vagaries favoring current merchandise. What cruel spin of fate took WB’s out of general circulation just when the company got them looking so pristine after years of abuse and neglect? When cartoons started getting rediscovered in the seventies, prints available required patience and allowance for faded color, replaced titles, and inventory split among multiple owners. Look at Bugs Bunny --- Superstar or that Camera Three special (extras on DVD) and imagine how the former and its Blue Ribbon content would have looked blown up on theatre screens in the mid-seventies. The other day I watched a 1940 Chuck Jones called Tom Thumb In Trouble on DVD. The quality was astounding, just as it is on every cartoon that rolls off the Golden Collection line, with color beyond rich and doubtlessly sharper than audiences in 1940 received it. How did we become such fans watching black-and-white prints of this and so many others way back when? These DVD’s are for me like taking off clouded glasses worn for years and seeing everything clearly for the first time.



































We remember them. They’re burned in our minds, says Jerry Beck during one of the DVD interviews. My own recall of cartoons is less specific. Most I saw young are a blur of theme music and arresting openers. I didn’t consider individual titles until 16mm collecting sent me in quest of those few available. Tom Dunnahoo at Thunderbird Films discovered some that had slipped into the public domain, thus Daffy Duck and the Dinosaur plus a few others turned up on sales lists in 1972 (the year its copyright protection would have lapsed). Piratical providers (those P.O. boxes again) enabled me to acquire Slick Hare and the aforementioned Coal Black shortly after. That aroused darker impulses to somehow lay hands upon favorites I was seeing on television. One fateful morning during freshman year, Hollywood Steps Out turned up on a nearby UHF channel. Boy, was this a great cartoon! Somehow I just had to have it. Well, the station was less than an hour away. Why not drive down and try my luck? This seemed a constructive excuse for cutting classes that day, so off I went with a friend in his Ford Pinto. We located the goat pasture address of said independent broadcaster and gained surprisingly immediate entry to their film library. The place was garlanded with cartoons. Racks and rows of them. A Solomon’s temple of animated booty. I made my pitch, mindful withal of the very real possibility they’d summon cops and I’d be posting bail with what little cash I’d brought to achieve an admittedly nefarious end. Discussions proceeded in hushed tones. What if I were a distributor plant working deep undercover to ensnare potential backdoor Merrie Melodies merchants? That might have occurred to them. After all, I was a stranger bent upon a bizarre mission. Weren’t nineteen-year olds more typically engaged at chugging beer, faking ID’s, and other such healthier enterprise? To my delighted satisfaction, the film editor’s assistant’s assistant (just what his precise function was I’ll never know) made medicine and we got together on Hollywood Steps Out, Coo-Coo Nut Grove, and oh yes, one more he unspooled on the desktop viewer, Bacall To Arms. You might as well take this too. We could never show it on television!, he said after observing a blackface gag and Rochester-inspired My, Oh, My! which closes the cartoon. Surreptitious removal was achieved by way of my benefactor’s lunchbag, from which he removed a pimento cheese sandwich and banana before secreting the three small reels within for our discreet exit. I spent the rest of college running them to death in both classrooms and commons (sometimes for course credit!). My conscience was clear as only a collector’s could be in those days when owning films branded us all criminals in the eyes of studios and squads of law enforcement acting at their behest. Certainly there were moral compasses thrown further askew than my own, but we were all products of tumultuous times and relaxed ethics where film collecting was concerned. I thank Warners for enabling me to now walk a straighter path cleared by cartoons finally available to those of us who revere them, though I may yet go in search of a lunch bag deep enough to conceal all those Boskos and Buddys I’m still waiting for ...

22 Comments:

Blogger Vanwall said...

I guess I was lucky growing up in Phoenix, AZ - the local independent station was always looking for deals on cartoons, and showed a lot of rarities that they must've gotten cheap syndication numbers for. There was a long-running kid's show there, as well, starring round, bowler-hatted straight man Wallace, and a tall, goofyily rubber-faced jokester named Ladmo, known for his loud ties and Mad-hatter topper - he functioned as a kind of desert Candide, being constantly taken advantage of by a variety of wild characters played by Pat McMahon, a sort of living cartoon personator, and that show played every damn cartoon they could get their hands on. "Roger Ramjet", a kind of apotheosis of smart-assedness, was there, and whatever could be skimmed from Lantz's stuff, too. That station had a real jones for Betty Boop and the Fleischer's on Saturday morning, even "Out of the Inkwell" and of course myriad Popeyes, and it was quite the experience to see "Minnie the Moocher" played out one day, in amazed awe. The more expensive Warner's fare was mostly on the other affiliated stations, and yeah, Chuck Jones was the name everyone seemed to repeat. Later we were vaguely aware of a kind of secret war out there among the directors, and not until I delved deep did this come into focus, but already the Jones-as-Da Vinci push was evident. This conflicted with the Tex Avery stuff that was being played quite often back then, as I think those were throw-aways that went with the more conventional Bugs and Daffy deals, and were easier to rent. The masterpiece "Beany and Cecil" was Clampett's only overtly credited presence on the tube, but you could catch his credits if you were fast enough at Looney tuning-in. As for theaters, Pink Pantherish fare was it, period. I could find the more interesting goodies at midnight showings and art house collections that had European tidbits and some of the better classics on view. My film pal Mouse was often squealing with laughter over the early Warners and Fleisher cartoons, and she really loved the Avery ones - the bugged-out eyes and "drawn-bad" girls just cracked her up, they resonated with her personality so well.

I think the simplicity of the brutally shape&line-oriented UPA and HB stuff led the way to Hal 9000-like computer control for cartoons, altho I know there's a fair amount of hand work in some of John K's opus, and hand boutique stuff seeps out all the time, but yeah, the old studio stuff is long gone. I miss those days with their own kind of a clarity - you were in for a good-looking, good time, and nothing more or less was implied.

1:06 AM  
Blogger East Side said...

I wonder how many kids today watching the old WB cartoons like "Coo Coo Nut Grove" recognize the actors lampooned in them? Perhaps Warners should offer subtitled versions of them as extras, identifying the celebs.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous "r.j." said...

Oh, damn! I wish this guy hadn't brought-up "Coo-Coo Nut Grove"! I feel I've taken-up enough-space here at Greenbriar of late, and I don't want to over-extend your "Southern hospitality!" Fast, I recently saw this cartoon-again for first-time in years, (on Youtube, along with a fairly-large group of other, earlY- WB cartoons) and it cross-referenced(at least, for me) with a Johhny Carson (!) interview, also posted on Youtube w/ Jackie Gleason. I'll leave it to you experts to make the final-call on this: Over the credits, and extending into the first-few minutes of this short (where we see the various "celebs", and "Ben Bernie" caricature, one hears a tune playing, that sounds rather suspiciously like the famous Gleason-signature, he called his "Melancholy Serenade". But, as this was at least a few-years before television, how could that be? Well. glad you asked! It is actually a tune from a then-current Warners' feature called "Here Comes Carter", with Ross Alexander, called "Thru the Courtesy of Love" written by, (guess-who?) my grandfather! Gleason did an almost note-for-note lift, and he knew it (Even Art Carney spoofed this on one of "The Honeymooners'" episodes, you'll recall, where Ralph is recalling popular-songs for his up-coming appearance on a quiz-show). My grandfarther did notfy his publisher about this at the time and according to extent-correspondence I read dating from ''53, (he) did cautiously side with him. But, televsion was making big-inroads then, as we all know, and Jack Warner, always on the alert as to which-side his toast was buttered, didn't want to bring any lawsuits against a potential-commodity he might be needing in the future! Beyond that, the gentleman who posted the comment is quite-right about the "arcania" of some of these (then) popular-celebrities in the cartoons. My god, how could children (no matter how precocious) possibly recognize Tyrone Power dancing with Sonja Henjie, let alone Hugh Herbert, or Ned Sparks! I did, in later-years study voice-overs with one of the all-time greats, Daws Butler, who was our neighbor in Bev. Hills, and whose children I knew quite-well. Daws was the, but I mean THE nicest man who ever lived, truly God rest his soul! My sessions with Daws did stand me in pretty-good stead, however. I later-on did some voice-over work for some Sat-morning Disney's. R.J.

1:58 PM  
Blogger radiotelefonia said...

That's nothing!

I became a fan of the WB cartoons in horribly dubbed versions from Mexico.

When I was young and I didn't pay attention, I was fascinated.

But when I grew old, and I was able to see versions with the original soundtracks I got really upset.

Here is one to torture you!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-bvAZFbQ74

7:29 PM  
Blogger John McElwee said...

Thanks for taking the time to post such detailed and entertaining comments, folks! Vanwall, sounds like you lived in quite an adventurous broadcasting market. RJ, your input continues to amaze. I look forward to hearing from you whenever I upload a new story. You always have something fascinating to add.

9:09 PM  
Blogger Axel said...

"Do cartoons even involve drawing anymore?". I visited Pixar (twice) and PDI-Dreamworks Animation (once), and yes - everything comes from inspirational drawings. Even small stuff (pens, chairs, etc.) is created on paper.

Regarding those DVDs... I guess Warners should really do a Chuck Jones line, or a Bob Clampett line, like they did ten years ago with that terrific complete Tex Avery laser disc box.

The worse thing about the mexican dubbing? The replaced Carl Stalling scores with a crappy background music!

10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The tale of the WB cartoons' removal from modern TV, like a lot of corporate politics, has nothing to do with their popularity or even profit. A quick look for "Bugs Bunny" on YouTube will bring low-res cartoons on which hundreds of obvious kid visitors have left adoring comments. They like them as much as they ever did.

The short version: up until the late 1990s, Looney Tunes were a hot property, split into several different TV packages which different networks ran and fought over. Then WB had one of those great ideas: to give its subsidiary, Cartoon Network, complete control over the entire library. The shorts were pulled back from various spots and handed over.

There was, however, one element of Looney Tunes that CN did not control: the ancillary marketing rights. When CN broadcast Tom and Jerry or Scooby Doo, or CN's own newly produced cartoon series, parent company Turner saw not just advertising revenue, but marketing revenue for the character brands that the shows promoted. In the case of Looney Tunes, CN saw no such extra revenue, and no amount of pleading would convince Warner to cut them in.

So CN played dirty. Warner had given them an irrevocable, exclusive license to the Looney Tunes library. If CN couldn't have that marketing revenue, they could just sit on that license, show the cartoons as little as possible, and screw the corporate parent.

In early 2003, with the new movie LOONEY TUNES: BACK IN ACTION approaching, CN had already strategically cut back on its Looney Tunes broadcasts, the idea being to starve the audience for a little while and then bring everything back big-time just before the new movie came out. The decision to screw Warner came in with a management change while the broadcasts were at minimal level, with the effect that the starvation became permanent. LOONEY TUNES: BACK IN ACTION suffered at theatres largely because no daily CN Looney Tunes broadcasts were there to promote it. And in lieu of Bugs, CN played up Tom and Jerry and (especially) Scooby-Doo, "classic" properties that they owned lock, stock, and barrel. To some degree, the extreme focus on Scooby also came about because the new management personally liked him. Ego is a powerful thing.

Here's where things get muddy, but it appears that Warner recognized what CN was doing to them and were unhappy with it, but still refused on principle to give CN any further broadcast incentives. Warner apparently decided to satisfy itself with the success of Scooby, which they then believed would go on forever. They figured CN might be mistreating the Looney Tunes now, but in just a few years CN's license would expire anyway, and they could sell them someplace else.

Today it's expired: that's why they're no longer on CN or Boomerang. WB is presumably shopping Looney Tunes elsewhere. The problem, presumably, is that other networks have no idea of the corporate politics that led to CN's removal of the brand from the airwaves. They probably attribute Bugs' disappearance to unpopularity, which cannot make the package look like an appealing pickup.

In reality, Looney Tunes got great ratings right up to CN's unrelated decision to remove them. And KIDSCREEN broadcast magazine featured a poll last fall (less than a year ago!) showing that Bugs Bunny still ranked among the top five cartoon characters with boys 6-15 and girls 6-11. Scooby, by the way, didn't even place.

So the Looney Tunes brand is still a powerhouse waiting to happen again. But none of this matters if you're a network exec who assumes kids simply don't want anything "old." Evidence? What's that?

11:16 PM  
Blogger John McElwee said...

Anonymous, Your informative and eye-opening comment is welcome reminder of what babes in the wood the rest of us so often are where corporate machinations are concerned. All of this was new to me. Thanks for the reality check.

5:49 AM  
Blogger Vanwall said...

I cannot stand the whole Scoopy-HB line of crud, with a few narrow exceptions - thanks, anon, for the info, as I wondered who in their right mind was pushing that...stuff. I hated it even when it was new, as a kid.

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Jim Lane said...

Yes, John, Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs certainly did make it to TV. Back in the 1950s, Channel 13 here in Northern California had a weekday-afternoon kiddie show, Mayor Art's Toony Town, that showed the pre-1948 Warners package. Coal Black played often and was well-enjoyed, at least in my circle.

Also in the package were the old Buddys and Boskos -- which I'd like to take another look at now for history's sake, but I hated them at the time. Buddy simply bored me silly, while I found Bosko actually repulsive; the way he chomped a sandwich with the camera staring down his ugly gaping maw was enough to turn my little tummy.

And this may surprise you -- Toony Town even showed the old Private Snafu shorts! It wasn't until decades later that I learned those cartoons weren't intended for kids, with ribald content aimed at their military audiences. Well, if the cartoons were bowdlerized for 1950s TV, I can't say I ever noticed it; no doubt a sudden gap in the action would have gone over my head -- but then, so would the naughty stuff (at least what I've seen in the shorts since I grew up).

As for the celebrity "cameos" in those old cartoons -- well, in the '50s we still knew who Bing Crosby, Eddie Cantor, Jack Benny and Ed Wynn were. And if Ned Sparks, Ben Bernie, Hugh Herbert, etc. had us scratching our heads, we at least understood that they were people who used to be famous.

Now here's an idea I'll offer, and anyone who wants can have it for free: The ANNOTATED Looney Tunes. In a certain viewing mode, whenever one of these now-obscure pop culture references crops up, the viewer has an option to jump to a short clip explaining it, and maybe showing the real person in action from one of his or her movies. The same thing could be done for all those cartoons where newsstands, toy shops and grocery stores came to life at night with then-current movie and radio stars, and for those faux travelogues with topical references to WWII rationing and priorities. I understand Blu-Ray is capable of something like this. How about it, Warners Home Video?

Oh, and one more thought, this addressed to R.J.: Say, R.J., our friend John got me to track down and read your dad's book, which I loved (except for the fact that it was much too short). So when are you going to write a book of your own? Your comments here tell me you've certainly got one in you. Sign me up for a first edition hot off the press.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Boston in the late 60s-early 70s,the post-48 Warner cartoons were on all the time, but the pre-48s were an occasional treat sandwiched between stretches of "Boomtown" and then Major Mudd.Luckily, Ch.38 bought the pre-48s to augment their newer package around 1976, but you had to wait through bad Hanna-Barbera cartoons like Wally Gator to see them.

2:40 PM  
Blogger John McElwee said...

Here's an e-mailed answer to my question about television broadcasts of "Coal Black" and the other "Censored 11" WB cartoons from the Number One man in DVD production, George Feltenstein, whose sterling efforts have so far given us five Looney Tunes Golden Collections (with more to come) ...

"Indeed COAL BLACK was in TV distribution for years. Eleven years to be exact. In 1967, UATV issued a memorandum withdrawing the infamous cartoons from TV now known as the Censored 11. Their action never spread to non-theatrical however, which I believe was an oversight, but I am not sure. Something must have gone down in the industry that year, because there is also an MGM TV memo that required the withdrawal of the Bosko cartoons, Uncle Tom's Bungalow, etc."

Many thanks, George!

4:50 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

I love the Golden Collections but I do have beefs:

1) Yes, they are cropped. Even after correcting for TV overscan (essential that your DVD player does this), there are gags (e.g., writing on signs) at the top of the screen that are cut off in some of the cartoons. This is not an "accident" but rather a sign of somebody simply not giving a darn because they are careful to begin the cartoons with the opening logo shrunken down so that the entire image is visible (the missing writing would be conspicuous in that case).

2) In Volume 1, some of the earlier cartoons were taken from a different (progressively scanned?) video source and there is "combing"/ghosting evident throughout. Unfortunate.

3) Also in Volume I, the overzealous digital clean-up removed some "lines" that were part of the scenery or action.

3:45 PM  
Blogger John McElwee said...

Hi Chris ---

As to aspect ratios, I did receive an e-mail from an unidentified reader who indicated the following on that subject ...

"The new transfers of the cartoons are not missing any information. Sometime in late '53 they began to take into consideration 1.85 projection, and the tell-tale sign are the main titles, and the different placement of the logos and copyrights. The cartoons were designed in such a way to be projected theatrically in matted fashion, but they clearly anticipated academy ratio and TV as well, since they can be projected either way. No one can provide an accurate answer as to what the creators intended in terms of their design. What we have now on DVD doesn't blow up anything and lose anything in the process, which is said to have been the preferred choice of Chuck and Friz in their later years..."

Anyone else care to wade in on this topic?

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have one other beef with the Golden Collections, Chris. There doesn't seem to be a way to skip past Whoopi Goldberg's political correctness spill at the beginning of each one disc. Any suggestions?

10:02 PM  
Anonymous Ted said...

On the occasions I've had to project them theatrically, the mid-to-late '50s Warner cartoons seem to have been designed to look acceptable at a variety of widescreen ratios rather than being designed for any one particular ratio. (Lord knows there was no shortage of them back then.)

11:33 PM  
Anonymous Glenn said...

Something at least cartoon-related you might be able to shed some light on, John: we tend to assume today that when you sat down to watch, say, a Warner Bros. feature that you saw a program of Warner Bros. shorts along with it. But even a superficial browse through old newspapers makes it clear that this wasn't the case: an ad for an MGM feature mentions an accompanying Donald Duck cartoon; a Warner feature playing with a Popeye short; a Universal western accompanied by a Columbia Three Stooges two-reeler. How did booking work in those days? Were deals for shorts made separately from deals for features? Did a company that operated several theaters in one town have some leeway about where they played the product they booked?

12:10 AM  
Blogger John McElwee said...

Hi Glenn ---

Shorts were often booked independent of features being played, particularly in subsequent runs. Here's a link to a previous post where I uploaded theatre ads with short subjects. Note that virtually all of these were mis-matches (distributor wise) between the features and cartoons, comedies, etc. supporting them ...

http://greenbriarpictureshows.blogspot.com/2006/04/ads-that-sell-shorts-my-hat-is-off-to.html

8:23 AM  
Blogger John McElwee said...

An e-mail follow-up from Robert Cline regarding booking policy on cartoons ...

"The Statesville, NC policy in the 1950s & 1960s was...

The only distributor whose cartoons played with their own features exclusively was Disney.

We never saw a Disney cartoon unless it was a Disney feature.

Everyone else booked their cartoons at will".

9:46 AM  
Blogger John McElwee said...

Back again and wanted to mention a couple of really interesting comments our friend R.J. has posted at previous Greenbriar entries on Laurel and Hardy (this is stuff I NEVER knew about) and Veronica Lake. Links below ...

http://greenbriarpictureshows.blogspot.com/2006/04/laurel-and-hardy-fox-comedies-on-dvd.html

http://greenbriarpictureshows.blogspot.com/2006/04/monday-glamour-starter-veronica-lake.html

11:03 AM  
Anonymous "r.j." said...

John, YOU never knew about! How do you think I feel? I never realized I was carrying-around so many stories! But, my thanks to you, and certainly to Jim Lane for the kind words. Dad would have been so pleased! Regards, R.J.

7:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! 21 posts for cartoons! I really enjoyed all the comments. Tom Thumb In Trouble was the first Warners cartoon I remember seeing as a child in rural Northern Ohio in the early 60's. Just for the record, my eight year old Son loves all the Looney Tunes, with very little urging from me though we often watch them together. I have found that almost any child will fall under the spell of these vintage cartoons if they start watching them at an early age just as we did. Unfortunately, many young parents today dismiss them and as discussed on your post they are slowly vanishing from televisions landscape. Such a shame. Mike In Ohio

8:14 PM  

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