Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Saturday of Classic Cartoons: 90 images from my animation viewing marathon, 10/5


What day better than Saturday for a classic cartoon marathon? This past weekend, I got up while it was still dark out and, in an effort that would've made my 10-year-old self proud, extended a Saturday morning tradition well into the evening. I've been on a vacation from work this past week (it had been over a year since I'd taken more than four days off) and using the opportunity to catch up with many discs I've owned - in some cases for years - but never watched (as in never never - many were blind buys). Among these were four cartoon DVDs: Mickey Mouse in color & black-and-white, a Looney Tunes collection, and a cheapo anthology of 100 cartoons.

Since July I've been steadily making my way through these (see "100 Cartoons in 100 Images" from August) but I figured now was the time to finally plough through and finish 'em. So I did. There were some familiar favorites (including selections I hadn't seen since VHS tape in the late 80s - what an uncanny sensation to rewatch those!), several duds or weak efforts (I confirmed that I really tend to prefer 30s & 40s cartoons to those from the 50s & 60s), some fascinating oddities (including that cartoon with human lips Tarantino sampled in Pulp Fiction), and really revealing historical contexts.

In the latter category there was a slew of offensive racial imagery which I ended up not screen-capping even as an example (the Disney disc features Leonard Maltin nervously providing context before certain shorts - though the Warners and Fleischers cartoons I saw had more extensive stereotyping). Highlighting these is a worthy effort, but it didn't fit the tone of this lineup; perhaps in another post. On a more upbeat note, I also found these cartoons more culturally on-the-nose than many live-action features produced around the same time; somehow that vibrant, bouncy swingin' 30s & 40s energies is communicated more readily via animation.

Below are 90 screen-caps, including 3 from TV show (these appear smaller than the others and will not be included in the official #WatchlistScreenCaps directory). I've included a caption for each, usually a joke, alliterative description, or bad pun (though often, the opportunities for those were already taken by the toon's title) - although occasionally they express personal admiration especially for the dazzling accomplishments of Robert Clampett (the only linked title leads to a clip from my favorite film of his).

If you've seen any of these, or have any questions or comments, leave 'em below. Here we go...

all films viewed on October 5, 2013

A machine and a gentleman
Building a Building (1933), prod. Walt Disney

No dogs were harmed in the making of this picture - we can't vouch for the chicken though
The Mad Doctor (1933), prod. Walt Disney

Surely you joust?
Ye Olden Days (1933), prod. Walt Disney

Crashing into a makeshift propeller in the nick of time
The Mail Pilot (1933), prod. Walt Disney

Garbo's new leading man
Mickey's Gala Premiere (1933), prod. Walt Disney

"No, no, I said I was out with Chip and Dale, not a chippendale!"
Puppy Love (1933), prod. Walt Disney

Taking their cue from a new RKO release
The Pet Store (1933), prod. Walt Disney

Mickey's expression reminds me of Calvin & Hobbes
Giantland (1933), prod. Walt Disney

Pick on someone your own size
Camping Out (1934), prod. Walt Disney

(see previous caption)
Gulliver Mickey (1934), prod. Walt Disney

Donald gets the hook in his first appearance with Mickey
Orphan's Benefit (1934), prod. Walt Disney

Should've worn a seat belt
The Dognapper (1934), prod. Walt Disney

I Dream of Minnie
Two-Gun Mickey (1934), prod. Walt Disney

Service with a smile
Mickey's Service Station (1935), prod. Walt Disney

The Disney merchandise begins
Magician Mickey (1937), prod. Walt Disney

The angry entertainer gets his revenge on a hostile audience
Mickey's Amateurs (1937), prod. Walt Disney

Goodbye Goofy
Clock Cleaners (1937), prod. Walt Disney

Who you gonna call?
Lonesome Ghosts (1937), prod. Walt Disney

Dead chicken vs. Pluto in sumo showdown
Mickey's Parrot (1938), prod. Walt Disney

Not exactly seaworthy
Boat Builders (1938), prod. Walt Disney

Rehearsing for Monstro
The Whalers (1938), prod. Walt Disney

This trailer comes fully equipped
Mickey's Trailer (1938), prod. Walt Disney

They slipped a Mickey in his cigarette
Brave Little Tailor (1938), prod. Walt Disney

Death of a Salesduck
Duck Soup to Nuts (1944), dir. Friz Freleng

My favorite Looney Tune of all time - manic, hilarious, insane, so it's gotta be Clampett
Porky in Wackyland (1938), dir. Robert Clampett

Strange to see Sylvester as the underdog (or undercat)
Back Alley Oproar (1948), dir. Friz Freleng

Louisa May Alcott's book transformed into a portrait of bobbysoxers fainting for Frankie
Book Revue (1946), dir. Robert Clampett

Clampett's cartoons always have the most fantastic colors
A Corny Concerto (1943), dir. Robert Clampett

Get it?
Have You Got Any Castles? (1938), dir. Frank Tashlin, Friz Freleng

The odd couple
Hollywood Steps Out (1941), dir. Tex Avery

Simon Cowell's grandfather
I Love to Singa (1936), dir. Tex Avery

This side of the 30s & 40s comes through clearer in cartoons than live-action
Katnip Kollege (1938), dir. Cal Dalton, Cal Howard

Only those with nine lives can afford to be so cavalier
The Hep Cat (1942), dir. Robert Clampett

"The big bad wolf, he learned the rule - you gotta get hot to play real cool!'
The Three Little Bops (1957), dir. Friz Freleng

I find this to be one of the most frustrating cartoons ever
One Froggy Evening (1955), dir. Chuck Jones

They did this bit a whole year before Tom & Jerry
Rhapsody Rabbit (1946), dir. Friz Freleng

Of course Daffy and his detachable bill are at the epicenter
Show Biz Bugs (1957), dir. Friz Freleng

What's meta, Doc?
Stage Door Cartoon (1944), dir. Friz Freleng

I am not a girl. Surprise.
What's Opera, Doc? (1957), dir. Chuck Jones

Porky Pig bids Leon Schlesinger farewell to seek work in features
You Ought to Be in Pictures (1940), dir. Friz Freleng

Good thing he's more powerful than a locomotive
Billion Dollar Limited (1942), prod. Max Fleischer/dir. Dave Fleischer

One of Superman's more formidable foes
The Arctic Giant (1942), prod. Max Fleischer/dir. Dave Fleischer, Willard Bowsky

Imagine if this flying object landed on your windshield...
The Bulleteers (1942), prod. Max Fleischer/dir. Dave Fleischer, Orestes Calpini

Kids, don't try this at home
The Magnetic Telescope (1942), prod. Max Fleischer/dir. Dave Fleischer

Whither Metropolis?
Electric Earthquake (1942), prod. Max Fleischer/dir. Dave Fleischer

Clark Versus the Volcano
Volcano (1942), prod. Max Fleischer/dir. Dave Fleischer, Willard Bowsky

Ace reporters relegated to the circus beat - but of course it won't be boring for long
Terror On the Midway (1942), prod. Max Fleischer/dir. Dave Fleischer, Orestes Calpini

Betty's Japanese fans demonstrate their affection
A Language All My Own (1935), prod. Max Fleischer/dir. Dave Fleischer

How to make your fan a flutist
Betty Boop and Grampy (1935), prod. Max Fleischer/dir. Dave Fleischer

Apples always seem to bring bad news
Hunky and Spunky (1938), prod. Max Fleischer/dir. Dave Fleischer

Showdown to stick up for his avian pals
Always Kickin' (1939), prod. Max Fleischer/dir. Dave Fleischer

Two legs good, four legs bad!
The Barnyard Brat (1939), prod. Max Fleischer/dir. Dave Fleischer

Sometimes you kick ass, and sometimes the ass kicks you
Vitamin Hay (1941), prod. Max Fleischer/dir. Dave Fleischer

Only the bad ghost is a good ghost
A Haunting We Will Go (1949), dir. Seymour Kneitel

The Star Child meets the apes from the beginning of 2001
Spooking About Africa (1957), dir. Seymour Kneitel

Can a ghost commit suicide?
The Friendly Ghost (1945), dir. Izzy Sparber

Casper, ahead of Neil Armstrong by 15 years
Boo Moon (1954), dir. Seymour Kneitel, Izzy Sparber

Cattle call
Westward Whoa (1926 - color & soundtrack added later), dir. Charles R. Bowers, Bud Fisher

The shadow knows (evil laughter)
Slick Sleuths (1926 - color & soundtrack added later), dir. Charles R. Bowers, Bud Fisher

I didn't realize this "human-lips" technique was ever used for non-comic purposes
"Arctic Bird Giant" episode of "Clutch Cargo" (1959), crea. Clark Haas

Preparing for Halloween
Jack Frost (1934), dir. Ub Iwerks

I remember the jazzy syncopations & nursery tale stylings of this toon from childhood
Old Mother Hubbard (1935), dir. Ub Iwerks

Lonesome swan in the sunset
Time for Love (1935), prod. Max Fleischer/dir. Dave Fleischer

The goblins of bad driving haunt Fairy Tale Land
Once Upon a Time (1934), dir. F. Lyle Goldman

Worshipping the witch on the wall
Is My Palm Read? (1933), prod. Max Fleischer/dir. Dave Fleischer

Back to the inkwell
Betty Boop's Rise to Fame (1934), prod. Max Fleischer/dir. Dave Fleischer

Drowning in a picture frame
Taking the Blame (1935), prod. Max Fleischer/dir. Dave Fleischer

This is how you make rain onstage
No! No! A Thousand Times No!! (1935), prod. Max Fleischer/dir. Dave Fleischer

The nice way to give someone the hook
Making Stars (1935), prod. Max Fleischer/dir. Dave Fleischer

Rich dog, poor dog
Little Nobody (1936), prod. Max Fleischer/dir. Dave Fleischer

The cuckoo emerges prepared for a fight
We Did It (1936), prod. Max Fleischer/dir. Dave Fleischer

Pickled herring
A Song a Day! (1936), prod. Max Fleischer/dir. Dave Fleischer

Trying and failing to be a tough pup
You're Not Built That Way (1936), prod. Max Fleischer/dir. Dave Fleischer

Playing his greatest hits
Popeye's 20th Anniversary (1954), dir. Izzy Sparber

No spinach for you!
Taxi-Turvy (1954), dir. Seymour Kneitel

Long before the Tea Party, there was the...
Popeye for President (1956), dir. Seymour Kneitel

Spinach > Concrete
Out to Punch (1956), dir. Seymour Kneitel

Power of the pipe
Patriotic Popeye (1957), dir. Izzy Sparber

This is how the Class of 1940 was remembered 10 years later
 Campus Capers (1949), dir. Bill Tytla, George Germanetti

Not quite the belly of the beast, but close
Scrappily Married (1945), dir. Seymour Kneitel, Orestes Calpini

Almost drowned his best pal
The Henpecked Rooster (1944), dir. Seymour Kneitel, Orestes Calpini

The characters have become sharper, more well-defined by this time
Sudden Fried Chicken (1946), dir. Bill Tytla, Orestes Calpini

Haunted by his previous incarnations
5 episodes of "Fraidy Cat" (1975), prob. wri. Michael O'Connor

Shelter from the toxic atmosphere
"Expedition to a New Moon" episode of "Space Angel" (1962), crea. Dick Darley

Better living through chemistry
Pest Pupil (1957), dir. Dave Tendlar

Baby Huey's origin story
Quack a Doodle Doo (1950), dir. Izzy Sparber

She may want to visit an optometrist if she survives
The Story of Little Red Riding Hood (1949), dir. Ray Harryhausen

Cue the guitar strum from "Clarissa Explains It All"
The Story of Rapunzel (1951), dir. Ray Harryhausen

Midas and Mephistophales decide to go gold
The Story of King Midas (1953), dir. Ray Harryhausen

The magic of the movies
Mother Goose Stories (1946), dir. Ray Harryhausen

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