Tag Archives: Fleischer

Cartoon of the Day: Somewhere In Dreamland

Somewhere In Dreamland

Some­where In Dreamland

From the Fleis­cher Color Clas­sics series, today we cel­e­brate Some­where In Dream­land. While this was not the first car­toon in the Color Clas­sics series, it does have the unique dis­tinc­tion of being the first from the series pro­duced in three-strip Tech­ni­color. The prior shorts were all done in the infe­rior two-strip process.

A poignant story of two poor chil­dren who are out col­lect­ing fire­wood when they pass by a toy store, mar­ket and finally a bak­ery. They drool over the wares in the bak­ery win­dow but walk away before the owner can come out and present them with two cup­cakes. The kids go home and eat a mea­ger sup­per before going to bed. They both dream they are in dream­land, where every­thing is free-cookies, candy, cakes, pop­corn and toys. When they wake up, it’s all gone, but the three mer­chants have stopped by to lay out a huge feast for them. Lovely story with time­less music.

What– No, Spinach? (1936) — Popeye the Sailor Cartoon Series

What-- No Spinach?

What– No Spinach?

#CotD: Wimpy isn’t just after ham­burg­ers in “What– No, Spinach?” which does fea­ture the famous green veg­etable in the end.

What– No, Spinach? (1936) — Pop­eye the Sailor Car­toon Series

Wimpy is front and cen­ter, work­ing in Bluto’s Restau­rant. He tries all sorts of tricks to get free food at the diner — mostly burg­ers, of course.

His tac­tics include pour­ing hot sauce on Popeye’s roast duck. You actu­ally feel a lit­tle sorry for Bluto, who’s work­ing pretty hard back in the kitchen and has his only cus­tomer (Pop­eye) try to walk off with­out pay­ing. Still, he gets his inevitable spinach-fueled beat­ing at reel’s end, sure enough.

Wimpy sings a lit­tle burger song to him­self at the begin­ning and end of this cartoon.

Come see “What– No, Spinach?” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

Betty In Blunderland (1934) — Betty Boop Cartoon Series

Betty In Blunderland

Betty In Blunderland

CotD: Babe Ruth makes a cameo appear­ance as Twee­dle­dum and Twee­dledee in “Betty In Blun­der­land”. Also look for Ed Wynn in this short.

Betty In Blun­der­land (1934) — Betty Boop Car­toon Series

Betty Boop falls asleep while work­ing on a jig­saw puz­zle of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Won­der­land” char­ac­ters. The White Rab­bit in the puz­zle comes to life, and Betty fol­lows him through the mir­ror (a.k.a. look­ing glass) into Blun­der­land, which is just like Won­der­land, except that it has sub­way stations.

She finds her­self in front of a minia­ture sub­way kiosk, through which the rab­bit has passed. She wig­gles through and falls down a long well, and crawls through a tun­nel, find­ing her­self in a room where char­ac­ters make them­selves small by drink­ing Shrink-ola.

Betty drinks some her­self, and shrinks to being small enough to pass through a tiny exit. She meets up with the Car­pen­ter and the Wal­rus, Twee­dledee and Twee­dle­dum, the Mad Hat­ter, the White Rab­bit and the Queen of Hearts.

After all the inhab­i­tants of Blun­der­land emerge from the Mad Hatter’s hat, Betty greets them in song (“How Do You Do”) while they engage in var­i­ous spot gags. Sud­denly, the mon­strous Jab­ber­wock flows out of the Mad Hatter’s hat and car­ries Betty off; the Blun­der­lan­di­ans give chase in an attempt to res­cue her.

The mon­ster drops Betty over a cliff and she lands, sur­rounded by the Car­roll char­ac­ters. After the entire com­pany gets pitched over a cliff, Betty wakes up. She catches the White Rab­bit and puts him back in the puz­zle, where he belongs.

Come see “Betty In Blun­der­land” on video at Big Car­toon DataBa

Minnie The Moocher (1932) — Talkartoons Theatrical Cartoon Series

Minnie The Moocher (1932)

Min­nie The Moocher (1932)

CotD: Cab Calloway’s first appear­ance in a Betty Boop car­toon was in 1932’s “Min­nie The Moocher” which begins with actual film footage of Cab Cal­loway danc­ing in front of his orchestra.

Min­nie The Moocher (1932) — Talka­r­toons The­atri­cal Car­toon Series

The film opens with live-action footage of Cab Calloway’s Orches­tra. Cab is strut­ting his famous dance moves. Fed up with her par­ents’ nag­ging, Betty has a fight with her stern Ger­man father. Her father nags so much that his head turns into a talk­ing machine. She resolves to run away with Bimbo.

They’re in the woods when the sun goes down. It’s really spooky. Sud­denly, a ghostly wal­rus appears and begins to sing “Min­nie the Moocher.” The ghost wal­rus’ move­ments were traced from a live-action film of Calloway’s danc­ing. The wal­rus has all of Cab’s patented moves.

All of the ghosts and gob­lins in the cave dig the wal­rus’ music. There are spooks every­where! Betty and Bimbo run home. Betty’s glad to be in her nice, safe bed.

Come see “Min­nie The Moocher” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

Two For The Zoo (1941) — Gabby Theatrical Cartoon Series

Two For The Zoo (1941) - Gabby Theatrical Cartoon Series

Two For The Zoo (1941) — Gabby The­atri­cal Car­toon Series

CotD: Today we visit Gabby in “Two For The Zoo”. Gabby was the first ani­mated char­ac­ter to make the jump from a fea­ture film to his own series.

Two For The Zoo (1941) — Gabby The­atri­cal Car­toon Series

Gabby and the head zookeeper at the Lil­liput Zoo bring in a new kan­ga­roo to the zoo. A deliv­ery man pushes a crate down the street con­tain­ing a Rub­ber Necked Kango. Gabby bumps into the crate, and in his usual know-it-all fash­ion, offers to per­son­ally deliver the ani­mal, a baby. Gabby doesn’t know that the mother is also in the crate, and she catches up with them, drop­ping the baby into her pouch, caus­ing Gabby to think that the baby sud­denly grew. They end up get­ting trapped in the kangaroo’s cage and the Kan­ga­roo runs free.

Come see “Two For The Zoo” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

Is My Palm Read (1933) — Betty Boop Theatrical Cartoon Series

Is My Palm Read Betty Boop Cartoon

Is My Palm Read Betty Boop Cartoon

CotD: A great exam­ple of how racy a pre-Hayes Code short could be, “Is My Palm Read” fea­tures Betty Boop in her birth­day suit. Don’t believe us– watch it.

Is My Palm Read (1933) — Betty Boop The­atri­cal Car­toon Series

Bimbo the fortune-teller tries to score with Betty Boop. As she enters the house, the lights are changed so as to see Betty’s sil­hou­ette through her dress, upon which Bimbo and Koko remark “Hi-dee-ho!”

In his crys­tal ball, Bimbo shows Betty “the gone-by days of your naked youth,” bring­ing up a scene of a very young (and nude!) Betty tak­ing a bath. Then the crys­tal ball reveals Betty cast adrift on the ocean, and land­ing on a haunted jun­gle island, where she removes her wet clothes, loses them, and finds tree leaves to cover her­self. Bimbo con­jures up a “for­tune” in which he res­cues the ship­wrecked Betty. “My hero!” squeaks Betty… but Bimbo turns out to be a bet­ter prophet than he thought, as an unsa­vory group of ghosts boil out of the crys­tal ball and chase Betty and Bimbo through a jun­gle that appears out of nowhere.

The pair finally evade their pur­suers through one of the ear­li­est uses of the old “hol­low log over the cliff” trick (these appar­ently being the world’s least buoy­ant ghosts).

Come see “Is My Palm Read” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

Customers Wanted (1939) — Popeye the Sailor Theatrical Cartoon Series

Customers Wanted (1939) - Popeye the Sailor

Cus­tomers Wanted (1939) — Pop­eye the Sailor

CotD: Even back in 1939, stu­dios would release “best of” com­pi­la­tions as new mate­r­ial. “Cus­tomers Wanted” not only was made from 2 pre­vi­ous car­toons, but was remade itself in 1955!

Cus­tomers Wanted (1939) — Pop­eye the Sailor The­atri­cal Car­toon Series

Bluto and Pop­eye own com­pet­ing penny arcades that show scenes from their past car­toons, but no cus­tomers are stop­ping in! Wimpy strolls by, and each tries to bribe Wimpy (their only cus­tomer) into watch­ing their great car­toon moments. Nat­u­rally, Wimpy has the nerve to bor­row the nec­es­sary penny and promises to gladly “pay Tues­day.” The rivalry between Pop­eye and Bluto gets out of hand to the point where they start bat­tling each other so fiercely that the enter­pris­ing Wimpy goes out­side and charges a dime to see “the fight of the cen­tury” inside the arcade!

Come see “Cus­tomers Wanted” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

Always Kickin’ (1939) — Color Classics Theatrical Cartoon Series

Always Kickin' (1939) - Color Classics

Always Kickin’ (1939) — Color Classics

CotD: Fleis­cher Stu­dios semi-regulars Hunky and Spunky got their start in “Always Kickin’” in the Color Clas­sics The­atri­cal Car­toon Series.

Always Kickin’ (1939) — Color Clas­sics The­atri­cal Car­toon Series

Mother don­key Hunky tries to teach her son Spunky how to exer­cise his back kicks to kick like a “man,” but he doesn’t take it seri­ously. All that Spunky wants to do is sing along with his lit­tle birdy friends. He even tries to fly, but the birds dis­cour­age this folly. Sud­denly, an ugly hawk swoops down and kid­naps one of the baby birds from its nest. Spunky sum­mons all his courage to climb up a moun­tain to the hawk’s lair, to con­front the bully. Hunky tells Spunky to use his kick­ing, and Spunky man­ages to knock the bad bird out cold so that good don­keys and good birds can live hap­pily ever after.

Come see “Always Kickin’” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

Somewhere In Dreamland (1936) — Color Classics Theatrical Cartoon Series

Somewhere In Dreamland (1936) - Color Classics

Some­where In Dream­land (1936) — Color Classics

CotD: “Some­where In Dream­land ” was Fleis­cher Stu­dios first car­toon filmed com­pletely in Technicolor.

Some­where In Dream­land (1936) — Color Clas­sics The­atri­cal Car­toon Series

A poignant story of two poor chil­dren who are out col­lect­ing fire­wood when they pass by a toy store, mar­ket and finally a bak­ery. They drool over the wares in the bak­ery win­dow but walk away before the owner can come out and present them with two cup­cakes. The kids go home and eat a mea­ger sup­per before going to bed. They both dream they are in dream­land, where every­thing is free-cookies, candy, cakes, pop­corn and toys. When they wake up, it’s all gone, but the three mer­chants have stopped by to lay out a huge feast for them. Lovely story with time­less music.

Watch “Some­where In Dream­land ” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

An Elephant Never Forgets (1934) — Color Classics Theatrical Cartoon Series

An Elephant Never Forgets (1934) - Color Classics

An Ele­phant Never For­gets (1934) — Color Classics

CotD: The early Two-Strip Tech­ni­color car­toon “An Ele­phant Never For­gets” make use of the three-dimensional back­ground effect achieved through use of a revolv­ing turntable set up behind the cel screen.

An Ele­phant Never For­gets (1934) — Color Clas­sics The­atri­cal Car­toon Series

Ani­mal chil­dren ship off to school in their daily rou­tine, then go through their lessons in a musi­cal review led by their duck teacher. Every­one remem­bers the rou­tine but the ele­phant. May­hem envelops the school­room every time that the myopic teacher turns his back.

Watch “An Ele­phant Never For­gets” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase