Creator of Batman: The Animated Series Bruce Timm has brought his vision of the Dark Knight back again with a new short celebrating 75 years of the crime fighter. The short, titled Batman: Strange Days, features “a lost tale from Batman’s past, the Dark Knight tracks a strange giant to the mysterious lair of Dr. Hugo Strange.” Produced in a tinted black and white, the short runs under 3 minutes but sets quite a mood of dark and dank bat-reality reminiscent of a ’30s serial.
Netflix announced it has signed a multi-year license agreement with Turner Broadcasting and Warner Brothers, thus opening the door for Cartoon Network and Adult Swim shows to come to instant online streaming. Beginning March 30, Cartoon Network shows like “Adventure Time,” “Johnny Bravo,” “Green Lantern: The Animated Series,” “Regular Show,” and “Ben 10“will have whole seasons available for streaming.
Adult Swim titles will be appearing soon. “Archer,” “The Boondocks,” “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” “Robot Chicken,” “Children’s Hospital” and more are now available for viewing. Futurama has been on Netflix for some time now.
Don’t expect a whole lot from “Toonami” block– now part of Adult Swim– on Netflix because of licensing issues for the older shows.
A short so funny we could make it a cartoon of the week, Ali Baba Bunny released on this date in 1957. One of the classic Chuck Jones Bugs Bunny pairings, this one also included the running gag about “I knew I should have taken that left turn at Albuquerque…”
After a goofed up left turn at Albuquerque (on their way to Pismo Beach), Bugs and Daffy end up in Ali Baba’s treasure-filled cave. Hassan Chop!
The end is absolutely hilarious! If you haven’t seen this one in a while, it is worth a watch again today on BCDB!
From 1950 we have this classic pairing of Daffy Duck and Porky Pig in Boobs In The Woods. This Looney Tune was directed by Robert McKimson and written by Warren Foster.
Porky sets out to the great outdoors to paint landscapes, but Daffy claims that the lake and mountains are his, and he refuses to let Porky paint them.
Songs include: “The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down” (Cliff Friend, Dave Franklin), Performed by Daffy Duck.
Robert McKimson paired Bugs Bunny with Gruesome Gorilla in 1950 for Hurdy-Gurdy Hare. Anytime Bugs got to play against the Gorilla it was fun, and this film was no exception. Seen it? Watch it today if it has been a while, or you need a good laugh or three!
Bugs buys a hurdy-gurdy and a monkey so that he can enter the music business, but the monkey rips him off.
Easily the most controversial of all Bob Clampett’s films, Coal Black And De Sebben Dwarfs was never intended to offend, but rather to entertain. What Clampett had intended as a celebration of Black music and culture of his time has turned into a touchstone of racist film making at Warner Bros. Additionally, being a War film, there are some very disparaging comments about the Japanese in the film. So what do you think– is this cartoon historically significant enough to rise above it’s racial overtones, or is this more of the man keeping prejudice alive?
A blackface parody of Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with a strong swing backbeat… and no apologies!
Mammy (who resembles Aunt Jemima) tells her “Honey Child” the story of “So White” and the wicked Queen who “was as rich as she was mean.” “She had everything,” including sugar, coffee, auto tires, scrap metal, Chattanooga choo-choos, and a family coat of arms consisting of dice and switchblades. So White is a lascivious sexpot forced to wash miles and miles of laundry as she sings “Blues in the Night.” “Magic Mirror on the wall, send me a prince about six feet tall,” intones the Queen. When zoot-suited, thick-lipped hipster Prince Chawmin’ (who has dice for teeth!) finds So White “dynamite,” the Queen calls in Murder Inc. to “black out So White.” Prince Chawmin’ and the dwarfs are all miniature caricatures of Fats Waller, except for one who resembles Stepin Fetchit. The prince kisses and tries to revive the heroine.
According to Beck and Friedwald, Coal Black is a Bob Clampett masterpiece, and certainly one of the greatest Warner Bros. cartoons ever made. Sure to offend, but not to be ignored.
In 1968, United Artists (then owners of the A.A.P. library of pre-1948 Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons) compiled the cartoons they considered too potentially offensive to be shown on television, and withheld those cartoons from distribution. AT that time, UA felt that these eleven cartoons should be withheld from broadcast because the depictions of black people in the cartoons were deemed too offensive for contemporary audiences.
This cartoon is one of those withheld from distribution, one of the so-called “Censored 11.” (The “Eleven” are: Hittin’ the Trail for Hallelujah Land (MM,1931), Sunday Go to Meetin’ Time (MM, 1936), Clean Pastures (MM, 1937), Uncle Tom’s Bungalow (MM, 1937), Jungle Jitters (1938), The Isle of Pingo Pongo (MM, 1938), All This and Rabbit Stew (MM, 1941), Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs (MM, 1943), Tin Pan Alley Cats (MM, 1943), Angel Puss (LT, 1944), and Goldilocks and the Jivin’ Bears (MM, 1944)). More recently, when Ted Turner became owner of the library, he continued the ban, and refused to allow any of these cartoons to be shown or released on video. To date, these shorts have not been officially broadcast on television since 1968. However, according to a recent e-mail, a woman in Phoenix claims that she has seen this on television there recently.
Along with black stereotypes, this cartoon features savagely anti-Japanese jokes (the film was made a year after Pearl Harbor).
Vivian Dandridge (the voice of So White) and Ruby Dandridge (the voice of Queenie) were the sister and mother, respectively, of actress-singer Dorothy Dandridge.
Jimmy Durante is caricatured.
A unique “That’s All, Folks!” card features an animated shot of Mammy and a little girl rocking in an armchair.
Working title: “So White And De Sebben Dwarfs.” It was changed at the last minute because someone in film marketing at Warner Bros. pointed out that in those days the theaters sometimes included the name of the cartoon short on the marquee, and was concerned that some people would think that the Disney feature was being shown, and be angry about the “false advertising.” So the name was changed and became “Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs”.
Clampett wanted an all-black band to score the cartoon, much like how the Fleischers had Cab Calloway score the Betty Boop cartoons they were featured in. Producer and noted tight wad Schlesinger refused to fund the endeavor, and the black band Clampett had hired, Eddie Beals and His Orchestra, only recorded the music for the final kiss sequence. The rest of the film was scored, as was standard for Warner cartoons at the time, by Carl W. Stalling.
In the late seventies, Bob Clampett defended this cartoon. He said:
In 1942, during the height of anti-Japanese sentiment during World War II, I was approached in Hollywood by the cast of an all-black musical off-broadway production called Jump For Joy while they were doing some special performances in Los Angeles. They asked me why there weren’t any Warner’s cartoons with black characters and I didn’t have any good answer for that question. So we sat down together and came up with a parody of Disney’s “Snow White” and “Coal Black” was the result. They did all the voices for that cartoon, even though Mel Blanc’s contract with Warners gave him sole voice credit for all Warners cartoons by then. There was nothing racist or disrespectful toward blacks intended in that film at all, nor in Tin Pan Alley Cats which is just a parody of jazz piano great Fats Waller, who was always hamming into the camera during his musical films. Everybody, including blacks had a good time when these cartoons first came out. All the controversy about these two cartoons has developed in later years merely because of changing attitudes toward black civil rights that have happened since then.
Alternate Title: “So White And De Sebben Dwarfs” (Working Title).
From 1949, Hare Do is one of the great Bugs Bunny-Elmer Fudd meetings. Directed by Isadore Freleng, the short was animated by Ken Champin, Virgil Ross, Gerry Chiniquy and Manuel Perez, this short has a surprise character in addition to the two stars.
Another classic episode as Elmer chases Bugs into a theater and ends up being the main attraction and the main course for a lion.
A painting in the theater is apparently of a nude lady! (However, there’s not much detail.)
The last cartoon where Bugs is seen sitting on The Warner Bros. Shield and then he pulls it down.
An early Looney Tune, Bosko In Dutch is generally unremarkable in its story telling, animation or direction. However, the short is important because this was the first cartoon that one of the greatest cartoon directors ever supervised– albeit uncredited.
Bosko and Honey get in and out of trouble. Just like usual, only thins time in Holland. You can tell because every building has a windmill.
The last appearance of Goopy Geer (seen here in a cameo).
The first cartoon directed by Isador “Friz” Freleng (who was uncredited).
The song “Ach du lieber Augustine,” better known to school kids as “Hail to the Bus Driver Man,” is on the soundtrack.
Back to World War II with Herr Meets Hare, an Isadore Freleng propaganda film from 1945. And who wouldn’t want to see Adolf and Herman face off against.… Bugs Bunny!
Hermann Goering heads to the Black Forest for rest and relaxation; because of a wrong turn in Albuquerque, so does Bugs, who encounters “Fatso” while trying to get to Las Vegas. Bugs taunts the Nazi, who captures him and takes him to Adolf Hitler, but Bugs gets the last laugh– disguised as Stalin.
Great parodies of Goering and Hitler. Lew Lehr is also caricatured.
The first short in which Bugs takes that wrong turn at Albuquerque.
It’s Oscar time! Disney comes in strong and stop motion is this years darling.
This morning, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for this years Oscars. There are two main areas of competition for animation, the Feature Length and the short awards. This year, the nominees are…
In a word, Disney. The perennial animation powerhouse leads the field with three films in consideration for Best Animated Feature. Perhaps even more surprising is that DreamWorks best hope– Rise Of The Guardians- was left out altogether. Also interesting is that there are three stop-motion features in the list this year, in a short field of only five films.
For Best Animated Feature, the nominees are:
The field for Best Animated Short Film is a diverse field, as usual. The nominees here are:
The Oscar nominations for the 85th Academy Awards were announced this morning by Seth MacFarlane and Emma Stone. The announcements were made at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2012 will be presented on Oscar Sunday, February 24, 2013, at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood California and hosted by Seth MacFarlane. This year, the Oscar show also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide.