This TB Thursday is a short one this week; since the summer is coming to end (and school!) quickly, we’re trying to get as many projects wrapped up as soon as possible. The Fleischer Rarities set will likely be finished this week and ready to go to replication, while a lot of Friday is a crammed transfer session. We’re attempting to get several of the projects scanned. I’m also happy to report that tomorrow I’ll be working on the HD/ Blu-ray version of Grotestqueries with the Blu-Mouse Studio.
The other big goal this week here is to get things back to people, and send a handful of long promised ‘Care Packages’ to various people. As I was digging around earlier this week, I pulled this scan out and thought it would be a fun one for this post.
Aladdin And The Magic Lamp (1939) was one of a series of ads that George Pal produced from the mid-30s into the early 40s. This was was created for Pal’s main client at the time, Philips Radio. These ads, produced at Pal’s Studio in the Netherlands, are easily some of the most elaborate stop-motion animation produced in the 30s.
Of course, Aladdin was a popular character this particular year, with Popeye playing the hero in a Technicolor two-reel special featuring an similar title.
The Puppetoons hold up really well today, and are wonderful pre-cursers to the direction the industry is growing into now. Let me take a moment to recommend Arnold Leibovit’s The Puppetoon Movie blu ray (and coming soon on DVD).
The best of these shorts portray a generally happier, Technicolored world in comparison to the brilliant work of Entomologist-Turned Russian animator Ladislas Sterewich (Sterewicz), who’s large body of beautifully nightmarish visions are still hard to see, save for a few films such as The Mascot (1933) and some of his early shorts starring bugs, including The Cameraman’s Revenge (1912).
This particular print (in 35mm Nitrate) appears to have been used as a master for a 16mm version, with all references to Philips removed (just the last two shots). It’s a great example of how loose, fun and well -posed the Puppetoon animation had progressed into by the late 30s. It has a hand-drawn feel, and that isn’t a surprise: in the early 40s when Pal had his Puppetoon Studio in the states, some of the animation (especially walk cycles) was originally animated on paper, then translated into puppet pieces. Years back, animator and great puppeteer Bob Baker told me that there was one artist at Pal’s that was especially good at this. He had come over to the states with Pal. I have to wonder if this drawn technique was being used as early as these shorts. It appears that way to me.
Anyway, enjoy this cute little short and be sure to watch it in HD. Have a good week everyone!