Starting today, I’m going to devote each Thursday here on Cartoon Research exploring the film vault of Steve Stanchfield of Thunderbean Animation. Steve is graciously allowing us in to view his secret (and not-so-secret) stash of rare prints and restorations of classic cartoons – some he has released on DVD, others he has yet to – and in some cases, films he has no intention to release. Some weeks I’ll give some background on the film, other times Steve will fill us in personally on his discoveries. I hope you’ll make it a point to drop by each week, on Thunderbean Thursday.
“Mental, Dental, It’s Inconsequental!”
Boy Meets Dog is a seven minute commercial for Ipana Toothpaste disguised as a Walter Lantz Cartune. Many of these theatrical commercial animations are obscure, some are lost, but this one is most common – though you’ve never seen it look as good as this Steve’s restoration below. Steve reconstructed the complete film by transferring collector Craig Davison’s very good (but missing titles) Kodachrome original and inserting the original Ipana plugs from animator Mark Kausler’s 1981 Mizzell Films print (with sound, but with the Ipana section silent).
This is a second cartoon that adapted Gene Byrnes popular comic strip Reg’lar Fellers. The first was the final Ub Iwerks’ ComiColor cartoon, Happy Days (1936). Boy Meets Dog was produced by Walter Lantz and released in March 1938. Castle Films purchased it soon afterward, cut out the Ipana references and original titles and released it to the home movie market.
Boy Meets Dog is less about a boy meeting a dog than it is about the boy’s mean-tempered father getting a severe musical lesson in dental hygiene by some wallpaper gnomes. Burt Gillette supposedly directed. Billy Bletcher and Danny Webb are two of the most recognizable voices on the track (Keith Scott, any others sound familiar?). If anyone else has information or material to share about this cartoon, please do in the comments below. This version of Boy Meets Dog will be released next week on Thunderbean’s long-in-the-making Oswald and Other Cartoons from the Walter Lantz Studio DVD set.
Bonus Reading Material: Courtesy of Steve Stanchfield, this rare article about the short from a 1938 issue of Business Screen (click image below to enlarge and read):
Bonus Artwork: Courtesy of the collection of Cartoon Research reader Martin Almeyra (click thumbnails below to see larger image):