Much time has passed, and it’s great to be back for a fun summertime Cartoon Research post. The Cartoons On Film crew and friends have been busy with some pre-existing projects and some other new ones on the horizon, which will undoubtedly be announced here in the near future. Stay tuned for more!
The summer season here in New York City promises to be an exciting one for archival animation screenings, especially as far as early animation is concerned. My last 16mm Cartoon Carnival screening in May, which featured silent animation and live piano accompaniment by Charlie Judkins, was a superb experience. We had a packed house and our event was recorded as part of Cartoon Carnival: The Documentary (hint: more news on that project is coming up very soon.)
Next in the Carnival series is A Night on the Town. You’ve all seen cartoons where characters are spending a fun night on the town (or getting into strange situations out-of-doors in the dusk hours) and so, with the help of a user poll in our Carnival Facebook group, it was decided that this would be a fun summer theme for the next screening. If you’re in the area, come on over to The City Reliquary at 370 Metropolitan Ave. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, this Sunday 7/26 at 8pm to join in the fun. Facebook event here. We’ll be enjoying these cartoons in the Reliquary’s beautiful backyard. Yes, this is a rare outdoor 16mm screening event–just cross your fingers that the weather holds up.
By the way, what’s your favorite “night on the town” cartoon? Here’s one of mine:
But that’s not all, folks. Now on to the racy stuff: Pre-Code Cartoons. As part of this year’s Animation Block Party festival, and in my third year of curating historical animation for the festival, we have decided to put together an eyebrow-raising assortment of wild cartoons predating the days of Hay’s Motion Picture Code (1934). This special BAMcinematék screening will be held on Saturday, August 1st at 4:30pm.
When most people think of pre-code films, raunchy early sound titles come to mind… while outrageous silent films are often overlooked. So, in addition to some fun Fleischer and Van Beuren attention-getters, and as an early animation archivist, I’ve made sure to inject some silent-era rarities into the mix. We’ll be showing Felix the Cat’s debut film, a fun Bray cartoon which plays with cross-dressing and misogyny, and a super rare entry from the Bobby Bumps series in which director Earl Hurd’s hand supplies the cigarette that causes poor Bobby and Fido to hallucinate.
After we move from silents to early sound cartoons, the program rewinds a few years and then climaxes with that infamous silent cartoon for adults starring a character whose first name is “Everready.” I think you know which film I mean…and you’ve been warned! There will be a post-show Q&A with yours truly and noted animation director J.J. Sedelmaier, so don’t miss this.