Here’s one of my favorite oddities: Horse Laffs (1934). The end title of this film proclaims you’ve just watched ‘A Daffy Doo-Funny Picture’.
It was most likely made by John Burton, who seems to have inherited the earlier Kinex Studio’s doodlebug puppets, or was still working with the studio that was run by brothers Frank and Elmer Young. They were still in business in the late 20’s, though stopped producing shorts for Kodak in 1930.
Here’s a really cool patent from the studio detailing a way to hold the replacement animation head in
place. This looks like one of the lions from Doodlebug Circus (1929)
Prints of Burton’s Pepper the Pup (1931) and Hector the Pup (1935) have surfaced over the years along with this short, but if others were made with sound besides these, so far they haven’t shown up.
One trade announcement listed Pinto Colvig as being involved with the shorts, though if he was a film with his work hasn’t surfaced as of yet.
It’s a real treat to see the puppets in color. One wonders if Burton animated the film on his own, or if the studio produced the short with other animators.
Carl Stalling most likely composed the music for this short. One of my favorite things about it is hearing the near-but-not quite version of ‘In the Good Old Summertime’ played in the first scene… no royalties to pay!
The film is on the Thunderbean set Stop Motion Marvels. We’re on the last 10 copies of it at this point, having recently sold a small batch to a distributor. I do want to reprint the older titles in the Thunderbean Catalog, but they may vanish while a few things are retooled (iike having the recently discovered 35mm of Hector the Pup on the set) if we can get around to it…..
So for now, here’s Horse Laffs: