WHAT ABOUT THAD?
October 27, 2014 posted by

Max Fleischer Promo Art #22

Bigger than MacMurray, Lombard, and Bing? The ads seem to think so. I love that the marketing people promoted the idea that Popeye and Betty had the same star power as the real-life Paramount players. If only Max and Dave’s names had that cache!

Shield your eyes from the Jan. 5, 1938 mention of “Popeye scripts.” Because we know that animation scripts didn’t exist before 1960! (Despite some guys named Shamus Culhane, Myron Waldman, and Al Eugster saying otherwise – but who are they.)

Jan.-Feb. 1938 Click each to enlarge:

01-05-38

01-05-38

01-12-38

01-12-38

01-19-38

01-19-38

01-26-38

01-26-38

02-02-38

02-02-38

02-09-38

02-09-38

02-16-38

02-16-38

02-23-38

02-23-38

Directly below are a few samples of what cartoon shorts the Paramount salesmen were pushing to theaters at the time these promotional pieces appeared in print.

Above: Let’s Celebrake (January 21st, 1938) Below: Be Up To Date (February 25th 1938)

5 Comments

  • Don’t mean to be nitpicky, but those ads including the real-life stars only go so far as to show Popeye and Betty on equal footing the the respective actors and actresses. The Bing ad is just a cute reminder that many of these major star vehicles are often paired with a Popeye cartoon and share their success in a way. I doubt even at Popeye’s zenith the Fleischers would have dared to suggest Popeye was a bigger star than Paramount’s golden boy, Bing Crosby. If it does, it’s only in a subliminal way.

    The Fred MacMurray ad has a tinge of irony in it. Popeye’s a good draw, but NOT because he’s handsome!

  • So, Feb 23rd is the official trade ad appearance of the “death-throes” Betty design.

    So noted.

  • The newer character design for Betty shows up on 2-23-38! No earrings, and now there’s a chin!

  • Speaking of scripts in classic cartoons, Gordon Sheehan also said that they had scriptwriters on the Popeye volume two box set.

  • Betty appears to be giving all her stuff away. Poor business model.

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