WHAT ABOUT THAD?
January 26, 2015 posted by

Paramount Sales News #35: Animated Antics

As we enter the final year of Max and Dave Fleischer’s studio, we find the disappointing Animated Antics getting top billing in these little spaces. To be a fly on the wall when they decided Twinkletoes would make a possible reoccurring character. Fortunately he was only revived one more time years later in Dan Gordon’s A Jolly Good Furlough to be shot in the head.

February 26’s panel made the call of Popeye being draft exempt a little prematurely… The next few batches will be all about Paramount promoting the fact that the sailor is now fighting the good fight.

January-February 1941 (click each to enlarge)

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01-29-41

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The promotional print cartoons above appeared in the pages of Paramount Sales News – a trade publication aimed at theatre salesmen and their exhibitor clients. The actual animated shorts in release at the time these were published include the first two, which were specifically pushed by name (the images most likely adapted from their one-sheet art). Bring Himself Back Alive (the title a take-off of famed animal hunter Frank Buck’s best-selling book “Bring ‘Em Back Alive”) was released December 20th 1940 – did they really think a cartoon about an unlikable animal killer would be funny? Problem Pappy (below) was released three weeks later on January 10th 1941, and is a much better film.

8 Comments

  • BRING HIMSELF BACK ALIVE is just one of those gruesome “moral” shorts in the vain of BE KIND TO “AMINALS” and BE HUMAN.

  • Geez! Have not seen BRING HIMSELF BACK ALIVE in over 50 years… It’s really, um, something! Almost has that Screen Gems vibe where your only reaction to each weird gag is a sort of “Well, that just happened.”

  • Say what you want about the suits at Paramount stealing the cartoon studio away from Max, but when you look at all of the post-Boop Miami efforts to create another series alongside Popeye, Paramount wasn’t wrong to push the Superman series on the studio, going by the average level of comedy in the Gabby shorts and the Animated Antics.

  • Say, isn’t the music at the beginning of “Problem Pappy” the same tune used for Kellogg’s cereal commercials – “A Kellogg’s good morning, the best to you each morning”, around the time of Huckleberry Hound?
    (Answer: it is.)

  • I thought Disney did a better job of parodying Frank Buck.

  • Actually, in “A Jolly Good Furlough” Popeye shot but missed.

    • Sure… but target practice is still about all Twinkletoes is good for. 🙂

    • Could be worse. Prince David and Princess Glory could’ve gotten their own series.

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