We’re in the homestretch of the Fleischers’ reign now. There’s a fascinating history behind how Paramount got the deal to do the Superman cartoons (a series the Fleischers never wanted to do), but I don’t want to give away any spoilers just yet. They were an expensive series: the wonderful 1941 debut cost $50,000 and each subsequent one was $30,000. Quite a step up from the $16,500 apiece Popeyes.
Mr. Bug Goes To Town would be released the first week of December, 1941. In October 1941, Paramount Sales News began trumpeting the forthcoming full-length Fleischer film in the trades. It was a “feature motion picture cartoon” with a modest budget of $600,000. The cost and production timeline of Dumbo was very similar – and as much as I love the Fleischers’ second foray into feature animation, there’s no debating what the better deal was.