WHAT ABOUT THAD?
March 30, 2015 posted by

Paramount Sales News #44: Famous Studios Begins

July-October 1942

We have a slight gap here, with no panels for the month of August. Maybe the change in the studio’s name, which finally took effect in the screen credits in Summer 1942, had something to do with it. But somehow I think not…

Actually, many of the earlier Famous cartoons were defacto Fleischer productions (You’re a Sap Mr. Jap, Alona on the Sarong Seas) since they were well into production before the changeover occurred. But then again, I don’t think Max or Dave were even in the building when they were being made, so it’s a moot point.

July 8, 15, and 29, September 23, and October 21 all appear to be Larz Bourne’s work, who signed his name once in last week’s installment. I like his rendition of Superman—super cartoony and certain to infuriate the DC purists.

07-01-42

07-01-42

07-08-42

07-08-42

07-15-42

07-15-42

07-22-42

07-22-42

07-29-42

07-29-42

09-23-42

09-23-42

09-30-42

09-30-42

10-07-42

10-07-42

10-14-42

10-14-42

10-21-42

10-21-42

10-28-42

10-28-42

ABOVE: You’re A Sap, Mr. Jap (released August 7th) and BELOW: Japoteurs (released September 18th). Note: neither film is identified as a Fleischer Studios or Famous Studios production.

BELOW: A Hull Of A Mess and Showdown (both released October 16th) were the first Paramount cartoons labeled as “A Famous Studios Production”.

10 Comments

  • Jack Ward and Jack Mercer deserve major posthumous kudos for writing “A Hull of a Mess.” It’s one of the most clever cartoons I’ve ever seen.

    • That one was certainly an eye-opening title alone to the very end. You can tell they shrugged off the Fleischer influence very well.

  • Superheroes aren’t allowed to be anything other than dark and grim anymore. Those Superman drawings would give Chris Nolan and Zack Snyder nightmares.

    Interesting to see Wimpy here, since the shorts had phased him out for a couple years (he won’t appear onscreen again until Famous does a “Popeye Meets Ali Baba” cheater in 1950)

    • Exactly. A darn shame.

  • It’s kind of ironic to see the Swe’Pea love in the first batch of promo under the Famous banner, since the studio never used the Segar design in any of its 100-plus Popeye shorts (they’d use a baby named Swe’Pea, but he looked more like an updated version of the kid with the zipper mouth from “Sock-A-Bye Baby” — the studio wouldn’t use the Segar design again until the KFS Popeyes).

    Bluto also gets a remodeling for “A Hull of A Mess” — Al Eugster’s love of sharp angles shows up in a far more muscular Bluto that what the Fleischers had used. It would take a few years, but that would become the default design for the character for the rest of the theatrical series.

    • Swee’Pea also got redesigned in the comic strip in the 1950’s, while Bela Zaboly was drawing it. Instead of a baby in a nightshirt crawling on all fours, Swee’pea was a little boy in a sailor suit who could walk. It basically looked like Swee’Pea’s head on someone else’s body. When Bud Sagendorf took over the strip in the late 1950’s, Swee’pea went back to Segar’s design.

  • More great finds, Thad!!

  • What’s up with that “©1929” copyright date?

    • That’s the comic strip copyright date.

  • Was the Popeye-meets-Churchill ad intended to promote “Spinach Fer Britain”?

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