Many years back, I was at a film show hunting through a milk crate full of 16mm prints. Film shows used to work like this – similar to a garage sale at times – where sometimes you would find a treasure mixed in with so much garbage.
I must have been excited because several other collectors came over and were thumbing through the same box as I pulled out prize after prize (to me… but maybe not to the other collectors!).
One of them *did* get a an older print of Buried Treasure out of that box and I managed to find this clip from a Pathe News newsreel. I think this dates from around 1930-1931 and is a fun little story about the Gingerbread Castle, a children’s attraction in Hamburg, NJ built by Joseph Urban, a designer of sets for big musicals. It was commissioned by Fred Henry Bennett, owner of FH Bennett Biscuit Co, creator of Milk Bone Dog Biscuits (its claim to fame).
I always thought that this castle is sort of like a living cartoon…or children’s book from the 20’s. Here’s a picture of me at the castle last year. In a perfect world, this would be Thunderbean’s World Headquarters!
The film also has an odd segment featuring wind-up toys chasing a Red Riding Hood doll! We featured this film on Grotesqueries, a DVD of fun (and sometimes spooky) shorts created by my friends Chris Buchman and Rex Schneider.
Since this post wasn’t really animated, here is a short that is: Keep This Under Your Hood, a short commercial produced by Cartoon Films Ltd in 1941. One of these Thursdays will dive further into the history of the Ub Iwerks Studios transformation into a small commercial-producing outfit. But for now, enjoy this Technicolor fun, courtesy of the National Archives!