Coar-Toon Rehash
October 18, 2022 posted by Bob Coar

2022 Oddity Space

First off, let me say thanks to whoever is selecting the films for SUNDAY NIGHT CARTOONS on MeTV+. Those quality prints are bringing me toons I’ve never seen before. Normally at this point I’d raise a thumb and say “Duuude!”, but these days I let everyone choose their own pronoun.

ODDITY #1

While researching another article I stumbled across HOLIDAY IN MEXICO, a live-action feature from M-G-M, produced by Joe Pasternak, known as Hollywood’s ‘king of musicals’. In the silent days Pasternak had been with Universal Pictures as an assistant director on Lon Chaney’s PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. At M-G-M he produced ANCHORS AWEIGH in 1945, which had Gene Kelly dancing alongside Jerry Mouse. George Sydney, director of ANCHORS AWEIGH, helmed HOLIDAY IN MEXICO a year later. That movie starts with a short animated sequence. Naturally, William Hanna and Joe Barbera were involved.

It’s sage advice not to believe everything you read on the internet. Ah, but where to draw the line? The IMDb page for HOLIDAY IN MEXICO is riddled with anomalies.

On top of which, mostly everyone I’m interested in is listed as “uncredited”, so I have no way to double-check the info. William Hanna is named as a co-producer. Fred Quimby is named as Production Manager. William Hanna is listed again, this time as an Assistant Director, along with Joseph Barbera and eight other animation professionals. This is where it gets weird . . .

First we should examine the brief animated segment that opens Holiday In Mexico:

And that’s all the animation in the movie, only one-minute-and-twenty-seconds of it. So why would the animation crew – according to IMDB – need ten assistant directors? Hanna and Barbera, who were employees of M-G-M, makes sense. Let’s look at the other eight.

Charles Nichols was from Disney. He’d animated on both shorts and features. His IMDb page lists no work at Disney in 1946.

Don Lusk from Disney was pretty busy there in 1946 animating on a short for Kotex and two features.
Wolfgang Reitherman was one of Disney’s “Nine Old Men”, but also has no credit listed at that studio in 1946.

Don Patterson had been in the thick of it at Disney for a decade, but was just moving over to M-G-M.

Irv Spence was actually with M-G-M, but did one Pluto short at Disney in 1946.

Iwao Takamoto had been taken to a Japanese internment camp from Disney during the war, and was just returning to Hollywood and Disney.

Tom Ray was an old M-G-M hand just returning from military service.

Jay Sarbry was an animator from Columbia Pictures’ Screen Gems, which was just starting to use UPA to make their cartoons.

This all seems top-heavy to me for such a short segment. Added to this are seven Animation Directors:

Robert Clampett left Warner Brothers in 1946 to start his own shop, so he may have been available.

Chuck Jones directed half-a-dozen cartoons at Warner Brothers in 1946.

Judge Whitaker was a character animator on Donald Duck shorts at Disney.

Ed Friedman had been with Ubbe Iwerks’ studio, and in 1946 wrote a cartoon for Columbia’s Screen Gems.

Václav Bedrich lived in Czechoslovakia doing stop-motion.

Joe Barbera again.

William Hanna again.

The impression of this all being a hoax heightens. Frank Tashlin was kicking around Hollywood’s smaller animation studios during this period. Tashlin is listed as a storyboard artist for HOLIDAY IN MEXICO beside Iwao Takamoto and Joe Barbera.

Backgrounds are attributed to Disney artist Maurice Noble, who’d just done military toons and was on his way to Warner Brothers. Gerald Nevius had been a background painter at Disney, while Richard Bickenbach was then animating for Warner Brothers. The Effects Animator is listed as Bob Bemiller, who previously held that job at M-G-M and just came off some war work.

Seventeen animators are listed, which is overkill for a project this size. William Hanna is one, along with Irv Spence and Tom Ray. Jack Zander makes sense. Zander recently returned to M-G-M after doing military work in New York. He didn’t stay long. Zander went back to NYC to kick-start the animated television commercial industry.

Other animators listed for HOLIDAY IN MEXICO are: Emery Hawkins, then moving from Lantz to Disney by way of Oscar Productions; Robert Bentley just came to M-G-M from Lantz; George Germanetti was then in New York at Famous Studios; Carl Urbano was working for Hugh Harmon; Ed Barge, Kenneth Muse, Ray Patterson, and Bill Littlejohn were then at M-G-M; George Gordon left M-G-M a year before for John Sutherland Productions, where George Grandpré was settled in; Stan Quackenbush had been with Disney and then Fleischer in Miami; Warren Schloat had been with Disney; and Grant Simmons was at Screen Gems. Assistant Animators Barney Posner and Mike Lah were M-G-M guys. Inbetweener Robert Gentle was an M-G-M Background Artist.

Added to all that fire power is an impressive roster of Ink & Paint ladies. Mary Tebb is named as I&P Supervisor. Tebb had been Disney’s ink and paint department early on, then to Ubbe Iwerks’ shop and Warner Brothers. Now Mary Tebb held the title Color Models Supervisor back at Disney. Ida Greenberg, once at Fleischer Studios, and Martha Sigall, once at Warner Brothers, were both at M-G-M in 1946. Mary Blair’s name rings less true because she and her husband Lee were in New York setting up Film Graphics.

Women in the business are generally harder to track. But this list is a whose who. Mary Jane Cole had been with Disney I&P, at least until the 1941 strike. Rita Giddings, Flornce Heintz, and Colene Gonzalez were with M-G-M. Raynell Day was originally with Warner Brothers, had taken a break to join Fleischer in Miami, then returned to WB as ink and paint supervisor for Bob Clampett’s unit. Buf Nerbovig did I&P at Disney, where her sister Helen ran the Cel Setup Department. Carmen Sanderson had just started out at Disney. Ruth Thompson had worked her way up the ranks at Disney from inker to Scene Planner.

Obviously, these IMDB credits are bogus. But why would someone go to the trouble of faking credits on an obscure movie? Bringing us to this next bit.


ODDITY #2

Researching these bios led me to Aldo Boomer Productions. According to my internet, such a company exists. The historical record says different. Aldo Boomer Productions doesn’t appear anywhere in the Media History database. It has no IMDb or BCDB page. It only shows up on a series of recently posted pages at Cartoonideas Wiki.

Okay! If researching old animation weren’t already challenging enough, some geniuses started a fan fiction sight for people to create fake information about the subject.

What the Hell, (insert preferred pronoun)!?!?!


I’m happy to announce the official release of the first volume of my series A CENTURY OF AMERICAN ANIMATION, available on Kindle as ebook or paperback.

22 Comments

  • The holiday fun doesn’t end with the animation department. IMDb has also managed to identify over seventy uncredited extras in “Holiday in Mexico”, including Fidel Castro — yes, THAT Fidel Castro! (Castro was studying law at the University of Havana in 1946.)

    It’s too bad those Aldo Boomer cartoons aren’t real, because the titles sound pretty good. I love it that he made a cartoon out of the second movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony; one gets so tired of the Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody all the time.

  • That’s the unfortunate side effect to the ability of anyone to submit to imdb: You get people that pass off their fan fiction as fact. Two of the worst offenders in recent memory were someone who submitted that Plus One Animation worked on Count Duckula (Plus One hadn’t even been founded yet back in 1988), and Shanghai Morning Sun Animation being listed on shows there is no proof that they ever worked on (like Rocko’s Modern Life, which was all Sunwoo and, in the final season, Rough Draft).

    That’s why, when it comes to imdb, it’s a good idea to cross reference with other sources. When it comes to overseas studios, I tend to trust TVTropes’s various articles, because they can be peer reviewed.

    • Some reddit user’s fan-made poster for “The Bowling Alley-Cat” was even put on the short’s IMDB page by someone without credit and since it’s fanart it’s not compliant with IMDB’s policy. The creator of this piece complained to the site, the poster was removed, but it went up again. It’s still up there, and I’d say that creator has done the research on the poster’s layout to be decently authentic. The creator never bothered with this debacle anymore.

    • More obviously false and so I guess more harmless, but I also remember at one point (about 12-14 years ago) a number of sites said Aardman were working on or a considering a stop-motion Count Duckula film!

    • This was actually one of the main reasons I decided to start the SpongeBob Music Identification Blog in 2010. Back then, there weren’t many sources of information on the subject other than the SpongeBob Wiki, which was full of made-up titles and inaccurate composer names for numerous tracks that weren’t actually identified yet (and in some cases, tracks that had been identified but removed from the APM Music site). Despite obvious red flags like the fake titles yielding no search results other than the wiki, people took the misinformation as gospel and repeated it on other sites, which greatly frustrated me as someone with a genuine interest in identifying the show’s stock music, so I took it upon myself to start the blog and track down the correct information myself (since after all, I had an overabundance of free time and no one else seemed to be bothering, so I figured why not).

      The false information still persisted for a while (early on, I would frequently receive comments informing me of tracks that had been “identified” on the wiki and asking me why I wasn’t listing them on the blog), but over time my blog grew a dedicated following of other fans who pointed me to some excellent resources I wasn’t previously aware of (such as the ASCAP and BMI databases) and with their help, I eventually managed to identify virtually every track used in the show, including many that I honestly thought would never be identified.

      By the end of the decade, the blog became too daunting to keep maintaining by myself, and with the rise of several YouTube channels devoted to identifying the show’s music (some of them even going as far as contacting the composers and music editors themselves), and the wiki seeming to have cleaned up its act, I felt that the blog had fulfilled its original purpose and decided to retire it. Still though, I’m glad I started it and was able to keep it going for as long as I did, as many of the resulting track identifications and research may not have happened otherwise.

  • The notion that a cheapo outfit like Republic Pictures would spring for Technicolor in cartoons is head-shake inducing. Of course, it does look like someone rearranged a Disney credits card. That razor-sharp 1986 in the MPPDA certificate, versus the blurry text, is a loverly touch, isn’t it?

    I have seen numerous comments over the years regarding folks of a certain class and type (which shall remain unnamed) that do this sort of thing on IMDB, for reasons of their own. Not much, I think, you can do about it save for being very wary and reading around on the subject with primary sources or reliable texts (Barrier, Kaufman, Baxter, Beck, Gerstein, et alia).

  • Thanks, BC, for clarifying Buf Nerbovig’s gender.

    The spelling of her forename – “Buf” – has thrown me off since the middle 1970s, when I first saw it in the opening credits of the Popeye® shorts produced by, iirc, JACK KINNEY PRODUCTIONS.

  • One of my favorite IMDb “oddities” is that the Fleischer Betty Boop cartoons are classified as “TV Episodes.”

    • Own any GAc or Three Stooges DVDs? They all say “select episodes”.

      • “Episodes” is bad enough, but the really ridiculous thing is calling them TV shows. As if that’s how they were being shown back in 1930. And besides, the IMDb correctly classifies most of the other theatrical cartoons as “shorts.”

  • I just thought that entire segment was animated by Ken Muse because the way the birds move gave me that impression. So Hanna and Barbera might be involved. Backgrounds could be by anyone; it’s not like MGM didn’t have an art department just for the titles. Speaking of, that segment itself is also a bit random…
    Still, it’s certainly a bit weird to not see animation-related credits here. Same situation with the stop-motion animation scenes that opened Ziegfeld Follies. The movie doesn’t even have song credits for being a musical, just Georgie Stoll as the music director.

  • That Aldo Boomer business is strange… I don’t get the purpose behind it. I wonder if it is a hoax or, due to the obviously unbelievable nature of the edited screenshots, a joke. In either case, why? If you look at the page for “The Ragtime Cat (Boomertoons)” you’ll see at the bottom a screenshot where the director has a last name of “Bisney” and the story is by “Walt Mousey.”

    On the one hand, it doesn’t feel like they’re trying very hard to convince anyone this is real, but that’s a real long list of titles to come up with for no reason. I wonder if that title list is someone playing around with AI generated text as an experiment.

    • idk why everyone is upset about this. it’s obviously a joke spoofing cartoons from that era. No one will actually think it’s a real studio.

      A cartoon hoax that actually got me is people posting fake Iwao Takamoto concept art for Scooby-Doo Where Are You that was drawn in the 2000s by an entirely different artist. It’s all over Twitter

    • The front page of the wiki seems to indicate that this is simply meant to be a fan site for people to post purely fictitious information about studios and films that don’t really exist, rather than an actual attempt to confuse researchers by presenting misinformation as fact. Unfortunately, none of the individual articles on the site make this clear, so someone stumbling across one of the articles at random could easily mistake it for fact, especially if there’s nothing to obviously indicate that the information is false.

      As to why anyone would even bother to do such a thing, the majority of contributors to the site are probably very young kids with too much free time, most likely on the spectrum. I’ll freely admit to doing this same type of thing when I was younger, except that I never tried to post any of it online publicly (not that I could anyway, since wikis didn’t exist yet when I was a kid, so instead I would just save it on my computer as Word documents).

  • that Aldo Boomer Thing sounds like something out of The Mandela Effect

  • It’s a long-forgone conclusion of mine that IMDb is a misinformation free-for-all that any serious fan or researcher should avoid consulting.

    BCDB also seems to have a sizable amount of dubious and incorrect information, and doesn’t provide sources for its information.

    The IAD (bias disclosure: I’ve contributed to and support this site) aims to do better. Only registered users who volunteer and are granted “Researcher” privileges by the webmaster can add information to the database, and additions have to be approved by the webmaster. “Researchers” must also supply a source for each credit when adding credits to an entry, and these are shown on the entry’s “Page History” tab; credits with “Unverified” as the source are discouraged and are clearly denoted as such in the entry’s credits section. However, the “researchers” have more-or-less consisted of ordinary fans, not all of whom have exhibited good discernment or avoided unreliable sources, so the site still has its share of misinformation. I think its approach has good potential, though, if more serious animation researchers and discerning fans were to get on board.

  • When studying for my article on Tex Avery’s lost Lantz cartoons (https://buddyscartoons.blogspot.com/p/the-lost-tex-averys.html), you find very strange IMDb claims. They say he was behind The Tree Doctor. Who decided that?

    I have read somewhere before that The Impossible Possum was by him, but it was not IMDb.

  • “Aldo Boomer” suggests “Auld (or Old) [Baby] Boomer”… In any event, someone has entirely too much time on their hands.

    I approve. 😀

  • Why would anyone do that? Go on the Internet and tell lies?

  • I might be getting shot five thousand times for saying this one word, but it all comes down to:

    AUTISM.

    Yes, I know NOT ALL autistic kids are like this, but i was one of those people.

    • Time to clarify. I was playing around as well . . . God bless Old Baby Boomer. My Mom does puzzles. i rip apart history and try to reflect it. Who am I to disrespect peaceful ways others choose to pass their time? Be they someone on the Spectrum, or a victim of PTSD, or some poor soul stranded in Palookaville . . . I’m going all sappy, and its probably entitled Frat Boys. Anyway, have fun. Thank you for clearly marking the site.
      Faking IMDb info – data vandalism, pure and simple.

  • Meh, I’d cut the wiki creator on Oddity 2 some slack, clearly just some fanmade sort of deal, harmless stuff.

    IMDB however, yeah there definitely needs to be quality control of sorts, it’s a sad state of affairs that Wikipedia nowadays is more reliable (since lots of related information at least gets cited). IMDB as of now has Jim Tyer credited as an animator on ‘Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree’, need I say more?

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