February 15, 2018 posted by Steve Stanchfield

All About “The Vacationer’s Paradise” – plus “Triple Trouble”

Tuesday night here was preparation time for a bunch of 35mm and 16mm film. The stack of stuff to scan was getting pretty big, so I was quite glad to be able to find some time before classes to get some of them ‘in the can’

When I arrived to scan early today, the first thing I saw was someone underneath the desk in the Telecine room, fiddling with the spaghetti of wires that run the system. After seeing that less-than reassuring sign, I was pretty convinced that nothing would be getting scanned, but, lucky enough, it was a minor problem, and we were off to scanning. The goal today was to put several more of the sets into the ‘complete’ scanning category.

Happily, the last film for the Fleischer Rarities set, the “Traveltoon”, The Vacationer’s Paradise looked like it would run pretty good on the scanner, after spending the last week getting wound backwards and forwards gently daily, getting a camphor treatment. Here are some stills from this Fleischer Studio-produced oddity. It must have been produced fast, because, in addition to the fairly simple animated segments, they managed to film few frames of a fly (see below). It will be heading to cleanup this week (fly included) with the whole Fleischer Rarities set coming together in the next week or so; our hope was to get replication back by late February, but realistically it may be early March.

(click to enlarge)

Can you identify the Fleischer staffers caricatured in this shot?

Jerry Beck interviewed Hal Seeger way back in Mindrot #19 (1980) – here is an excerpt from that interview where Seeger talks about making this film for the Miami chapter of B’nai Brith:

Today’s other sessions of transfers ranged from films for ‘Official’ Thunderbean sets to extras for the ‘special’ and bonus discs. A few ‘Cartoons to the Rescue’ toons were in the batch, completing that set, finally. ‘Soundies’ and ‘Award’ shorts were also in the batch. More will be happening this next Monday, completing scanning on several more projects.

One of the things a friend lent me was a print of Triple Trouble, a Fleischer ‘Sneak, Snoop and Snitch’ cartoon from May, 1941. It’s a short I had never seen before; I think these and the Stone Age series must be the least-seen of the Fleischer output.

The Animated Antics and Gabby series seem to struggle to figure out a format. This entry is no exception, but it’s interesting and entertaining just the same. In this film, “Sneak Snoop and Snitch” are jailed on the back end of the Liliput’s Castle complex as the film opens. They are granted a pardon near the beginning of the film, The Document ends up in the Snitch’s hands. As he reads it, “It’s a Hap Hap Happy Day” blares proudly on the soundtrack (to remind us this is a spin-off of Gulliver’s Travels) . He tries to inform his bigger cohorts (he can talk in full sentences here, unlike the feature).

Ignoring his attempts to inform them, they spend the rest of the cartoon breaking out of the prison, unaware they can just leave. The rest of the cartoon is, predictably, pretty standard, with the usual wasted effort idea at the end. It ends with a physical takedown of Snitch more worthy of a Three Stooges comedy than an animated short! This film features both some nice animation as well as some just passable shots. Shamus Culhane and Nick Tafuri receive screen credit. Pinto Colvig seems to do all the voices for everyone. There are some pretty unexplained story holes in the film, but if you are willing to ignore those, it’s fun viewing.

Funny enough, unlike most of the Fleischer black and white shorts from the era, this film looks like it was actually painted in color – although, of course, the Animated Antics were only released in Black and White. I could be wrong here, but the tones seem closer to a black and white print of a color cartoon.

So, if you’ve never seen this one, after watching, consider yourself more informed!

Have a good week everyone!


  • Actually, listening closely, I come away with most of the voices being done by Jack Mercer, not Pinto Culvig. I think Culvig could be the voice of Snith, but I would have to listen again to be sure. I recognize Mercer, though, because I’ve been on a Trans-Lux FELIX THE CAT kick lately. This is indeed an interesting cartoon, though, and that resulting FLEISCHER RARETIES set will be amazing. I can’t wait to start receiving things from you, my friend! I know that CARTOONS TO THE RESCUE set (or disk) will be amazing!

    • Kevin-

      You’re right of course! Sneak and Snoop and definitely Mercer here!

  • The Culhane efforts at the Fleischer Studio in 1940 definitely tried to do some things, animation-wise, that were more expressive in personality animation than what the other units were doing (reflecting his time at Disney). But the stories they were attached to always seemed to either have big plot holes, focused on unappealing characters and/or never really picked up momentum to the finish. That’s pretty much the case with this one, as 1940-early ’41 was the weakest period for shorts in the studio’s history (including the Popeye series).

  • That wouldn’t be the last time a fly got trapped under cels. It also happened when Korea colorized Warner’s ALI-BABA BOUND.

  • Indeed, Animated Antics released only eleven shorts; none of which are very entertaining. Five of them were spinoffs from “Gulliver’s Travels,” including the first “Sneak, Snoop and Snitch” short titled “Jail Break,” 1940:

    The other three “Gulliver Travels” spinoffs are the Twinkletoes character, which are readily available on YouTube: “Twinkletoes Gets the Bird,” 1941
    “Twinkletoes: Where He Goes Nobody Knows,” 1941
    “Twinkletoes in Hat Stuff,” 1941

  • Bob Jaques guessed that the male lover onscreen in Vacationer’s Paradise may be Tom Johnson. The animation in the Culhane cartoon is beautiful… just a shame it isn’t very funny!

    • The Animated Antics are nobody’s favourite Fleischer cartoons. I still kinda like ’em though. Nice to see the Spies get some good animation in a cartoon of their own. Bowsky’s ‘Sneak, Snoop and Snitch’ is, by comparison, rougher sailing. For laughs though I’d nominate another title in the series such as ‘Wizard of Arts’ or possibly ‘Hat Stuff’.

    • The lover in that shot is indeed Tom Johnson…..he is my great uncle on my mother’s side and there is no doubt that it is he.

    • This is a really nice discovery. I just found out that Tom Johnson is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. I’ll have to go visit his gravesite soon!

  • I’m hearing mostly jack Mercer on that soundtrack. He’s doing an early incarnation of his “Professor” voice.

  • Steve I think you are correct. It looks like the studio produced this as if to release it in color but might have been turned down by Paramount because of costs and possibly because of the feuding between Max and Dave Fleischer at the time. Some of the Stone Age Cartoons produced in this time period seem to have the same shading.
    Speaking of the Stone Age Cartoons, hopefully the first one made that seems to be lost…WAY BACK WHEN A TRIANGLE HAD IT’S POINTS…will surface. There is always hope…after all SPREE FOR ALL was found not too long ago.
    As always keep up your tireless work on cartoon restoration..very much appreciated.

  • Like every Thursday, a great post Steve, and fantastic news too! Thank U!

  • I’ve heard of other studios painting their BG’s in color for black-and-white cartoons, so it’s possible that’s the case here. The BG’s for the Miami Fleischer cartoons tended to be slicker than the relatively gritty ones done in New York anyway.

    You’d think Sneak, Snoop, and Snitch would have been extradited to Blefescu where they came from.

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