Although a short week, over the course of the last 7 days or so we’ve managed to get out the new finished special discs to everyone. Were close to getting out the rest of the special sets that were produced before.
Sadly, the Kickstarter for the Flip the Frog project didnt get funded, but we’re putting our collective heads together to work on the strategy moving forward.
Work continues on Fleischer Classics. Were close, with one film left to transfer. Hollywood Rarities, a live action set, will have its final films transferred Thursday along with other stuff including some Little King cartoons – some, more to come. Noveltoons and Flip the Frogs are getting cleaned up and looking amazing. The last of the Screen Songs are not here yet. Mid Century Modern 1 and 2 have finished masters; its now a matter of finances to send them in for replication.
Were doing another special set called Cartoons to the Rescue with 13 surprise cartoons. Some really cool things from Nitrate and some IB Technicolor. Proceeds will go directly to help with replication. Thanks to everyone for supporting these things through these years. Details on this new set here on the IAD forum:
One of my friends read last weeks blog and asked me about my experiences watching animation growing up. From a fairly early age, fuller animation was always the thing I was most interested in. The early 70s were full of pretty limited animation shows of course, but they were also full of classic animated shorts showing on (mostly) UHF stations. I’m sure many of you remember how exciting it was when, all of a sudden, a whole new set of cartoons that you had never seen before showed up as a package on one of the stations.
The early 70s for me was filled with Popeye and Warner Bros. cartoons as well as lots of Saturday morning. Rocky and Bullwinkle as well as the TV Felix the Cat’s were probably the things I saw most.
Popeye was the *only* cartoon series in the Detroit market that had any films in Black and White. In seeing the first Popeye in the series (really a Betty Boop of course), I recognized Betty Boop from seeing drawings of the character, but had never seen a Boop cartoon.
WKBD showed a package of Lantz cartoons; mostly Woody Woodpeckers, but it also included some Swing Symphonies and other shorts, including Toyland Premiere (1934). I loved that film more than any other for some reason. A handful of these shorts became some of my favorite cartoons, including Tom Thumb, Jr (39), The Sliphorn King of Polaroo (45), Hysterical Highspots in American History (41), The Flying Turtle (53), A Horse’s Tale (54) and Termites from Mars (1952). I still find almost any of the Don Patterson shorts from the early 50s to be enjoyable.
Right around 1979 or 80, WKBD picked up the Tom and Jerry cartoon package. At first, they were showing them for a half hour at 4 in the afternoon, then switched to 7:30 am. EVERYONE I knew in 6th and 7th grade watched those cartoons and talked about them, especially the strange and amazingly funny Tex Avery cartoons that none of us had ever seen up to that point. I remember learning about the death of Tex Avery from a friends Fangoria magazine in 7th grade.
Sometimes the commercials that interrupted the shows were as well remembered as the actual cartoons. Channel 50 in Detroits line up of cartoons was easily the most watched (with The Little Rascals Brady Bunch and Batman thrown in between animated shows). This particular line up went on for many years, and often was interrupted by parents forcing the kids to get away from the TV and spend some time outside.
For years I tried to find several commercials that were shown for seemingly months and months in the mid 70s, advertising several albums with funny novelty songs. I always knew the animation was primitive on these spots, but my friends and I had them memorized, and would even reenact some of the scenes while singing the small piece of a song. Here’s 3 of them, some with some of the same songs on them. These must date from 1975 through about 1977. There is at least one more of these with different animation. Two of them have a pretty good Bullwinkle imitation. I wonder who did the animation (and who did that voice?). KTEL themselves put up three of these from decent 16mm prints, although cursed with the red fading Eastmancolor.
DUMB DITTIES – The Youtube says this is from 1977- that could be right, but I think I was it even earlier than that:
Growing up in Ann Arbor (and seeing all the shows coming out of Detroit), I saw this particular Car commercial a lot, for Allen Ford/ Ray Whitfield. It was animated by Ted Petok, and was also something as kids that we would sing a lot:
This Nesbits Orange Commercial was one of my favorites as a kid. It was great to find out that the essential Mark Kausler was one of the animators on this one, animating nearly the whole first half. Im embarrassed to say I didnt know that and actually asked Mark if he knew who made it!
Faygo was a favorite part in these parts. Although these commercials were made in the 50s, they continued to use at least one of them. They were directed by John Hubley at His Storyboard, Inc Studio. There;s a really nice copy of the first one here- the one I saw in the late 70s:
There was also the infamous show The Ghoul – created by and featuring Ron Sweed. The Ghoul was patterned after Ghoulardi played by Erie Anderson, a popular Cleveland TV horror movie host in the 60s. Sweed had worked as an assistant for Anderson when he was a teenager. Sweed first had the Ghoul show in Cleveland, but he spent much of the 70s on a few of the Detroit stations, including stints at channel 50, Channel 20 and channel 62. As an 8-year old, watching The Ghoul both host and interrupt mostly public domain movies, adding ad libbed soundbites throughout, was the perfect subversive hero against all that was correct. I remember thinking that he must collect Wacky Package Stickers and read Mad and Cracked magazine.
He would often beat up (or kill) Froggy the Gremlin, an old character from the Buster Brown show/Andy’s Gang in the 50s. Sweed must have had the toy of Froggy made in the late 40s and made a mold of it, casting new ones to destroy each week. The Ghoul would stick a Boom Boom either in or near Froggie, setting him actually on fire (in the studio) or blowing up that particular puppet. Heres a (later) example of the kind of mayhem that I watched as an 8-year old:
Time for Timer was also a seemingly ever present interruption in short animated segments during Saturday Morning Programs. Even as a kid, I thought these were aimed more at parents than the kids.
The character Timer first appeared in the one hour “After School Special” The Incredible, Indelible, Magical Physical Mystery Trip (1973) Animation by Depatie-Freleng:
Heres a small segment from the sequel to that special, The Magical Mystery Trip through Little Reds Head (1974).
…and, here are the interstitals that you memorized if you watched Saturday morning stuff in the 70s into the early 80s:
You are what you eat:
Time for Timer: Hanker for a Hunk of Cheese
What was shown locally in your area- and what years were the most memorable for you? Have a good week everyone!