More Noveltoons! The 1946-47 season brought about eight Noveltoons which broke down into three “Screen Songs”, one (still lost) “Snuffy Smith” cartoon, a “Herman & Henry”, a “Blackie”, and two musical specials – “Raggedy Ann” in The Enchanted Square and the Leprechauns in The Wee Men.
The Wee Men is an interesting film. Bill Tytla must have been getting restless, needed to spread his wings, and Famous gave him a chance to apply some of his Disney magic in an almost 10-minute epic. The Leprechan characters are almost (but not quite) a knock-off of the Seven Dwarfs, and an original “Whistle While You Work” song (the future Screen Song theme, “Start The Day With A Song”) – and the use of the littlest Leprechaun, “
Laddie” “Patty”, on posters and advertising materials hints that Famous was hoping this would become a popular series (though only one sequel was produced in 1949).
Little Lulu Dept.
I don’t know what this was exactly – its a bad xerox of two pages (a brochure?) that reprints a page out of Box Office Magazine from 1943(?) about Famous Studios new set up in New York. Click to enlarge the pages and maybe you can make out Tom Golden, Dave Tendlar, Sam Buchwald, Bob Little and others. If anyone can track down a clearer version of this, please send it this way.
And what of Little Lulu? This publicity still (above), made from cels and backgrounds from Chick and Double Chick (1946), was issued in 1947 may be nice, but her cartoons were running out of fresh ideas (Cad and Caddy, A Scout With The Gout, Loose In The Caboose, even the titles were all sounding the same). There was one highlight this season: the imaginative Musicalulu. The cue sheet and the film are embed below.
The Lulu cartoons were not as successful was Paramount hoped. Creator Marge wasn’t pleased with the films herself. Famous had Bill Tytla draw up this “understudy” for Lulu – Little Audrey – in late 1946 (for a cartoon that would appear in late 1947, Santa’s Surprise).
Showmen’s Trade Reviews has this two page article on the top shorts of the 1946-47 season. It again shows the three tier popularity of Paramount’s Popeye, Speaking of Animals and Puppetoons. Also note the completely inaccurate telling of Bugs Bunny’s origin in the same piece.
Fred Hift has another point of view in Box Office Magazine as he ranks all shorts together (live and animated). For some reason, Terrytoons and Disney poll most popular (Really? I don’t think so.).
And finally this week, a few more cue sheets from cartoons released during 46-47. The Enchanted Square was remastered by Steve Stanchfield for his highly recommended Noveltoons disc.
(thanks to Don Yowp)