My columns on French theatrical animated features have ended just in time to celebrate my second anniversary on Jerry’s Cartoon Research. My first column appeared here on March 14, 2013; when I was wondering what I could say about animation that would keep these columns going beyond a couple of weeks.
Well, whoopee! What anniversary animation didn’t I use up last year?
Porky’s Party, directed by Robert Clampett. June 25, 1938.
Porky and his friends prepare to celebrate his birthday. I am leading off with this one because the “Happy Birthday, Fat Boy!” sign is so appropriate. My sister has been trying to get me to reduce for years. Also, Black Fury, Porky’s dog, drinks hair grower and becomes furry; and don’t get me started about “furries”. (Plug: my short story, “Growing Fur”, has recently been published in my s-f anthology, The Furry Future; 19 Possible Prognostications, by FurPlanet Productions.)
Click Here to see it!
Popeye’s Mirthday, directed by Seymour Kneitel. May 22, 1953.
Olive Oyl and three of Popeye’s four nephews (Pip-eye, Peep-eye, Pup-eye, and Poop-eye) are preparing a surprise birthday party for him. Olive tells the nephews not to let Popeye into the house until the eats are finished. Most of the cartoon is Popeye’s attempts to enter the house and the kids’ tricks to stop him.
Happy Birthdaze, directed by Dan Gordon. July 16, 1943.
Another Popeye, from the midst of World War II. Popeye’s new sailor pal, Shorty, is despondent because he’s not popular like the other sailors, so Popeye invites him along to the birthday party that Olive Oyl is preparing for him. Popeye discovers why Shorty is so unpopular.
Farmer Al Falfa’s 20th Anniversary, directed by Mannie Davis & George Gordon. Nov. 27, 1936.
A Terrytoon; actually the 20th anniversary of Paul Terry’s first Farmer Al Falfa cartoon. The animals on Farmer Al Falfa’s farm prepare a surprise party for him. All animals are welcome – except skunks. Sammy Skunk is determined that if he can’t go, at least his three children will get in.
Popeye’s 20th Anniversary, directed by Isadore Sparber. April 2, 1954.
Another 20th anniversary, of the first Fleischer Popeye cartoon. Hollywood gives him a testimonial dinner, with caricatures of Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Martin & Lewis, and Jimmy Durante among the attendees. But when Popeye is called upon to give a speech, he pulls out a movie projector and shows highlights (repeats of old animation) of two Famous Studios cartoons, Tops in the Big Top and Rodeo Romeo.
Donald’s Happy Birthday, directed by Jack Hannah. February 11, 1949.
A celebration, but everyone is miserable. Huey, Dewey, and Louie decide to get Uncle Donald a box of cigars for his birthday. Donald thinks that the kids are taking up smoking, and forces them to smoke the whole box until all three are nauseous, before he discovers that the cigars were for him, which ruins his day.
Mother Goose’s Birthday Party, directed by Connie Rasinski. October 13, 1950.
Old King Cole gives a birthday party for Mother Goose. All the fairy tale characters are invited, except for the Wicked Wolf, who crashes the party. Mighty Mouse saves the day. Lots of obvious exaggerated Jim Tyer animation.
Olive’s Boithday Presink, directed by Dave Fleischer. June 13, 1941.
Popeye decides to get Olive a bearskin fur coat for her birthday. When he can’t trust furrier George Geezil to sell him an authentic bear fur, he goes hunting for his own. The cartoon is notable for the presence of Geezil, a minor Segar Thimble Theater character, and the total absence of Olive despite the title.
Pluto’s Party, directed by Milt Schaffer. September 19, 1952.
Mickey holds a birthday party for Pluto, but invites his dozen(?) nephews as guests, who run the party for their own enjoyment, not Pluto’s.
Casper’s Birthday Party, directed by Seymour Kneitel. July 31, 1959.
Casper, the Friendly Ghost, wants to have a birthday party, but he frightens away everyone that he tries to invite to it. But …
The Sultan’s Birthday, directed by Bill Tytla. October 13, 1944.
Terrytoons and Mighty Mouse. A birthday party, Middle Eastern potentate style, until the cats arrive on flying carpets.
Let’s Celebrake, directed by Dave Fleischer. January 21, 1938.
A New Year’s Eve party, for a change. Popeye and Bluto arrive to take Olive to a New Year’s Eve celebration at the Happy Hour Club. Popeye feels sorry for Olive’s feeble and deaf Grandmother, and insists that she join them. The celebration includes a dance contest. Bluto and Olive are sure that Popeye has no chance of winning, with tottery Grandma as his partner, until Popeye’s spinach puts pep into the old girl.
Birthday Party, directed by Olivier Jean-Marie. March 8, 2011.
An episode of the Zig & Sharko TV cartoon, produced by the Xilam Studio in Paris. Zig the hyena wants to eat Marina, the bubble-headed mermaid, but she is always protected by Sharko, her live-in lover. (No, they’re not married.) It’s Marina’s birthday, which Sharko has completely forgotten about. Zig sees this as his opportunity, and he (and Bernie, his hermit-crab stooge) hastily organize a birthday party for her. It’s all a plot to lure Marina into eating range, of course. Sharko arrives just in time to spoil Zig’s first trap, but Marina refuses to leave “her party”. Sharko has to spend the rest of the day protecting her – not that he seems necessary, due to Zig’s constant bad luck.
A baker’s dozen of parties. That ought to be enough to celebrate the occasion until next year. Plus a plug for my latest book.