Sending out Willie Whoppers is a full time job this week, along with finishing touches on the Pvt. Snafu blu-ray booklet, so it’s a simple TB Thursday this week, but some favorite cartoons are here, and it’s a good time of year to haul them out again!
While I know it’s not ‘quite’ Halloween yet, it does give me a good excuse to at least start putting up Halloween cartoon posts… maybe we’ll do this all the way through the month, with some oddities and surprises thrown in for good measure. After all, who doesn’t like spooky or ghost cartoons? Halloween seemed to be a favorite subject, especially on the east coast- where they arguably did the best scary cartoons.
A few of my picks are below – now, add yours too, each week!
A few years back, we posted the Columbia/ Iwerks studio cartoon Midnight Frollics (1938). It’s now become an annual tradition here. Not a great cartoon by anyone’s estimation, but it’s one of my favorites. For many years I’ve shown cartoons in 16mm on Halloween night, and this particular cartoon was one that my Mom always made sure I brought. On my way over, she’d always ask “Did you bring the Flora Dora Girls?”.
Everyone has their favorites of course. Here’s Skeleton Frolic also by Columbia/Iwerks- from a really nice Columbia-released print. Of course, the kinship to The Skeleton Dance is clear….
The Ghost Of Stephen Foster (1999), directed by Raymond Persi and Matthew Nastuk, comes closer to getting that spooky Fleischer feel than any other ‘retro’ 30s cartoon I can think of. Some of the folks on this worked on The Twisted Tales of Felix series at Film Roman not long before this.
The band, “The Squirrel Nut Zippers” had a minor hit on the radio a few years earlier, in 1996. “Hell” is a lot of fun – in some ways I wish this was the song that got an animated video… but of course the success of this album led to the above project:
Of course, Halloween isn’t complete without Popeye in one form or another. Shiver me Timbers (’34) and Ghosks is the Bunk (’39)are both favorites of mine…. and maybe yours too. Then again, there’s barely a Fleischer Popeye I don’t like. Shiver is great throughout… I think it’s one of the best Fleischer cartoons honestly. At one point, it has a gag that’s pretty similar to Disney’s later Lonesome Ghosts, though with very different results.
Popeye really beats the heck out of Olive at one point, thinking she’s a ghost. I remember thinking to myself as a kid that Popeye was really mean for not doing as much as apologizing to Olive for such awful treatment, even though it was an accident. Ghosks in the Bunk is as good for Jack Mercer and Margie Hine’s vocal performances as it is for the animatioN- and although Pinto Colvig’s Bluto isn’t my favorite, it’s still lots of fun… even more fun is turning on the close captioning on youtube for this one!
While not a great copy, I really love the Toby the pup cartoon Halloween. It’s as strange as every Halloween cartoon should be:
A follow cartoon friend of mine really loves tracking down original titles on the Charlie Brown specials. His great quest is to find an uncut network print of A Charlie Brown Christmas from the first broadcast. I know they are out there… maybe one of these days we’ll actually be able to transfer one. In the meantime, here’s the 1966 titles from It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, with the original sponsor plugs included… nice that someone put this one up! It looks like the Snoopy animation is a bit of a reuse from A Charlie Brown Christmas. I think Bill Littlejohn animated that scene…
While I know we’ve done these list before, I really do love the collective posts with other favorite Halloween cartoons. So… what are your picks this week?
Have a good week everyone!