July 4, 2013 posted by

Happy 4th of July with Nancy and Sluggo!

nancy200Since it’s the 4th of July, it seems like it’s a good time to see a patriotic cartoon..and here’s one that’s usually a little harder to see. There were only a few of these NANCY cartoons, produced by Terrytoons in the early 40’s.

The character first appeared in Ernie Bushmiller’s Fritzie Ritz comic strip in 1933 – so Nancy turns 80 this year! She and Cubby Bear should celebrate together!

Here’s an article with more information, from the Time for Kids Website.

I wish that the series had continued for at least a few more cartoons – I enjoy the few that were made at least as much as the Little Lulu cartoons from Famous studios. You can see their struggles with animating Nancy in particular, though I have to admit enjoying scenes that are off model or more rubbery. If not Nancy, I wish Terry would have licensed other characters..the refreshing aspect of dealing with an established character seems to work well at the studio. School Daze, in my humble opinion, is even a little more fun than this one.

Here is a rare print with the original titles. Nancy and friends do their bit to help the USO – but I sure wish they would have saved those nifty dime store plates from Japan! I kind of also feel bad for the person who left the $60 in the vase…maybe they were saving it to buy a $1500 car after the war!


  • much thanks for sharing this wonderful cartoon. this was above average for a terrytoon. I especially liked sluggo’s voice.

    it’s a shame that the terry staff went so far off model on the characters. you know things are going to be “off” as soon as we see nancy in the cartoon’s opening credits; nancy’s hand is rendered in a semi-realistic fashion that is decidedly un-bushmiller. then when we get to the actual cartoon we find that the animators have decided to draw the characters with four-fingered hands (I don’t know who came up with the idea of making four-fingered hands, but I sure do hate them for it).

    bushmiller’s simple clean style should lend itself well to animation. I can’t imagine why the terry staff had such trouble with it. but then, I also can’t imagine why the comic strip artists that have followed bushmiller have also had so much trouble following his work.

    • “(I don’t know who came up with the idea of making four-fingered hands, but I sure do hate them for it)”

      Who knows (aside from being an easy cheat in how to animate these guys). I really don’t have a problem with that though I can see how it is when it came to adapting these characters from another source like comics. When Famous Studios took over the Popeye series from the Fleischer’s, they pretty much went the 4-finger route with those humans too. I suppose for some of us, it may seem unsettling to see humans being ‘shorthanded’ like that when it seems perfectly fine doing so with animals (of course I think it draws the line when it’s two-toed feet in some cases).

  • Paul Terry’s stinginess is legendary (and exaggerated?). I’m surprised he was willing to pay for the licensing rights.

  • Wow, that’s one homely looking girl.

  • in an unrelated note, I was reading that the classic Russian animated feature “the snow maiden” is in public domain …

    is there any chance of thunderbean producing dvds of this and other russain animated cartoons that have fallen into public domain? (preferably with subtitles)

  • Do many of the Terrytoons survive with their original theatrical titles? The prints I saw on TV as a child almost invariably had TV title cards.

    • I do wonder that too. I like to hope most of them do in some capacity but it is a shame what the TV prints did to take out those sequences (though what little credits there were before Gene Deitch stepped in).

  • Thank you for sharing! That was a great gift for Independence Day!

  • Never knew about these! I absolutely loved this one, it was very clever, warm, funny, joyous and uplifting! And I agree with the previous poster: I really liked Sluggo’s voice! As for the “off-model” Nancy, I actually liked it, myself. Didn’t bother me at all!

    Seeing this cartoon only makes me hope all the more that the Terrytoons library will see DVD releases in the future.

  • Where’s the Three Rocks?

  • Great share, Steve – it’s fun to finally be able to see one of these. 🙂 Not great, and certainly not up to par with Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy, but enjoyable.

    By the way, could you possibly also share (if you have them) the two other Nancy cartoons from Terrytoons, “School Daze” and “Nancy’s Little Theater”?

    • As far as I know, there was no third “Nancy” cartoon called Nancy’s Little Theater.

    • jerry beck wrote, “… As far as I know, there was no third “Nancy” cartoon called Nancy’s Little Theater …”

      according to Wikipedia, there was …

    • Thanks, Jerry. I was wondering about “Nancy’s Little Theater.” The Wikipedia entry on the Nancy comic strip mentions it. I only remembered seeing “Doing Their Bit” and “School Daze” years ago, and “Theater” doesn’t appear in any Terrytoons filmography I’ve ever seen

    • Wikipedia is wrong. There were only two Terrytoon Nancy cartoons released. I’d be happy to be proven otherwise.

    • Wikipedia was where I got the info from too… as well as from a few other sites which apparently quote Wikipedia. But thanks for the correction. 🙂 I had only heard about two Terrytoon Nancy cartoons myself earlier, so I was a bit confused by the Wikipedia entry.

      Anyway, I’ll rephrase my question then: Any chance you and Steve might share the other Nancy cartoon from Terrytoons, “School Daze”?

    • We have School Daze. My copy has the TV titles on it. Perhaps we’ll post it later, when school is back in session.

    • I hope you do post it! I’m especially curious to see “School Daze” after Steve describing it as “even a little more fun than this one”.

    • there was this film made in 1941 …

      that’s the closest i could find to the mystery title.

      or was nancy’s little theater a film that was started but never made it into production?

    • Eeteed – Give it up. There are only two Nancy Terrytoons – period, the end. I researched this earlier this year. The film you “found” is the last Columbia Scrappy cartoon (and yes, I have a copy of that, too). There is no Nancy’s Little Theatre, despite sources on the internet. Let it go, man. Back away slowly…

      I’m more curious of how the rumor of this third Nancy title came to be. It’s possible this title was to be a third film – but where does that information come from? Can anyone prove it?

      Unless you have concrete facts – this discussion is over.

    • i was merely speculating that somebody on the internet might have (in whisper down the alley fashion) mixed up/mistyped scrappy into nancy, and that the scrappy cartoon might have then been mistakenly got listed as a nancy terrytoon.

      my apologies for the confusion.

  • Thank you. Even Terrytoons could come up with a good cartoon from time to time in the Golden Age.

  • And then they spent all that money on candy!!

  • Wow, this is a terrific cartoon, and I think I dimly recall the school days cartoon, but wasn’t there a cartoon with Nancy running through c omic strip panels? And, yes, a beautiful print like this makes me really want these things restored on DVD. It is so nice to hear a Terrytoons cartoon with its original opening and closing. Loved the voices, and so indicative of the period…or yet another kind of tribute to OUR GANG. Has any other studio ever tried creating NANCY cartoons?

  • Hey, if this cartoon is in the public domain, it might be nice to create a disk of “patriotic” cartoons that features this one, looking and sounding this good!

    • Thunderbean already has two excellent Cartoons for Victory collections, which lean a bit more towards training and hard propaganda.

  • These scamming children should be brought up on charges….

    (Thanx, Steve!)

  • Really enjoyable cartoon. Looks like Carlo Vinci’s animation to me. Also I’m curious as to whether the Terrytoons from this era ever had the 20th Century Fox logo and fanfare at the beginning?

  • Okay, I admit this cartoon was better the second time I view it, but it’s not not memorable enough to be one of my favorite Terrytoons. And no, I doubt this will be on one of the Thunderbean DVDs as it’s still owned by a certain company (note the begining of the ’80’s id at the end of the video).

    Specking of which, why weren’t these cartoons re-run by Nick aside from the fact that the channel was showing the superior Looney Tunes?

    • At the time Nickelodeon was running Looney Tunes, way back when, Terrytoons were licensed to the USA Network (who mainly ran Mighty Mouse and Deputy Dawg on Cartoon Express). USA’s deal with Viacom ended in the late 90s. By then, no one was interested in running them.

    • Oh, right. I seem to remember seeing those on USA.

    • I recall the USA Network airings as well, interesting they would keep that going as long as they did with the cartoons.

  • I would guess the rich fat cat was a caricature of Paul Terry.

  • The world needs to see School Daze! Thank you for this great copy of Doing Their Bit and please consider uploading the other Nancy short 🙂

  • Looking for Civic Pride Week Help Beautify Our City NANCY cartoon Please ??

  • I know who voiced Nancy!

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