May 7, 2015 posted by

“Horse Laffs” (1934)

Here’s one of my favorite oddities: Horse Laffs (1934). The end title of this film proclaims you’ve just watched ‘A Daffy Doo-Funny Picture’.

It was most likely made by John Burton, who seems to have inherited the earlier Kinex Studio’s doodlebug puppets, or was still working with the studio that was run by brothers Frank and Elmer Young. They were still in business in the late 20’s, though stopped producing shorts for Kodak in 1930.

Here’s a really cool patent from the studio detailing a way to hold the replacement animation head in
place. This looks like one of the lions from Doodlebug Circus (1929)


Prints of Burton’s Pepper the Pup (1931) and Hector the Pup (1935) have surfaced over the years along with this short, but if others were made with sound besides these, so far they haven’t shown up.

One trade announcement listed Pinto Colvig as being involved with the shorts, though if he was a film with his work hasn’t surfaced as of yet.

It’s a real treat to see the puppets in color. One wonders if Burton animated the film on his own, or if the studio produced the short with other animators.

Carl Stalling most likely composed the music for this short. One of my favorite things about it is hearing the near-but-not quite version of ‘In the Good Old Summertime’ played in the first scene… no royalties to pay!

The film is on the Thunderbean set Stop Motion Marvels. We’re on the last 10 copies of it at this point, having recently sold a small batch to a distributor. I do want to reprint the older titles in the Thunderbean Catalog, but they may vanish while a few things are retooled (iike having the recently discovered 35mm of Hector the Pup on the set) if we can get around to it…..

So for now, here’s Horse Laffs:


  • Omg! What a joy! TY!!

  • I thought you were doing “Out of A Milk Bottle”…….

  • Hmmm, I wonder how this passed me by. I remember you saying that you were going to release STOP MOTION MARVELS, but I don’t think I bought it. I’ll have to check and hopefully purchase it. I like the idea of you reissuing, on Blu-ray perhaps, older titles, like the ATTACK OF THE ’30’S CHARACTERS, just to hopefully have a better print, if one could be found, of “LADY PLAY YOUR MANDOLIN”. That is one of those cartoons that eludes me, like a finer print of “BOSKO AND THE CANNIBALS”. “LADY…” is just a great little musical cartoon whose title sequence is always kinda mangled on most prints that I’ve caught on PD disks or even as it appears on LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION, where it is part of the “RARETIES” special, and it is the first FOXY cartoon from Warner Brothers, created even before “SMILE, DARN YA, SMILE” which is the one that is so often included anywhere. I think that ATTACK OF THE ’30’S CHARACTERS also includes “BOOM BOOM” a later Warner Brotehrs toon that has a wartime theme even before wartime took over the medium in the early 1940’s, but that could also be included as an extra on the forthcoming “PRIVATE S.N.A.F.U.” GOLDEN CLASSICS Blu-ray delux. Anyway, thanks for “HORSE LAFFS”. That is a great score, but doesn’t Carl Stalling work on some of the FLIP THE FROG titles, too?

  • Love the horse character.

  • Bizarre! It looks like something that would have been made in an eastern European
    country rather than the U.S.

  • Thanks for posting thing! Just a black-and-white silent 16mm of the last couple minutes at a Museum of Interesting Things event last night. It was in a Scrappy cartoon box, but this post enabled me to identify what it really was. Fascinating – and cool patent!

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