Once again we are back in Mark Kausler’s film closet – digging through decades of accumulated film prints acquired through a lifetime of collecting, going back to an era when no one else cared. Luckily Mark did – and saved much material that, in some cases, even the studios themselves no longer have.
Today a look at some obscure Hugh Harman reels. First up, Aladdin’s Vamp, an “Arabian Nights” cartoon that Hugh and Rudy produced on their own in between employment stints at Disney and George Winkler in the late 1920s. Says’ Kausler: “The track was added some time later. I think Hugh and Rudy made more than one “Arabian Nights” cartoon, but this is the only one I’ve ever seen.”
Mischievious Mice is a repeat for us at Cartoon Research. Steve Stanchfield posted about this film here in 2016. This was the third Cubby Bear that Hugh and Rudy did for Van Beuren release in 1933 (the first two were The Gay Gaucho and Cubby’s World Flight). According to Mark, “In Hugh’s papers, I found documents that assigned the “remaining interests” in Mischievious Mice to Bill Hanna, who was in charge of the Harman-Ising ink and paint department in ’33. Mischievious Mice was only finished “to picture”, the sound track was not recorded, which suggests that the Cubbys that Harman-Ising produced were post-recorded.”
DOWN THE DRAIN and THE HOT STOGIE are spliced together on the same reel. “They are demos that Hugh put together to sell a live action/animation optical printing process for intricate combination stuff, like the fat man in the bath tub with all the soap bubbles. The cat’s voice in Down The Drain was supplied by Harry Lang. These are around 1945 or 1946 I think.”
NEXT WEEK: Some Disney Rareties.