July 23, 2020 posted by Steve Stanchfield

Missing Footage – And Remembering Things That Never Existed!

The usual busy weeks. A new scanner situation is great news, and all goes well as things move forward. If I have my druthers I’ll be chatting about something finished here at this time next week!

A bunch of years ago as a kid of maybe 10, I was desperate to learn about the animation history that wasn’t Disney. There was an animation history book (maybe by John Halas) that I borrowed from the local library here in Ann Arbor. In a section about the Fleischers, it mentions a preview for Mr. Bug Goes to Town that had the film introduced by Bob Hope. I have yet to find *any* evidence that such a preview actually exists, but it was one of the first films I really pined for, just before I started actually collecting films.

Now, the question becomes, did this actually exist at some point, or was the writing influenced by the Mr. Bug ads that ran in magazines, asking us to play the latest movie game (“Is Hoppity Bob Hope? Is Honey Madeline Carroll?”)

My guess is that it never existed. I think the writer may have thought that such a thing existed, having no idea he would drive a 10-year old nuts trying to find that for the next 40 years.

In any genre, there are all sorts of things that are viewed and misremembered. Human memory seems to frequently correlate related material and produces a pastiche memory or several pieces of material. With the history of film, the rarest material is so wanted, that I think sometimes we remember seeing some aspect of it without *actually* seeing it.

At a film show a handful of years back, I was selling a print of King Kong (1933). It’s always been a favorite film, and as we were running a reel, a collector came up to us and told a story about the famously missing spider pit scene. He remembered his father coming back home from a friends, and said he saw the whole sequence, with sound! Of course, this is the stuff that dreams are made of for us collectors, so I have to wonder if he told the story to his son to keep him dreaming, or if he just misremembered seeing the surrounding footage as ‘the spider pit’.

Here’s a cool little clip that shows that some of the models from King Kong were used as props in other films. Willis O’Brien worked on these films, and it seems he enjoyed decorating the sets with stop motion models from the past:

Peter Jackson recreated the ‘Spider Pit’ sequence from the script and some stills as well as new footage. This is a true fan doing something like this with his resources. If you haven’t seen it, here it is:

Years back, a friend made a VHS dub of some animated test footage done for Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks! It was a bunch of stop motion tests and it was pretty cool stuff… probably about 3 or 4 minutes of 3rd or 4th generation footage. I lent it to a student of mine I the very early 2000s and it vanished forever. When I went back to ask the friend who dubbed it for me originally, he said he didn’t think ever had it. Now, I know I had it (and saw a piece of it again at a Tim Burton exhibit) so *that* was wasn’t a misremember! Of course, the final film uses CG animation, and the cool stop motion that was started was abandoned.

A lot of people I’ve met misremember a scene in Disney’s Pinocchio that features Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket riding on the crowned dove that represents the Blue Fairy. Of course, that scene was never in a final version of the film. My guess is that people remembered it from an illustration in the Golden Book that features that very thing. One person I talked with insisted I was wrong, and that he’d find the copy he’d seen with the sequence!

Of course, it doesn’t help that some films are actually edited into different versions. One of my favorite films since I was a child is the Laurel and Hardy classic Babes in Toyland. There’s a few different cuts of the film. Lippert Pictures re-issue of the film from the late 40s was missing the whole opening of the film, and because of that, I didn’t see those handful of minutes (known as the ‘storybook opening’) until many years later. My grandmother remembered the scene from seeing it in the 30s and told me it was missing. An ‘Erkco’ print I bought many years later had the scene (as well as the ‘Go to Sleep’ song missing from Lippert’s print) but edited out all the closeups of the Boogie Men through the end of the film! Funny enough, my mother remembered a scene that never existed from the film where, after the grand ending, we return to the town and all is peaceful again. The actual film ends with Stan pulling darts out of Ollie’s back. Perhaps a TV station showed a piece from early in the film as they wrapped up the showing.

Here’s the real end:

Another example of remembering something actually missing is the Bugs Bunny Cartoon Fresh Hare (1942). The end of the film is missing from many prints, leaving the kids who saw it to wonder what happened to it on additional viewings.

You probably all know this one, but here it is uncut:

Funny enough, now it’s harder to find the ‘Cut’ version!

About 35 years back, Collector and dealer Frank Bueno told me many stories, but one it seemed he actually believed himself. He swore he had a 16mm blue track technicolor print of a Pluto with the full RKO radio tower at the beginning, with no splice before the Pluto title coming on screen. He was so sure he had it that, even after I had stopped caring, I watched him thread every Pluto he had there to check it. It’s a beautiful card in Technicolor, but I’m close to 100% sure it was never on the head of a Disney cartoon officially.

Sometimes actual prints have a sequence cut out of them, and other times it’s edited on the negative. The Flip the Frogs we’re working on represent a mini-nightmare in that there’s *many* different cuts of some of the films, each missing something different. That said, I’m still looking for a color version of Flying Fists (1930) since more than one cartoon person remembers seeing it in color at a show somewhere. I have yet to find an actual print that is color (other than a fake on youtube). We’re finally running out of time on the set, so the mysterious color version may stay just that. Hope springs eternal that one will show up though!

Now — do *you* have any stories of either you or someone finding a scene that was missing or remembering something that never actually existed? I know there’s some good stories— let’s hear yours!


  • While it 100% confirm it exists on kodachrome and ib as well as the UCLA negative, here’s my story.

    I think the 1989-early 1991 printings of PD tapes from UAV had the original Paramount logo during the head of OLD MACDONALD HAD A FARM and not just that faked one (Y’know, the 1947-1949 one that people love to add with “Color by Technicolor” on the bottom), probably because my brain thought it matched the stability of the Kodachrome, and why would they fake an original print when I got a newer version of the tape years later that had original with the logo cut out? Lots of my family remembers this original opening.

    I pretty much know it’s probably a hoax, but if anyone wants to see if it’s real (especially the ones with the UAV logo on the blue background), feel free to let me know.

    Another sing-along “Screen Song/Noveltoon” that I always wondered though is why “When GI Johnny Comes Home” abruptly ends in NTA prints? War bond message from Paramount? Paramount had less faith in Fleischer/Famous, plus their big campaign was “The Friendly Ghost” plus a Puppetoon was nominated for that season’s Oscar, so WHAT WAS the original ending?

    I heard from Steve that “The Friendly Ghost” had more music on the head than what NTA played. Is that true.

    And finally for the people in TV land with Bill Melendez, I’ve been very curious to see the Coca-Cola and Dolly Madison openings and closing to “Peanuts” specials of the 60s (as well as the intergrated Coke commercials of the first one and All-Stars during their first airings). The reason they silence at the end credits is to not show the logos of the sponsors. I wonder if there’s a version of “Great Pumpkin” with just the Coca-Cola logo and no Dolly Madison sponsorship. I’ve also wondered what the original versions were like for You’re in love, He’s your dog, and It was a short summer to see the sponsor tags and to hear the Guarldli music sections cut.

    I heard the versions depended on broadcast year and local market of where you saw the specials……..

    For years I wondered what the first special’s opening sponsor tag looked like…..

  • I grew up watching “The Flintstones” series as it actually aired….although when it premiered I would have been too young to remember the earliest episodes. But by the 5th season I would have been 5 years old, and I remember the Gruesomes, and how we as a family thought they were so funny. My memories of the Gruesomes are first, that they were featured in several episodes during that season. As most readers of this blog will be aware, they only appeared in two of the shows. Somehow my memory stretches to have seen them in more than two episodes. But that attests to the powerful impression they made on my young mind.

    Here’s something I remember vividly, however–and it seems to be a totally bogus memory. I distinctly recall a scene at the beginning of one episode, after the Gruesomes had departed the series, of Fred and Wilma at the breakfast table, with Pebbles drinking her grape juice, in which they discussed the Gruesomes and mentioned that they had moved back to Hollyrock. Now, I have watched and re-watched every episode of the series and there is no such scene anywhere. My only explanation is either A) that I totally am misremembering and somehow my subconscious memory fabricated the scene to fill in that continuity gap, or B) that such a scene was crafted and televised once to explain the sudden absence of the characters, but was dropped from all subsequent airings. I tend to believe that A is more likely the true explanation.

    I also recall a Welch’s grape juice ad that showed Fred crying when he discovered that Wilma and Pebbles had consumed all of the grape juice in the pitcher, leaving only one solitary drop. But this ad did not appear in any of the DVD box sets, so I may have misremembered this as well.

    There is one more memory of a live-action series that seems to be totally misremembered on my part. I recall in the Lassie series during the transition from Timmy and his family to Ranger Corey Stuart, that the Martins actually dropped Lassie off with Ranger Corey at a ranger station before going on their way. But in watching the reruns of those episodes, I find that the Martins left Lassie in the care of a neighbor, who subsequently became ill, and Ranger Corey found Lassie after a string of adventures, with no transition scene showing the Martins and the Ranger effecting the transfer.

    So the mind definitely plays tricks with scenes that we recall.

    • That Welch’s commercial actually exists.

    • I also remember the last seasons of The Flintstones when they first aired. Since syndication began in 1966, my memory tells me about 5-10 seconds have been cut from the end of the opening titles, after the zoom into the black drive-in screen. The missing footage begins with “The Flintstones” superimposed against the black background in large, Stone Age font, followed by the announcer saying “The Flintstones … brought to you by Welch’s,” with corresponding line art images of smiling people holding up glasses (presumably of grape juice), all superimposed against a black background.

      • Yes! I remember that but everyone else says it didn’t happen? Glad to know I’m not crazy!

  • Funny you should mention “Pinocchio”. Back in the early ’70s my family went to the Disney on Ice show at the old Olympia Stadium in Detroit, and part of the show was a production of “Pinocchio” with some scenes from the film (which I had not yet seen) projected on a screen. I remember the scene of Pinocchio going to Pleasure Island, with Lampwick shooting his slingshot at the donkeys pulling the coach. I also remember a close-up shot of the donkeys wincing in pain as Lampwick’s projectiles hit them, and I was quite bothered by the boy’s casual cruelty. Many years later, when I first saw the full film, I noticed the well-remembered shot of Lampwick firing his slingshot, but there was no corresponding shot of the donkeys getting hit. Was the animal cruelty cut from the film for home video release? Or am I remembering something that was never there in the first place?

  • I swore as a kid that there was an alternate version of the “Friend Like Me” sequence from Aladdin that was longer with more “cartoony” sound effects. I thought I saw it in music video form on MTV or VH1 back when the movie had just come out. Granted, I was 9, so I simply misremembered what I saw.

    Speaking of the Flip cartoons with alternate versions, will those that exist be part of the Blu-Ray set? Like, will you be able to see both versions?

  • I don’t know if this counts, but I have had dreams/nightmares of seeing a thee-strip Technicolor version of Ted Eshbaugh’s “Sunshine Makers” and “The Snowman”, and a cinecolor Esbhaugh adaption of “Birds In The Spring”. (You know you’ve been doing this too long when you’re dreaming about cartoons that were never made!)

  • When Disney’s The Rescuers was released in 1977, there was a brief scene where Bernard and Bianca enter the orphanage & see the various orphans there. Among them are several black children (which I thought was pretty radical for a Disney animated feature back then). Later releases of The Rescuers (including the home video release) omitted the scene. The still showing this was put in some book tie-ins, I haven’t watched the dvd or blu-ray versions of The Rescuers, so I don’t know if that scene has been restored to the movie.

    In Bedknobs & Broomsticks (one of my favorite Disney movies as a kid), after King Lion does his powerful roar and sends both the True Blues & Dirty Yellows soccer teams into the elephant goal-keeper’s net, I could have sworn there was a scene where both teams look angrily at King Lion for blowing the deflated soccer ball in the goal. This was when the movie was first released. I saw Bedknobs And Broomsticks again when it was re-released (with 20 minutes of footage & songs cut out), & watched it on video & dvd (with much of the original footage restored) & I have never seen that scene in any of those releases. Maybe I imagined it.

    • Do you have any documentation that the scene in The Rescuers existed to begin with? The still you’re talking about might possibly be some kind of pre-production art from the film.

    • It was an actual scene from the movie. I remember seeing it in the theatre when The Rescuers was first released.

    • I get that, as you explained it in your first comment; but this whole thread is about scenes in films which people THINK they remember. So I’m wondering if this scene that you describe from The Rescuers (which, as far as I can tell, there is no documentation for having existed) is something you might have ended up imagining that you remember.

    • It’s more along the lines of missing footage. I saw the scene in the movie on its first release & it was removed later.

    • All I’m saying is, it’s dangerous to rely on memory alone for stuff like this. This whole blog post is about that very topic. I find it hard to believe this scene existed if no one else has ever heard or talked about it. And even then, it would be difficult to say for sure without having some kind of evidence. (Witness Jerry’s comment about the supposedly-existing scene in the first Superman cartoon, which tons of people are certain they’ve seen.)

  • After misreading the “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” chapter of the book “Mouse Under Glass”, not seeing the film for quite some time, I thought the planned sequence of a cartoon wolf that snuck in “The Ink & Paint Club” disguised as a human in a full body cast and wheelchair actually happened.

  • Way back when I loaned a friend the just released VHS copy of Bambi, later I received call from him informing me that the film had been severely edited, he was referring to the scene of course where Bambi’s mother is shot, his wife insisted that she remembered as a kid horrified actually seeing his mother killed, of course I knew no scene ever existed. When I was working at Disney Feature Animation I discussed the phone call incident with someone in the archives department, and he told me no matter how many times you explained that Walt Disney from the very beginning wanted the shot off camera for a dramatic effect, people will still argue that no, they saw it on camera.

  • I remember in a screening of the Willie Whopper short HELL’S FIRE – I remember, instead of the colors being red and blue, the cartoon it was RED and GREEN. And I still remember from that print that the piano scene in the beginning, Willie was wearing Green shorts instead of blue.

    I tried to contact The Library Of Congress about this, I tried contacting UCLA Archives. I got nowhere…

  • My story is the reverse: around 1966, when I would have been five, I was watching “Bewitched” and thought I saw the animated Samantha AND Darrin on her broom with the Cheverolet emblem appearing. As the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s rolled on with no sign of it on TV ever again, I finally decided this was a figment of my imagination – until the internet proved it WAS real! I love surfing YouTube and this site, just to prove my memories aren’t demented (yet).

  • One of your best columns, Steve, as you can see by how many comments you sparked and how quickly they were posted. Yes, it is sometimes challenging to determine whether something is really missing or is just misremembered. Is Bigfoot real or just a mistaken identification? I would like to believe that Bigfoot exists as I would like to believe that some “missing” animation things probably existed as well.

    Here are my two contributions. Believe it or not!

    The Mickey Mouse cartoon, Pioneer Days (1930) has copies with different endings. The most common version is when Minnie puts hot coals down the Indian’s pants and he runs away. However, Scott McQueen discovered the original ending where Mickey and Minnie carry a log with branches that look like rifles. The Indians only see the top so think an army is marching toward them and run away. Scott also discovered that there were alternate cuts with variant backgrounds for other scenes in the cartoon but could find no documentation to explain the changes.

    Another early Mickey, The Whoopee Party (1932) has another version with different restagings of the action, re-dubbing of Minnie and Clarabelle and things like a scene with a rug under a group of dancers (no such rug exists on the official release print).

    Good luck on your hunting and thank you for all you do to preserve animation and its history. it is much appreciated!

  • I knew Frank Bueno for many years – he was the best lier that I have found – he would make up the most outrageous stories about film and other things that never existed. He even told me he had a full color copy of the Betty Boop – Popeye cartoon.

    As far as mister Bug are you sure that the Bob Hope reference was not about introducing it on his radio show along with a version of the story with some of the songs?

  • Rebel Rabbit! Bugs Bunny when mailed to Washington D.C. goes through spindle and mutilating post office machinery. We see Bugs squished and stretched by the machinery. This is the point that looks like a spice in the DVD before Bugs walks up the steps of the Capitol building.

    Hare Conditioned! After the taxidermy salesman jumps off the building, Bugs looks down from the top of the building and says “Tsk, Tsk, Some guys just can’t take it!” replacing what looks like a splice before Bugs looks into the mirror frightening himself.

    Both were shown this way on WGN in the 1960’s! I insist!

  • As the proprietor of this blog, I get many many requests for information about cartoons readers seem to remember vividly – but many of these readers recall cartoons that never existed: a memory mash-up of several elements, from several different films.

    The most famous “urban-legend” of mis-remembering among cartoon buffs is a non-existent line in the first Fleischer SUPERMAN cartoon. In the film, Lois Lane quickly leaves a meeting with Clark Kent and Perry White to go after the mad scientist, alone. Kent asks White, “Chief, don’t you think that’s a dangerous mission?” Fade out.

    But I get dozens of emails (and letters, back in the day) asking about the “cut” line. They all seem to recall Clark saying “Chief, don’t you think that’s a dangerous mission – for a girl?

    Unless someone can show me that “cut” footage, the dialogue continuity or the original storyboard of that scene, I refuse to believe that line was ever there. I’m afraid it’s a case collective “sexism” – viewers projecting what they ‘think’ 1941 Clark Kent might say.

    Where did everyone see this rare uncut version? Even the black & white TV prints I grew up with on Channel 11 (WPIX) never had that line. Were they really that enlightened back in the 1960s to cut those three words and optically move the fade out earlier? I don’t think so.


  • Thanks for sharing my clip of the lost Spider Pit models. If you read the comments on it, you will see a number of stories from people who have false memories of seeing the sequence.

  • I’m not aware that any of the Terrytoons that were distributed through 20th Century Fox ever opened with the traditional Fox Art Deco “searchlights” logo and Alfred Newman’s famous theme, but I once saw, online, a Mighty Mouse episode that did. It wasn’t long ago. I assume someone added it(?).

  • When I watched Disney’s, “Cinderella” for the first time as an adult, I was surprised that a scene that I remembered wasn’t there. In my mind’s eye, after Cinderella has produced the second glass slipper, and proven to the Grand Duke that she was the girl at the ball, I fully expected the stepsisters to object. Jaq and Gus then made faces at the stepsisters, who were terrified of the mice, and wound up dangling from the chandelier overhead. I now realize I must have seen that in an illustrated book version (perhaps the Little Golden Book?) Either that, or I just dreamed it.

  • In the 1970s at Rochdale College in Toronto I was running the 1932 version of LAW AND ORDER with Walter Huston when some fellows walked in clearly looking to make trouble at the same moment on screen some fellows set out to make trouble. Walter Huston, as Frame Johnson (a character based on Wyatt Earp) walked over and said to the on screen rowdies, “It appears to me you boys are looking to make trouble.” Saying to myself, “That’s a good line,” I did the same. The fellows on screen said, “What are you going to do about it/” The fellows in front of me said the same. Huston leaned back and said, “I guess I’m going to do whatever I got to do.” “That’s a good line,” I said to myself. I followed suit. In the movie the guys folded. At the same time the fellows before me folded.

    A few years ago I got a vhs of LAW AND ORDER largely due to that memory. The scene was not in the movie.

  • When I first saw HEAVY METAL in the theater there was a scene of a girl being hit by a disintegrator ray and her clothes disintegrate a few seconds before the rest of her. I’ve never seen it on the video releases where she disintegrates perfectly normally.

    • Actually, I remember seeing this scene too. It was in the Harry Canyon segment.

  • Stellar column this week, and great question – and answers!
    I hope you don’t mind a non-animated cartoon memory.
    Back in the late ’80s, I saw a book of old cartoon reprints – 1940s or 50s – that portrayed WWII. I remember being on one hand, charmed and impressed by the cartooning, but on the other hand, really disturbed by the lighthearted treatment of some horrific events. Even the aftermath of the nuclear bombs. It was creepy enough that I couldn’t bring myself to buy it, even though I wanted to study the style and technique for my own artistic development. A week later I went back to the bookstore and it was gone, and I could only vaguely remember the title, or maybe misremembered it as something like “Quarto”. Even with internet searches, I can’t find art close to that name fitting the description. I was too creeped out to notice/remember the name of any artist involved. I was in my 20’s, not a pre-schooler, so I know I saw it. But it – maybe fittingly – seems to have been erased from history.

  • With the Warners cartoons, one of the things in the era prior to them going on videotape for syndication in the mid 1948, pre- and post-1948, was that different stations received different syndicated prints. For the pre-48 stuff, growing up in New York, WNEW had the regular Blue Ribbon releases for “Tweetie Pie” and “Book Review (Revue)”, but WTTG in Washington aired the original version of the later cartoon that everyone now has from the Golden Collection, while WTBS in Atlanta got the print of the former that had the BR visual titles, but the original opening audio and title music that’s been used by several people on YouTube to recreate the actual opening, after David Gerestein located the B&W 16 mm copy of the original opening. (OTOH, WNEW had the version of “Bugs Bunny Rides Again” with Sam’s Mahatma Ghandi line that was re-dubbed to Mamby Pamby after his assassination prior to the cartoon’s release. WTBS aired the re-dubbed version, and Ch. 5 also had “Bone Sweet Bone” with its original titles, and the horrible end splice, while TBS showed the BR version minus opening credits, but without the messed up print at the finish).

    With the post-48 efforts, Ch. 5 in NY also received the Blue Ribbon re-releases from Warners, but WGN in Chicago got the same cartoons with the original opening titles (mostly McKimson cartoons, for some reason). “Upswept Hare”, “Cat-Tails for Two”, “Easy Peckings”, “From A to Z-z-z-z”, “Bell Hoppy”, “Fox Terror” and a few others from the 1948-60 WBs released for syndication either in 1964 or ’69 had their original opening and closing titles for Chicago viewers, but not for those in NYC and other places.

  • I remember seeing Jerry Lewis’ ROCK A BYE BABY when it first ran on NBC and I’m sure it ended with Jerry singing the title song at a TV studio. But a few years later it was on ABC and ended as it does in every print I’ve seen since, with a shot of the statue of Jerry and his multiple babies.

    Similarly, I’m sure there are two ending to Humphrey Bogart’s THE HARDER THEY FALL, one with Bogie typing out an article demanding a federal investigation of the boxing industry, another with the article demanding that the sport of boxing be completely eliminated. But I can’t prove it.

    • Lewis sings the song during the opening credits of the movie.

  • How many Three Stooges fans out there started doubting their memories because of all the cheaters? One ended with them collecting reward money to help a crippled neighbor, and another version ended by exposing the neighbor as a fake. One had them fleeing into a recruiting station to escape a jealous husband, setting up an army comedy, while another had them as inventors who got drafted, cutting to that same army comedy. A dance lesson with an agitated teacher popped up in a couple of different films.

    Another possible source of seemingly false memories: Movie trailers sometimes offer glimpses of scenes that were cut; likewise publicity stills. In the original trailer for “Wizard of Oz” there’s a fleeting shot of a marching band, from a deleted scene of Dorothy and friends returning to Oz after melting the witch.

    In an interview, Ernest Borgnine said people remembered in vivid detail him beating up Frank Sinatra in “From Here to Eternity”, when the movie in fact only showed Sinatra after the fight.

    If I remember correctly.

  • I had a very similar experience very recently, though I’m 100% convinced that I’m right. I was watching the Blu-ray of Braveheart with my mother, and every now and then we’d say to one-another, “This scene’s missing. That scene’s missing.” In fact, there were quite a few scenes missing from the movie that we both definitely remembered being there. This caused me to do some research into the film in an attempt to find out why. In addition, I began obtaining copies of the movie to see if I could find them, but each of these copies was the exact same length, just three minutes short of three hours, the original theatrical running time. The best explanation I could find was that the version that aired on TV was longer by an hour…but does that version still air on TV? The longer version must be the version that we saw.

    Some of the scenes we remember seeing:

    1. The princess’ wedding night. She was nervous, and scared about sharing a bed with her new husband, but when he came by, he spoke to her briefly and left her. This was her first hint that he was gay.

    2. There was a scene during which the prince and his gay lover were fencing shirtless.

    3. There was a scene early on when William Wallace said to the woman he loves, “I will share my wife with no man.”

    4. After William Wallace and his bride are married, on the same night members of their family come by and play the pipes, part of the Scottish marriage ceremony.

    5. I think there were some others, but I can’t think of them right now.

    My mother and I had both read the novel, which was very interesting, and though it’s possible that some of what we remember come from the book, we nevertheless distinctly remember seeing some of it onscreen.

    This is a great topic, Steve!

  • For whatever reason, I used to pride myself in the fact that I owned a VHS tape with the original 1937 cut of I Wanna Be a Sailor (I could’ve sworn the tape had it though, I can see the orange sunburst rings clear as day.) However, a friend of mine managed to track down the tape, and as it turns out….it was just a regular old Blue Ribbon. As of today I’m STILL trying to track down that version of the film, but that’s one chapter of the mystery solved I guess.

  • This has been driving me crazy all day because I think I own a copy of the book (purchased in mid-late Seventies) that you referred to at the start of your column. I cannot recall the title or author and scouring the Internet turned up nothing. My copy is boxed up in storage several miles away, and I haven’t laid eyes upon it in decades.

    I definitely remember the passage regarding the Mr. Bug / Bob Hope trailer. “Mr. Bug is something new – A feature-length cartoon” Hope supposedly said, ignoring the fact that there were six predecessors beforehand.

    Another snippet from the book advised the reader to check out The Thief and the Cobbler when it opens in – wait for it – 1975(!) Off by a few years, huh?

  • A couple examples of misremembering:

    I remembered Cool McCool as being blonde haired and wearing sunglasses. This was probably me mentally blending CMC with Cosmo from “Beetle Bailey”, as they were running about the same time period.

    On the subject of Bailey, I used to think that the theme song from “Bailey’s Comets” ran as incidental music in “Wacky Races”. Again, similarly plotted shows blending together…

    • Way, way back in the 60s I remember seeing comic book ads for Saturday Morning schedules with off-model art and colors. Even some merchandise and other oddments, such as cereal boxes. Insufficient/outdated reference material, or an artist asserting creative license?

      For a long time I thought Gilligan was blond in at least the early episodes, but I now suspect that was bad reception on B&W set causing his ever-present hat to look like hair.

  • I’ve read that some people remember seeing a version of Rankin/Bass’ SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN’ TO TOWN in which Topper the penguin was called Waddles.

  • Well, apart from my memories of TV commercials that now probably no longer exist, like the Drake’s cakes commercial about the little girl who greedily devoured all the gooey, chocolatey cakes before anyone else could get to them–a neat and surreal under-cranked moment where we see her hands in close-up, grabbing the cakes off the shelf, ending with a really horrific close-up of her self-satisfied face with chocolate mess all around her mouth (and, in black and white, that was really gross), or the ad that I believe was for Mazola Corn Oil in which we see wildly under-cranked images of a woman rushing through the town with her shopping cart with claims that she could find all the ingredients that make up one bottle of the product, with quick shots of her high-heeled feet moving along the streets, faster and faster, culminating in her wandering onto a corn field, where she pulled up some corn stalks to place on top of an already full shopping cart.

    I also swear that there are two different versions of some Jay Ward “FRACTURED FAIRY TALES” or “MR. PEABODY’S IMPROBABLE HISTORY” segments from “ROCKY AND HIS FRIENDS” that reappeared in “THE BULLWINKLE SHOW”, differing only in the voice over delivery and, perhaps, minor alterations and improvements in the animation, but I guess that no one would ever really know unless they had access to the vaults that now house any and all existing source material to the Jay Ward cartoons or materials that are still owned by General Mills.

    Regarding that seemingly cut dialogue on the very first Max Fleischer “SUPERMAN” cartoon, it does sound as if the dialogue was cut abruptly, but perhaps that was done on purpose. I probably have other strange memories.

    I once thought or swore that I’d seen, on local TV back when there was such a phenomenon, the original opening sequence to “THE EARLY BIRD DOOD IT”, something that I hoped I’d see again in my lifetime, and it featured a scrawny rooster where the lion would be; it is why I hope that such a master print turns up in someone’s private collection. MGM did a nice job in their 1950’s alteration of this and the first DROOPY cartoon, “DUMB HOUNDED”, but really, folks, these are early introductions to the talents at MGM of Tex Avery and how he would change the face of animation forever! I’m really interested in how those opening credits actually appeared. I’d love to hear how jazzy that score was for “DOOD IT”, right on up to the jazzy wedding march that fades into the quiet scan over the landscape that opens the cartoon.

    Lastly, I somehow misremembered the “woah” sequences in “BUCKAROO BUGS”, as Red Hot Rider has trouble getting his horse to stop, being a little longer, with the camera showing the damage done as the horse plowed through trees and bushes, but I could be mixing that up with Avery’s “CRACKPOT QUAIL”, before the dog turns to the camera and goofily says “uh-huh huh, lotsa trees!” Needless to say, I still hope some of my oddball little memories show up in DVD compilations of TV commercials, animated or live action, or in the ongoing restorative efforts on our favorite golden age cartoons!

  • There’s that notorious WB animators’ Christmas party gag-clip of Porky Pig going “Son of a b-b-b-” that turns up on YouTube. I’ve heard numerous people swear up and down that they saw on TV when they were kids, and nothing I can show them will convince them otherwise.

    • The clip was shown on TV (in the UK at least) as part of a post watershed documentary about animation. It was called “Cartoons Kick Ass – A History of Subversive Animation” and aired on Channel 4 approximately 20 years ago (Jerry Beck’s in it!). I’m not sure if it was shown outside the UK, but it’s possible it was and perhaps the Porky Clip was featured in other TV shows too.

    • I recall seeing it on USA Network’s “Night Flight” in the Eighties.

    • I also saw it on Night Flight. I miss the early days of USA Natwork… Night Flight, Up All Night, Cartoon Express, Commander USA’s Groovie Movies…
      I used to have a VHS tape with a compilation of the Warner “Breakdowns” blooper reels. Forgot who issued it, probably Something Weird Video.

  • When I was a kid in either the very late 80s or early 90s, I’d get up early each day and watch a cartoon block on The Children’s Channel (in the UK), showing vintage public domain cartoons. I remember a Betty Boop cartoon where she’s throwing a house party. As the music heats up every one and every thing starts dancing. The scene that stuck out for me depicted a pot bellied stove coming to life and dancing next to a man. Without missing a beat, the man accidentally falls into the open door of the stove and is immediately expelled through the pipe, he’s still dancing, but is nothing but ashes in a human shape.
    The scene stuck in my mind because I couldn’t help but over-think it afterwards, imagining what would happen after the party was over, when the music had stopped and people realise the horrific event for what it was!
    As an adult, however, I’ve watched all the Betty Boop cartoons and talked about the scene on a message board and it seems no such scene existed in any cartoon of that vintage. It’s probably a false memory, but it’s so, so clear that I wish I could go back in time and check!

  • There are many Disney Pinocchio pictures books that have that magical dove sequence. There’s a very early Pinocchio picture book that came out when the movie was released, foreword by Walt Disney and uses some production and preproduction drawings; the dove makes its appearance in that book. It’s no wonder people think they saw it when it’s reinforced in licensed Disney products. Likewise, the Jabberwocky survives in some Disney Alice In Wonderland books.

    The human mind is extremely suggestible. I never underestimate the fallibility of my memory.
    Clip from PBS’ NOVA:

  • I remember a short scene from Witness (1985.) It goes like this:

    The Amish boy & his mom are hiding at the detective’s sister’s house. The mom walks down stairs, & sees her son playing Donkey Kong on a Colecovision. She exclaims “Johnothan!” He turns & smiles at her.

    Never been able to find a copy of that scene. But it seems so clear…

  • I’ve read that there is a internet community that is convinced that in the early 1990’s popular comedian Sinbad starred in a movie titled “Shazaam,” in which he played an inept genie. People post that they remember seeing it in theaters,renting it at Blockbuster, etc. and claim there is some dark conspiracy that has removed and/or destroyed all copies, and that’s why no-one has seen it since. As I understand it, the best explanation is people misremembering the Shaquille O’Neal movie “Kazaam.”

    • Another possibility: There was a 2000 miniseries of “Arabian Nights”, which included a retelling of Aladdin with John Leguizamo as two genies: One, a powerful giant who faintly suggested HB’s Shazzam; the other a comic character in padded costume. Anybody who channel-surfed into it one night might later superimpose Sinbad onto one or the other. Indeed, I suspect anybody watching something full of unfamiliar faces — including cartoons — might later “recast” those fuzzy visages with more remembered ones.

    • Seems like it’s a culmination of many things: Sha[quille] + [Ka]zaam + “Shazam” being a more common sound effect that “Kazaam” + non-actor celebrity playing a genie + Sinbad the comedian sometimes wearing an “Arabian Nights” type costume based on the origin of his stage name = “There was a movie called Shazam where Sindbad played a Genie”.

  • Here’s a few other interesting oddities that I forgot to share on my first comment. I could’ve sworn that there was a scene in PORKY’S CAFE where, during the bit with the picky customer, Porky ran to make his order…and then returned, even though the customer didn’t say anything, to say “Yes sir!” again. I mentioned this next one on a previous post as well, but I’d figure I’d bring it up again–I am confident I remember seeing a Mighty Mouse cartoon where he beats the lights out of a kangaroo. This scene has stuck in my head for YEARS, and I’ve been trying to hunt down the cartoon it’s from.

    • Hi Derek, I remember your comment about Mighty Mouse vs. the kangaroo in another Thunderbean Thursday post earlier this year. I’ve been binging on Terrytoons for months now and have kept my eyes open for the cartoon you described — so far, I’m afraid, without success. The closest thing I’ve found is Kiko the kangaroo beating up on a bunch of Keystone Kops in his first cartoon, “Farmer Al Falfa’s Prize Package”. But I’ll remain vigilant in the hopes that someday we may solve this groovy mystery!

  • Many years ago — probably in the late Seventies or early Eighties — I watched a short abstract animated film, drawn directly on the film ala Norman McLaren or Len Lye. At one point, a single dot struggled to reach the top of the frame, then fell back down to the bottom. It did the same again. Then it reached the top, and the whole audience cheered for it. The dot had become the protagonist of the film. I’ve searched for the film ever since, and haven’t found it. Does anyone know what film this might be?

    • Sounds like a Sesame Street clip – maybe check YouTube!

  • Sometimes a suggestion, even if inadvertently planted, can take root and blossom into a false memory. For example:

    While preparing for a camping trip to Alaska in the ’90s, I made lanyards for my camera, camera case, binoculars, and hat; and as I was doing so I imagined an episode of Seinfeld where Kramer, fed up with losing things through the holes in his pockets, decides to put his keys, wallet and so forth on lanyards. Soon his neck is festooned with lanyards, which keep getting caught on doorknobs and tripping him up, but when he tries to remove them he finds himself hopelessly enmeshed. So Kramer is walking down the street with all his worldly possessions hanging from lanyards around his neck, when the two gay thieves (the ones who stole the armoire in another episode) try to rob him, but they get tangled up in the lanyards and can’t get away. The police come along, extract Kramer from the lanyards using the Jaws of Life, and give him a big reward for catching those notorious crooks. “You’re Batman!” exclaims George when he hears the story. “No, not Batman,” says Kramer. “I’m Spider-Man! I caught ’em in my web!”

    I told this to the friend I was traveling with, and he got a chuckle out of it. About a year later, would you believe it, he told me that he had actually seen the episode of Seinfeld about the lanyards! I said he couldn’t possibly have, because I had made it up. But he insisted that I could never come up with anything as funny and clever as that, and that he could remember it as vividly as any other episode of the show. To this day believes that there’s a lost episode (“The Lanyards”) that never turned up on the DVD collection.

  • One scene(s) I thought I saw in Disney’s Fox & The Hound was a repeat of Big Mama the owl flying onto a branch. I thought it was reused animation when she looks for Tod in the forest. Of course, it wasn’t now due to repeat viewings, but that was the impression I got when I first saw the movie in 1981.

  • I remember seeing the Peanuts special, IT’S FLASHBEAGLE CHARLIE BROWN (1984), on TV and there is one scene where Snoopy as Flashbeagle is dancing in the Disco and as the song plays there are video effects. While the video effects are present in the TV special, they are not present in the video and DVD release of this cartoon. This YouTube link would provide some proof.

    • The video effects were undoubtedly added in during post-production strictly for airing, likely per the network’s demand. The version released to home video was the unedited version without the effects.

  • Not cartoon related, but I can still remember a completely different version of “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, especially the ending, which I now know for a fact I never saw and doesn’t exist.

  • I’ve been searching for a cartoon that has haunted me ever since I (think) I saw it as a very young boy. I remember it being shown in a slot before the news back when the BBC used animation in that way a lot. It featured a man who was sat at a table with a wine bottle and the bottle turns into a cat. He then goes out into the street at night and sees a pub sign post that is shaped like a cat and the squeak it makes as it sways in the wind sounds like a cat screeching. Finally he returns home and as he enters he sees himself still sat at the table with the bottle. Is this real or did I just dream it? Sounds like a pretty intense dream for a young boy but my mind could easily have embellished it down the years. Still, the other 2 animations that I saw at this age and that haunted me turned out to be real (Incubus and A Drop Too Much) so maybe this is out there somewhere.

  • And there are many people of my age who swear that they saw the episode of MAKE ROOM FOR DADDY where, after Jean Hagen left the show, Danny walks into the living room and tearfully tells his children “Mommy has gone to heaven.” No such scene ever existed; in fact, the first episode after Hagen left (which also began the show’s 4th season) takes place at least 6 months after her character’s death.

  • I’ve read on Mark Evanier’s blog that many people are convinced there was a “last episode” of the Dungeons and Dragons TV series in which the kids finally made it home. He points out that there was one episode where the kids dreamed they had returned home, and he suggests that’s what people are actually remembering (the series was cancelled at the end of the third season, and the staff had no way of knowing at the time, so no “final episode” had been prepared). He also wrote that a “final episode” had in fact been scripted after the show had been cancelled for a possible one-shot special but it was never produced. I’ve read elsewhere that the script is in circulation and there have been some fan-produced versions out there.

    • I’m one of those people who watched the last chapter of D&D. I remember vividly the last battle with Venger, his defeat at last and the kids returning home. It was a hot topic in my school, since D&D, together with He-Man and Saint Seya were big hits here in Brazil. I’d like to watch – or re-watch – this supposed “dream” episode Mark Evanier is referring to, but, well, not that all of this matters that much anymore.

  • I’ve found that many cartoons I remembered as being from major studios were actually smaller cartoons from Sesame Street or The Electric Company. Or, vice versa. I’m honestly surprised that more major studios didn’t work on those shows. With the exception of Chuck Jones doing Road Runner segments for Electric Company, that is. But I have many obscure cartoon memories that ended up being on one of those shows.
    Luckily, because of places like this and YouTube, I’ve found (and am still finding) most of those clips that I remember……..except one: Does anyone remember on the Electric Company a cartoon about a skeleton playing with his own skull to a jazzy song, “the skull is connected to the skeleton”? If anyone knows where this little nugget can be found, I’d be very grateful!

  • Regarding MR. BUG GOES TO TOWN – or HOPPITY … – isn’t it possible that Bob Hope might have introduced the film at the premiere in person – not on film – probably in the Hollywood area? Steve and I knew a film collector who worked as an usher – and later managed the famous Oriental Theater in Chicago. Many, many films were “introduced” by their stars for the big city showings. Our friend Mickey Gold remembers Danny Kaye showing up to promote one of his films. (I think Mickey said that Danny was behind the ticket counter for awhile!) Buster Crabbe once told an audience that even ultra-cheap PRC had Crabbe and cohort Al “Fuzzy” St. John go to various theaters to promote their BILLY THE KID Westerns. I discovered – doing research for Dr. Gary Don Rhodes – that Bela Lugosi came to Chicago to promote INVISIBLE GHOST (1941) and did a vaudeville show besides. The friendly Chicago newspaper critics raved about the show and said little about the film itself!

    I’ve seen a print of – is it SLICK HARE? – where Bugs meets “Bogie” and Lauren Bacall – and a clip from THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS was tacked on there, where Bogart – in live action, of course, says: “Gee, I hope my movie fans don’t hear about this” (something like that, anyway).

    As for the “spider scenes” in KING KONG, I had worked with a colleague who absolutely insisted he saw the footage in a print when the film was re-released in Reading, Pa. around 1952. I talked to KING KONG expert Jack Polito about this. He – saw the film around the same time as a boy – without the sequence. He got to meet composer Max Steiner and found that Steiner did NOT conduct music for that sequence – he scored the film completely, apparently AFTER the preview (with the “spider pit sequence” removed). Jack argues that as the film had “wall-to wall” music in it (practically), RKO wouldn’t release the film with a whole suspenseful sequence in it – without some Steiner music in it somewhere! Could a renegade “preview print” have somehow gotten into circulation by mistake? Not impossible, but highly unlikely!

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