The penultimate post. Famous Studios has started to find its identity—sometimes for the better, but mostly for worse.
By the time these saw print, Terry-Toon veterans Johnny Gent, Marty Taras, and Bill Tytla had joined the Famous staff and their skill was rapidly influencing the look and movement of the pictures. The appealing Terry house style blended with the principles Tytla developed at Disney’s. (Although Gent said director Terry director Connie Rasinki would screen prints of Disney cartoons for the Terry animators to study.) And thus came the pleasant but cookie-cutter Famous house style that stayed well through 1956.
On the promo pieces below, it’s interesting to note the November 26th cartoon, Lulu In The Dark. Nice gag with Tubby, but it was never an animated short. The two “Noveltoons” rated a photo of a cel set-up (as opposed to an original drawing): the long
threatened awaited Spunky cartoon and Gabriel Churchkitten (the full cartoon is embed below). For the first few years the Noveltoons were treated as something special amongst the Lulu and Popeye releases by Famous, each one based on a pre-sold property or original character.
Note they reprinted the Lulu “Happy New Year” gag from the year before – not even updating the year (1944), thus negating the “joke”. Also compare She Sick Sailors (embed below) with its December 28th promotional cartoon. The print gag has nothing to do with the film and its tie-in to Superman – and yet makes more sense of the title than the short itself!