Editor’s Note: This is the final installment of Thad Komorowski’s posts reprinting rare promotional print cartoons that originally appeared weekly (sometimes intermittently) from 1934 through 1945 in the in-house trade publication “Paramount Sales News”. For a Fleischer/Famous fan such as I these posts are invaluable. Compiling these took extraordinary effort and I cannot thank Thad enough.
And though these print pieces end here – it isn’t the end of Famous Studios here on Cartoon Research. Especially now, when it begins to get interesting with the addition of Casper on screen and Bill Tytla behind the scenes. Starting on June 8th, I’m going to attempt to continue to talk Famous with new posts about the studio each week – in chronologic order, beginning with the 1945-46 season – right here every Monday.
Next week, June 1st, in this spot will be a guest post by none-other than Gene Deitch with an exclusive story – just for our readers – about his dealings with MGM, tied to the release of Warner’s new DVD box set “Tom & Jerry: The Gene Deitch Collection”. Don’t miss this! – Jerry Beck
The end of the line! I’ve got to say it’s been a pleasure doing these posts. I’m writing this at the Cinevent convention in Columbus, Ohio, and I’m rather stunned by the compliments and handshakes I’ve gotten, for these posts and my animation history work in general. Kind words from complete strangers, and even people you’ve long admired, like John McElwee of the amazing Greenbriar Picture Shows. Internet comments are always nice but there’s nothing like being told face-to-face that what you do means something. (Even if in the grand scheme of things it’s pretty pointless.)
Paramount Sales News abruptly dropped the panels in 1945, which spoke volumes of what was going on with Famous Studios at the time, and Paramount’s attitude towards the place.
Several key animators and writers left, the Technicolor backlog became a major hassle (for all the studios), and the cartoons themselves were fast hitting a creative standstill. Word even leaked to the press that the home of Popeye and Little Lulu was shutting down for good (even though it wasn’t).
It’s safe to say that by 1945, Paramount officially didn’t care about Famous Studios. As far as the brass was concerned, Famous simply made Popeye and kept them in the running of shorts distribution. I almost missed the September 6th panel advertising Casper’s debut (drawn better here than in the actual film) because it was buried under a sea of text, as opposed to the prominence the panels usually got.
I’m being intentionally vague about what went on at Paramount in this post, because the full story of what happened at Famous Studios, and in the New York animation industry, will be told soon. Charlie Judkins (whose early NY animator profiles you’ve all enjoyed) and I are collaborating on something that’s been sorely needed for several decades. That’s all I’m saying for right now. More very soon..