Terrytoons, the New Rochelle New York studio run by Paul Terry, was considered the bottom of the barrel. But with popular characters like MIGHTY MOUSE, HECKLE & JECKLE, GANDY GOOSE and SOURPUSS, with great Jim Tyer animation — and wonderful opening title art — this studio has it’s fans. I’m particularly fond of the two years when Gene Deitch ran the studio (1956-58) and made a bunch of great CinemaScope cartoons (with CLINT CLOBBER, TOM TERRIFIC, GASTON LeCRAYON, etc.) which are completely forgotten today.
The “New Terrytoons” period in the late 1950s and 60s brought us SIDNEY, HECTOR HEATHCOATE, HASHIMOTO and DEPUTY DAWG. Not to mention THE MIGHTY HEROES and Ralph Bakshi. TERRYTOONS were originally released by 20th Century Fox. Today they are owned by CBS-Viacom (under Paramount Pictures).
ORIGINAL TERRYTOON BLACK & WHITE MAIN TITLES from 1937:
From 1942, a rare look at the original Terrytoons title treatment in the 1940s just before they switched to all color production. Most prints from this era that exist today have replaced TV titles, minus the credits. (Special thanks for Cartoon Researcher Jim Tucker and Pietro Shakarian for providing these titles)
ORIGINAL TERRYTOON COLOR MAIN TITLE: They are pretty much all the same. Here is a typical Heckle & Jeckle. The main difference in the opening “star character” graphic.
TERRYTOONS had wonderful opening title art. Most cartoons began with a “starring character” painting, even if the cartoon was a micellaneous one with one-shot characters. Here’s a small sample:
TOP ROW (left to right): MIGHTY MOUSE, LITTLE ROQUEFORT, DIMWIT and DINGBAT.
BOTTOM ROW: WOODMAN SPARE THAT TREE (1951), THE HELPFUL GENIE (1951), SEASIDE ADVENTURE (1952), and A YOKOHAMA YANKEE (1955)
Even Terrytoons had their share of racist and sexist stereotypes:
This is, I think, the only time Terry bought the rights to an outside property to adapt to animation:
These are the original titles to the CinemaScope Gene Deitch-era Terrytoons:
Home Movies: Castle Films licensed Terrytoons for 16mm and 8mm home movies in the 1940s & 50s. Terrytoon home movie boxes donated to this page by Paul Mular. Poster image donated to this webpage by the Tooneriffic Aaron Higgins.
Written, compiled and copyright © 2013 by Jerry Beck