April 11, 2024 posted by Steve Stanchfield

“The Lone Star State” (1948)

By popular demand (?!?) A Screen Song! Think of this post as seeing a really good showing of old 16mm cartoons at someone’s house in Brooklyn, sitting on a bed with four other cartoony people surrounded by cats and stacks of old Village Voices. We just happen to be watching a Famous Studios Screen Song, in-between an IB Tech Looney Tune and a Kodachrome Puppetoon.

But first— some Thunderbean news!

We’ve been attempting to send a bunch of things at the same time that are finally going out. There’s seven special discs sending at the same time, including the special 2024 sneak preview set. Becky and Dave have been doing their best to get all this stuff dubbed and sent, and I’ve finally given them everything they need to get everything out the door. So, look for a shipping notice if you’ve ordered things! More are headed that way in the next month or so.

After a major hard drive crash, we’re limping back to full power on the Rainbow Parade 2 set and still doing some finishing touches on the otherwise complete Mid Century Modern 3. The Iwerks Comi-Colors have started to get combined from the negatives, and it’s so much fun to see. We’ll be sharing as we get closer to finishing volume 1. The most exciting thing for me is getting to pull new materials for upcoming projects, especially things I’ve never seen before. There’s one project that I can’t wait to get all the way to finish if I can manage, but I ain’t talking about it!

And— today’s cartoon!!

You know, I think, out of context, standing alone, the Famous Studio’s Screen Songs are pretty entertaining; that’s the way audiences saw them back in the 1940s and 50s. The problem is seeing a bunch back-to-back; ten (or more) of them in a row. The ones that have a spot gag format (like this one) I think are some of the most entertaining.

In context to other Famous Studios cartoons, The Lone Star State (1948) is pretty standard fare. It’s enjoyable enough, and having a print with good color definitely helps a lot. The background painting is especially nice in this particular cartoon, and the character design seems a little less Famous-standard. I’m guessing it was still designed by Dave Tendlar, who gets faux-director credit here as lead animator. It is a beautifully animated short, and the bouncing ball sequence is especially cute (one of my favorites of any of them).

The 16mm Kodachrome print we scanned is especially nice color-wise. I wish all prints of Famous Stuff were this good, even without the full Paramount titles it’s pretty.

Have a good week all!


  • As always, I very much look forward to receiving some of those long awaited special disks. The last ones you created, the last ones I received were extremely good! I’m hoping for the best for these new arrivals.

    As for “The Lone Star State“, I remember, first checking that cartoon out on a VHS tape, one of those public domains, things, years ago. The print you have is no doubt much, much better than that. The sound was horrible on that tape, but hey, at the time there were so many good public domain cartoon collections out there, that I couldn’t resist.

    Glad to see you upgrading the good stuff to the best possible quality we can have them at this point. It has been so many years, I’m not surprised even when the big companies look in there , long, long corridor vaults only to find that some of the classic stuff that I’ve grown up with is fading fast and is a lot more problematic today than it was way back then. Good luck with everything you do. I look forward to receiving any of the Blu-ray that I ordered, and there are a number of them at this point.

  • I’ll say this for “The Lone Star State”: the bit where Little Bo Peep wrestles her sheep is worth examining frame-by-frame.

    • Unlike the Disney Animators, it stayed clean.

  • Got many chuckles out of this cartoon! Thanks!

    Little Bo Peep looked to be a direct steal from Tex Avery!

    Very nice print, except for the splices in the beginning!

  • WHO is doing the narration for this cartoon? It sounds a little liike Pat Buttram, but I’m not sure about that?

    Is the “Annie Dopley” character supposed to be based on “Annie Oakley”? If she is, she doesn’t look a thing like Barbara Stanwyck!

    • Len, the opening titles credit the narration to Cal Tinney – a humorist in the Will Rogers vein, who was also an actor, writer and broadcaster. He was the creator of radio’s “Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One.”

      And yes, “Annie Dopley” is supposed to be a screwball version of Annie Oakley. She doesn’t look like Stanwyck – nor Ethel Merman who was starring on Broadway as Oakley (in “Annie Get Your Gun”) when this cartoon was in production

    • Leonard, it says Cal Tinney in the opening credits.
      Buttram, at this point, was on the West Coast, doing a weekly TV show on KTLA. Tinney was on TV, too, appearing on “Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One”

    • Cal Tunney, the narrator of “The Lone Star State” was actually a native of Oklahoma. “An OKIE??? Git a rope!”

  • Thanks, Jerry and Don: I should have looked a little more carefully! Wouldn’t you think the Famous animators would have made her look a little more like Stanwyck or Merman – they always tried to be “topical”!

    Thanks for the info. on Pat Buttram, too. I thought he was still making Westerns with Gene Autry and Co. at the time! Smart promoter and I think he married actress Sheila Ryan as well. I liked him best as sneaky salesman “Mr. Hainey” on GREEN ACRES!

  • 0:49 I don’t think I’ve ever seen wheels animated as smoothly as on this one (traditional, of course). Nice film, thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *