THE CARTOON CRYPT: The Cobweb Hotel (1936)


Another great cartoon from the Max Fleischer Color Classics series.

You can get all but one of the Color Classics on this great DVD set called Somewhere in Dreamland:

I’ve noticed a couple additional things worth noting going through the DVD set. First of all, the color on some of the cartoons, although still seemingly faded, is hugely improved over the other versions of them that I’ve seen… this is particularly obvious comparing versions of Hawaiian Birds. Also, in the version of Peeping Penguins included, the song “Curiosity Killed the Cat” is curiously missing from the soundtrack, which is a damn shame. I haven’t checked it against my other version of it, but it seemed like this version may have been shorter as well. In spite of these relatively minor flaws, this is still an incredible set of cartoons. You can click the above image to order it.

Read more about this cartoon on The Big Cartoon Database.

THE CARTOON CRYPT: Bunny Mooning (1937)


I was thrilled the other day to run across the DVD set Max Fleischer’s Color Classics: Somewhere in Dreamland. I don’t know how this escaped my notice previously. I’m a big fan of the Fleischer brothers, and I’ve been hunting down the Color Classics cartoons on the internet recently to see them all. Now I don’t have to… the collection has all but one of the Fleischer Color Classics included (“Tears Of An Onion,” which is apparently still copyrighted and couldn’t be included). The cartoons I’ve watched so far, while they don’t appear to be completely restored (the colors I imagine were much more brilliant in the 30’s), are in much better condition than I’ve ever seen them (I have a number of the cartoons on other cartoon collections). The cartoons themselves are fantastic.

The center image on the cover of the DVD is from the cartoon Bunny Mooning. This one is so saccharine-sweet, it is surprising it came out of the Fleischer studios… I’m guessing it is one of the worst cartoons on the set. It is still a lot of fun, though! It’s definitely no Dancing on the Moon (my favorite so far)!

Read more about this cartoon on The Big Cartoon Database.

Here are the contents of the DVD Set:

1. Poor Cinderella (starring Betty Boop) **
2. Little Dutch Mill **
3. An Elephant Never Forgets **
4. Song of the Birds
5. Dancing On the Moon 1935 **
6. Somewhere in Dreamland **
7. The Little Stranger
8. The Cobweb Hotel
9. Greedy Humpty Dumpty
10. Hawaiian Birds
11. Play Safe
12. Christmas Comes But Once a Year **
13. Bunny Mooning
14. Chicken A La King
15. A Car-Tune Portrait
16. Peeping Penguins
1. Educated Fish” (1937)
2. Little Lamby
3. Hold It! **
4. Hunky and Spunky (1938)
5. All’s Fair At the Fair **
6. Playful Polar Bears
7. Always Kickin’ (starring Hunky and Spunky)
8. Small Fry
9. Barnyard Brat (starring Hunky and Spunky)
10. The Fresh Vegetable Mystery **
11. Little Lambkins
12. Ants In the Plants **
13. A Kick In Time (starring Hunky and Spunky)
14. Snubbed By A Snob (starring Hunky and Spunky)
15. You Can’t Shoe A Horsefly (starring Hunky and Spunky)
**optional audio commentary by Jerry Beck**

A documentary about the making of this collection of the complete `Color Classics’ cartoons. It includes four uncut ultra-rare cartoons:
1*The Kids In the Shoe
2*Time For Love (the only known copy in existence is this black & white version)
3*Musical Memories
4*Vitamin Hay (starring Hunky and Spunky)

I’ll probably post more about these cartoons as I make my way through the set with my 2 and a half year old daughter, Esther (Dancing on the Moon is her favorite too).

THE CARTOON CRYPT: Betty Boop in Betty in Blunderland (1934)


Another excellent, surreal Betty Boop cartoon… I love the Jabberwocky in this. The featured song in it, “How Do You Do,” is an altered version of the song “Everyone Says I Love You.” Below is Groucho Marx’s wonderful version of that song from Horse Feathers (1932) (starts at 36 seconds in or so). There are other great versions of that song in Horse Feathers as well… note that you can see the entire movie on YouTube starting here. I’ve exported the music from both movies as mp3’s for your listening pleasure… you can grab those here.

Read more about this cartoon on the Big Cartoon Database here.

THE CARTOON CRYPT: Betty Boop and Pudgy in My Friend the Monkey (1939)


I must confess, I used to really dislike Pudgy and Grampy… the characters that invaded Betty Boop’s cartoons after her pre-Hays code prime. I blamed them for the decline of quality in Betty Boop cartoons, not to mention the unfortunate disappearance of Bimbo and Koko. I’ve been watching them a lot lately, however, because my daughter LOVES Pudgy… and they really are fun cartoons. Betty is nowhere near as interesting as in her earlier cartoons… but I guess it ain’t Pudgy and Grampy’s fault. This is the 6th from last Fleischer Betty Boop cartoon, and 2nd from last Pudgy cartoon. This may be my favorite of the Pudgy cartoons I’ve seen.

PLEASE NOTE: This cartoon contains ethnic depictions that some people would certainly find offensive, and you may not want to watch it if this sort of thing bugs you.

Read more about this cartoon at the Big Cartoon Database.

THE CARTOON CRYPT: An Elephant Never Forgets (1934)


What? A rerun won’t cut it for your Saturday morning? You kids today are spoiled! When I was a kid long, long ago in the decade we called the Seventies, we had four channels, and one was PBS, which didn’t even count! We were happy to get reruns! We’d watch the same Woody Woodpecker cartoon 100 times, because that was the Woody Woodpecker cartoon the local station had a copy of! Hell, forget Woody Woodpecker, we even watched Fred and Barney meet The Thing and The Shmoo! And we liked it! Loved it, even! And it was terrible! You… you’ve got the low-res version of the history of animation at your fingertips whenever you want it! What the hell is wrong with you?!? Be grateful!

Oh, fine, have another, you lucky little bastards… here’s the Fleischers’ An Elephant Never Forgets from 1934.

Read more about this cartoon on The Big Cartoon Database.