It was eighty years ago this month when Walt Disney’s Steamboat Willie made its debut at New York’s Colony Theatre — and the history of animation was changed forever.
I was rummaging through my movie files over the weekend and I came across this four page program for the Colony Theatre from 1927, a little more over a year before Mickey’s gala premiere. At the risk of going slightly OT, I thought I’d post this (below) for my friends J.B. Kaufman, Leonard Maltin, David Gerstein, Michael Barrier and the six other people I know who might find this fascinating.
There are a couple of things to note. First off, it has a great cover illustration by C.E. Millard, and a logo which designates the Colony as “A Universal Theatre”. On page 3 you’ll see Disney’s The Ocean Hop, an Oswald Rabbit cartoon, is programmed to play after the feature (as a “chaser”?). Also note that cigarettes are provided free, and there is no tipping the hostesses. The final page features the theatre floor plan and indicates that the admission price is only 25 cents before 2pm.
Ahh, moving-going in the 1920s. Click on thumbnails below to enlarge – and return to the way it used to be.
On sale tomorrow is Popeye Vol. 3. This 2-disc set features the classic wartime cartoons (banned from TV for several decades) with Popeye versus the German and Japanese armies. Restored cartoons, bonus documentaries and special features – the perfect video to watch after the election results come in! Here’s a tip: Best Buy is offering a bonus “vintage mini-comic book” if you buy it at the store.
This is the second of two contests today. The prize for this contest are two tickets to Ari Folman’s animated feature Waltz With Bashir. Prizes will only be awarded to contestants who can actually use the passes. Please only enter if you can attend the AFI Fest at the ArcLight Cinemas at Hollywood & Vine (the screening will be held on Friday night, Nov. 7th at 7pm).
Contest Question:Sony Pictures Classics is releasing Waltz With Bashir on December 25th. Last year Sony Classics release Persepolis (which was nominated for an Academy Award). In 2003 Sony Classics released what film (also nominated for an Academy Award)?
UPDATE: CONTEST CLOSED! Answer and Winners in the comments link below.
This is the first of two contests today. The prizes for today’s contests are tickets to animated features at the AFI Fest in Hollywood. Prizes will only be awarded to contestants who can actually use the passes. Please only enter if you can attend the screening of Bill Plympton’s new feature Idiots and Angels at the ArcLight Cinemas at Hollywood & Vine (winners can choose between Wednesday Nov. 5th at 9:40pm or Thursday November 6th at 1pm).
Contest Question:What was the name of Bill Plympton’s first animated feature?
UPDATE: This Contest is now closed! Winners posted in Comments below. Contest #2 will be posted here at 10:30am PST.
Here’s a neat find. Chuck Howell, curator at The Library of American Broadcasting at the University of Maryland, came across this two-page article from the Oct. 1950 issue of a trade publication called Advertising Agency and Advertising And Selling (I assume two trade organs had merged to come up with that mouthful). “Clipping Board” was a regular feature that focused on art and graphic design trends, covering everything from billboards to direct mail to (as in this case) the still-new
medium of television (click on thumbnails below for enlargements). These pages detail the creation of a TV commercial, for Sealtest ice cream, produced at Tempo Productions and directed by Bill Tytla (the article mis-spells his name “Wm. Tytle”).
I swore on a stack of 16mm Kodachrome that I wouldn’t mention every piece of Oswald The Lucky Rabbit merchandising I came across – but I couldn’t resist pointing to this one.
I find it fascinating to watch the Disney corporation of today attempt to market an 80 year old cartoon character that most people (Cartoon Brew readers excepted) have never heard of. I love that they are doing it, of course, but some of the items produced are head scratchers. This Jumbo Oswald pin (above) looks like none of the merchandising models they’ve been using, nor the version of the character in any existent animated cartoons. This image was taken from the cover of the Oswald Stencil Set from 1928 and it was used in Universal trade ads. Apparently it’s the earliest model of the character, from possibly Poor Papa (which is a lost film) – an odd choice, but it certainly makes for an interesting fashion accessory.
The Presidential sweepstakes isn’t the only big contest being held next week. Cartoon Brew will hold several contests next week with prizes to help ease the pain (or add to the joy) of the U.S. election results.
On Monday we will offer several pairs of free tickets to AFI Fest events in Los Angeles, including passes to Bill Plympton’s latest feature, Idiots and Angels and the acclaimed Israeli animated film, Waltz With Bashir.
For those unable to attend the L.A. screenings, our Tuesday contest will offer my new art book, The Art of Madagascar as prizes and on Thursday (no contest on Wednesday) we will give away several sets of the new Hanna-Barbera Mini-Books (pictured below) from Insight Editions.
The contests will be posted at 9am (Pacific Time) 12 noon (eastern Time) on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Check in on us at that time.
The controversy over California’s Proposition 8 is nothing compared to one Japanese fanboy’s campaign to marry cartoon characters. To be specific, this is aimed more toward winning a manga girl, not an anime babe. A coo-coo otaku named Taichi Takashita has launched an online petition which he plans to present to his government to establish a law on marriages with cartoon characters. Within a week he has gathered more than 1,000 signatures through the Internet.
As a Comic Con veteran of over 30 years, none of this surprises me. If anything, I’m surprised how many news sources have posted this story.