No, it’s not Jerry Seinfeld in a bee costume – it’s Jim Carrey dressed as an elephant shamelessly cross-promoting Horton Hears A Who! on Fox’s American Idol last week. Carrey, no stranger to looking and acting silly, seems almost embarrassed to be hawking the kid flick on this show.
Carrey comes in about 1:15 and his shtick ends at the 2:45 mark.
I alert you to this Disney auction, not because I know Brew readers are financially well off and can afford these vintage cels (several with Walt’s autograph), toys and ephemera — but because I know you will enjoy the ample photographs of this material pictured on the site. I certainly am! Check it out! Good stuff!
Brew Radio Alert: Tomorrow afternoon (March 15th) I’ll spend an hour on the radio discussing 101 Dalmatians, Horton Hears A Who and other cartoon trivia on Movie Talk with Dave Dubos. The program is broadcast out of New Orleans on WGSO 990AM from 12noon till 3pm Central (I’ll be on the final hour from 2-3pm Central/3-4pm Eastern/12 noon-1pm Pacific). You can listen live – or download a podcast at a later time (also check out my previous appearance on the show last month, Feb. 16th).
Roberta, Judy and Jon Levitow have created a new website devoted to their father, Abe Levitow.
Levitow, a largely overlooked figure in American animation, is best known for his work under (as animator), and alongside (as co-director), Chuck Jones. He later became an animation director (Mr.Magoo’s Christmas Carol, Gay Purr-ee) and an associate of Richard Williams.
Trailer above contains scenes from Levitow’s classic Magoo’s Christmas Carol (1962) and the NBC primetime series, The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo (1964). For more about Abe Levitow, go visit the site!
Research into the origins of the serialized feature The Space Explorers, by folks who grew up obsessed with it from TV viewings in the late 50s/early 60s, never ends. Years ago I posted all the information I had about this Fred Ladd pastiche on my Cartoon Research FAQ. Ladd apparently combined live action shots from a German sci-fi film Weltraumschiff 1 Startet (Spaceship 1 Launches) with scenes from some random foreign outer space cartoon. Ladd has never been able to recall the name of the animated film from which the cartoon segments were culled.
You can all sleep easier tonight. The mystery has been solved. All character animation, from the interior of the spaceship to the scenes of the planet exploration, were extracted from a Russian short called Polet na lunu, (Flight to the Moon), produced in 1953. More information (with frame grabs) is posted on a French website located HERE.
I found this original TV spot for Richard Williams’ Raggedy Ann & Andy (1977) in my collection, and thought it was a hoot. Note the “rolling eyes” reaction of the adult at the 32-second mark. With all the great respect Williams showed for – and credited to – his master animators, it saddened me back then that this film was simply marketed by distributor 20th Century-Fox as a typical kiddy film; pure Saturday matinee fodder. Obviously is was a children’s film – but it was also a rare challenge to Disney’s cartoon dominance (The Rescuers was released two months later) in a what was debatably the worst decade ever for animated features (Bakshi’s work excepted).
To commemorate Friday’s release of Fox’s Horton Hears A Who!, I thought this comparison in how an animated film was sold back then, versus today’s massive marketing campaigns, was worth noting.
Comic book writer Fred Van Lente and cartoonist Ryan Dunlavey have teamed up to create Comic Book Comics, a concise illustrated history of comic strips, comic books and yes, animated cartoons. I just picked up a copy at my local comics shop this week and all things considered, it’s pretty good. Jack Kirby and Max Fleischer seems to get extra attention in the first issue. Among the names who will be profiled in forthcoming editions are Stan Lee, Walt Disney, Roy Lichtenstein, R. Crumb, Winsor McCay, Will Eisner, Osamu Tezuka, Harvey Kurtzman, Art Spiegelman, Steve Ditko and Bob Kane.
For Popeye completists only: To be released the same day (June 17th) as Popeye The Sailor Vol. 2, 1938-1940, Warner Home Video will be appealing to kids and families with a special one-disc release containing eight color episodes from the 1978 CBS Saturday morning series, The All-New Popeye Hour. The eight cartoons include: Abject Flying Object, Ship Ahoy, I Wouldn’t Take That Mare to The Fair on a Dare, Popeye Goes Sightseeing, Chips Off The Old Ice Block, Popeye The Plumber, Swee-Pea Plagues
A Parade and Polly Wants Some Spinach.
Below is an excerpt from a new documentary Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood which aired the other night on TCM. I appear briefly (the clip below is my entire appearence) to point out a line of dialogue from one of my favorite cartoons, Bosko’s Picture Show (1933).
This mystery has been dogging me since Will Friedwald and I first pointed it out in our 1981 Scarecrow Press book, The Warner Brothers Cartoons. To this day I still can’t quite make what word Bosko is using. “The dirty Thug?” “The dirty Fox”? “The dirty F-ck”?
If you haven’t been a regular reader of Leonard Maltin’s website or his quarterly newsletter – both named Movie Crazy – you should be. Leonard has now collected the best articles from the newsletter into a 410-page trade paperback also named, you guessed it: Movie Crazy.
It’s loaded with incredible interviews with, and articles about, the people in front and behind the cameras during the golden age of Hollywood. It also contains many pieces of particular interest to animation fans. These include an interview with Janet Waldo (voice of Judy Jetson and Penelope Pittstop), a bio of Arthur Q. Bryan (voice of Elmer Fudd), an interview with Betty Kimball (Ward’s wife) and Marie Johnston (Ollie’s better half) on their careers as ink-and-paint girls at Disney, rare Hollywood caricatures by Disney Legend Joe Grant and an amazing publicity photo of Spanky McFarland and Mickey Mouse.
It’s published by Mike (Dark Horse) Richardson’s M Press imprint and available on amazon.com for $13.57 – and worth every penny.