If you haven’t picked up your copy of the new Woody Woodpecker Classic Cartoon Collection, shame on you! Everyone reading Cartoon Brew should have this. This morning we had a contest and gave away three copies.
Answer the question below in our comments section and the first three correct answers will win the DVD collection.
Who was the original voice of Woody Woodpecker? (HINT: he was also Bugs Bunny, Barney Rubble and Pepe LePew)
CONTEST NOW CLOSED! We have our winners. Congratulations to Craig Davison, Kelly Kilmer and William Russo (MGH) for being the first to submit the correct answer (answer: Mel Blanc)!
Special Thanks to Universal Studios Home Entertainment for providing us with the prizes.
(Click on images above for larger version) The painting above left is original art from Fleischer Studios Technicolor two-reel special The Raven and how it may have looked on screen in 1942. The image at right is a blurry 16mm frame grab of the same shot – the way it looks today as it sits unrestored and essentially unavailable to view. ASIFA-Hollywood is working with the UCLA Archive to help preserve neglected films like this (and in fact, The Raven may be ready later this year). It’s a real crime that these animation classics are allowed to rot in the vaults of the mega corporations who own them. The Raven is one of the Fleischer’s lesser efforts, but can we really judge it in the horrifying condition as it now exists?
If you’d like to see a larger, more complete version of the gorgeous background painting above, click here. And for those of you who might like to own it, the piece is being sold at auction by S/R Labs sometime during October 22-23, 2007, along with more than 250 fine pieces of animation art like it. S/R is an animation art conservation center that specializes in restoring vintage cels and paper (as well as doing ceramic, porcelain and oil conservation). They do good work.
Once again the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive provides a new piece of the giant jigsaw puzzle that is the history of animated cartoons.
Steve Worth has scanned sections of a December 1945 issue of Coronet magazine which includes an autobiography of Bugs Bunny (illustrated with original images loosely based on the storyboards from A Hare Grows In Manhattan (released in May 1947). Anybody have any guesses as to who did the art?
The ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive has posted another gem, my favorite piece of Disneyana of all time: the wartime in-house publication Dispatch From Disney. They’ve scanned the pages (click here for Part 1, here for Part 2).
This publication (only one issue was produced in 1943) was beautifully produced and loaded with unique information and art by Fred Moore, T. Hee, Roy Williams and others. I always wanted a copy and now, thanks to the Archive, I can read it anytime I want.
Mike Van Eaton’s latest acquisition is a killer. An original Koko the Clown drawing, apparently related to (or for) the 1922 film called The Mosquito,signed and dated by Max Fleischer. Click on image above to see a larger version. The intriguing inscription reads “My Dear Raoul, Here’s wishing you success with my new productions. Sincerely, Max Fleischer, 1922″
Raoul Barre perhaps? If anybody has a copy of “The Mosquito”, I would love to see if this is one of the opening drawings.
Combine the contents of my annual Worst Cartoons Ever! screenings with the warped comic mind of Frank Conniff (“TV’s Frank” from Mystery Science Theater 3000) and you have Cartoon Dump.
The first Cartoon Brew Films original production, Cartoon Dump is a new weekly podcast that exposes the seamy underbelly of cartoon history. Join us! Sing along with Mighty Mister Titan, Compost Brite and Moodsy, the Clinically Depressed Owl. Check it out. It’s funny, it’s flipped out and it’s free!
August 1st, and like clockwork animator Steve Moore has produced another issue of his online animation magazine, Flip. Lots of great stuff, including Fred Cline writing about Lee and Mary Blair. Check it out here.
Does it mean anything that filmmaking icons Ingmar Bergman and Michaelangelo Antonioni passed away the same week The Simpsons Movie opens? Jeff Stahler’s editorial cartoon yesterday nailed the sad truth about current movie going tastes, and the general public’s ignorance of film history.
Update: Will Finn also notes the irony of Bergman’s passing and the Simpsons opening.
Sure, The Simpsons Movie made over $70 million this weekend at the box office. But the big winner in all this is the estate of lyricist Paul Francis Webster and composer Bob Harris (anyone know what became of him?).
Webster may have won three Academy Awards for Best Song (including Love Is A Many Splendored Thing), but his lyrics for the 1967 Spider-man TV cartoon theme will apparently live forever. In addition to its inclusion in the three recent Spider-Man live action features, the tune has become one of the most popular gags (re-worked as “Spider Pig”, by Homer) in The Simpsons Movie.
Compared to his other work, Webster must have been slumming when he penned the words for the Saturday morning cartoon show. But like Spider-man and the Simpsons, the song has established itself as a mainstay of popular culture.
A quick plug for Stu’s Show, the internet radio program devoted to nostalgic pop culture. I’ll be on later this month (August 22) to discuss the recent classic cartoon DVD collections (and will answer your questions via listener phone calls). This week (tomorrow Wednesday August 1st 7-9pm East Coast/4pm-6pm West Coast) Stu interviews Eddie Carroll (pictured above at right, next to actor Alan Young, the voice of Uncle Scrooge). Carroll, best known for his tribute shows to Jack Benny, has been the voice of Jiminy Cricket since 1973.
The show is not archived so you’ll have to tune it tomorrow for the live show or tune in at the same time the next seven days if you want to hear a repeat broadcast. Stu’s show is great fun and very informative. Highly recommended.
Unabashed plug #2: Popeye DVD. Post your comments below.
Strange stuff! Good things and scary things abound. Here are just a couple of my comic book finds from this year’s San Diego Comic Con (Click on covers above to see a larger version).
Right to Left: SINBAD JR. is one of the favorites in my Worst Cartoons Ever! shows, especially the Sam Singer version which this particularly ugly comic seems to be based on. I bought this horrible copy of ARCHIE No. 114 for a buck, mainly because I couldn’t take my eyes off the strange cover. Click on it to get a better look. What is the “gag” here? Archie comics at this time (1960) usually featured a cover gag situation unrelated to the inside of the book. I couldn’t figure out why Archie was being arrested by a realistic policeman (and on what charges?). It turns out this cover is related to a story inside, one in which Archie’s knowlege of the Spanish language helps save a boy’s life. I don’t know how many Broadway plays or movie musicals were adapted into comic books, but Meredith Wilson’s THE MUSIC MAN is one of my favorites. I never saw this comic book adaptation before, but it’s quite good, all things considered. How about this 1946 NEW YORKER cover by Abe Burnbaum? Some guy was selling old New Yorker’s for $3 bucks. As a film collector and part-time projectionist myself I couldn’t resist this great cover – and a great issue loaded with ads, cartoons and articles.
But the scariest thing I got at the Con, hands down, was this free “Temporary Tattoo” handout at the Warner’s booth:
Amid’s gone. I’m still here. Look who I met this afternoon at the Mattel Hot Wheels booth (where they were selling a very cool limited edition Hot Wheels 1966 Batmobile). Spent the day trolling several panels and walking the dealers room (Yes, they still sell comics – I’ll post some I bought later this week). Photo snapped with my funky Motorola cel phone.
San Diego Comic Con Friday, 7.27.07, 9:15pm
I apologize for all the pix of me lately. Dan O’Shannon and his magical iPhone took these shots of yours truly (above), last night in Room CDEF, warning the packed crowd (below) that they were about to see the Worst Cartoons Ever. And they did.