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BooksCartoon Culture

1940 textbook predicts animated Penguins

I had a wonderful time in the City of Orange yesterday, guest speaking at Bill Kroyer’s class at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. While there, I visited a few antique shops in town and came across this vintage public school reader, In The City and On The Farm (1940). What caught my attention in the book was a 3-page chapter (thumbnails below, click to enlarge) about going to the movies to see a cartoon – Papa Penguin. It’s rare enough to find any acknowledgement of animated films in American culture at the time, even rarer in an elementary school text book. And this one sort-of predicts the spate of Penguin films to come (Happy Feet, Surf’s Up, et al). The third page even illustrates, via film strip, how the cartoon tells its story through pictures – just like a storyboard. I bought it (cheap) and decided to share – enjoy!

  • Jonathan

    That’s a pretty cool find Jerry! Thanks for Sharing!

  • JB Kaufman

    Jerry, maybe the authors were predicting the future — or maybe they had fond memories of “Peculiar Penguins” and were inspired to create their own penguin story. Sorry, I can’t resist plugging a Silly Symphony.

  • And we musn’t forget Pablo the cold-blooded penguin in “The Three Caballeros”. He’s MY favorite.

  • If we’re going to recall pre-Happy Feet penguins, what about Max Fleischer’s “Peeping Penguins”? Or Walter Lantz’s Chilly Willy? Chilly Willy was the cutest cartoon penguin, IMHO.

  • Thomas Dee

    Not even Criswell himself could have predicted animated penguins!

  • David Breneman

    Actually, they were predicting the advent in Linux, but there was no better way to describe it in the popular culture of the time than a “penguin movie”.