Here’s some show-and-tell. I found these odds and ends of UPA publicity at Cinecon, the classic movie convention held in Hollywood over Labor day weekend. None of these miscellaneous tid-bits are very important, but they are all part of the great jigsaw puzzle of film history — and can be telling on how the UPA cartoons were marketed and perceived by the public at the time. The first row is a four page spread from a pocket-sized movie magazine called Prevue (July 1953). I posted the cover below left (click on thumbnails to see full size image). You never know what you’ll find in oddball (and odd-sized) fan magazines such as these. In addition to the UPA pages, there were three pages promoting Disney’s live action feature The Sword and The Rose.
Next we have several clippings from Motion Picture Herald, a weekly trade magazine aimed at theatre owners. A dealer was selling a whole years run of 52 issues from 1952. I went through them all and found these items of interest: Columbia Pictures took out several back cover ads touting there current releases, done in a “newspaper” style, with press-style blurbs. At left, a bit about producer Steve Bosustow and his Academy Award; in the center, Columbia highlights a Bethesda Maryland theatre who billed Rooty Toot Toot and a bunch of Magoo cartoons over the main feature (Return of the Texan, a 20th Century Fox film); and at right, proving the incredible popularity of Mr. Magoo, the Herald ran this photo of a theatre in London who made a whole show of Mr. Magoo cartoons: “The First Mr. Magoo Show”. I wonder if there were ever a second or third?
And finally, a double-page ad in February 10th 1951 edition of Motion Picture Herald hyping the popularity and press (NY Times, Life Magazine, comparisions to Disney’s Three Little Pigs) of UPA’s Gerald McBoing Boing. It’s rare for any individual short to rate a full page ad – more so a two page spread.