Here’s some news I’ve literally waited ten years to report. Sony’s syndicated classic-cartoon show Totally Tooned In is now being shown on U.S. television. It’s airing on Antenna TV, a new channel that broadcasts free via over-the-air digital transmission – which means, if you are like me and pay for Dish TV, Direct TV, Comcast, Time-Warner or any cable or satellite service, you can’t see it.
If you can receive the channel (in LA it’s telecast on the KTLA digital channel 5.2; in NY its broadcast on WPIX-TV’s digital channel 11.3), Totally Tooned In runs on Saturday morning for three hours (six formatted half-hour episodes back-to-back) starting at 4am Pacific/7am Eastern. Each episode contains three Columbia cartoons from 1934-1959 – this includes many UPA cartoons, Charles Mintz Color Rhapsodies, Li’l Abner, Fox and Crow and even a few Scrappy cartoons.
I was a producer on this series and helped compile each half hour – that was back around the years 1999-2000. Columbia restored its cartoon library for this show, which was immediately sold overseas and to South America (in some countries it aired on either Cartoon Network or Fox Kids). Until now it was impossible to view it in the States.
The Columbia cartoons were, for decades, the hardest cartoons to see as they have been off screens (movie or TV) for almost 50 years. There are good ones, bad ones – and many absolutely strange ones (Professor Small and Mr. Tall, Mother Hubba-Hubba Hubbard, Lo The Poor Buffal – to name but a few) – but all are worth a look. Frank Tashlin, Dave Fleischer, John Hubley, Art Davis, Mel Blanc, even Bob Clampett contributed to these films. I highly recommend you watch (and record) this show while you can.
For more information about the show and what cartoons are included in each episode, check my Totally Tooned In Episode Guide.