OCTOBER 21st: Classic Animation on TCM

I wasn’t going to announce this just yet – because its still over two months away – but since the information has already leaked and beginning to spread, there’s no reason to hold back. Turner Classic Movies will present a an evening of rarely televised animated films on Sunday night October 21st 2012. Yours truly Jerry Beck will co-host with TCM’s Robert Osborne this unique program block – six hours total – which will include restored UPA cartoons, Max Fleischer’s two feature length films, a selection of silent era cartoons from the collection of Thomas Stathes and Lotte Reiniger’s 1926 masterpiece, The Adventures of Prince Achmed.

Classic animation – which I define as theatrically-released studio or independent animated shorts and features from 1906 through roughly 1976 – has almost no outlet on television today. There is a smattering of Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry and sometimes Popeye on Cartoon Network, and a few classic TV broadcast channels (Antenna TV, This TV, KTV) with a several offbeat offerings. While much is on You Tube or other internet outlets, this is not the way to see or present such material. Public screenings at museums and repertory theaters (of the kind I do in Los Angeles at various venues) and festival retrospectives, are significant – but they do not reach the mass audience who do not know what they are missing: the incredibly entertaining legacy of animation history.

I’ve always wanted to see classic animation given its proper due; and Turner Classic Movies is the only channel capable of doing it right. And I have to admit, its been a goal of mine to make that happen. Please mark you calendar and tune in (or record) Sunday October 21st. I think you’ll enjoy the films we have lined up – and if you do, please tell TCM (via their online forums, or snail mail) that you want more. Here’s the schedule:

Max Fleischer’s Gulliver’s Travels (1939) at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific


Max Fleischer’s Mr. Bug Goes To Town (1941) at 9:30pm Eastern/6:30pm Pacific


A selection of UPA’s Jolly Frolics at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific


Silent Era Animation from the collection of Tom Stathes at 12 midnight Eastern/9pm Pacific


Lotte Reiniger’s The Adventures of Prince Achmed at 1am Eastern/11pm Pacific

More details and information will be posted periodically as we get closer to the air date. I wouldn’t want any of you to miss this.


  • http://michaelvdb.shawwebspace.ca/ Michael van den Bos

    What fantastic news! A perfect match: Jerry Beck and Robert Osborne, classic cartoons and TCM!! I will certainly be promoting this special showing to all my animation history students.

  • Robert Schaad

    Great News! Looking forward to this!!

  • bronnie

    How marvelous Jerry!! Cannot wait!!

  • http://rickfarmiloe.com Rick Farmiloe

    FAN-tastcic, Jerry!! You are the perfect, and only choice to showcase these films and great animation in general! Hopefully this will be a big hit and you can do more. God knows it’s about time CARTOONS got some national attention and respect! The classic stuff has virtually disappeared from the airwaves, despite having 795 channels!! Good luck! Hopefully, we won’t have to say, “That’s All Folks!”

  • Kevin S.Butler

    I’m glad that you’ll be showing these classic animated films on TCM in late October..Jerry..these films should be seen by today’s cartoon fans.

    I’m glad that you and Robert will also screen The Flesicher’s animated feature
    film”Gulliver’s Travels”..Len Maltin has always knocked this film..but I enjoy it
    and it’s the best of the studios two feature length movies.

  • Craig D

    Great New, Jerry!

    I’m particularly happy to see Tome Stathes getting his own midnight show!

    I extend my appreciation to all involved in getting some major exposure for classic animation.

  • TheDirtyVicar

    If it weren’t for TCM I don’t think I’d even bother owning a TV anymore. You can bet I’ll be watching.

  • http://www.jazzsaints.blogspot.com ChaCha

    When I was growing up in the 1960s, the two Max Fleischer feature length cartoons were a constant presence on local channels. A bit sad that you can only find them now on a specialized cable network like TCM.

  • http://www.portapuppets.does.it uncle wayne

    i don’t usually watch (current-day) tv as a rule…it’s all trash. But THAT will be quite an event!! I’ll make plans to do nothing ELSE!!!

  • bob kurtz

    great news jerry! you already highlighted some of my favorite animated films including bobe cannon and t.hee’s fudget budget. looking forward to oct 21.wow!!!!!!!

  • Joe Horne

    awesome…….that’s it….awesome

  • http://agoynamedjew.blogspot.com Anson J

    I still haven’t forgiven Time Warner Cable for removing TCM from their basic cable service.

    • Doug

      Time Warner OWNS TCM and they removed it from their basic cable service???

      • Chris Sobieniak

        It does sound REALLY pathetic doesn’t it? Some cable companies think they’re right too. Although my cable operator doesn’t make TCM available on the basic tier anyway so yeah, this is about money.

      • http://www.examiner.com/tv-in-mobile Mario500

        Time Warner Cable and Time Warner are separate companies.

  • Ryoku75

    If only I could record stuff off my Dish onto my VCR!

    I must ask about the UPA though, will any of it be one of the Fox\Crow shorts?

  • Jon Delfin

    From the New School to the Thalia to TCM. What next? (I’m psyched!)

  • Christine

    What great news!!!!

  • http://www.Segaltoons.com Steve Segal

    This is great news and they couldn’t have picked a better person to co-host. But I’m still not satisfied, they need to show these every week.

  • Bill

    To top it off, Directv finally has TCM in Hi-Def. Can’t wait to see these!

  • top cat james

    Maybe if this is successful, they’ll consider reviving “Cartoon Alley”. [fingers crossed]

    Congrats and thanks to Jerry.

  • Al

    Congratulations Jerry and Tom! I can’t wait! I hope it’s a big hit and they schedule more! (I would love to see “Ace of Spades,” a rare Fleischer cartoon which I saw at one of Tom’s screenings, again.)

  • dig

    Very cool! Jerry, I’d love to see a separate CB post telling the story of how this came to be. Did Turner approach you with the idea, or you them?

  • http://www.toonocity.com fremgen

    Very cool, can’t wait to watch :)

  • http://cartoonsforbreakfast.blogspot.com Brian C.

    This date is marked on my calendar for sure! Makes me miss the days of “Cartoon Alley” on TCM. It may not have had lineups as cool as this, but at least it was classic animation on TV every week.

  • Doug

    I never saw “Mr. Bug” growing up; indeed, I never saw it at all until about two years ago, online. I hope the presentation in October will include all the original Paramount title art!

  • Rachel Newstead

    Did “Gulliver” and “Mr. Bug” get restored for these showings? The copies I’ve seen of both cartoons were in rather pitiful condition.

    It’s about time animation got serious recognition, if only for a night. In a perfect world, this would be the springboard to a “Turner Classic Animation” channel, or something similar.

    • Kevin Martinez

      The UCLA Film and Television Archive restored Mr. Bug at least from the original nitrates; If there was ever a place for that restored version to debut, this would be it.

      As a matter of fact, I wonder if TCM will be the ones to disc the Fleischer films; by most accounts the Jolly Frolics set did well for them, and Paramount is pretty gung-ho about licensing out their film library at the moment (mostly to Olive Films and Criterion).

      • Jon

        Olive has licensed the Betty Boops that are still under copyright for future DVD release. What they plan to do about the Boops that have fallen into the public domain has not been announced. Perhaps if this does well they will dig further into the Fleischer catalog.

      • Michael

        Oh, if that’s true it’s such cool news! I had given up on ever seeing Betty Boop on legit DVD. That concerns me about them (Olive) not licensing the public domain stuff, though. Jerry, I hope when you find out something definite about this that you will let us know. I wouldn’t be pleased at all if they released some of the Betty Boops and ignored others. I hope, too that they will avoid the mistakes that were on the Betty Boop laser/VHS collection. Way too much DVNR on that. Also I remember a couple of cartoons being black and white copies of the redrawns.

  • JM

    Go JERRY. Thanks for honoring this great form of art by finding outlets for it .

  • http://www.musicworthbuying.com tjr

    I can’t wait :)

  • http://kielphegley.com Kiel Phegley

    Excited to watch this on Oct 21, the day of my birth. Thanks, Jerry!

    • http://www.classicparamountcartoons.blogspot.com ParamountCartoons

      It’s on my birthday too!

  • http://weirdurl.com Zekey

    TCM was already one of my favorite channels. This makes me very happy.

  • George

    How ironic that traditional animation, which was literally used to build many fledgling TV cable channels due to the inexpensive and evergreen nature of cartoon reruns, ended up with no spot at the table in the world of broadcast or cable TV. Perhaps this upcoming TCM presentation will be the initial step in righting this wrong. After all, Ted Turner used old Tom and Jerry shorts to build his television empire from the ground up and TCM grew from that cartoon foundation.

  • Sarah

    Sweet! Can’t wait to see them. Though if you have Netflix, Gulliver’s Travels is on there (not sure what the picture or sound quality is like for I haven’t watched it yet).

    Now I’ve got four things to look forward to:
    Baltimore Comic-Con
    Frankenweenie comes out
    Classic Animation on TCM
    The Hobbit comes out

  • Russell H

    Since for some reason nobody’s said it yet:

    “It’s a hap-hap-happy day!”

  • http://monstroanimation.blogspot.com/p/animation-article-database.html Jonah Sidhom

    I saw Prince Achmed but the quality of the version I saw was a little blown-out, so you couldn’t really see the backgrounds. Seeing the detail in that image makes me really want to watch it again in better quality.

  • eeteed

    speaking of TCM and classic animation, when the heck are they going to replay “Magic Boy”?

    to my knowledge, they only played the classic TOEI film once.

    and TA HECK with playing it, i’d be much happier if they’d put it out on DVD so i can watch it whenever i want!

    • Chris Sobieniak

      I was glad to kept a VHS copy of it I taped from one of those occasions!

      • eeteed

        Chris,

        i also taped it when TCM premiered it, but

        1) i’ve no idea where i put it

        2) i no longer have a vcr on which to play it

        oh how i wish that toei would put out a completed collection of their animated features. i have many of them on dvd, but not all and the quality varies.

      • Chris Sobieniak

        They were released on DVD in Japan if you have a region-free DVD player. Though of course I don’t believe they are even subtitled in English but it’s better than nothing.
        http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/detailview.html?KEY=DSTD-2107

      • eeteed

        much thanks for the heads up, but $55 is a bit pricey, especially when paired with over seas shipping costs (not to mention i don’t have a region free dvd player).

        guess i’ll have to do the hope and wait routine!

  • Mac

    I recall Max Fleischer’s son,film director Richard Fleischer,talking about Betty Boop and Popeye on AMC.If this TCM night were successful,TCM might consider a monthlong tribute to father & son,maybe in June,the month of Father’s Day.

  • Matt Patton

    It’s nice to see these films are going to be shown, particularly the UPA shorts. It would be even nicer if they would start sprinkling some of them throughout the general schedule between films. I have become rather tired of the TRAVEL TALKS shorts . . .

  • Andrew Hunn

    One would think TCM would show more animated shorts between feature films or as part of a matinee-style combination of shorts and features on a Saturday afternoon or something. As much as I love TCM I really do feel like they’re neglecting some very important parts of their collection. Hopefully this event will spark some enthusiasm with their decision makers.

  • JOjogogo

    No “Twice Apon a time?”.

  • VIC JAURIQUI

    That is great news, Jerry, and I will definitely be tuning in on Oct. 21, but I was hoping for some Terrytoons. I have GULLIVERS TRAVELS & MR. BUG GOES TO TOWN (bootlegs, of course) which don’t look too bad. As you know, the Mighty Mouse/Heckly and Jeklyy cartoons are pretty scarce. I have three volumes of these Terrytoons on VHS – including an Olympics edition – which I still watch. Maybe a sequel? Or how about a bi-monthly series?

    • http://ramapithblog.blogspot.com David Gerstein

      Vic, there are no official Terrytoons, but some exciting 1910s and 1920s Terry creations are coming in Tom Stathes’ silent cartoon hour (notice the Farmer Al Falfa screengrab!).

  • Nancy Avery Arkley

    I love TCM also because they appreciate everything old.

    But Ted Turner cheated the Tex Avery family. In 1998, I took Turner Entertainment to Court because I found out that they had a huge Tex Avery France merchandising business that had gone on since even before Tex passed away, and did not license the use of the name. He made millions. My lawyer was not good enough, plus at the same time I had licensed the name (“Tex Avery”) to Dic Entertainment and they could have sued – and I would have had a %, but they choose not to.

  • seksuroba

    This sounds so amazing! I hope folks appreciate it and check it out. This is a part of our cultural heritage that is sorely neglected.

  • Cayo

    Where the ratings good enough that this can be a regular feature?????