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The Bray Animation Project

After years of researching and collecting materials, silent cartoon expert Tom Stathes has launched an incredible new website devoted to the films of animation pioneer J.R. Bray. This is a must-bookmark location for any student of animation history, fans of classic cartoons and all those who study early cinema.

The Bray Animation Project is a major research tool devoted to the 1913-1927 output of animated films from the Bray Studios. Stathes describes it this way:

“Combining imagery, videos, essays, and the most complete filmography published to date, the Project pays overdue homage to an early New York City film studio whose product has been painfully understudied. Noted film and comics historians David Gerstein, Charlie Judkins, Mark Newgarden, Ray Pointer, Tom Stathes (yours truly) and Jack Theakston have provided informative texts for the site.

The animated cartoon filmography can be viewed either chronologically or by series. It establishes whether each film is lost or survives (to our present knowledge), as well as noting whether an element has yet been collected for the Bray Animation Project proper.”

This site is a significant resource of animation history and knowledge. You will spend hours pouring through what’s here: essays, rare video, formerly lost material encompassing filmmakers such as Max and Dave Fleischer, Ted Eshbaugh, Walter Lantz, Milt Gross, Pat Sullivan – about characters like Bobby Bumps, Farmer Al Falfa, Krazy Kat and Dinky Doodle and many others. There is also a discussion board on the site, where film scholars, historians, and fans are encouraged to post messages and contribute further information.

One of the best animation history websites I’ve ever seen – perfectly organized, expertly written, wonderfully illustrated. If it were a book, I’d be urging you to buy it. A valuable contribution to our field. Go there now – and enjoy the stay.

  • ‎”A nitrate Bray keeps blues away,”
    Said the jubilant Colonel Liar.
    “It also makes the Kaiser pay,
    When deposited in the fire.”

    Congratulations, Tom—I’m proud and honored to be a contributor.

  • paolo

    Great tip, I am afraid I will spend my whole day reading the site… and also a lot of money in buying the dvds!

  • I just looked at the site. Great work!

  • Thanks for that site and that image. I had no idea Bray was still in the cartoon business in the 50’s. Thanks Tom, this will make for some interesting summer reading.

  • Jonah Sidhom

    Oh wow, this is amazing! This is the type of website I’d wish for, can’t believe it’s actually real!

  • Great to see more work is going into stuff like this. I love being able to look into the past for inspiration, knowledge and fun!

  • Bookmarked.
    Thanks for the link.

    • eeteed


  • Nelson

    I’m ready for some Hot Dog cartoons….

  • So good. I’ve always wanted to know more about Bray. Well done all.

  • dbenson

    I remember how “Bobby Bumps puts a Beanery on the Bum” brought down the house twice at a campus showing.

    First there was a gag where a gum-chewing waitress waves her hand over a piece of raisin cake — and the “raisins” all fly away.

    Second, Bobby’s dog industriously drills holes in donuts — pretty funny in itself — when a cat walks in and says, via comic strip words over his head, “You Cur!” Dog tells the audience via title card, “I’ll make him eat those words!” He confronts the cat, who issues the epithet “You Dirty Cur!” Dog grabs cat by the neck and begins literally stuffing the words down his throat until Bobby intervenes.

    It was pretty startling, especially when most of the similarly vintage cartoons on the program never got beyond characters kicking each other between long run cycles.

  • Frank M

    You should read that mid 1970’s Filmmakers Newsletter article that John Canemaker wrote. He was flabbergasted to find Bray not only still alive at that point but still driving his own car in Florida.