Set the TIVO

Turner Classic Movies is without contest my favorite cable channel so it’s a pity that I rarely have reason to plug them here on Cartoon Brew. During the next few days though they’re running a couple of films that may be of interest to readers of this site. First they’ll be screening Ernie Pintoff’s extremely rare live-action short THE SHOES (1960) starring Buddy Hackett. At the time Pintoff produced this film, he was still heavily involved in animation, running his own TV commercial studio in New York City and producing independent shorts like THE VIOLINIST and THE INTERVIEW. THE SHOES marks the beginning of Pintoff’s transition from animation to live-action. He once explained in an interview his reason for switching to live-action: “At that time I was losing interest in animation and was captivated by the prospects of communicating to a broader audience of people through live-action…Cartooning and animation was mostly humor and I had become more interested in drama and serious subjects dealing with adults.” These are curious comments considering how Pintoff was one of animation’s most distinctive and promising talents in the late-’50s and early-’60s (FLEBUS anybody?) and how his later live-action work never seemed to quite live up to the singular personal voice he brought to his animated films. The other film of interest that TCM is showing is an actual animated feature: THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED. The silent sihouette film, directed by Lotte Reiniger, was released in 1926. The Turner website has some interesting background details on PRINCE ACHMED, including the nugget that Reiniger was only 23 years old when she began working on the feature.