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.