Sunday, September 09, 2007

Cult Cartoons, Part II: Ted Eshbaugh

The next question: what cartoon producer would be the Walt Disney of cult/psychotronic cartoons? It's tantamount to asking who's the D.W. Griffith of nudie films, but let's start with . . .

Ted Eshbaugh

Here's a 1931 cartoon, Goofy Goat, by this New York-based independent producer:

The little studio that could then produced The Snowman, starring, you guessed it, an abominable snowman. Like Goofy Goat, this cartoon was originally in two-strip Technicolor, but only black and white prints exist today.

Eshbaugh also created the first Wizard Of Oz cartoon, which features a soundtrack by Carl Stalling.

Then Ted produced cartoons in RKO's Rainbow Parade series, including Pastry Town Wedding and Japanese Lanterns (which, unfortunately, only exists in black and white prints - it's a lost film in the original Technicolor) as well as a very long commercial for Borden's. . . the definitely not-of-this-world classic The Sunshine Makers:

Yes, Sunshine Makers starred suspiciously happy dwarves who guzzled sunshine milk, well, before it was illegalized. They convert a bunch of depressive dwarves without as much as one self-help book. What designer drug was Borden injecting into their milk, anyway?

The Eshbaugh studio also made commercials, including this Wonder Bread advertising film, originally produced for the 1939 Worlds Fair.

Little is heard from Eshbaugh until a re-emergence during the WW2 years.

In Cap'n Cub, a fuzzy wuzzy bear bombs WWII Japan back to pre-civilization - so the survivors could star in Fleischer's "Stone Age" cartoons.

Unquestionably, Ted Eshbaugh deserves a "Cult Cartoons" bowling shirt.

1 comment:

Cat Chew said...

I just saw the color version of The Snowman at an animation fest at the Redford Theater in Michigan. Gorgeous, and it caused me to find your blog, which I'm enjoying very much. Thanks for helping me overcome my Eshbaugh ignorance.