Monday, November 04, 2013

Wide World Of Crap-tastic Cartoons Part 4: Theatricals Gone Wrong, Terribly Wrong, In A New York State Of Mind

If there's one thing this blogger likes more than ultra-bizarre Screen Gems Studio curiosities, it's any theatrical cartoon produced from 1930 up to the enforcement of the Production Code in July 1934.

That includes Paul Terry's Terrytoons, which, in the 1930's, combine the studio's trademark "Mickey Rat" characters and stock riffs (going back to the silent Aesop's Fables) with very bizarre sight gags more along the lines of Fleischer, Van Beuren and the New York style Southern California studio, Charles Mintz.

These cartoons, as the Tom & Jerry and Cubby Bear series by the former Terrytoons animators at the Van Beuren Studio do, routinely come out of nowhere with strangely inventive ideas and moments of startling imagery.

While Terrytoons are generally considered tame by comparison to the risque pre-Code romps made by the Fleischer Studio, there are some emphatic exceptions to that assertion!

Here's another Terrytoon that uncharacteristically ventures into a bit of racy 1932 territory and - inevitably - features the studio's ersatz star, Farmer Al Falfa.

Among the prototypes for the studio's 1940's operetta spoofs featuring Mighty Mouse, virtuous Pearl Pureheart and ever-slimy Oil Can Harry is this classic cartoon, The Banker's Daughter.

The Terrytoons staff, at that point still including soon-to-be Disney ace animators Art Babbitt and Bill Tytla, successfully take on various genres (pirates, fairytales, the spooky haunted house, etc.) in the following cartoons.

Today's tip of the Jimmie Hatlo top hat goes to artist and animation historian Milton Knight. Check out his cartoon-packed YouTube channel, blog The World Of Milton Knight and, if you reside in or close enough to Los Angeles, art show at The Brewery Arts Complex.

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