Old-Timey Cartoon Fun

The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics

As discovered via 99% Invisible… Based on a book by Norton Juster.  Won an Oscar in 1965.  The ending might make you…cringe.  But distinctly worth a watch.

Silly Symphonies: The Skeleton Dance, 1929

I watched this as a kid.  I don’t know why it didn’t scare me then cause it kinda scares me now.  In that super awesome, way out there kinda way…

Disney’s The Story of Menstruation, 1946

When you think of 1946, you don’t think “Spot on” about much.  That this video is pretty “spot on”–you know, for a middle school classroom– is a bit shocking.  The fact that it was banned– not so shocking.

Silly Symphonies, Music Land, 1935

A romeo and juliet story… with tuba canons!

Silly Symphonies, Flowers and Trees, 1932

Even the most twisted Disney cartoons have a wedding at the end.

Silly Symphonies, The Country Cousin, 1936

Bumpkin comes to city, bumpkin gets drunk, city spanks bumpkin.

Betty Boop in “Red Hot Mama”, 1934

The sweet slangin’ 30’s wet dream visits hell…  and no surprise, even the devil wants a piece of Betty.

Donald Duck in Golden Eggs, 1941

It’s a well-known fact that the funny little duck in the sailor suit never wins.  But don’t miss the rooster samba in this one.

Betty Boop, No! No! A Thousand Times NO!

It’s Hitchcock’s trickery, setting this one as viewers watching viewers watching the story unfold.  What does the setting of sweet little Betty’s stage performance add to a story about two men chasing her?  Are we meant to read into the layers of commentary upon audience interpretation and authorial contrivance?  Right.  Perhaps we could say that more extremes are allowed by the “thees” and “thous” of archaic stage acting, the pointy mustachio of the villain, the flailing of the damsel in distress. But really, when isn’t Betty extreme?

This was put out in black and white in 1935, but I can’t find a date for when it was put in color… Pity, because the villain is sporting all pink, and it’d be nice to know how to read that particular color choice based on the time it was chosen… when have you ever seen a villain in all pink who wasn’t Mugatu or lady Gaga?

The Stolen Lump, 1929

A Midsummer Night’s Dream meets The Magician’s Apprentice– in Japan.

Winsor McCay, the Famous Cartoonist of the N.Y. Herald and his Moving Comics, aka Little Nemo, 1911

Background:  if you haven’t heard of Winsor McCay, here he is.   He was famous back in the beginning of the 20th Century for his comic strips, especially Little Nemo (below picture).  His few animated motion pictures (such as this one and Gertie the Dinosaur) were considered top-notch back in the beginning of the 20th Century.  Now, McCay is in the national memory as the precursor to Disney.  This film is a little “this is how I do it” of McCay conceiving, drawing, and showing his friends characters from Little Nemo.  Only 2 minutes of it is animated, but part of that is watching McCay draw in time-lapse, and it’s super cool.

Warning: there are undeniably racist caricatures.


Popeye the Sailor

Ever seen Popeye?

This, supposedly, is his virgin voyage into the film world, courtesy of Fleischer Studios.

There’s a guest appearance of a near naked Betty Boop (for whom Fleischer was also responsible).

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