International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (2018)

I am very proud to be a theatrical stage employee for IATSE Local 15 in Seattle, Washington. This is a movie commemorating the 125th anniversary of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees throughout the United States and Canada.

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees is a North American labor union representing over 150,000 technicians, artisans, and craftspersons in the entertainment industry, including live theatre, motion picture and television production, and trade shows in the United States and Canada. It was awarded the Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre in 1993.

IATSE was founded in 1893 when representatives of stagehands working in eleven cities met in New York and pledged to support each other’s efforts to establish fair wages and working conditions for their members. IATSE has since evolved to embrace the development of new entertainment media, craft expansion, technological innovation and geographic growth.

Today, IATSE members work in all forms of live theater, motion picture and television production, trade shows and exhibitions, television broadcasting, and concerts as well as the equipment and construction shops that support all these areas of the entertainment industry. IATSE represents virtually all the behind the scenes workers in crafts ranging from motion picture animator to theater usher.

During a period when private sector union membership has been in sharp decline, IATSE has continued to grow. Since 1993, IATSE’s membership has increased from 74,344 to 150,000 which it attributes to its willingness to adapt its structure to protect traditional jurisdiction and accommodate new crafts.

Guillermo del Toro (2022)

Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro reinvents the classic story of a wooden puppet brought to life in this stunning stop-motion musical tale.

Sing along to Ciao Papa from Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio. From the mind of Academy Award-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and award-winning stop-motion legend Mark Gustafson, Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio is a story you think you may know, but you don’t. In theaters November and on Netflix December 9.

Ciao Papa Performed by Gregory Mann

Music by Alexandre Desplat

Lyrics by Roeban Katz & Guillermo Del Toro

Pinocchio is a fictional character and the protagonist of the children’s novel The Adventures of Pinocchio by Italian writer Carlo Collodi of Florence, Tuscany. Pinocchio was carved by a woodcarver named Geppetto in a Tuscan village. He is created as a wooden puppet, but he dreams of becoming a real boy. He is known for his long nose, which grows when he lies.

Charles Addams (1938-88)

Ghoulish, macabre, demonic, depraved, bizarre, eerie and weird have all been used to describe his work and the characters therein. Adorable, sweet, charming, humorous, enchanting, tender and captivating are also adjectives used to describe the same body of work, as well as the man himself, the extraordinary artist Charles Samuel Addams. His rare gift was the ability to enjoin such dichotomies in wonderfully crafted cartoons and drawings loved by millions worldwide.

Born in Westfield, New Jersey in 1912, Charles Samuel Addams’ prodigal artistic talent lead him to become one of America’s best cartoonists. In 1933, at just 21 years of age, The New Yorker magazine first published his work. Addams went on to become one of that magazine’s marquee contributors until his death in 1988. His body of work spans almost 60 years of output and is estimated to contain several thousand works. Over 15 books of his artwork have so far been published, appearing in many languages across the globe. Addams works appear in a number of prestigious permanent collections including The New York Public Library, The Museum of the City of New York, The Smithsonian Institution, The Cooper Hewitt and The Library of Congress.

Charles Addams is most widely known for the creation of The Addams Family of characters who formed the basis of the TV show that first appeared in 1964. Now famous, Morticia, Fester, Gomez, Wednesday, Pugsley, Grandma, Lurch and Thing existed in various forms and aspects within the Addams cartoons prior to the sitcom. It was in working with the idea of a television production, that Addams coalesced a motley group of unnamed characters into the specific personages he then collectively called The Addams Family. These Family members appear in only about 80 initially published works, while the majority of his works are occupied by hundreds of other characters, from Aviators to Zoo Keepers. Addams themes deal as much with modern life as with ancient times and his topics span art, travel, relationships, the workplace, animals and children, to name a few.

To learn more about Charles Addams, visit https://charlesaddams.com/.

Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske & Jack Kinney (1948)

Melody Time is a 1948 American live-action/animated musical film produced by Walt Disney. The tenth Disney animated feature film, it was released to theatres by RKO Radio Pictures on May 27, 1948. Made up of seven segments set to popular music and folk music, the film is, like Make Mine Music before it, the popular music version of Fantasia. Melody Time, while not meeting the artistic accomplishments of Fantasia, was mildly successful. It is the fifth Disney package film following Saludos Amigos, The Three Caballeros, Make Mine Music, and Fun and Fancy Free.

“In the grand tradition of Disney’s greatest musical classics, such as Fantasia, Melody Time features seven classic stories, each enhanced with high-spirited music and unforgettable characters. A feast for the eyes and ears full of wit and charm. A delightful Disney classic with something for everyone”.

Walt Disney

Melody Time is considered to be the last anthology feature made by the Walt Disney Animation Studios. These package features were little-known short-film compilations that Disney produced and released as feature films during World War II. They were financially and artistically lightweight productions meant to bring in profits to allow the studio to return to fairy tale single-narrative feature form, an endeavour which they successfully completed two years later with Cinderella. While the shorts contrast in length, form, and style, a common thread throughout is that each is accompanied by songs from musicians and vocalists of the ’40s. This sets it apart from the similarly structured Fantasia, whose segments were set to classical music instead. As opposed to Fun and Fancy Free, whose story was bound to the tales of Bongo and Jack and the Beanstalk, in this film Walt Disney has let his animators and his color magicians have free rein.

Rose Pelswick, in a 1948 review for The News-Sentinel, described the film as an ‘adventure into the intriguing make-believe world peopled by Walt Disney’s Cartoon characters”. It also explains that “with the off-screen voice of Buddy Clark doing the introductions, the episodes include fantasy, folklore, South American rhythms, poetry, and slapstick”. A 1948 review by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette described it as a “mixture of fantasy, abstraction, parable, music, color, and movement”.

Once Upon a Wintertime

This segment features Frances Langford singing the title song about two romantic young lovers on a winter day in December, during the late 19th century. The couple are Jenny and Joe (unlike most Disney cartoons, Jenny and Joe lack spoken dialogue). Joe shows off on the ice for Jenny, and near-tragedy and a timely rescue ensues. This is intertwined with a similar rabbit couple.

Bumble Boogie

This segment presents a surrealistic battle for a solitary bumblebee as he tries to ward off a visual and musical frenzy. The music, courtesy of Freddy Martin and His Orchestra (with Jack Fina playing the piano), is a swing-jazz variation of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee, which was one of the many pieces considered for inclusion in Fantasia.

The Legend of Johnny Appleseed

A retelling of the story of John Chapman, who spent most of his life roaming the Midwestern United States (mainly Ohio and Indiana) in the pioneer days, and planting apple trees, thus earning his famous nickname. He also spread Christianity. Dennis Day narrates (as an “old settler who knew Johnny well”) and provides the voices of both Johnny and his guardian angel.

Little Toot

The story of Little Toot by Hardie Gramatky, in which the title protagonist, a small tugboat in New York City, wanted to be just like his father Big Toot, but could not seem to stay out of trouble. The Andrews Sisters provide vocals.

Trees

A recitation of the 1913 poem Trees by Joyce Kilmer, featuring music by Oscar Rasbach and performed by Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians. The lyrical setting accompanies animation of bucolic scenes seen through the changing of the seasons. To preserve the look of the original story sketches, layout artist Ken O’Connor came up with the idea of using frosted cels and rendering the pastel images right onto the cel. Before being photographed each cel was laminated in clear lacquer to protect the pastel. The result was a look that had never been seen in animation before.

Blame it on the Samba

Donald Duck and José Carioca meet the Aracuan Bird, who introduces them to the pleasures of the samba. The accompanying music is the 1914 polka Apanhei-te, Cavaquinho by Ernesto Nazareth, fitted with English lyrics. The Dinning Sisters provide vocals while organist Ethel Smith appears in a live-action role.

Pecos Bill

The finale follows about Texas’ famous hero Pecos Bill. Raised by coyotes, he became the biggest and best cowboy that ever lived. He out hissed the Rattlesnake. And learned about all of the animals. It also features his horse Widowmaker, who’s been saved by the vultures that try to eat him. He brought the rain from California to save Texas from the drought. But when he woke up from the river, he heard a cow mooing. There was the band of evil rustlers stealing the herd of cattle. But they didn’t know the herd they stole was Bill’s. So he lassoed them and knocked out all of their teeth one by one. The Rustlers were now finally reformed and started to sing, “Yippee-I-Yay!” Then, Bill and Widowmaker traveled through the desert. He got a stick and then he dug the rio grande. And it recounts the ill-fated romance between Bill and a beautiful cowgirl named Slue Foot Sue, with whom he fell in love at first sight until a jealous Widowmaker made Sue to get literally stranded at the Moon at their wedding day. This retelling features Roy Rogers, Bob Nolan, the former’s horse Trigger, and the Sons of the Pioneers telling the story to Bobby Driscoll and Luana Patten in a live-action frame story.

Claude Cloutier (2020)

Bad Seeds takes us to a bizarre world populated by carnivorous plants that can change shapes the way a chameleon changes colours. The film deftly connects growth with rivalry and evolution with competition, crafting an increasingly shocking duel that’s peppered with allusions to the Western, the Cold War, board games, and much more.

Written, animated, and directed by Claude Cloutier

Canadian filmmaker Claude Cloutier has crafted another gem with his latest animated short, Bad Seeds. This modern-day fable explores our fatal obsession with progress, as played out in a battle between two carnivorous plants. Deftly connecting growth with rivalry, and evolution with competition, Cloutier has constructed a stunning work that’s peppered with nods to iconic historical figures and a wide variety of pop culture references.

Named as an official selection at over 27 film festivals, Bad Seeds has already garnered the Best of the Fest and the Comedy Short awards at the Los Angeles Animation Festival, the Audience Award at the Sommets du cinéma d’animation in Montreal, Canada, and Best Animated Short at the New York City Short Film Festival, along with awards at other prestigious venues.

Fleischer Studios (1936)

Training Pigeons is a 1936 Fleischer Studios animated short film featuring Betty Boop and Pudgy the Pup.

Betty and Pudgy are on the roof of their tenement building, trying to get her pet pigeons back in their cage. One stubborn bird refuses to return to the roost, despite Betty’s pleas. Pudgy, imagining himself a might hunting dog, attempts to catch the bird, with little success (at one point, Pudgy spots the pigeon on top of a flag pole, and as he tries to climb up the pole, the flag spanks Pudgy). When the pigeon gives Pudgy the slip, the little dog eventually wanders into the forest, where he falls asleep from exhaustion. The pigeon takes pity on Pudgy, and flies him back to Betty’s home. When Pudgy wakes up on the roof, he tears up the picture of the hunting dog in frustration.

Animated by Myron Waldman and Edward Nolan

Mae Questel as Betty Boop

“You come on down! I said come on down, you nutsy-doopsy!”

Betty Boop

Unlike other studios, whose characters were anthropomorphic animals, the Fleischers’ most successful characters were humans. The cartoons of the Fleischer Studio were very different from those of Disney, both in concept and in execution. As a result, they were rough rather than refined and consciously artistic rather than commercial, but in their unique way, their artistry was expressed through a culmination of the arts and sciences. This approach focused on surrealism, dark humor, adult psychological elements, and sexuality. Furthermore, the environments were grittier and urban, often set in squalid surroundings, reflecting the Great Depression as well as German Expressionism.

Jim Henson (1979)

To the Lovers, the Dreamers, and You… Keep believing.

Rainbow Connection is a song from the 1979 film The Muppet Movie performed by Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog. Rainbow Connection reached No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1979, with the song remaining in the Top 40 for seven weeks total. Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song at the 52nd Academy Awards.

In 2020, “Rainbow Connection” was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry.

Rainbow Connection was written by Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher to be the first number in The Muppet Movie by Jim Henson. Williams describes it as “that down-home Americana comfort sound”.

“It’s the one that establishes [Kermit as] the lead character. We find Kermit sitting in the middle of the swamp. Kenny Ascher and I sat down to write these songs, and we thought… Kermit is like ‘every frog.’ He’s the Jimmy Stewart of frogs. So how do we show that he’s a thinking frog, and that he has an introspective soul, and all that good stuff? We looked at his environment, and his environment is water and air… and light. And it just seemed like it would be a place where he would see a rainbow. But we also wanted to show that he would be on this spiritual path, examining life, and the meaning of life.”

Paul Williams

“Life’s like a movie. Write your own ending. Keep believing, keep pretending.”

Jim Henson

Jack Kinney, Hamilton Luske, William Morgan, & Bill Roberts (1947)

Fun and Fancy Free is a 1947 animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney and released on September 27, 1947 by RKO Radio Pictures. It is the ninth Disney animated feature film and the fourth of the package films that the studio produced in the 1940s to save money during World War II. The Disney package films of the late 1940s helped finance Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan.

This film is a compilation of two stories: Bongo, narrated by Dinah Shore which is loosely based on the short story Little Bear Bongo by Sinclair Lewis, and Mickey and the Beanstalk, narrated by Edgar Bergen which is based on the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale. Though the film is primarily animated, it also uses live-action segments to join its two stories. Mickey and the Beanstalk marked the last time that Walt Disney voiced Mickey Mouse, as he was too busy on other projects to continue voicing the character. Disney replaced himself with sound-effects artist Jimmy MacDonald.

Bruno Bozzetto & Guido Manuli (1977)

As a live woman performs a striptease, she’s cheered on by an audience of small cartoon men. Some of them pop in the excitement as she brings down the house.

Guido Manuli is one of the most influential Italian animators and film directors. He started a long-standing collaboration with animation legend Bruno Bozzetto in the 60s; together they worked on cult movies like West and Soda, Vip Mio Fratello Superuomo, Allegro Non Troppo and many more. Bruno Bozzetto is an Italian cartoon animator and film director, creator of many short pieces, mainly of a political or satirical nature.

A 60-years career behind, Bruno Bozzetto is esteemed as one of the most eclectic and influential Cartoonists of yesterday and of today. His minimalist style focuses on the content more than the aesthetics to talk about universal themes with an educational approach and through a scratching irony that make his films suitable for a young adult audience.

“Synthesis is the most important goal for an artist. It’s a marvellous and yet difficult goal to achieve.”

Bruno Bozzetto

Tim Burton (1993)

Happy Halloween!

The film follows the misadventures of Jack Skellington, Halloweentown’s beloved pumpkin king, who has become bored with the same annual routine of frightening people in the “real world.” When Jack accidentally stumbles on Christmastown, all bright colors and warm spirits, he gets a new lease on life — he plots to bring Christmas under his control by kidnapping Santa Claus and taking over the role. But Jack soon discovers even the best-laid plans of mice and skeleton men can go seriously awry.

Director: Henry Selick
Story by: Tim Burton
Music: Danny Elfman

Danny Elfman wrote the film score and provided the singing voice of Jack, as well as other minor characters.

The Nightmare Before Christmas originated in a poem written by Tim Burton in 1982 while he was working as an animator at Walt Disney Productions. With the success of Vincent in the same year, Burton began to consider developing The Nightmare Before Christmas as either a short film or 30-minute television special to no avail. Over the years, Burton’s thoughts regularly returned to the project and in 1990, he made a development deal with Walt Disney Studios. Production started in July 1991 in San Francisco.

Chuck jones (1954)

Happy Halloween!

Bewitched Bunny is a 1954 Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon directed by Chuck Jones and written by Michael Maltese. The short was released on July 24, 1954, and stars Bugs Bunny. Jones created the character Witch Hazel who debuted in this cartoon.

This short was the subject of controversy in Canada, when, in July 1998, a viewer who saw the short on an airing of The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show on Global thought Bugs’ final line (after Witch Hazel is transformed into a beautiful female rabbit, but still laughs like Witch Hazel): “Yeah, I know. But aren’t they all witches inside?” was misogynistic. Charlotte Bell, Global’s Vice-President of Regulatory Affairs at the time, wrote back, denying that there was anything misogynistic about the line. The complainant then filed a formal complaint with the Broadcast Standards Council, incorporating the Global executive who denied the claim into her analysis and cited that “Bewitched Bunny” showed women in an unflattering light and that the Global executive she talked to was lying about the claim. Eleven months and three days after it received the complaint, the Council reached its conclusion: while the ending line can be taken as sexist towards women, the short as a whole does not, in fact, show women in an unflattering light nor does it break any of Canada’s broadcasting rules and regulations. For a while, the Global version of this short aired with the allegedly misogynist “witches” line replaced with “Yeah, I know. But who wants to be alone on Halloween?” (which was taken from the American TV special Bugs Bunny’s Howl-oween Special). When the verdict that the original line wasn’t in breach of any Canadian broadcasting rules, the edited version was swiftly replaced with the original. This controversy was briefly mentioned by Eric Goldberg on the DVD commentary of the fifth volume of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection DVD set.

Tim Burton (1984 & 2012)

Happy Halloween!

When a car hits young Victor’s pet dog Sparky, Victor decides to bring him back to life the only way he knows how. But when the bolt-necked “monster” wreaks havoc and terror in the hearts of Victor’s neighbors, he has to convince them that Sparky’s still the good, loyal friend.

Frankenweenie is a 1984 featurette directed by Tim Burton and co-written by Burton with Leonard Ripps. It is both a parody and homage to the 1931 film Frankenstein based on Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein.

Burton was fired by Disney after the film was completed, as the studio claimed that he had been wasting company resources and felt the film was not suitable for the targeted young audiences.

Tim Burton later directed a feature-length stop-motion animated remake of Frankenweenie with production help from Disney, which was released on October 5, 2012.

The 2012 feature-length remake of Burton’s 1984 short film of the same name is also both a parody of and homage to the 1931 film Frankenstein, based on Mary Shelley’s 1818 book Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. In the film, a boy named Victor Frankenstein uses the power of electricity to resurrect his dead Bull Terrier, Sparky, but his peers discover what he has done and reanimate their own deceased pets and other creatures, resulting in mayhem. The tongue-in-cheek film contains numerous references to and parodies of elements of Frankenstein and past film versions of it, other literary classics, various horror and science-fiction films, and other films which Burton has directed or produced.

Tim Burton (1982)

Happy Halloween!

Vincent is a 1982 stop motion short horror film written, designed, and directed by Tim Burton. It’s produced by Rick Heinrichs. It is the second Disney horror film, the first being The Watcher in the Woods. At approximately six minutes in length, there is currently no individual release of the film except for a few bootleg releases. It can be found on the 2008 Special Edition and Collector’s Edition DVDs of The Nightmare Before Christmas as a bonus feature and on the Cinema16 DVD American Short Films.

While working as a conceptual artist at Walt Disney Productions, Tim Burton found himself two allies in Disney executive Julie Hickson, and Head of Creative Development Tom Wilhite. The two were impressed with Burton’s unique talents and, while not “Disney material”, they felt he deserved respect. As such, in 1982, Wilhite gave Burton $60,000 to produce an adaptation of a poem Burton had written titled Vincent. Burton had originally planned the poem to be a children’s short story book but thought otherwise.

Together with fellow Disney animator Rick Heinrichs, stop motion animator Stephen Chiodo and cameraman Victor Abdalov, Burton worked on the project for two months and came up with the six-minute short film. Shot in stark black-and-white in the style of the German Expressionist films of the 1920s, Vincent imagines himself in a series of situations inspired by the Vincent Price/Edgar Allan Poe films that had such an effect on Burton as a child, including experimenting on his dog — a theme that would subsequently appear in Frankenweenie — and welcoming his aunt home while simultaneously conjuring up the image of her dipped in hot wax. Vincent Malloy, the main character in the film, bears a striking resemblance to Tim Burton himself.

The film was narrated by Burton’s childhood idol, Vincent Price, and marked the beginning of a friendship between them that lasted until Price’s death in 1993. Burton credits the experience as one of the most formative experiences of his life.

The film was theatrically released for two weeks in one Los Angeles cinema with the teen drama Tex. Before it was consigned to the Disney vaults, it garnered several critical accolades when it played at film festivals in London, Chicago and Seattle, winning two awards at Chicago and the Critics’ Prize at the Annecy Film Festival in France.

The film is narrated by actor Vincent Price, a lifelong idol and inspiration for Burton. From this relationship, Price would go on to appear in Burton’s Edward Scissorhands. Price later made the following statement:

Vincent was the most gratifying thing that ever happened. It was immortality — better than a star on Hollywood Boulevard.”

-Vincent Price

Wilfred Jackson (1931)

Happy Halloween!

Hobo Moon Cartoons aims to preserve the beloved Halloween classics of yesteryear for future generations to enjoy!

Egyptian Melodies is a 1931 Silly Symphonies animated short cartoon produced by Walt Disney and directed by Wilfred Jackson. It follows a brave little spiders journey into the heart of a dark and eerie Egyptian tomb where he awakens several mummies from their slumber who begin to dance as the hieroglyphics come to life.

When a curious spider makes his way into the tomb of an ancient Egyptian, he discovers the strange wall paintings (and Mummies) have come to life for him.

The background animation of the trip through the pyramid was re-used in the Mickey Mouse cartoon The Mad Doctor. And the spider of this cartoon is graphically very close to that of another Silly Symphonies cartoon, The Spider and the Fly.

Robert McKimson (1966)

Happy Halloween!

Hobo Moon Cartoons aims to preserve the beloved Halloween classics of yesteryear for future generations to enjoy!

A-Haunting We Will Go is a 1966 Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon directed by Robert McKimson. The short was released on April 16, 1966, and stars Daffy Duck, Speedy Gonzales, and Witch Hazel. As with the other Witch Hazel cartoons, June Foray voices Witch Hazel while Mel Blanc voices Speedy Gonzales, Daffy Duck, and Daffy’s nephew.

This is the last Looney Tunes cartoon featuring Witch Hazel, as well as the last Looney Tunes cartoon with June Foray’s voice acting in the Golden Age. However, she would reprise her role as Witch Hazel once again in an episode of the 2003 Duck Dodgers series.

Wilfred Jackson (1937)

Happy Halloween!

Hobo Moon Cartoons aims to preserve the beloved Halloween classics of yesteryear for future generations to enjoy!

The Old Mill is a 1937 Silly Symphony cartoon produced by Walt Disney, directed by Wilfred Jackson, scored by Leigh Harline, and released to theatres by RKO Radio Pictures on November 5, 1937. The film depicts the natural community of animals populating an old abandoned windmill in the country, and how they deal with a severe summer thunderstorm that nearly destroys their habitat. It incorporates the song One Day When We Were Young from Johann Strauss II’s operetta The Gypsy Baron.

Like many of the later Silly SymphoniesThe Old Mill was a testing ground for advanced animation techniques. Marking the first use of Disney’s multiplane camera, the film also incorporates realistic depictions of animal behavior, complex lighting and color effects, depictions of rain, wind, lightning, ripples, splashes and reflections, three-dimensional rotation of detailed objects, and the use of timing to produce specific dramatic and emotional effects. All of the lessons learned from making The Old Mill would subsequently be incorporated into Disney’s feature-length animated films, such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), which was released a month later, as well as Pinocchio (1940), Fantasia (1940) and Bambi (1942).

In 2015, the United States Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the National Film Registry, finding it “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

I hope you enjoy The Old Mill as much as I do!

David Hand (1933)

The Mad Doctor is a classic Mickey Mouse cartoon released in 1933.
It is known as the first appearance of the title character “The Mad Doctor”, or “Dr. XXX”.

Happy Halloween!

Hobo Moon Cartoons aims to preserve the beloved Halloween classics of yesteryear for future generations to enjoy!

The short’s horror overtones made it unusual for a Mickey Mouse cartoon. Some theaters refused to show it, believing it to be too scary for kids. At one time, for this reason, it was banned entirely in the United Kingdom, as well as Nazi Germany.

The short’s horror overtones made it unusual for a Mickey Mouse cartoon. Some theaters refused to show it, believing it to be too scary for kids. At one time, for this reason, it was banned entirely in England.

The short’s title character had a cameo in the Roger Rabbit short Tummy Trouble, in which he was seen on a picture. You can view Tummy Trouble by following this link: https://hobomooncartoons.com/2019/04/08/roger-rabbit-in-tummy-trouble/

This cartoon is one of a few Disney shorts that lapsed into the public domain.

Ub Iwerks (1934)

Happy Halloween!

Hobo Moon Cartoons aims to preserve the beloved Halloween classics of yesteryear for future generations to enjoy!

The village of Sleepy Hollow is getting ready to greet the new schoolteacher, Ichabod Crane, who is coming from New York. Crane has already heard of the village’s legendary ghost, a headless horseman who is said to be searching for the head that he lost in battle. The schoolteacher has barely arrived when he begins to pursue the beautiful young heiress Katrina Van Tassel, angering Abraham Van Brunt, who is courting her. Crane’s harsh, small-minded approach to teaching also turns some of the villagers against him. Soon there are many who would like to see him leave the village altogether.

Fleischer Studio (1933)

Betty Boop hosts a Halloween party with aid from a scarecrow, but an uninvited gorilla threatens havoc.

Happy Halloween!

Hobo Moon Cartoons aims to preserve the beloved Halloween classics of yesteryear for future generations to enjoy!

Betty Boop’s Hallowe’en Party is a Halloween-themed short black and white animated movie. It was produced by Max Fleischer and directed by his brother Dave Fleischer. As its title indicates, it stars the Fleischer brothers’ famous character Betty Boop, a cute and sexy young woman who enjoys singing and with whom most other characters in the Fleischers’s cartoons cannot help falling in love. It was first released in the United States on November 3, 1933.

In the cartoon, a vicious gorilla disrupts the Halloween party being held at the house of Betty Boop. Fortunately, when the lights are turned out, supernatural beings appear which attack the gorilla and drive him away.

Jack Hannah (1952)

Happy Halloween!

Hobo Moon Cartoons aims to preserve the beloved Halloween classics of yesteryear for future generations to enjoy!

Trick or Treat is a 1952 animated short film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by RKO Radio Pictures. The cartoon, which takes place on Halloween night, follows a series of pranks between Donald Duck and his nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie along with Witch Hazel. The film was directed by Jack Hannah and features the voices of Clarence Nash as Donald and his nephews, and June Foray as Hazel. The film introduced the song Trick or Treat for Halloween, which was written by Mack David, Al Hoffman, and Jerry Livingston and performed by The Mellomen.

John Leach (1978)

Happy Halloween!

Hobo Moon Cartoons aims to preserve the beloved Halloween classics of yesteryear for future generations to enjoy!

Witch’s Night Out is a Canadian Halloween cartoon that premiered on October 27, 1978, which is, coincidentally, also my birthday. It was produced in a Toronto studio and featured the voices of Fiona Reid as Nicely and Catherine O’Hara as Malicious, with Gilda Radner as the titular witch.

Witch’s Night Out was produced on 35mm film by Jonathan Rogers (formerly known as John Leach) and Jean Rankin.

A depressed witch is summoned by a pair of children, named Small and Tender, who are upset at not being able to scare anyone on Halloween. The witch turns them into a werewolf and ghost (previously their Halloween costumes), and their babysitter Bazooey into Frankenstein’s monster. The witch then takes them to the Halloween party-in-progress at her isolated mansion on the edge of town. However, the citizens of the town get offended at the thought of real monsters in their town, and form a mob, under the leadership of the strait-laced Goodly. The witch loses her magic wand, which gets attached to a woman named Malicious, and is unable to turn Bazooey and the kids back to humans. The group of supernatural beings is chased through the town and forest by the mob, eventually losing them. Malicious and her partner, Rotten, misuse the wand’s powers, which causes a lot of damage to the town, but also summons the witch and the kids to their location. Regaining her wand, the witch uses its power to turn Malicious and Rotten into monsters (though she turns them back soon after), while turning the Frankenstein monster, ghost and werewolf back into Bazooey, Tender and Small. Eventually, the witch uses her powers to restore everything to normal, showing the town that she is not evil. The town quickly accepts the witch, and she starts turning people into what they want to be for Halloween.

A disco song entitled Witch Magic was sung in this film.

Dr. Seuss (1977)

Halloween Is Grinch Night is a 1977 Halloween television special and is the prequel to How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Happy Halloween!

Hobo Moon Cartoons aims to preserve the beloved Halloween classics of yesteryear!

Halloween Is Grinch Night is a 1977 children’s musical dark fantasy Halloween television special and is the prequel to the 1966 television special How the Grinch Stole Christmas! It premiered on ABC on October 29, 1977. The original voice actor for the Grinch, Boris Karloff, by then deceased, was replaced by Hans Conried, though Thurl Ravenscroft, who sang on the original special, again provided singing vocals. The songs and score were composed by Sesame Street composer Joe Raposo.

A strange wind blows into Whoville, making all the inhabitants stay indoors. They know the wind means the Grinch will be in a foul mood and out to do harm. However, young Eukariah decides to confront the Grinch.

Ub Iwerks (1929)

Happy Halloween!

Hobo Moon Cartoons aims to preserve the beloved Halloween classics of yesteryear for future generations to enjoy!

The Skeleton Dance is a 1929 Silly Symphony animated short subject produced and directed by Walt Disney and animated by Ub Iwerks. In the film, four human skeletons dance and make music around a spooky graveyard — a modern film example of medieval European “danse macabre” imagery.
It was the first entry in the Silly Symphony series.

The origins for The Skeleton Dance can be traced to mid-1928, when Walt Disney was on his way to New York to arrange a distribution deal for his new Mickey Mouse cartoons and to record the soundtrack for his first sound cartoon, Steamboat Willie. During a stopover in Kansas City, Disney paid a visit to his old acquaintance Carl Stalling, then an organist at the Isis Theatre, to compose scores for his first two Mickey shorts, Plane Crazy and The Gallopin’ Gaucho. While there, Stalling proposed to Disney a series of “musical novelty” cartoons combining music and animation, which would become the genesis for the Silly Symphony series, and pitched an idea about skeletons dancing in a graveyard. Stalling would eventually join Disney’s studio as staff composer. Animation on The Skeleton Dance began in January 1929, with Ub Iwerks animating the majority of the film in almost six weeks.

Ub Iwerks (1929)

Happy Halloween!

Outside on a cold windy night that’s fit for neither man nor beast, Mickey Mouse finds himself in need of shelter, and seeks it in a scary house looming nearby.  Upon entering the house, the front door locks itself, trapping Mickey inside. This house is haunted, and is full of spiders, bats, and the sounds of ghosts. Mickey runs into a hallway to escape the scary sounds, but the lights go out. When Mickey lights a match to illuminate his surroundings, he sees a dark figure in a hooded cloak.

Again, Mickey runs, but he is cornered by the figure and several skeleton ghosts. With a single word, the figure orders Mickey to “play” the piano in the room.

Mickey obliges, and he plays music for his skeletal patrons, who dance and celebrate amid the entertainment.

While they are blissfully distracted, Mickey makes a break for it and runs out of the room. Everywhere he turns he finds a dead end – usually with more skeletons. He eventually dives out a window, lands in a barrel of skeletons, escapes, and runs away to his freedom. Phew!

The Haunted House was released on December 2, 1929. It is full of goofy gags and hyjinx, though it is somewhat frightening at its core. It was released by Celebrity Productions, under Pat Powers, as part of the Mickey Mouse film series. The cartoon was produced by Walt Disney Productions, and directed by Walt Disney himself (Walt also provided the voice of Mickey). Disney Legend Ub Iwerks was the primary animator for the short, and Carl Stalling wrote the original music

The Haunted House was the first scary short starring Mickey, but it was not the first scary cartoon released by Disney. That honor belongs to The Skeleton Dance – a Silly Symphony cartoon released earlier in 1929.  In fact, The Haunted House borrowed a bit of animation from the Skeleton Dance.

Chuck Jones & Maurice Noble (1963)

Bugs demonstrates how to handle a pesky vampire with six simple magic incantations. The title is a pun on Pennsylvania 6-5000, a song associated with Glenn Miller and referring to the now-archaic system of telephone exchange names where the first two characters of a telephone number were expressed as letters: Transylvania 6-5000 stands for “TR 6-5000” which devolves to 876-5000.

This cartoon featuring Bugs Bunny and Count Blood Count is one of my favorite Halloween-themed cartoons from childhood. I hope you enjoy it as much as I always have and that it gets you in the spirit of the spook this Halloween. Thanks for watching.

Transylvania 6-5000 is a Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies animated short directed by Chuck Jones. The short was released on November 30, 1963, and stars Bugs Bunny. It was the last original Bugs Bunny short Jones made for Warner Bros. Cartoons before Jones left for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to found his own studio, Sib Tower 12 Productions. It was his second-to-last cartoon at Warner Bros. before moving to MGM, and the second-to-last Warner cartoon in 1963.

Animated by Bob Bransford, Tom Ray, Ken Harris, and Richard Thompson.

Fleischer Studios (1932)

Minnie the Moocher is a  1932 Betty Boop cartoon produced by Fleischer Studios and released by Paramount Pictures.

Happy Halloween!

What better way to kick off this Halloween than with the Betty Boop classic Minnie the Moocher. Enjoy!

Hobo Moon Cartoons aims to preserve the beloved Halloween classics of yesteryear for future generations to enjoy!

The cartoon opens with a live action sequence of Cab Calloway and his orchestra performing an instrumental rendition of the song St. James Infirmary. Then Betty Boop gets into a fight with her strict, Yiddish speaking, Jewish parents, and as a result, runs away from home with her boyfriend Bimbo, and sings excerpts of the Harry Von Tilzer song They Always Pick on Me and the song Mean to Me.

Betty and Bimbo end up in a cave with a walrus, who has Cab Calloway’s voice, and sings Minnie the Moocher and dances to the melancholy song. Calloway is joined in the performance by various ghosts, goblins, skeletons, and other frightening things. Betty and Bimbo are subjected to skeletons drinking at a bar, ghost prisoners sitting in electric chairs, and a cat with empty eye-sockets feeding her equally empty-eyed kittens. Betty and Bimbo both change their minds about running away and rush back home with every ghost right behind them. Betty makes it safely back to her home and hides under the blankets of her bed. As she shakes in terror, the note she earlier wrote to her parents tears, leaving “Home Sweet Home” on it. The film ends with Calloway performing the instrumental Vine Street Blues.

History of Fleischer Studios

Fleischer Studios was an American corporation which originated as an animation studio located at 1600 Broadway, New York City, New York. It was founded in 1921 as Inkwell Studios by brothers Ma Fleischer and Dave Fleischer who ran the pioneering company from its inception until Paramount Pictures, the studio’s parent company and the distributor of its films, acquired ownership. In its prime, Fleischer Studios was a premier producer of animated cartoons for theaters, with Walt Disney Productions becoming its chief competitor in the 1930s.

Fleischer Studios is notable for Koko the Clown, Betty Boop, Bimbo, Popeye the Sailor, and Superman. Unlike other studios, whose characters were anthropomorphic animals, the Fleischers’ most successful characters were humans (With the exception of Bimbo in the 1930s.). The cartoons of the Fleischer Studio were very different from the Disney product, both in concept and in execution. As a result, the Fleischer cartoons were rough rather than refined, commercial rather than consciously artistic. But in their unique way, their artistry was expressed through a culmination of the arts and sciences. This approach focused on surrealism, dark humor, adult psychological elements, and sexuality, and the environments were grittier and urban, often set in squalid surroundings, reflecting the Depression as well as German Expressionism.

The Fleischer Studio was built on Max Fleischer’s novelty film series, Out of the Inkwell (1919-1927). The “novelty” was based largely on the results of the rotoscope, invented by Fleischer to produce realistic animation. The first Out of the Inkwell films were produced through The Bray Studio, and featured Fleischer’s first character, “The Clown,” which became known as Ko-Ko the Clown in 1924.

In 1921, The Bray Studio ran afoul with legal issues, having contracted for more films than it could deliver to its distributor, The Goldwyn Company. The Fleischer Brothers left and began their own studio with Dave as Director and Production Supervisor, and Max as Producer. In 1924, Veteran Animator, Dick Huemer came to The Inkwell Studio and redesigned “The Clown” for more efficient animation. Huemer’s new design and experience as an Animator moved them away from their dependency on The Rotoscope for fluid animation. In addition to defining the clown, Huemer established the Fleischer style with its distinctive thick and thin ink lines. In addition, Huemer created Ko-Ko’s companion, Fitz the Dog, who would evolve into Bimbo in 1930.

Throughout the 1920s, Fleischer was one of the leading producers of animation with clever moments and numerous innovations including the “Rotograph”, an early “Aerial Image” photographic process for compositing animation with live action backgrounds. Other innovations included Ko-Ko Song Car-Tunes and sing-along shorts featuring the famous bouncing ball, a precursor to Karaoke.

Clyde Geronimi, Jack Kinney, Hamilton Luske, Joshua Meador & Robert Cormack (1946)

Casey at the Bat
Peter and the Wolf
The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met

Make Mine Music is a 1946 animated musical anthology film produced by Walt Disney and released by RKO Radio Pictures. It is the 8th Disney feature animated film, released on April 20, 1946.

During World War II, much of Walt Disney’s staff was drafted into the army, and those that remained were called upon by the U.S. government to make training and propaganda films. As a result, the studio was littered with unfinished story ideas. In order to keep the feature film division alive during this difficult time, the studio released six package films including this one, made up of various unrelated segments set to music. This is the third package film, following Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros. The film was entered into the 1946 Cannes Film Festival.

The musical short stories included in the Make Mine Music anthology include The Martins and the Coys, Blue Bayou, All the Cats Join In, Without You, Casey at the Bat, Two Silhouettes, Peter and the Wolf, Johnnie Fedora and Alice Bluebonnet, and The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met.

“The animation, color and music, the swing versus symph, and the imagination, execution and delineation—that this Disney feature (two years in the making) may command widest attention yet. The blend of cartoon with human action has been evidenced before; here Disney has retained all his characters in their basic art form, but endowed them with human qualities, voices and treatments, which is another step forward in the field where cartoons graduate into the field of the classics.”

Abel Green of Variety

“More entertaining than others, but all are good, and each has something to please movie-goers of all tastes and ages. It is a delightful blend of comedy, music, pathos, animation, and color, given a most imaginative treatment.”

Harrison’s Reports

“A brilliant abstraction wherein fanciful musical instruments dance gayly on sliding color disks, sets of romping fingers race blithely down tapes of piano keys and musical notes fly wildly through the multi-hued atmosphere—all to the tingling accompaniment of Benny Goodman’s quartet playing the ancient and melodious torch song, ‘After You’re Gone’. Color, form and music blend dynamically in this bit, and a rich stimulant of sensuous rhythm is excitingly achieved.”

Bosley Crowther of The New York Times

“A picture of much inventiveness and imagination. The lighter the picture is, the more is its excellence demonstrated, it might be noted. And while music is the keynote of the production, it ranges well into comedy, and plentifully into swing.”

Edwin Schallert of the Los Angeles Times

Friz Freleng (1943)

A group of mice are unwittingly enslaved by a cat.

Fifth Column Mouse is a 1943 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies animated cartoon directed by Friz Freleng. The short was released on March 6, 1943. The cartoon features a band of mice who engage in war against a cat. This is a wartime propaganda film, with the cat symbolizing the Axis powers. A single mouse represents the fifth column, working for the cat and suggesting an appeasement policy.

The cat is treated as the enemy and symbolizes the Axis. After the cat whispers his plan inside the dim-witted mouse’s ear the cat’s face briefly mimics that of a stereotypically caricatured Japanese, while Japanese sounding music is briefly heard. When the mouse agrees to fulfill the plan, he gives the cat a Nazi salute. The grey mouse represents the policy of appeasement, and the overall theme of the short is that the policy does not work against the Axis and will lead to ruin. When the cat’s fur is shaved off, the first four notes of Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Fifth Symphony” are played; these notes were used by the Allied Forces as a symbol for “V” (for “victory”) in Morse code; also, when shaved four tufts of hair are left on the cat’s back – three short and one long tuft – equivalent to the Morse Code dit-dit-dit-dah – which is the letter “V”.

Near the end of the cartoon, the brown mice sing “We did it before and We can do it again”, a patriotic chant that was often used in American films during World War II. The song was co-written in 1941 by Tin Pan Alley songwriter Charles Tobias as a response to the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. During the song, a mouse version of the “Buy War Bonds and Stamps” poster can be seen.

Richard Williams (1958)

Depicts the dreams, ideas, and struggles of three men (representing “truth,” “beauty,” and “good”) who settle on a tiny island.

The first film directed by Richard Williams, the master animator behind Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) and The Thief and the Cobbler (1993).

In his scathing take on ideology, three little men each have an idea – but only one – that come to clash on a desert island.

1958 – BAFTA Award Winner for Best Animated Film

Self-financed, Richard’s first film was a half-hour philosophical argument without words.

Walt Disney (1942)

Disney animators tour South America and present four animated shorts inspired by their trip.

Saludos Amigos is a 1942 American live-action animated anthology film produced by Walt Disney and released by RKO Radio Pictures. It is the 6th Disney animated feature film. Set in Latin America, it is made up of four different segments; Donald Duck stars in two of them and Goofy stars in one. It also features the first appearance of José Carioca, the Brazilian cigar-smoking parrot. Saludos Amigos premiered in Rio de Janeiro on August 24, 1942. It was released in the United States on February 6, 1943. Saludos Amigos was popular enough that Walt Disney decided to make another film about Latin America, The Three Caballeros, to be produced two years later. At 42 minutes, it is Disney’s shortest animated feature to date.

Directed by Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney, Hamilton Luske, Norman Ferguson, and Bill Roberts.

Story written by Homer Brightman, William Cottrell, Richard Huemer, Joe Grant, Harold Reeves, Ted Sears, Webb Smith, Roy Williams, and Ralph Wright.

In early 1941, before U.S. entry into World War II, the United States Department of State commissioned a Disney goodwill tour of South America, intended to lead to a movie to be shown in the US, Central, and South America as part of the Good Neighbor Policy. This was being done because several Latin American governments had close ties with Nazi Germany, and the US government wanted to counteract those ties. Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters were popular in Latin America, and Walt Disney acted as ambassador. The tour, facilitated by Nelson Rockefeller, who had recently been appointed as Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs (CIAA), took Disney and a group of roughly twenty composers, artists, technicians, etc. from his studio to South America, mainly to Brazil and Argentina, but also to Chile and Peru.

The film itself was given federal loan guarantees, because the Disney studio had over-expanded just before European markets were closed to them by the war, and because Disney was struggling with labor unrest at the time (including a strike that was underway at the time the goodwill journey began).

The film included live-action documentary sequences featuring footage of modern Latin American cities with skyscrapers and fashionably dressed residents. This surprised many contemporary US viewers, who associated such images only with US and European cities, and contributed to a changing impression of Latin America. Film historian Alfred Charles Richard Jr. has commented that Saludos Amigos “did more to cement a community of interest between peoples of the Americas in a few months than the State Department had in fifty years”.

The film also inspired Chilean cartoonist René Ríos Boettiger to create Condorito, one of Latin America’s most ubiquitous cartoon characters. Ríos perceived that the character Pedro, a small, incapable airplane, was a slight to Chileans and created a comic that could supposedly rival Disney’s comic characters.

Mark Hall & Chris Taylor (1983)

Toad (David Jason), Rat (Ian Carmichael), Mole (Richard Pearson), and Badger (Sir Michael Hordern) follow animal etiquette in this version of Kenneth Grahame’s classic, in stop-motion model animation.

The Wind in the Willows is a 1983 British stop motion animated film produced by Cosgrove Hall Films for Thames Television and aired on the ITV network. The film is based on Kenneth Grahame’s classic 1908 novel The Wind in the Willows. It won a BAFTA award and an international Emmy award.

Between 1984 and 1990, Cosgrove-Hall subsequently made a 52-episode television series, with the film serving as a pilot. The film’s music and songs are composed by Keith Hopwood, late of Herman’s Hermits, and Malcolm Rowe. The Stone Roses guitarist John Squire worked on the series as a set artist.

Kirsten Dunst, McG & Takashi Murakami (2010)

Takashi Murakami may be the most interesting, vital pop artist since Andy Warhol. Perhaps best known for his work with Kanye West. His latest project is for an exhibition called “Pop Art: Life in the Material World” for the Tate Modern in London.

As part of the project, Murakami has created one of the more unhinged mash-ups the Internet has ever seen. The video below was directed by McG and features art direction care of Murakami. It stars “Spider-Man” and “Marie Antoinette” star Kirsten Dunst, who is dressed up as some sort of Japanese Anime superhero (not unlike Sailor Moon) and frolicks around the geek-heavy Akihabara section of Tokyo. All the while, she’s singing along to the Vapors’ “Turning Japanese,” a one-hit wonder from 1980 that actually has little to do with Asian culture and everything to do with masturbation.

It’s a totally bizarre but utterly lovable combination of things, including confused Tokyoites, splashy colors, manic camera moves and Dunst’s strange performance as the magical blue-haired sprite. If nothing else, it will give the Vapors’ tune a bit of a reprieve, as it’s one of the most infectious (and subversive) one-hit wonders of the ’80s (or any decade, quite frankly).

Turning Japanese is a song by English band the Vapors, from their 1980 album New Clear Days. It was an international hit, becoming the band’s most well-known song. The song prominently features an Oriental riff played on guitar.

The one man who can say for certain what Turning Japanese is about is the man who wrote the song, David Fenton. He had the melody, he said, but he needed lyrics. Then in the middle of the night, he woke up and…

“I had that ‘turning Japanese’ line, so I wrote it down and fell asleep again. It could have been anything! It could have ended up as Turning Portuguese.”

David Fenton

The song has nothing to do with Asians or facial expressions. And it certainly has nothing to do with “self-love.” Fenton said, “It was weird when people started saying it was about masturbation. I can’t claim that one!”

As for what “Turning Japanese” is about, Fenton says it’s simply a love song about a relationship that ended. All he was left with was a photograph of his beloved, and an empty feeling.