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.

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 & Ken Harris (1943)

Two hungry castaways encounter Bugs Bunny on a tropical island.

Wackiki Wabbit is a 1943 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon, starring Bugs Bunny.

Directed by Chuck Jones

Animated by Ken Harris

Written by Tedd Pierce

Produced by Leon Schlesinger

Musical direction by Carl Stalling

Wackiki Wabbit contains experimental abstract backgrounds and its title is a play on words, suggesting both the island setting of Waikiki and Bugs’ wackiness. Elmer Fudd’s speech pronunciation of “rabbit” is also in the title, although Elmer does not appear in this picture.

This cartoon has fallen to the public domain after United Artists failed to renew the copyright on time.

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.

Ub Iwerks (1933)

Flip’s lunchroom is being robbed by a deadbeat customer on its opening day. Flip foils the crook and earns a big cash reward.

Music by Carl Stalling

Flip was created by Ub Iwerks, animator for the Walt Disney Studios and a personal friend of Walt Disney in 1930, at the Iwerks Studios. After a series of disputes between the two, Iwerks left Disney and went on to accept an offer from Pat Powers to open a cartoon studio of his own and receive a salary of $300 a week, an offer that Disney was unable to match at the time. Iwerks was to produce new cartoons under Powers’ Celebrity Pictures auspices and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The first series he was to produce was to feature a character called Tony the Frog, but Iwerks disliked the name and it was subsequently changed to Flip.

Iwerks’ studio quickly began accumulating new talent, such as animators Fred Kopietz, Irv Spence, Grim Natwick, and Chuck Jones. After the first two cartoons, the appearance of Flip the Frog gradually became less froglike. This was done under the encouragement of MGM, who thought that the series would sell better if the character were more humanized. Flip’s major redesign is attributed to Grim Natwick, who made a name for himself at Fleischer Studios with the creation of Betty Boop. Natwick also had a hand in changing Flip’s girlfriend. In earlier films, she was consistently a cat, but Natwick made Flip’s new girlfriend, Fifi, a human who shared distinct similarities with Betty.

The frog’s personality also began to develop. As the series progressed, Flip became more of a down-and-out, Chaplin-esque character who always found himself in everyday conflicts surrounding the poverty-stricken atmosphere of the Great Depression. Owing to the influx of New York City animators to Iwerks’s studio, the shorts became increasingly risqué.

The character eventually wore out his welcome at MGM. His final short was Soda Squirt, released in 1933. Subsequently, Iwerks replaced the series with a new one starring an imaginative liar named Willie Whopper. Flip became largely forgotten by the public in the ensuing years. However, the character would make a small comeback when animation enthusiasts and historians began digging up the old Iwerks shorts.

Friz Freleng (1941)

Porky Pig works hard on his farm to store food for the winter, while his neighbor, a bear, would rather lie around and be lazy.
This is the original black and white classic directed by Friz Freleng.

Porky’s Bear Facts is a 1941 Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon animated short directed by Friz Freleng.

This cartoon short is an adaptation of the Aesop fable The Ant and the Grasshopper.

Directed by Friz Freleng

Written by Michael Maltese

Animated by Manuel Perez

Musical Direction by Carl Stalling

Produced by Leon Schlesinger

“For your long winter needs, You just plant a few s-seeds. You must get up and w-work, not sleep. D-Dig and hoe. W-Watch them grow. As ye sow so shall ye r-r-r-reap.”

Porky Pig

Chuck Jones (1947)

Scent-imental Over You is a 1947 Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon directed by Chuck Jones.
The short was released on March 8, 1947, and stars Pepé Le Pew.

Jealous of the other dogs who have fur coats, a hairless Mexican pooch decides to borrow a fur coat and enter the dog show. Unfortunately, she borrows a skunk pelt by accident, which soon frightens the other dogs and attracts the unwanted attention of the amorous Pepé Le Pew. Pepe continues chasing her until she finally reveals that she is a dog, much to his surprise. Pepe then takes off his fur like a zippered jacket to reveal that he is a dog, capturing the misled pooch’s swoon, only to reveal once more that it was just him in a dog costume. He says to the audience, “I am stupid, no?”, as the cartoon ends, implying that Pepé is indeed a skunk who doesn’t care that his love interest is a dog.

Starring Pepé Le Pew (as Stinky Skunk), in his first official short.

Directed by Chuck Jones

Story by Michael Maltese and Tedd Pierce

Animated by Phil Monroe, Ben Washam, Ken Harris, Lloyd Vaughan, and Abe Levitow

Layouts by Robert Gribbroek

Backgrounds by Peter Alvarado

Voiced by Mel Blanc

Musical direction by Carl Stalling

Chuck Jones (1946)

Hair-Raising Hare is a Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon, released in 1946. It was directed by Chuck Jones and written by Tedd Pierce. It stars Bugs Bunny and features the first appearance of Chuck Jones’ imposing orange monster character, unnamed here, but in later cartoons named “Rudolph” and then “Gossamer”.

Animation director J. J. Sedelmaier writes, “It’s interesting to see how different Bugs’ character is in this film, from, say, the cool and calm Bugs in Rabbit Seasoning (1952). He’s much more the Groucho Marx type in this short; in fact, I doubt you’ll find another cartoon in which he does the Groucho walk more than here. The other unique aspect that has always grabbed me about this particular cartoon is the design of the monster. Where do his hands and arms go when we don’t see them? Why the sneakers? It’s this sort of stuff that reminds me why I love good cartoons: You don’t care about this stuff. You just enjoy it.”

Story by Tedd Pierce

Music by Carl Stalling

Animated by Ben Washam, Ken Harris, Basil Davidovich, and Lloyd Vaughan

Backgroungs by Robert Bribbroek

Starring Mel Blanc

Technicolor

Walt Disney (1929)

The Haunted House, also known as Phantom House or simply Haunted House, is a Mickey Mouse short animated film first released on December 2, 1929, as part of the Mickey Mouse film series. The cartoon was produced by Walt Disney Productions and distributed by Celebrity Productions.

The film follows Mickey Mouse trapped in a haunted house and forced to play music. It was directed by Walt Disney, who also provided the voice of Mickey. Ub Iwerks was the primary animator and Carl Stalling wrote the original music.

The Haunted House borrowed animation from Disney’s first Silly SymphonyThe Skeleton Dance, which was released earlier in 1929. The Haunted House was Mickey’s first cartoon with a horror theme and led the way to later films such as The Gorilla Mystery (1930), The Mad Doctor (1933), Lonesome Ghosts (1937), and Runaway Brain (1995).