Danny Elfman (2020)

Danny Elfman releases a new single entitled Happy!

Directed by Aron Johnson

Art Direction by Berit Gwendolyn Gilma

3d Photography: Sarah Sitkin

Music and Lyrics by Danny Elfman

Produced by Danny Elfman and Randall Dunn

Engineered by Noah Snyder

Vocals, Guitars & Synths by Danny Elfman

Drums – Josh Freese

Guitars – Nili Brosh

Bass – Stu Brooks

Additional Synth design by Randall Dunn

Orchestrated by Steve Bartek

Midi Prep – Marc Mann and Orlando Perez Rosso

Copyist – Scott McRae

Orchestra – Budapest Scoring Orchestra

Orchestra Producer – Bálint Sapszon

Mixed by Randall Dunn at Strange Weather Recording

Assisted by Ben Greenberg and Garrett de Block

Mastered by Gavin Lurssen Mastering

Executive Produced by Laura Engel

Project Produced by Melisa McGregor

Danny Elfman’s Representation – Kraft-Engel Management

Lyrics

I’m so happy, happy
I’m so happy, happy
I’m so happy, happy
Everything is crumbling (Crumbling, crumbling)
Everything is crumbling (Crumbling, crumbling)
Everything is crumbling (Crumbling, crumbling)

Happy, happy
Happy, happy, happy, happy

Choose your poison, poison
Choose your poison, poison
Choose your poison, poison
Everything is shutting down (Shutting down, shutting down)
Everything is shutting down (Shutting down, shutting down)
Everything is shutting down (Shutting down, shutting down)

Poison, poison
Happy, happy, happy, happy

Eat (Eat), fly (Fly), silence (Silence), joy (Joy)
Cat (Cat), sequence (Sequence), future (Future), puppy (Motherfucking puppy)
My (My), own (Own), mother (Mother), fucking (Motherfucking)
Life, burned down like a hole in the warm soft ground
Child, happy, fear
My own voice
Concentrating on flies
Fill me up, knock me down
Take my hand, in my hand, and my eloquent knife
Through my heart, through my heart
Straight through my mother-motherfucking
Heart belongs to you
My heart belongs to you

Puppyfuckers
Puppyfuckers
Puppyfucker
Puppyfucker
Puppyfucker
Puppyfucker
Puppyfucker
Eye for an eye, eye for an eye
Tickety-tackety, tickety-tackety
Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth
Never enough, but it’s never the truth
Life is a dream, so pretty and pink
Youth is wasted on the mother
Youth is, youth is wasted on the mother
Youth is wasted on the motherfucking
Wasted on the motherfucking youth

I’m so happy, happy
I’m so happy, happy
Snapchat, rotting rats, Minecraft, Cheerios
Netflix, bag of tricks, soothe my soul
My anesthesiologist is fucking my psychiatrist
And I feel no pain, cover me with Lidocaine
I’m so happy, everything’s so great
And the world is an oyster on an appetizer plate

Happy
Happy
Happy
Happy, happy, happy

Charles Schulz & Bill Melendez (1966)

Happy Hallowe’en, kiddies! Enjoy this spooky treat. Hahahahahahaha!!!

The Peanuts gang celebrates Halloween while Linus waits for the Great Pumpkin.

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is a 1966 American prime-time animated television special based on the comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz. A Halloween special, it was the third Peanuts special to be produced and animated by Bill Melendez.

Dr. Seuss (1977)

Halloween Is Grinch Night is a 1977 Halloween television special and is the prequel to How the Grinch Stole Christmas! It won the 1978 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Program. It premiered on ABC on October 29, 1977.

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.

Tim Burton (1982 & ’84)

Vincent is a 1982 stop motion short horror film written, designed, and directed by Tim Burton, and 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.

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

Frankenweenie is a 1984 short film 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 novel of the same name. Burton later directed a feature-length stop-motion animated remake, released in 2012.

Tim Burton featuring Shiny Toy Guns (2008)

The Finale is the final song of the movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas. It is sung by Jack Skellington as he realizes that he is the Pumpkin King and that he must return to Halloween Town in order to help the citizens fix Christmas. Later, Santa thanks Jack for helping him save Christmas by bringing snow to Halloween Town. Jack and Sally sing together under the moonlight in the final scene as they lovingly embrace and kiss.

Written by Danny Elfman (1993)

Cyclops: Jack!
Corpse Father: Jack’s back!
Undersea Gal: Jack?
Winged Demon: Jack’s okay!
Offscreen Voice: He’s all right!

Chorus: Jack’s okay, and he’s back! Oh, yay!

(with Corpse Kid)
He’s all right!

(with the Mayor)
Let’s shout, make a fuss
Scream it out, wheee!

Jack is back now, everyone sing
In our town of Halloween…

(“What’s This?” verse)

Corpse Kid: What’s this?

Cyclops: What’s this?

Harlequin Demon: I haven’t got a clue…

Mr. Hyde: What’s this?

Clown with the Tear-Away Face: Why, it’s completely new!

Offscreen Voice: What’s this?

Wolfman: Must be a Christmas thing…

Offscreen Voice: What’s this?

Mayor: It’s really very strange…

Chorus: This is Halloween
Halloween, Halloween, Halloween

What’s this, what’s this? (verse repeated three more times)

(instrumental verse)

(“We’re Simply Meant to Be” verse)

Jack: My dearest friend, if you don’t mind
I’d like to join you by your side
Where we can gaze into the stars

(with Sally)

And sit together now and forever
For it is plain as anyone can see
We’re simply meant to be

Tim Burton featuring Plain White Tees (2014)

Poor Jack is a song from the film, The Nightmare Before Christmas. It is sung by Jack after he survives an explosion in Christmas Town that was meant to kill him. The song is about Jack confronting his guilt surrounding the mess he made of Christmas Town. He then chooses to remain the Pumpkin King and rushes off to save Sandy Claws.

Written by Danny Elfman (1993)

What have I done? What have I done?
How could I be so blind?
All is lost, where was I?
Spoiled all, spoiled all, everything’s gone all wrong

What have I done? What have I done?
Find a deep cave to hide in
In a million years they’ll find me
Only dust and a plaque that reads here lies poor old Jack

But I never intended all this madness, never
And nobody really understood, well how could they?
That all I ever wanted was to bring them something great
Why does nothing ever turn out like it should?

Well, what the heck I went and did my best
And by God I really tasted something swell, that’s right
And for a moment, why I even touched the sky
And at least I left some stories they can tell, I did

And for the first time since I don’t remember when
I felt just like my old bony self again
And I Jack, the Pumpkin King
That’s right I am the Pumpkin King

And I just can’t wait until next Halloween
‘Cause I’ve got some new ideas that will really make them scream
And by God, I’m really gonna give it all my might
Oh, oh, I hope there’s still time to set things right Sandy Claws

Tim Burton featuring Amy Lee (2008)

Sally’s Song is sung by Sally Finklestein in the film, The Nightmare Before Christmas after her plan to stop Jack fails. During her song, she sings about how she hopes that Jack is safe,
yet she feels that Jack will never accept her feelings for him.

Written by Danny Elfman (1993)

I sense there’s something in the wind
That feels like tragedy’s at hand
And though I’d like to stand by him
Can’t shake this feeling that I have
The worst is just around the bend
And does he notice my feelings for him?
And will he see how much he means to me?
I think it’s not to be

What will become of my dear friend?
Where will his actions lead us then?
Although I’d like to join the crowd
In their enthusiastic cloud
Try as I may, it doesn’t last
And will we ever end up together?
No, I think not, it’s never to become
For I am not the one

Tim Burton featuring Tiger Army (2008)

Oogie Boogie’s Song is the main villain song from the film, The Nightmare Before Christmas sung by Oogie Boogie and his prisoner, Santa Claus. Due to time constraints, the instrumental break was cut from it in the film, while the second verse was omitted because its sequence which was to feature bugs dancing on Oogie Boogie’s arm was deemed impossible and too difficult to animate after being storyboarded. But both were present on the soundtrack of the film.

Written by Danny Elfman (1993)

Oogie Boogie:
Well, well, well, what have we here?
Sandy Claws, huh?
Ooh, I’m really scared!
So you’re the one everybody’s talkin’ about?
Ha, ha, ha, ha!

You’re jokin’, you’re jokin’!
I can’t believe my eyes!
You’re jokin’ me, you gotta be,
This can’t be the right guy!

He’s ancient, he’s ugly;
I don’t know which is worse!
I might just split a seam now
If I don’t die laughing first.

When Mr. Oogie Boogie says
There’s trouble close at hand,
You’d better pay attention now
‘Cause I’m the Boogie Man!

And if you aren’t shakin’,
There’s something very wrong!
‘Cause this may be the last time
You hear the Boogie Song!

Woah

Skeletons:
Woah

Oogie Boogie:
Woah

Skeletons:
Woah

Oogie Boogie:
Woah

Bats:
Woah

Oogie Boogie and Chorus:
I’m (he’s) the Oogie Boogie Man!

Santa:
Release me now or you must face
The dire consequences
The children are expecting me
So please, come to your senses

Oogie Boogie:
You’re jokin’, you’re jokin’!
I can’t believe my ears!
Would someone shut this fella up?
I’m drownin’ in my tears!

It’s funny, I’m laughing;
You really are too much.
And now, with your permission,
I’m going to do my stuff…

Santa:
What are you going to do?

Oogie Boogie:
I’m going to do the best I can.

Oh, the sound of rollin’ dice
To me is music in the air
‘Cause I’m a gamblin’ Boogie Man
Although I don’t play fair.

It’s much more fun, I must confess
When lives are on the line
Not mine, of course but yours, old boy,
Now that’d be just fine.

Santa:
Release me fast or you’ll have to answer for this heinous act!

Oogie Boogie:
Oh brother, you’re somethin’!
You put me in a spin! You aren’t comprehending
The position that you’re in.

It’s hopeless, you’re finished
You haven’t got a prayer
‘Cause I’m Mr. Oogie Boogie,
And you ain’t goin’ nowhere!

Tim Burton featuring Rise Against (2008)

Jack Skellington the Pumpkin King prepares the citizens of Halloween Town for Christmas
in this fun diddy from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Written by Danny Elfman (1993)

This time, this time
Making Christmas
Making Christmas
Making Christmas, making Christmas is so fine

It’s our this time and won’t the children
Be surprised? It’s ours this time
Making Christmas
Making Christmas

Time to give them something fun
They’ll talk about fir yeas to come
Let’s have a cheer from everyone
It’s time to party

Making Christmas, making Christmas
Snakes and spiders get wrapped up
So nice with spider legs and pretty bows
It’s ours this time

All together, that and this
With all our tricks we’re
Making Christmas
Here comes Jack

I don’t believe what’s happening to me
My hopes, my dreams, my fantasies
Hee hee hee

Won’t they be impressed? I am a genius
See how I transformed this old rat
Into a most delightful hat?

Hmm, my compliments from me to you
On your most intriguing hat
Consider though this substitute
A bat in the place of this old rat

Huh, no, no, no, now that’s all wrong
This thing will never make a present
It’s been dead for much too long
Try something fresher, something pleasant
Try again, don’t give up

All together, this and that
With all our tricks
We’re making Christmastime

This time this time
Making Christmas, making Christmas
La la la
It’s almost here

And we can’t wait
‘Cause when the full moon starts to climb
We’ll all sing out, it’s Christmas time
Hee hee hee

Tim Burton featuring KoRn (2008)

Kidnap the Sandy Claws is a song from the film, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.
It is sung by Lock, Shock, and Barrel when they plan to capture Santa so that Jack could take over Christmas,
which only brings in a disastrous result.

Written by Danny Elfman (1993)

Lock, Shock, and Barrel: Kidnap Mr. Sandy Claws?

Lock: I wanna do it!
Barrel: Let’s draw straws!
Shock: Jack said we should work together

Barrel: Three of a kind
Lock: Birds of a feather
Lock, Shock, and Barrel: Now and forever!

La, la, la, la, la, la
La-la-la-la-la
La, la, la, la, la, la
La-la-la-la-la

Kidnap the Sandy Claws, lock him up real tight
Throw away the key and then turn off all the lights

Shock: First, we’re going to set some bait inside a nasty trap and wait
When he comes a-sniffing, we will snap the trap and close the gate

Lock: Wait! I’ve got a better plan to catch this big red lobster man
Let’s pop him in a boiling pot
And when he’s done, we’ll butter him up!

Lock, Shock and Barrel: Kidnap the Sandy Claws, throw him in a box
Bury him for 90 years, then see if he talks

Shock: Then Mr. Oogie Boogie Man…
Lock and Shock: …can take the whole thing over then
Lock and Barrel: He’ll be so pleased, I do declare
Lock and Shock: That he will cook him rare
Wheeee!

Lock: I say that we take a cannon, aim it at his door and then
Knock three times and when he answers, Sandy Claws will be no more!

Shock: You’re so stupid! Think now
If we blow him up to smithereens, we may lose some pieces
And then Jack will beat us black and green

Lock, Shock, and Barrel: Kidnap the Sandy Claws, tie him in a bag
Throw him in the ocean, then see if he is sad

Lock and Shock: Because Mr. Oogie Boogie is the meanest guy around
If I were on his boogie list, I’d get out of town

Barrel: He’ll be so pleased by our success
That he’ll reward us too, I bet

Lock and Barrel: Perhaps he’ll make his special brew
Lock and Shock: Of snake and spider stew (Shock: Mmmm!)

Lock, Shock, and Barrel: We’re his little henchmen and we take our job with pride
We do our best to please him and stay on his good side

Shock: I wish my cohorts weren’t so dumb
Barrel: I’m not the dumb one
Lock: You’re no fun
Shock: Shut up!
Lock: Make me!

Shock: I’ve got something, listen now! This one is real good, you’ll see
We’ll send a present to his door
Upon there’ll be a note to read
Now, in the box we’ll wait and hide until his curiosity

Lock, Shock, and Barrel: Entices him to look inside
And then we’ll have him! One, two, three!

Kidnap the Sandy Claws, beat him with a stick
Lock him up for 90 years, see what makes him tick
Kidnap the Sandy Claws, chop him into bits
Mr. Oogie Boogie is sure to get his kicks
Kidnap the Sandy Claws, see what we will see
Lock him in a cage and then throw away the key…!

Tim Burton featuring All American Rejects (2008)

Jack’s Lament is a song from the movie The Nightmare Before Christmas. It is sung by Jack Skellington who is tired of celebrating Halloween and wants to experience something else. The All American Rejects covered this song for the album Nightmare Revisited, which was released in 2007.

Jack laments the mundane repetition of Halloween as he wishes for a new adventure and hopes to experience something new as he searches for meaning in his life.

Nightmare Revisited is a cover album of songs and score from the 1993 Disney animated film The Nightmare Before Christmas. It was released on September 30, 2008 by Walt Disney Records to commemorate the film’s 15th anniversary of its theatrical release. In addition to the album’s eighteen covers are two re-recordings by original composer Danny Elfman, of the “Opening” and “Closing” tracks. One song featured on the album, Marilyn Manson’s “This Is Halloween”, was previously released nearly two years earlier, on the 2006 reissue of the film’s original soundtrack which, featuring five covers of songs from the film, acted as a precursor to Nightmare Revisited. The album also features Korn covering “Kidnap the Sandy Claws” which is also their first recording to feature Ray Luzier on drums. Enhanced content on the disc features the trailer of The Nightmare Before Christmas, as well.

American psychobilly band Tiger Army also provided a cover of “Oogie Boogie’s Song”, which was not featured on physical CD editions of Nightmare Revisited, but was released as a digital bonus track. Scott Murphy’s cover of “Sally’s Song” is also featured on Japanese pressings of the album.

Danny Elfman (1993)

There are few who’d deny, at what I do I am the best
For my talents are renowned far and wide
When it comes to surprises in the moonlit night
I excel without ever even trying
With the slightest little effort of my ghostlike charms
I have seen grown men give out a shriek
With the wave of my hand, and a well-placed moan
I have swept the very bravest off their feet

Yet year after year, it’s the same routine
And I grow so weary of the sound of screams
And I, Jack, the Pumpkin King (SHOUT!)
Have grown so tired of the same old thing

Oh, somewhere deep inside of these bones
An emptiness began to grow
There’s something out there, far from my home
A longing that I’ve never known

I’m a master of fright, and a demon of light
And I’ll scare you right out of your pants
To a guy in Kentucky, I’m Mister Unlucky
And I’m known throughout England and France
And since I am dead, I can take off my head
To recite Shakespearean quotations
No animal nor man can scream like I can
With the fury of my recitations

But who here would ever understand
That the Pumpkin King with the skeleton grin
Would tire of his crown, if they only understood
He’d give it all up if he only could

Oh, there’s an empty place in my bones
That calls out for something unknown
The fame and praise come year after year
Does nothing for these empty tears

Tim Burton featuring Marilyn Manson (2008)

Come, one and all, and bear witness to the fantastic freakishness of the creepy crypt creators Tim Burton
and Marilyn Manson as stop-motion animation meets shock rock.

The Nightmare Before Christmas is a 1993 American stop-motion animated musical dark fantasy film directed by Henry Selick and produced and conceived by Tim Burton. It tells the story of Jack Skellington, the King of Halloween Town who stumbles through a portal to Christmas Town and becomes obsessed with celebrating the holiday. Danny Elfman wrote the songs and score, and provided the singing voice of Jack.

The Nightmare Before Christmas originated in a poem written by 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; Disney released the film through Touchstone Pictures because the studio believed the film would be “too dark and scary for kids”.

Written by Danny Elfman (1993)

Boys and girls of every age
Wouldn’t you like to see something strange?
Come with us and you will see
This, our town of Halloween

This is Halloween, this is Halloween
Pumpkins scream in the dead of night
This is Halloween, everybody make a scene
Trick or treat till the neighbors gonna die of fright
It’s our town, everybody scream
In this town of Halloween

I am the one hiding under your bed
Teeth ground sharp and eyes glowing red
I am the one hiding under yours stairs
Fingers like snakes and spiders in my hair

This is Halloween, this is Halloween
Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween!

In this town we call home
Everyone hail to the pumpkin song
In this town, don’t we love it now?
Everybody’s waiting for the next surprise

Round that corner, man hiding in the trash can Something’s waiting no to pounce, and how you’ll…
Scream! This is Halloween
Red ‘n’ black, slimy green
Aren’t you scared?

Well, that’s just fine
Say it once, say it twice
Take a chance and roll the dice
Ride with the moon in the dead of night
Everybody scream, everybody scream

In our town of Halloween!
I am the clown with the tear-away face
Here in a flash and gone without a trace
I am the “who” when you call, “who’s there?”
I am the wind blowing through your hair
I am the shadow on the moon at night
Filling your dreams to the brim with fright
This is Halloween, this is Halloween
Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween!
Tender lumplings everywhere
Life’s no fun without a good scare
That’s our job, but we’re not mean
In our town of Halloween
In this town
Don’t we love it now?
Everybody is waiting for the next surprise
Skeleton jack might catch you in the back
And scream like a banshee
Make you jump out of your skin
This is Halloween, everybody scream
Wont’ ya, please, make way for a very special guy
Our man, Jack, is king of the pumpkin patch
Everyone hail to the Pumpkin King now
This is Halloween, this is Halloween
Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween!
In this town we call home
Everyone hail to the pumpkin song
La, lala la, lala la
La la la, lala la, lala la
La la la, lala la, lala la
La la la, lala la la la
Heir

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).

Fleischer Studios (1933)

Snow-White, also known as Betty Boop in Snow-White, is a film in the Betty Boop series from Max Fleischer’s Fleischer Studios directed in 1933. Dave Fleischer was credited as director, although virtually all the animation was done by Roland Crandall. Crandall received the opportunity to make Snow-White on his own as a reward for his several years of devotion to the Fleischer studio, and the resulting film is considered both his masterwork and an important milestone of The Golden Age of American Animation. Snow-White took Crandall six months to complete.

The plot, such as it is, is really more a framework to display a series of gags, musical selections, and animation. Critics have cited the film as having some of the most imaginative animation and background drawings from the Fleischer Studios artists. Mae Questel performs the voices of Betty Boop and the Olive Oyl-ish Queen, and Cab Calloway is the voice of Koko the Clown, singing St. James Infirmary Blues. Koko’s dancing during the “St. James” number is rotoscoped from footage of Cab Calloway.

The film was deemed “culturally significant” by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 1994. The same year, it was voted #19 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field. The film is now in the public domain.

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.

Fleischer Studios (1932)

Minnie the Moocher is a  1932 Betty Boop cartoon produced by Fleischer Studios and released by Paramount Pictures. In 1994, Minnie the Moocher was voted #20 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field.

The cartoon opens with a live action sequence of Cab Calloway and his orchestra performing an instrumental rendition of “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” (1911) and the song “Mean to Me” (1929).

Betty and Bimbo end up in a cave with a walrus, which has Cab Calloway’s voice, who 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; a cat with empty eye-sockets feeding her equally empty-eyed kittens; and so on. 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.

Tim Burton (2005)

Inspired by Walt Disney’s and Ub Iwerks’ Silly Symphonies animated short The Skeleton Dance,
Tim Burton pays homage to the frolicking skeletons of swing in this fun little diddy, Remains of the Day.

Remains of the Day

Danny Elfman (2005)

Hey!
Give me a listen, you corpses of cheer.
Least less of you who still got an ear,
I’ll tell ‘ya a story, make your skeleton cry,
of our own judiciously lovely corpse bride.
Die, die we all pass away, but don’t wear a frown ‘cuz it’s really okay.
You might try n’ hide, and you might try n’ pray,
but we all end up the remains of the day.

Die die die yeah yeah, die die die.

Well! Our girl is a beauty known for miles around.
A mysterious stranger came into town.
He was plenty good lookin’ but down on his cash,
and our poor little baby she fell hard and fast,
when her daddy said no, she just couldn’t cope,
so our lovers came up with a plan to elope.

Die, die we all pass away, but don’t wear a frown ‘cuz it’s really okay.
You might try n’ hide, and you might try n’ pray,
but we all end up the remains of the day.

Die die die yeah yeah,
die die die yeah yeah
die die die yeah yeah
die die die yeah yeah

Yeah, so they conjured up a plan to meet late at night,
they told not a soul kept the whole thing tight.
Now her mother’s wedding dress fit like a glove,
you don’t need much when you’re really in love.
Except for a few things or so I’m told,
like the family jewels and a satchel of gold.
Then next to the graveyard by the old oak tree,
on a dark foggy night at a quarter to three,
she was ready to go, but where was he?

(And then?) She waited
(And then?) There in the shadows, was it a man?
(And then?) Her little heart beat sooo loud!
(And THEN?) And then baby, everything went black.

Now when she opened her eyes, she was dead as dust, her jewels were missin’ and her heart was bust, so she made a vow lyin’ under that tree
that she’d wait for her true love to come set her free.
Always waitin’ for someone to ask for her hand, when outta the blue comes this groovy young man, who vows forever, to be by her side, and that’s the story of our own, corpse bride

Die, die we all pass away, but don’t wear a frown ‘cuz it’s really okay.
You might try n’ hide, and you might try n’ pray,
but we all end up the remains of the day.