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.

Tim Curry (1975)

Happy Halloween!

Hey! Might as well give today a Transylvania theme!

Sweet Transvestite is a song from the 1973 British musical stage production The Rocky Horror Show and its 1975 film counterpart The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The song is performed by the character, Dr Frank N. Furter, originally played by Tim Curry.

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!

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.

L.A. Witch (2020)

Play With Fire out August 21, 2020, on Suicide Squeeze

Animation and motion design by Bradley Hale. Artwork by Future Shock.

LA garage punk trio L.A.Witch have shared their new single I Wanna Lose.

The three-piece band will release their new album Play With Fire on August 21st, and it finds the band draping their guitar pop distortion in waves of reverb.

Play With Fire is a suggestion to make things happen, Don’t fear mistakes or the future. Take a chance. Say and do what you really feel, even if nobody agrees with your ideas. These are feelings that have stopped me in the past. I want to inspire others to be freethinkers even if it causes a little burn.”

-Sade Sanchez

The new single I Wanna Lose is online now, and it’s about letting everything burn down, if only to find a forward path.

A song about sucking up punches. It’s a potent, biting single. Sade continues:

I Wanna Lose is about feeling free and feeling stronger because you’ve lost everything and now you’ve got everything to win. It’s about being a punching bag in a martyr-like way, and losing a fight to move on.”

Bradley Hale animates the video for ‘I Wanna Lose’ – tune in now.

L.A. Witch is a garage-rock trio formed in Los Angeles, California in 2011. Founded by L.A. natives Sade Sanchez and Irita Pai, the band’s sound has been described as a “mix of forlorn psych folk, lethargic lo-fi blues, and boozy garage rock drones steeped in moody, drugged-out surf reverb.” The group’s influences include Black Sabbath, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and seminal L.A. punk rock bands X and the Gun Club.

Asked to come up with a name, the band chose its current name after discovering its first choice, Witch, was taken. Drummer Ellie English replaced original drummer Crystal Nava after the latter left for New York City and didn’t return.

Alan Becker (2006)

Alan Becker is an American online animator, YouTube personality, and artist, best known for creating the Animator vs. Animation web series, its shorts, and its spin-offs Animation vs. Minecraft, Animation vs. YouTube, Animation vs. League of Legends, Animation vs. Pokémon, and Animation vs. Super Mario Bros. on both Newgrounds and YouTube.

Fleischer Studios (1939)

Musical Mountaineers is a 1939 Fleischer Studios animated short film starring Betty Boop.

Betty Boop’s automobile runs out of gasoline while driving through hillbilly country. When she goes up to a nearby shack to ask for help, landowner Zonk Peters and his family are suspicious of the stranger, mistaking her for an attacking Hatfield, but Betty wins them with her dancing. Soon the entire Peters clan are making music and dancing. Betty’s new friends help her on her way by filling her gas tank with a jug of “corn dripp’ns”.

Sun Lijun (2021)

The ink-and-wash animated short film “Beginning of Autumn” produced by Shanghai Fine Arts Film Studio Co., Ltd. is directed by Sun Lijun who insists on standing in the context of Chinese local traditional culture, focusing on the quintessence of art and ink style, and the cutting-edge 8K ultra-high-definition imaging technology Perfect fusion. Ink painting is China’s unique national quintessence tradition, and it is the best representative that can demonstrate the uniqueness of my country’s animation art. The film uses the traditional ink and wash animation style to show the apocalyptic plot, and the traditional ink and wash technique with strong rendering ability gives the audience a strong sense of impact in the collision with the apocalyptic theme. The elegant artistic conception of Chinese traditional ink and wash style and the cold and mechanical apocalyptic theme seem to be full of contradictions, but this contrast unexpectedly gives animation a unique aesthetic taste. The artistic beauty brought by “Beginning of Autumn” and its extended artistic appeal have further moved the influence of Chinese traditional culture in the world, telling a global audience about China’s excellent traditions, disseminating China’s unique sound of artistic innovation, and also Chinese animators and even the whole nation bring more comprehensive cultural self-confidence.

Ash Brannon (2021)

Official Trailer. To be released Fall of 2021.

Okay, this new show looks amazing! I might just have to resubscribe to Netflix again just so that I can watch and experience it. From the creators of League of Legends comes a new animated series, Arcane. Set in the utopian region of Piltover and the oppressed underground of Zaun, the story follows the origins of two iconic League champions and the power that will tear them apart.

Yutaro Kubo & Satomi Maiya (2019)

Official trailer for the short film THE GIRL FROM THE OTHER SIDE (Totsukuni no Shojo, L’enfant et le maudit), the first anime adaptation from the Angouleme-nominated, eponymous graphic novel by manga artist Nagabe. Closing Film at Fantasia 2019, in competition at Sitges 2019, BIAF 2019 and Clermont-Ferrand 2020. Conceived, directed and animated by Yutaro Kubo and Satomi Maiya. Music by Schroeder-Headz Animation by WIT Studio Distributed by Production I.G http://www.productionig.com/

Touch not the Outsiders, lest ye become an Outsider. But when two creatures belonging to opposite sides -a lost little girl from the Inside and a demonic beast-looking Outsider- initiate an impossible coexistence in the same corner of the forest, their bond seems to transcend their incompatible natures and the unnamed curse that has divided the world.

Mannie Davis (1944)

While sleeping with Sourpuss, Gandy dreams about Sourpuss’s girlfriend, so Sourpuss keeps waking him and beating him up. Later, Sourpuss figures out how he can get into the dreams, too.

Terrytoons was an animation studio in New Rochelle, New York, that produced animated cartoons for theatrical release from 1929 to 1972. Terrytoons was founded by Paul Terry, Frank Moser, and Joseph Coffman, and operated out of the “K” Building in downtown New Rochelle.

Bob Clampett (1942)

A Tale of Two Kitties is a 1942 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Bob Clampett, written by Warren Foster, and features music by Carl W. Stalling. The short was released on November 21, 1942, and features Tweety in his debut, who delivers the line that would become his catchphrase:

“I tawt I taw a puddy tat!”

Igorrr (2020)

Very Noise is track 3 from the album Spirituality and Distortion from Igorrr, released on March 27th, 2020 on Metal Blade Records.

Unchain your brain!

Spirituality & Distortion is the newest addition to Igorrr’s musical madness, released on Metal Blade Records. Gautier Serre once again bring his music to another impressive level, with a complex but catchy album.

John Foster and Mannie Davis (1930)

Good Old Schooldays is a 1930 American film produced by The Van Beuren Corporation and released by Pathe. The film, which features Milton and Rita Mouse, was directed by John Foster and Mannie Davis. Synchronization by Gene Rodemich. The film takes place inside of a schoolhouse, and is part of the series entitled Aesop’s Sound Fables, though its plot has no relation to the actual Aesop’s Fables of 600 BCE.

Kirk Thatcher (2021)

Muppets Haunted Mansion is an upcoming American puppet comedy film based on The Muppets and the ghost train attracion at Disneyland The Haunted Mansion. The film is set to be released on October 8, 2021, via Disney+. This was one of Ed Asner’s final works before passing away from natural causes.

Having survived every one of his daredevil performances, Gonzo takes on his biggest challenge yet at The Haunted Mansion where he must spend one night there.

Friz Freleng (1942)

The Wabbit Who Came to Supper is a 1942 Merrie Melodies cartoon featuring Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd. It was released on March 28, 1942 and directed by Friz Freleng. Elmer Fudd and his dogs are hunting for Bugs Bunny in the woods. As Fudd is about to shoot Bugs, he receives a telegram telling him that his uncle is leaving him three million dollars on the condition he doesn’t harm any animals. The title is a reference to the 1942 Warner Brothers film version of the 1939 George S. Kaufman Broadway comedy The Man Who Came to Dinner, in which an overbearing house-guest threatens to take over the lives of a small-town family.