It’s a snowy winter’s night, and a shivering Betty is trying to sleep. Shutting all the windows isn’t enough, so she lights a roaring fire in the fireplace and falls asleep on the hearthplace rug. The heat of the flames soon turns two roosting chickens into roasted chickens, and causes Betty to dream that her fireplace has become the gate to Hell itself. Betty explores the underworld, and sings “Hell’s Bells” for Satan and his minions. When Satan tries to put the moves on Betty, she fixes him with a (literally) icy stare, freezing him and all of Hell. When she falls through a hole and onto an icy surface below, Betty wakes up to find the fire out with the windows open and her bed frozen, and she goes to bed, this time under a pile of warm quilts.
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.
Beep, Beep is a Warner Bros. cartoon released in 1952 in the Merrie Melodies series and is the second cartoon featuring Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner. It was later reissued as a Blue Ribbon cartoon. The cartoon is named after the Road Runner’s catchphrase, “Beep, beep!”
Japan’s population is aging considerably, and caring for the elderly has become costly. The government proposes a solution: an electronic bed that can provide the patient with everything essential (and non-essential) that a real nurse can offer. Haruko is one of these nurses, just as Mr. Takazawa is his patient, who was chosen as a guinea pig for the electronic bed. Sensing that her protégé is suffering from a lack of love, which a mechanical bed cannot offer, she tries to save him from what he thinks is martyrdom for him.
An eccentric young girl summons a boy from another dimension, but their relationship changes resulting in an explosion of visual pyrotechnics as they each follow their own destiny.
Kōji Morimoto is a Japanese anime director. Some of his works include Akira, Robot Carnival, Short Peace, The Animatrix, Kiki’s Delivery Service, City Hunter, and Fist of the North Star. He is the co-founder of Studio 4°C.
Genius Party is two anthology films made up of 12 short animated films from Studio 4°C. It was envisioned to form a single release.
Little Richard, the screaming, preening, scene-stealing wild man of early rock ‘n’ roll with hits like Tutti Frutti and Long Tall Sally, died Saturday at 87. Rest in peace, and thank you for your contribution to rock ‘n’ roll.
Released in 1955, “Tutti Frutti” was Little Richard’s first big hit, making him a household name nearly overnight. The song has been heavily covered over the years by artists like Elvis Presley, the MC5, Pat Boone and Sting, among many others. In 2010, “Tutti Frutti” was added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry, as it “heralded a new era in music”.
Read more about Little Richard by clicking on the links below:
Longtime Rick and Morty storyboard artist Erica Hayes has been promoted to director this season. We take a look at her life’s journey up to this point (6 years ago she was working as a coffee barista). Then, she’ll break down her newfound responsibilities of overseeing the completion of animatics in season 4.
In this National Film Board of Canada animated short, Ruby the pig seeks affirmation in the city around her after witnessing the accidental death of a stranger… and finds it in surprising places. With deft humour and finely rendered detail, When the Day Breaks illuminates the links that connect our urban lives, while evoking the promise and fragility of a new day. Winner of over 40 prizes from around the world, the film also features singer Martha Wainwright.
King Rat is a song by indie rock band Modest Mouse and appears as the title track to their fifth promotional single, following The World At Large. The single was later released on the band’s 2009 EP No One’s First, and You’re Next.
Music video by Kashmir performing Surfing The Warm Industry.
Kashmir, formerly known as Nirvana, is a Danish alternative rock band consisting of Kasper Eistrup on vocals and lead guitar, Mads Tunebjerg on bass, Asger Techau on drums, and Henrik Lindstrand on keyboards and guitar.
When the American band Nirvana started to gain success, they changed their name to “Kashmir”, after the Led Zeppelin song.
A musician playing a glass harmonica comes to a town governed by bureaucracy and corruption. Can the melodies he plays defeat the powers governing this seemingly indifferent group of people?
Andrei Khrzhanovsky is a Russian animator, documentary filmmaker, writer, and producer. He is the father of director Ilya Khrzhanovsky. Married to philologist, editor, and script doctor Maria Neyman. People’s Artist of Russia, 2011.
He rose to prominence in the west with his 2009 picture A Room and a Half starring Grigory Dityatkovsky, Sergei Yursky, Alisa Freindlich about Joseph Brodsky. Although Khrzhanovsky’s 1966 dark comedy There Lived Kozyavin was clearly a comment on the dangerous absurdity of a regimented communist bureaucracy it was approved by the state owned Soyuzmultfilm studio. However The Glass Harmonica in 1968 continuing a theme of heartless bureaucrats confronted by the liberating power of music and art was the first animated film to be officially banned in the Soviet Union.