It's back....Feb.2002 TTTTP/Toon Zone "Star Of The Month"

Nelson

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I am proud to announce that the TTTTP/Toon Zone "Star Of The Month" is back after a three month hiatus and I know many of you was wondering if the Star will ever return and it has come back for all you classic cartoon lovers.This month will be in a series of "Special Editions" of my monthly star tribute and I wanted to start 2003 with a bang and a series that is well documented all this month.

When you think of Max Fleischer, you think of all the wonderful cartoons he produced along with his brother, Dave Fleischer who directed all of the cartoons from the 1910s straight into the 1940s.The New York City based cartoon studio brought some of the most famous creations in the history of the animated short.Characters such as, Koko The Clown, The Screen Songs, Bimbo, Betty Boop, Popeye The Sailor and Superman that still after seventy years, these cartoon characters still have made a lasting impact with modern day viewers.Out of all the Fleischer series that really doens't get the attention as their cartoon counterparts, is a thearical series that set the standard for the sound era in animated cartoons and this month long salute will get the royal treatment for the month of Feburary.Ladies & Gentlemen and toon lovers alike, I present to all of you.......

Max Fleischer's......THE "TALKARTOONS"

Max Fleischer's animated series, the "Talkartoons" was breakthrough series and set the standard for sound in animated cartoons.With memorable films and famous characters this was cleary(in terms of sound use) was the best sound cartoon series produced in the early days of sound.So please allow me to take everyone back in time to see how this historical series(and characters) was created over 74 years ago.

Back in 1927, when audiences was captured by the first feature length sound film, "The Jazz Singer" (1927) it was clear the the silent film era was almost history.When all the major Hollywood studios converted into sound by 1929, it was a make or break for all the famous actors and actresses, some passed the test and some didn't as manf of the silent film holderovers saw their career go down the tubes with the arrival of sound.On the other hand, Cartoons, were completly different when sound took over.Sound was the great savior of the animated cartoon, the new techinolgy gave animators to create better stories, develope likeable characters with strong personalities and of course, better animation.Several of the silent cartoon stars had made the successful jump into sound, such as, Koko The Clown, Oswald The Lucky Rabbit, Krazy Kat, Farmer Al Falfa and many other series that soon followed.

Max Fleischer was a legend in the fields of animation, who always stayed at the top of his game and once sound was the rule, Max met that challenge head on and suceeded.Fleischer and sound does not date back to 1929, but as way back to 1924.During this time, Max wanted to produce a new novelty in his cartoons, so he team up with a man by the name of Dr.Lee DeForest who created a system that would feature a soundtrack on both sides of the film.DeForest actually started producing "all talking" films dating back to 1919 with his new sound on film process.By that time moviegoers didn't really know how to react to these films and they were not all that thrilled either, as they perfered silents over sound.Fleischer contacted DeForest to help create sound cartoons, complete with music, effects and most importantly, actual talking dialog.So in 1924, work began on what is considered to be the "very first" all sound cartoon short and it was Fleischer's famous "Bouncing Ball" series otherwise known as "The Screen Songs".Once the first of this new process film was released to theaters, many people didn't take notice that these cartoons were talking.One reason that this process didn't make a splash was for the fact the theater owners didn't want to spend the money for wiring their theaters for the arrival of sound.So the series was a downfall for both Fleischer and DeForest, but more on DeForest.If only Deforest heavily promoted his patented sound on film process to all of the major studios, the there could have been a chance that sound would have been around a lot longer, before the 1927 release of "The Jazz Singer".It is clearly that Fleischer was the first animator to make sound cartoons and not Walt Disney, but if it was perfect timing, then that honor would have to go to Disney and not Max.


Fast foward five years later, with the smash hit of Disney's legendary landmark sound film"Steamboat Willie", in 1928 and soon there after most of the animated studios started producing sound cartoons.Fleischer was always up for a challenge and decided in the spring of 1929 to start work on a new cartoon series, that would feature the great usages of sound and came up with the name for the series, "THE TALKARTOONS".What should be noted, is that the "Talkartoons" was acutally Fleischer's popular silent series,"The Inkwell Imps", only the name of that series changed for the Fleischer's initial entrance in sound.Work began on the first "Talkartoon" short in the spring, so in order to stay competive with his rivals, Fleischer wanted to make this sound series completly different from the other sound series from the other studios and that was with direct dialog from the screen characters themselves.There is many ways you can look at the situtation in two ways...First off , some animators really didn't know how to add dialog and actual lip movement to the characters, second in order to save money, other animators would rely on just a peppy muscial score and sound effects to cover up the silent product.Fleischer was different, he wanted the main focus of his new series to centered around actual talking dialog on top of the music and sound effects.

The first "Talkartoon" release was "Noah's Lark" and was released just three days after the major stock market crash in 1929.The Talkartoons" was one the biggest promoted animated series that year.Billed as "Actual Talking Pictures" by Paramount Pictures and movie owners.This was Max Fleischer very first theatrical produced series into the sound arena and a new era of sound cartoons was launched.....

NEXT CHAPTER:
Noah's Lark will be examined as well as early Talkartoons shorts and the arival of Bimbo.So keep it right here toon heads as this month long tribute to the Talkartoons continues.

I would personally like to dedicate this month salute to my good friends, Jerry Beck and Pietro S.

And my most important dedication to famed legnedary film pioneer...MAX FLEISCHER
 

Nelson

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During the course of this month, there will be some great Talkartoon goodies in store for all cartoon fans.For those who are new to Toon Zone and don't know about the monthly honored star, here's sample of what upcoming Talkartoons attractions.

A complete Talkartoons filmography

My Daily 3 Talkartoons Picks for the featured star of the month

Controversal Talkrtoons in a historical look
NOTE:Some material may not be suitable for some readers as the cartoons will be put into their proper historical context

Behind the scenes of Talkartoons

And a "Talkin With The Talkartoons" toon video contest...Where one lucky winner will get a 2hr video featuring 16 UNCUT & UNCENSORED Talkartoons cartoon one reelers.Stay tooned for further details regarding the contest, later this month. :D
 

Boy Wonder

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Oh goody goody! (In Baby Bear from the Three Bears' voice). More about stuff I don't know. I'm smart pa!
 

Nelson

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The monthly star of the month featuring the "Talkartoons" are the subject of my top 3 picks for the month.The following 3 picks are films that I have in my film vault and are totally worth viewing.

1.RADIO RIOT (1930):In what was considered to be the home entertainment system from the 20s through the 40s, the Fleischer's spoof the radio craze in a bizarre fashion.The short opens up with a Frog announcer who is literally is killing the microphone to death with bad breath talking about upcoming radio broadcasts.First we see a spider waking up and doing aerobics then going back to sleep, then a group of flies get stuck on a piece of fly paper when a female fly comes out and sings, "Oh Where, O' Where have my little flys gone".The most funniest is towards the end of the picture where a group of mice are listening to a scary radio program about a very hungry gorilla who eats little children.The mice are so terrified that they duck under the covers while their tails are signaling "S.O.S." until the radio has a deranged look on it's face then as he totally eats the mice and pulls out their tails.A funny cartoon one reeler and has a great visual tonal range with some grey tones.

"SWING YOU SINNERS" (1930): A cartoon that can give "Bimbo's Initiation" a run for it's money, as the Fleischers were the animation masters when it came to surrealism in cartoons.In this short, Bimbo has a nightmare that he soon like to forget, so Bimbo tries to catch a chicken and the two get into a fist fight with the background spining around in circles with the chicken's head winding up on Bimbo's body and Bimbo's head on the chicken's body until the cop catches Bimbo in the act.Once Bimbo flees away from the cop(with the chicken iniside of his clothes) he soon winds up in a dark eery graveyard.Tombstones with blackfaces start to scare the living daylights out of Bimbo, as the pooch tries to get out of the cemetery.Bimbo runs and hides but to no such luck with evil looking ghosts and goblins, including a "yiddish" ghost who tells Bimbo "You Needed it?",as Bimbo is pleading and begging for his life.The walls start to close in our hero as he quickly runs into a shack only to find out that more ghost are ready to decide on how to despose of Bimbo, everything from a switchblade to a hangman's noose, while the goblins are getting bigger and bigger chasing Bimbo right back outside.Striking ghostly images surround Bimbo left and right and in one of the most bizzare endings ever made in a cartoon, Bimbo meets his demise by a evil ghostly skeleton.This cartoon features a jazzy ragtime musical soundtrack while some of the best animated effects for a early sound cartoon.A true "cult" classic.

BIMBO'S INITIATION (1931):Perhaps the greatest Fleischer cartoon ever made in the history of that studio...HANDS DOWN!!!! See chapter 4 for details.
 

Pietro

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This is really a cool edition of the Toon Star of the Month, Nelson! :cool:

-Pietro:D
 

Boy Wonder

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I know a little of these toons. Max was so into talking toons, he invented Talkartoons. This was the start of Betty Boop. Her start was before the stupid Hayes' Office came into play, so we can to see some of her sex appeal. Some of her earlier co-stars include Bimbo and Koko the Clown (reportedly used Max Flesicher's body movements). The imfortmation came a "Life Story" from the Biography Channel.
 

Nelson

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Here are some still images of the "cult" classic Max Fleischer one reeler, "SWING YOU SINNERS" (1930) as seen as my top three "Talkartoons" picks for the month of Feburary for the star of the month.







The second image of Bimbo is one of the top animated sequences of early animation.Thanks to Pietro for providing these images!
 

Pietro

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Glad you liked them, Nelson!

And I hope everyone else here enjoys them as well!

-Pietro:D
 

J Lee

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The really amazing thing about "Swing You Sinners" is it was made pretty much as a "test cartoon" for the Fleischer's new group of animators -- the assistants who Max and Dave were forced to move up when Dick Huemer, Sid Marcus, George Stallings and George Ruffle left the studio. As a result, accoridng to Shamus Culhane, the cartoon was basically "directed" by Dave Fleischer and Grim Natwick, with Ted Sears devising the first in-depth storyboard to guide the new animators -- Culhane, Seymour Kneitel, Willard Bowsky and William Henning. A pretty good effort for a short done basically on the fly...

-----------------------------------------------------------------

"They hit Buddy! Come on girls!"

--- From a Warner Bros. picture that featured the Merrie Melodies end title song
 

Bugsmer

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That is really very interesting. Thanks, Nelson. And all the time I thought that the first talking cartoon was Bosko The Talk-Ink Kid.
 

Nelson

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We now continue with Feburary's month long tribute to Max Fleischer's excellent cartoon series, the "Talkartoons".In this chapter, I will document the first short and the creation of Bimbo.

On Oct.25, 1929 the very first "Talkartoon" was released into theaters nation wide and the cartoon was a classic fairy tale about old man Noah.This cartoon was titled, "Noah's Lark" and it was a smash hit with moviegoers.For the very first time, audiences could actually hear a cartoon character talk from start to finish as the Fleischer's wanted to stay above the competition among their rival cartoon studios on both the east and west coasts.The one reeler tells the story about Father Noah who has a hell of a time keeping the animals in check as they get restless on board the ship.One scene has three animals singing, while a seal sings bass, he starts to deflate and has to get pumped up full of air.The real fun of this cartoon is when all of the animals land at Coney Island's Luna Park and reck havoc, as the animals form a parade and march right down to Luna Park.One scene has an overweight female bear who can't fit into a roller coster ride, so it's up to a little mouse to squeeze her in and once they take off, the mouse starts jumping rope ontop of the bear.When Noah cries, "Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Animals gone?" he tracks them down to a side show and Noah gets into trouble with the law when to snakes climb up Noah's legs and Noah's punches the cop, knocking him out cold like a mackrel.All of the animals jump back into the ship causing the boat to sink into the Atlantic while we see Noah chasing after some sexy topless mermaids under water.

This cartoon was done mostly in black and white paint with hardly no gray tones at all, while the musical score used copyright-free songs such as, "No Place Like Home" and "Yo Ho Ho And A Bottle Of Rum".The cartoon was a smash hit and pleased the Executives at Paramount, since Paramount's main office was located just a few blocks away from the Fleischer Studios at 1600 Broadway, for which the studio worked on the sixth floor.The Fleischer's made sure that the lip movment must be done to fit in with the dialog and when viewing these shorts, you'll notice that the studio succeeded in that dept very well.The next two following shorts was released in early 1930, "Marriage Wows" and (see my top 3 picks for the month" "Radio Riot" but it was the fourth cartoon from early in the series that would introduce one of the popular screen characters from the early 30s and is still a major favorite with today's cartoon fans.The cartoon was titled, "Hot Dog" (1930) and it starred the Fleischer's first cartoon star of the sound era, Bimbo.In this classic short, we find Bimbo driving down the road and playing his banjo, then he tries to pick up a sexy looking girl on roller skates.Bimbo then gets her into his car for which he plants a kiss on her as she jumps out of his car and skates away.The love crazed dog follows in hot pursuit only to run into a traffic cop and Bimbo soon winds up in traffic court and tells the judge, "Well, yer honor, ya see it was this way..."He takes out his banjo and begins to play and sing with an amusing scat vocal.The court stenographer does not miss a thing and types on a large sheet marked testimony: "Dooie doo doo..."Bimbo wins the court over, while the judge is dancing on top of his desk and Bimbo rides into the sunset.

"Hot Dog" had Bimbo done drawn as a white dog and when seeing some of the earilest Bimbo/Talkartoons, we see Bimbo as a black dog, a white dog, sometimes Bimbo would be tall and in other cartoons, he would be short.The reason for this was at the time in the animation industry still artistic liscenses to it's animators, meaning that each animator was given complete control on how he wanted to design the cartoon character.Bimbo is very much a likable screen character with a personality as Bimbo really didn't bare any resemblance to Mickey Mouse, as other characters did in the early 30s.Bimbo's next cartoon was the hilarious short, "Fire Bugs" (1930) as Bimbo is a firefighter and has his work cut out for him.First he has problems with his horse who stops to dance at a organ grinder, then Bimbo has to evacuate a hot tempered pansy pianist who won't stop playing his piano and beats Bimbo and his horse into a living pulp.This cartoon was well animated and a ragtime muscial score to match the sound.The Fleischer's recorded theie cartoons over at Paramount's 9th Ave sound studios using records as soundtracks for their cartoons.Bimbo's voice was provided by voice actor Bill Murray as Murray did the voice perfect for the lovable little dog during the course of the series.

One of the stand out 1930 Talkartoons was the "cult" classic (see my top 3 picks of the month) cartoon"Swing You Sinners" in which Bimbo tries to stay alive in a haunted graveyard.

By mid in 1930, another cartoon star would make history and Bimbo would wind up a supporting player.

NEXT CHAPTER:
Betty Boop makes screen history

So keep it right here cartoon fans, as the TTTP/Toonzone star of the month continues all month long...
 

Boy Wonder

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Originally posted by Nelson
Here are some still images of the "cult" classic Max Fleischer one reeler, "SWING YOU SINNERS" (1930) as seen as my top three "Talkartoons" picks for the month of Feburary for the star of the month.







The second image of Bimbo is one of the top animated sequences of early animation.Thanks to Pietro for providing these images!

There ain't no pics? Or, i can't see them. That stinks, I really wanted to see it.
 

Nelson

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As a tribute to Max Flsicher's theatrical animated series "The Talkartoons" for the star of the month here at Toon Zone.I would like to announce that starting next sunday 2/16/02 will be a contest titled..."TALKIN WITH THE TALKARTOONS" where one lucky winner will receive a video containing classic uncut and uncensored "Talkartoons" shorts and some "special" bonus specials and presented in beautiful b&w.Many of the cartoons that will be on this video that hasen't been seen in decades, as some of the cartoons were just recently added to my film vault a couple of weeks ago.So keep checking right here for details toon heads. :D
 

Nelson

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For the special editon of TTTP/Toon Zone's "star of the month" long salute to Max Fleischer's "Talkatoons".Here is the complete Talkartoon filmography.

A Paramount/Famous Players/Lasky Picture
Presents a Max Fleischer "Talkartoon"

1929:
Noah's Lark (Oct.25)

1930:
Marriage Wows (Jan.8) Radio Riot (Feb.13) Hot Dog (Mar.29) Fire Bugs (May.9) Wise Flies (July.18) Dizzy Dishes (Aug.9) Barnacle Bill (Aug.31) Swing You Sinners (Sept.24) Grand Uproar (Oct.3) Sky Scraping (Nov.1) Up To Mars (Nov.20) Accoridan Joe (Dec.12) Mysterious Mose (Dec.26)

1931:
The Ace Of Spades (Jan.16) Teacher's Pest (Feb.7) Tree Saps (Mar.3) The Cow's Husband (Mar.31) The Bum Bandit (Apr.3) The Male Man (Apr.24) Silly Scandals (May.23) The Herring Murder Case (Jun.31) Bimbo's Initiation (July.24) Bimbo's Express (Aug.22) Minding The Baby (Sept.26) In The Shade Of The Old Applesauce (Oct.16) Mask-A-Raid (Nov.7) Jack And The Beanstalk (Nov.21) Dizzy Red Riding Hood (Dec.12)

1932:
Any Rags (Jan.2) Boop-Oop-A-Doop (Jan.16) The Robot (Feb.5) Minnie The Moocher (Feb.26) S.O.S. aka Swim Or Sink (Mar.11) Crazy Town (Mar.25) The Dancing Fool (Apr.8) A Hunting We Will Go (Apr.29) Chess Nuts (May.13) Hide And Seek (May.26) Admission Free (June.10) Betty Boop Limited (July.1)
 

Argus Sventon

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FYI, Paramount was referred to as "Paramount Famous Lasky Corporation" until 1930. Then in 1930, when the Publix Theater chain became very important to the company, the name was changed to "Paramount-Publix Corporation". This would be the official corporate name of Paramount for the remainder of the Talkartoons series.

Nelson, do the prints you have, have the original Paramount openings and closings? If so, it might be worth sending captures to Jerry Beck for his original titles page.

Originally posted by Nelson
For the special editon of TTTP/Toon Zone's "star of the month" long salute to Max Fleischer's "Talkatoons".Here is the complete Talkartoon filmography.

A Paramount/Famous Players/Lasky Picture
Presents a Max Fleischer "Talkartoon"

1929:
Noah's Lark (Oct.25)

1930:
Marriage Wows (Jan.8) Radio Riot (Feb.13) Hot Dog (Mar.29) Fire Bugs (May.9) Wise Flies (July.18) Dizzy Dishes (Aug.9) Barnacle Bill (Aug.31) Swing You Sinners (Sept.24) Grand Uproar (Oct.3) Sky Scraping (Nov.1) Up To Mars (Nov.20) Accoridan Joe (Dec.12) Mysterious Mose (Dec.26)

1931:
The Ace Of Spades (Jan.16) Teacher's Pest (Feb.7) Tree Saps (Mar.3) The Cow's Husband (Mar.31) The Bum Bandit (Apr.3) The Male Man (Apr.24) Silly Scandals (May.23) The Herring Murder Case (Jun.31) Bimbo's Initiation (July.24) Bimbo's Express (Aug.22) Minding The Baby (Sept.26) In The Shade Of The Old Applesauce (Oct.16) Mask-A-Raid (Nov.7) Jack And The Beanstalk (Nov.21) Dizzy Red Riding Hood (Dec.12)

1932:
Any Rags (Jan.2) Boop-Oop-A-Doop (Jan.16) The Robot (Feb.5) Minnie The Moocher (Feb.26) S.O.S. aka Swim Or Sink (Mar.11) Crazy Town (Mar.25) The Dancing Fool (Apr.8) A Hunting We Will Go (Apr.29) Chess Nuts (May.13) Hide And Seek (May.26) Admission Free (June.10) Betty Boop Limited (July.1)
 

Nelson

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Thanks for the correction Argus, as Paramount did change their name to Paramount Publix towards the end of 1930.As for original Paramount/Talkartoon opening and closing titles that I own in my library are the following titles.

Bimbo's Initiation

Minnie The Moocher

Crazy Town

Admisson Free

Any Rags

These original titles are from the restored versions of the UCLA FILM AND TELEVISON ARCHIVE.The rest of my Talkartoon film prints are either U.M.& M.TV or NTA.All of these prints I currently own are very good looking film prints.
 

Argus Sventon

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Does Bimbo's Initiation have the Paramount copyright byline or is it a U.M.&M. copyright?

Originally posted by Nelson
Thanks for the correction Argus, as Paramount did change their name to Paramount Publix towards the end of 1930.As for original Paramount/Talkartoon opening and closing titles that I own in my library are the following titles.

Bimbo's Initiation

Minnie The Moocher

Crazy Town

Admisson Free

Any Rags

These original titles are from the restored versions of the UCLA FILM AND TELEVISON ARCHIVE.The rest of my Talkartoon film prints are either U.M.& M.TV or NTA.All of these prints I currently own are very good looking film prints.
 

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