Thursday, March 31, 2011

1945 WB Animated US Navy Training Film

A website called Critical Past has posted an animated 1945 United States Navy training film from the WB cartoon studio which can be viewed here. It is called "Flight Safety: Dive Bombing Crashes" featuring an old curmudgeon named Grampaw Pettibone. While not big on gags like the US Army Private Snafu shorts were, it is always interesting when a piece of previously unknown classic Warner animation turns up.

UPDATE: Jerry Beck has more information on Cartoon Brew.

(Thanks to Termite Terrace poster, WoodpeckerWoody, for posting a link on the GAC Forums).

Monday, March 28, 2011

New Looney Tunes Beanie Babies

If you are like me, you probably haven't even thought about Beanie Babies since about 1996. They are still around and the folks at the Ty company have now got around to the Looney Tunes. This set of four, featuring Bugs, Daffy, Taz and Tweety, is now available exclusively at Walgreens drugstores.

(Image Removed By Request)

(Thanks to reader HeadIntoSound for letting us know)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

RIP Marvin Acme

Here's an interesting item that caught my eye on eBay recently (and you can Buy It Now for only $1,799.00). A script page from 1988's Who Framed Roger Rabbit, signed and written on by Mel Blanc, of a scene that wasn't in the final film. This scene is of the funeral of murdered Toon Town founder Marvin Acme, featuring Felix the Cat, Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam as pallbearers and Foghorn Leghorn delivering the eulogy. There are also appearances by Bugs Bunny, Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable, and a certain mouse.

If you look closely, you can see Foghorn in this concept drawing of the scene (buried among the extras on the DVD).

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Return to CN and a Return to Death Valley

Above is a Cartoon Network commercial from 2000 when they got the television rights to the entire Looney Tunes cartoon library. Now we flash forward a decade (and a lengthy hiatus) to remind everyone that the classic Looney Tunes are once again airing daily on CN. Set your DVR for a half-hour every morning at 6:00am and an hour every weekday at 12 noon-1pm EST (the shorts from the 6am half-hour usually repeat the following day on the noon show). Enjoy it while it lasts, since the last time the cartoons were running on CN it only lasted about a month. Word is they are on the schedule through April. Some dedicated fans on the GAC Forums are keeping tabs on what is showing up.

On a totally different subject, I couldn't help but share this great poster for the Road Runner's Death Valley Rally video game which was shared with us by a reader named Sterling. It was actually included in that very issue of Nintendo Power (October, 1992) that we used to illustrate that Roadrunner post from a few days ago with.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Looney Lobby Cards

A quick post to say that I have been adding images of vintage Warner Bros. promotional and lobby card art to a gallery on the Golden Age Cartoons Facebook Fan Page. As I said on the Facebook page, I'd love to see a big book of nothing but this wonderful artwork someday.

Return of the Roadrunner Commercials

If you are a longtime Misce-Looney-ous reader, you have probably seen us post one or two commercials featuring the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote. Okay, more like one or two dozen. We've seen them promoting cars, high-speed internet, breakfast cereals, the Yellow Pages, insurance, frozen dinners, credit cards, soft drinks, batteries, gas stations, delivery services, chocolate bars and much, much more. Just when we think we've seen everything, even MORE seem to surface.
Below are two more to add to the ever-growing collection.

First up, an advertisement for Meguiar's "Fast Finish" car wax:

Next, the commercial for the video game The Road Runner's Death Valley Rally for the Super Nintendo. (As seen above, they even made the cover of Nintendo Power magazine when this game came out). Also, Matthew wrote about this game in this early post.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Simply Scrumptious!

In the late 1970s and into the early '80s, Sylvester was the mascot for 9Lives Dry Cat Food. We've posted one of those commercials in the past, but here are two more. Oh, better hurry and use that coupon above, it expires November 30, 1980.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Foghorn for Geico

Following in the footsteps of Elmer Fudd, Foghorn Leghorn appears in a new commercial for GEICO's car insurance.

Old Glory

"Old Glory" (1939) has always been unique in the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies filmography. A straightforward U.S. history piece featuring Porky as a youngster learning historic milestones from Uncle Sam himself. This gag-free cartoon was directed by Chuck Jones and obvious it was intended to be a special entry. The commentary track with Jerry Beck and Martha Sigall on Looney Tunes Golden Collection, Vol. 2 is a good starting point to learn some of the behind-the-scenes history of this short. Beck recalls reading a press clipping saying how they made many more prints of this short than the typical Schlesinger short (150 prints) and Sigall mentioned how the ink-and-paint department was told that this was going to be a special picture with many different colors being used (they also used all-new cels for this, instead of reusing washed-off cels from previous cartoons).

The picture was announced in April of 1939 (below is a quote from an article titled "Even Porky Pig Goes Patriotic in New Cartoon" from The Milwaukee Journal - Apr 5, 1939):

"Nearly all Schlesinger films are satirical, but "Old Glory" will be played as straight as is consistent with the whimsical notion of Porky sitting on Uncle Sam's knee and listening to stories about Paul Revere, the bill of rights and Yorktown."

While the above article says, "In fact just about the whole cavalcade of American history is being put into a seven minute color cartoon.", a brief blurb in the Theater Gossip section from the May 27, 1939 edition of The Evening Independent seems to suggest that "Old Glory" was going to run longer than that, stating it would be "in two reels and will be a history lesson for children of primary school age." The final cartoon was only one reel, but ran approx. 9 minutes.

However, the longest and most interesting article was a syndicated United Press piece which is excerpted below. Granted I have no idea how much of the following is true and how much is PR hype , but it sounds like Leon Schlesinger himself played the key role in spearheading this short, thinking up the idea for the short in March, 1939. The article claims "Old Glory" was finished in a mere 10 weeks (while the typical cartoon short of the day took 10 months to complete).

First Patriotic Cartoon In Hollywood's History Set for July 4 Release
200 Artists Work 10 Weeks at Full Blast Turning Out "Old Glory"
by Frederick C. Othman
United Press Correspondent

HOLLYWOOD, June 16 --- Leon Schlesinger, the cartoon producer who couldn't draw a picture if his life depended on it, completed today Hollywood's first patriotic cartoon for July 4 release by the brothers Warner, flag-wavers extraordinary.

This is important news for a number of reasons:

1. Schlesinger set an all-time record for speed by producing and photographing 20,000 separate drawings in 10 weeks flat; the average cartoon of the same length takes 10 months to complete.

2. The picture marks an extraordinary turnabout of the old phrase, "From the sublime to the ridiculous." Schlesinger's cartoon went from Porky Pig to George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

3. It was an excellent production and included more American history in one reel than ever has been packed together before.
Schlesinger said live actors would have taken a full-length feature picture to tell the same story.

The business of producting a cartoon in 10 weeks, with drawings in full color being made at the rate of 2,000 a week, turned the Schlesinger headquarters inside out. When he thought of the idea in bed one night in March, the boss told his scenarists to write a patriotic story and then he set all his 209 artists working on it. For a full 10 weeks they didn't do a lick of work a merrie melodie or a looney tune, the Schlesinger specialties which he turns out at the rate of 42 a year.

"And it costs me 25 percent more than any other cartoon," he said, "and I'm bound to lose money on it. Only return I'll get is the satisfaction of having made it."

The full story was published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Jun 17, 1939, but I also wanted to include one more quote from Leon from the end of that piece:

"I always figured that I was a business man and that art and business didn't mix. I never saw an artist who could handle his own bank account. And I never saw a business man who was any ready hand with a paint brush. So I merely hired the best artists and writers I could get and let them go to it. It seems to have worked out all right."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kentucky Fried Foghorn

Poor Foghorn must have been desperate for cash in 1987. That was the year he sold out and became the spokesbird for Kentucky Fried Chicken. We've showcased one or two of these commercials in the past, but below is what may just be the "complete" collection. Foghorn not only co-stars in spots with Henery Hawk, but also Miss Prissy, Egghead Junior, and even El Toro from "Bully For Bugs". Without further ado here's our favorite rooster shilling for Colonel Sanders.

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