the coo-coo nut grove

Saturday Morning Cartoons: The Coo-Coo Nut Grove (1936)

It’s a lovely moonlight night, and everyone who’s anyone is making the scene at the Coo-Coo Nut Grove, the hottest nightspot in town. Ben Birdie is leading the band, the rat fink gossip columnist Walter Windpipe is looking for a scoop, and the mood is just right for stargazing. Or, at the very least, for enjoying a…

“A Most Remarkable Fellow”: Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor (1936)

By 1936, Popeye the Sailor had become even more popular than a certain storied mouse. Produced by Max Fleischer and directed by his brother, Dave, the theatrical cartoon series, adapted from the beloved comic strip by Elzie Segar, became the studio’s main bread-and-butter after the production of the studio’s other famous character, Betty Boop, had…

betty in blunderland

The early days of animation at Paramount, courtesy of the Fleischer brothers.

By 1927, Adolph Zukor, the Hollywood mogul behind the rapidly-expanding Paramount-Famous Lasky Corporation, had built a veritable entertainment empire. The studio had moved into a new, multimillion-dollar twenty-six acre lot off Melrose Avenue. They had amassed a chain of nearly two thousand theaters across the country, called Publix Theatres, in which to screen their many…