betty boop halloween party

Saturday Morning Cartoons: Betty Boop’s Hallowe’en Party (1933)

In 1933, Betty Boop was at the height of her cinematic fame. The Fleischer-animated shorts–racy, daffy, and wonderfully musical–were immensely popular. Audiences couldn’t get enough of sweet Betty and her crazy adventures, and the Fleischers continued to churn out one appealing cartoon after another. Over the course of her 1930s filmography, Betty Boop hosted any…

red hot riding hood title card

The Screwy Genius of Tex Avery: Red Hot Riding Hood (1943)

The 1943 animated short Red Hot Riding Hood begins innocently enough: the insipid narration of an unseen storyteller introduces us to little Red, her sweet grandma, and the big, bad wolf who’s stalking her through the forest. But before the tale can get underway, the characters rebel. The Wolf, breaking the fourth wall, complains to…

“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…

bobby bumps

Pioneers of Animation: Bray Productions

We’ve talked previously on this blog about the influence of cartoonist/animation pioneer Winsor McCay, but I’m going to mention it again (and again and again and again), as it would be nearly impossible to overstate his importance in promoting animation as a viable artistic medium. Films like Little Nemo (1911) and Gertie the Dinosaur (1914) directly inspired countless…

from a to zzzz

Celebrating 100 Years of Chuck Jones: From A to Z-Z-Z-Z (1953)

Ralph Phillips is bored, bored, bored. While his schoolmates mindlessly chant their math lesson (“Two and two is four. Four and four is eight …”), Ralph stares dreamily out the classroom window, imagining himself as a bird, flipping and flying freely through the sky–until his reverie is rudely interrupted by his teacher. She, for some…

the dot and the line

Celebrating 100 Years of Chuck Jones: The Dot and the Line (1965)

After Warner Bros. terminated his long-term contract in 1962, Chuck Jones moved on to MGM, producing a series of cartoons featuring that studio’s famed pair, Tom and Jerry. Jones’ time wasn’t completely consumed by the antics of the cat and mouse, however; the animator/director worked on several other projects for the studio, one of which–The…