Sunday, September 07, 2014

Sito's Animation History

Time once again for TAG President Emeritus Tom Sito to tell us of significant Cartoonland events occurring in the month of September.

Notable Cartoon Happenings - September

Sept. 1, 1919 - Pat Sullivan’s "Feline Follies” cartoon staring Felix the Cat debuts. Felix is the first true animated star, not depended on a previous newspaper comic strip. His body prototype, a black peanut shape with four fingers, will be the standard for years to come. By 1926 he was the most popular star in Hollywood after Chaplin and Valentino. Lindbergh had a Felix doll in his plane, and it has been speculated that Groucho Marx copied his famous strut. The first television image broadcast by scientists in 1926 was of a Felix doll.

Sept. 1, 1928 - Paul Terry premiered his sound cartoon RCA Photophone system for a short called “Dinner Time”. Young studio head Walt Disney came by train out from Los Angeles to see it. He telephoned his studio back in L.A.: "My Gosh, Terrible! A Lot of Racket and Nothing Else!” He said they could continue to complete their first sound cartoon “Steamboat Willie”.

Sept 3, 1939 - British Prime Minister Chamberlain’s war with Germany announcement interrupted a Disney Cartoon “Mickey’s Gala Premiere” showing on the nascent BBC television service. Television shuts down for the duration of the war.
In 1946, eight years after the war, the BBC television service resumed and an announcer said: “Well now, where were we?” They continue the Mickey cartoon from the point where it was stopped.

Sept 3, 1950 - Mort Walker’s “Beetle Bailey” comic strip first appeared.

Sept 3, 1960 - The Hanna-Barbera show “Lippy the Lion and Hardy-Harr-Harr” premiered.

Sept 6, 1958 - The "Spunky and Tadpole" show debuts.

Sept 6, 1968 - “H.R. Pufnstuf” premiered this day. Witchipoo, Orson and the Vroom Broom are among its most famous characters.

Sept 6, 1969 - DePatie-Freleng’s the “Pink Panther TV Show” premiered.

Sept. 7, 1963 - Mushi productions cartoon series.”Tetsuan Atomo” debuts in the U.S as “AstroBoy”. ...

And the rest of Mr. Sito's September:

Sept. 7, 1984 -The Walt Disney Company's Borad of Directors formally replaced CEO Ron Miller with Michael Eisner.

Sept. 9, 1967 - Jay Ward’s show "George of the Jungle" premiered, with Super Chicken and Tom Slick sequences.

Sept. 10, 1966 – Hannah-Barbera’s “Frankenstein Jr. and the Impossibles” debuts.

Sept. 10, 1968- Hanna-Barbera’s “Space Ghost” and “Dino Boy” debut.

Sept 11,1960 - Terrytoon’s “Deputy Dawg” TV show debuts.

Sept 11, 1966 - “Kimba the White Lion” debuts in the U.S.

Sept. 11, 1971 - The “Jackson Five” Saturday morning cartoon show debuts.

Sept, 12, 1941 - The Animators Strike at the Walt Disney Studio, which had been going on since May 30th, finally ended. Everyone goes back to work after the NLRB, with a lot of behind the scenes arm-twisting from the Bank of America, settled the dispute. Walt Disney had to recognize the Screen Cartoonists Guild, give screen credits, double the salaries of low paid workers retroactive to May 29th and re-hire animator Art Babbitt. Walt immediately got on a train to Washington to try and convince the feds to reverse the decision or get an injunction in court. He failed. Ironically, within a few months, World War II would break out and artists who had been bitter foes would be compelled to work side by side in the U.S. Army Picture Unit.

[This was a longer and more bitter strike than the job action of the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists in 1982. Artists held grudges for years. And Walt Disney, according to animator/director Don Lusk, kept a list of strikers in a special file, telling Lusk's future wife: "The people who are in here aren't going to be working at the studio after awhile. And they won't be rehired." -- Steve Hulett]

Sept. 12, 2005 - Disneyland Hong Kong opened.

Sept. 13, 1969 - Hanna Barbera’s “Scooby-Doo, Where are You?” and “Dastardly & Mutley and their Flying Machines” premieres.

Sept. 13, 1979 - On his birthday, animator Don Bluth quit the Walt Disney Studios taking a third of the top artists with him. Bluth becomes Disney’s most serious rival since Max Fleischer and so helps spark the animation renaissance of the 1990s. A whole new group of young talent, “Bluthies”, exert great influence throughout the animation business.

Sept 14, 1968 - Filmation's “The Archies Show” debuts.

Sept. 14, 1985 - Disney’s TV show “Gummi Bears” debuts.

Sept 15, 1973 - "Star Trek: The Animated Series" by Filmation premieres. This was the first time Kirk, Spock, Sulu and Uhura were united again with a Roddenberry script since the original series was canceled.

Sept. 15, 2008 - THE GREAT RECESSION - The US Stock Market went into a panic nosedive after two of the nation’s oldest investment banks (Merrill Lynch and Lehman Bros.) collapsed. Lehmans was $613 billion in debt. This shock added to the news of the government taking over mortgage insurers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and spiraling gas prices suppressing car sales. The American financial crisis panicked stock markets around the world. It was the greatest financial collapse since the Great Depression of 1929.

Sept. 16, 1949 - Chuck Jones’ “Fast and Furry-ous”, the first Road Runner-Coyote cartoon, debuts.

Sept 17, 1972 - Filmation’s “The Groovy Ghoulies” show premieres.

Sept. 18, 1895 - In Davenport Iowa, Daniel David Palmer performed the first chiropractic adjustment session. Animation artists rejoice!

Sept. 18, 1987 - Walt Disney’s TV show “Ducktales” premieres.

Sept. 19, 1942 - Chuck Jones cartoon “The Dover Boys” is released.

Sept. 20, 1947 - Tex Avery’s MGM cartoon “Slap Happy Lion” debuts.

Sept. 20, 200 1- Hayao Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away” released in the US.

Sept. 22,1979 - Hanna Barbera’s “Super Globetrotter’s Show”, featuring Multi-Man, Sphere Man, Gizmo-Man, Spaghetti-Man and Fluid-Man debuts.

Sept. 22, 1984 - Michael Eisner is named CEO of the Walt Disney Corporation.

Sept 23, 1962 – Hanna-Barbera’s show “The Jetsons” premiered in prime time. It was the first ABC show to be presented in color.

Sept. 24, 1938 - Bob Clampett’s cartoon “Porky in Wackyland” debuts. In 1994 it was voted #8 of The 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field and in 2000 was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress and selected the short for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Sept. 25, 1984 - THE RUBBERHEADS STRIKE - Disneyland workers, including the actors who stroll the park in big Mickey and Goofy heads, go on strike.

Sept. 26, 1941 - Max Fleischer’s “Superman” cartoon debuts. Max warned the human movement would be much more expensive that the usual short cartoons- $90,000 to the usual $34,000, but Paramount wanted them. After a dozen shorts, Paramount accused the Fleischers of spending too much money.

Sept. 26, 1983 - Filmation’s “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” opens in syndication.

Sept. 27, 1937 - J R R Tolkiens’ “The Hobbit” first appears in bookshops.

Sept 27, 1961 – Hanna-Barbera’s show “Top Cat” premieres.

Sept. 27, 1977 - Warner Bros animator-director Bob McKimson falls dead of a heart failure in front of Friz Freleng and Yosemite Sam animator Gerry Chiniquy while having lunch.

Sept. 28, 1967 – “Speed Racer” premieres in the U.S.

Sept. 29, 1959 – Hanna-Barbera’s “Quick Draw McGraw” TV show debuts. Ba ba Louie and El Kabong!

Sept 30, 1919 - The Fleischer brothers' first "Out of the Inkwell" cartoon featuring Koko the Clown debuts. Koko was rotoscoped, meaning traced from live-action like Motion Capture does today. Dave Fleischer put on the clown suit and was filmed by his brother Max. Dave had originally bought the clown suit, in case their business went under, and he needed to work.

Sept 30, 1928 - Walt Disney and his crew recorded the soundtrack and music for the first Mickey Mouse short, Steamboat Willie.

Sept. 30, 1960 - Hanna Barbera’s “The Flintstones” debuts. For six seasons in prime time the inhabitants of 301 Cobblestone Lane, Bedrock, became one of the most iconic TV series ever. Originally going to be named the Flagstones, then Gladstones, before Flintstones. It was the first TV show to dare show a visibly pregnant Wilma Flintstone.


David said...

"Sept. 1, 1928 - Paul Terry premiered his sound cartoon RCA Photophone system for a short called “Dinner Time”. Young studio head Walt Disney came by train out from Los Angeles to see it.

Young studio head Walt Disney was in New York anyway to work on recording the soundtrack for Steamboat Willie . That's why he took the train out from Los Angeles to New York. The blurb makes it sound like Walt made the trip by train from LA to NY specifically to see Terry's "Dinner Time" , but that't not the case . His seeing it was incidental to the main purpose of his trip to NY. Walt was given a screening of Dinner Time by RCA in NY as he was searching for a company to record the sound for Steamboat Willie. He eventually went with Pat Powers who had a system called Cinephone (pirated from Lee de Forest's Phonofilm system.)

Wil Hewson said...

Did the 1979 MPSC strike have a bitterness quotient?

Steve Hulett said...

The '79 strike lasted two weeks vs. the '82 strike's 9-10 weeks (vs. the '41 strike's 12-13?)

Bitterness usually comes in proportion to length. But in '82, there were a number of strikers who were scabbing on the side. Picketing in the morning, picking up work in the afternoon and evening.

I don't think there's an accurate way to gauge bitterness and/or anger. Everybody carries a different load of emotions. All I can tell you is I'm proud of sticking with the '82 strike to the end.

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