Monday, February 26, 2007

Rare Columbia Cartoon Titles - Krazy Kat

All this week, I will present some rare cartoon titles from the Screen gems library, with seperate postings relating to Krazy Kat, Scrappy, Color Rhapsodies, and the Phantasies/Fables cartoons.

To start off, let's take a look at some of the rare Krazy Kat titles. Many of you who are lucky enough to see these very-rare cartoons have seen most of them with Samba Pictures re-issue titles (the majority of Krazy shorts I have are these versions). Thankfully, Columbia Pictures have been restoring these shorts, with some (if not most) of them with their original titles intact. It is from these restored cartoons that most of the following screenshots were made.

Below are the wonderfully-animated 1929-30 title cards, first used on the very first sound cartoon Ratskin (the screenshots are taken from Honolulu Wiles, released on 17th July 1930).

All the cartoons from 1929 (and the first handful of 1930 shorts, too) end with this title card:

Later in 1930, the Winkler brand was added to the closing title card (this was also taken from Honolulu Wiles, the earliest cartoon in my collection to have this endcap):

Towards the end of 1930, a new, static set of title cards were introduced, which featured the title character and his girlfriend Kitty (I personally prefer the previous titles). The earliest cartoon in my collection to have these new titles was The Apache Kid (released October 9th 1930), but the following are taken from The Stork Market (July 11th 1931) as I feel these offer the best-quality images:

And here's the endcap:

The next year, another new set of opening titles were introduced. These were taken from The Restless Sax (December 1st 1931):

The endcap:

These titles were altered in 1932, with a different background and a different style of lettering on the credits and endcap. The following are taken from Russian Dressing (1st May 1933), although the earliest cartoon I have that featured these new titles is The Medicine Show (7th February 1933):

Voila, the endcap:

In 1933, Kitty was dropped from the new set of titles. These have the same background as before, but the credits were incorporated into the opening title, as seen below. These are from Southern Exposure (9th February 1934):

The endcap is the same as the previous version.
Krazy was redesigned later in 1934, from a Mickey Mouse-type design into a more-realistic feline form. To reflect this new design, new titles were issued the same year. However, the following were taken from a 1938 cartoon (there may have been different versions between these years, but I only have the Samba versions covering this period). The earliest cartoon I have that features the following titles is The Masque Raid (June 25th 1937), but for reasons of picture quality, I decided to make screenshots from Hot Dogs On Ice (21st October 1938):
Closing title:

Watch out for the Scrappy titles, which will follow very shortly.
If you're interested in finding out more about the Krazy Kat shorts (and other Screen Gems cartoons), take a look at Pietro Shakarian's website:
Also, my good friend Tom Stathes has made a couple of recent posts about the silent Krazy Kat cartoons. Check them out on , and also check out his other posts relating to the world of silent cartoons. These cartoons are more interesting (and entertaining) than you think!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Hold Your Plums

Sometime in the early 90's, I was given a copy of a tape brought down by my Liverpudlian relatives, which was called "Hold Your Plums - volume 4". This was a hugely -popular radio quiz show in the BBC Radio Merseyside area. Of course, being a West Country person myself, I never even heard of the programme, but I was told that the idea of the game is to answer one question before the hosts (Billy Butler & Wally Scott) activate a speaking fruit machine, which determines which prize the contestants would get (if the contestant gets all three plums, they win the top prize). However, what made this show such a hilarious success is the endless clues being given to the clueless participants, who came up with such bizarre answers as these:

If a footballer passes the ball to another player, it's a pass. If he shoots the ball, it's a shot. If he heads the ball, it's a...?

Have you ever had a "rarebit"?
What? I've got three kids!

Her first name is "Hedda". Her second name is "Hopper". So what is her full name?
Mary Hopkin.

Man, I had a fit of the giggles when I listened to this tape (ain't real-life humour the best). These brainless contestants have probably given Merseyside a bad name.

Since I first listened to this magnificant show (it puzzled me why it was never networked, as this would have had massive UK-wide appeal), I managed to seek out two specially-produced videotapes of this hilarious show. And very recently, to my sheer delight, I discovered a BBC webpage containing some Hold Your Plums audio clips (link below), most of which I have never heard before. Some of my favourites on the webpage includes a guy struggling to come up with Batman's nickname, a batty old lady who thinks that there is a soup called "Mull of Kintyre", and one bizarre clip where the presenters, who asked one woman contestant to name the only European country that drives on the left (actually, there is two!), organised a taxi trip for her as a clue.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Mississippi Mud

Here is an excerpt taken from the Toby the Pup cartoon Down South (1931) - a great foot-stomping rendition of "Mississippi Mud".

This video will be available throughout the rest of this month.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Goody Goody Yum Yum!

Here's some exciting news for all you Goodies fans!

Network is to release its third Goodies DVD set - The Complete LWT series - on March 26th with a RRP of £24.99. This set will include the entire 9th (and last) series, plus the "Snow White 2" special, that were broadcasted on the ITV network on 27/12/81 - 13/02/82. There has been no news on the number of discs or any extras, but like the previous two sets these episodes will be digitally restored by BBC Resources. I will keep you updated, but do check out the Network site ( ) in the next few weeks. In the meantime, here is the preliminary cover (subject to change):
Also, the LWT series will get an airing on Paramount Comedy 2 this Friday, with the first weekly double-bill showing at 9:00pm. The schedules can be found on .