Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Rare Columbia Cartoon Titles - Color Rhapsodies

Hi, everyone! Apologies for the delay in posting, but my wireless broadband had been acting weird lately - although I could log on onto the internet, I was prevented from uploading or downloading anything! Fortunately, it's all sorted now.

I thought you might like to see some original Color Rhapsodies titles, all taken from my own personal collection. Sadly, many of these cartoons have re-issue titles, but most still retain their original endcap. Also, a substantial amount of cartoons I have are taken from the recent Columbia programme "Totally Tuned In", where many of the Mintz-era cartoons were given the incorrect endcap (presumably to obscure any reference to Charles Mintz). To make matters worse, a handful of cartoons are missing from the Columbia archives! So, I have decided to show these titles in the order where they appear the earliest in my collection, except for one special set of titles which I will save for last.

The first set of opening titles were taken from the very first Color Rhapsody, the Scrappy cartoon Holiday Land (released 9th November 1934). Bizzarely, these set of titles were only used once:

And the end titles appear as so (again, only used once):

The next cartoon, Babes At Sea (30th November 1934) uses the following set of titles. These titles were used until the studio switched from two-strip Technicolor to the three-strip version, in 1935:

The endcap:

Below is an endcap taken from Little Rover (June 1935), with the title superimposed on a city backdrop (where the story takes place):

These titles were first used in 1936. The earliest cartoon in my collection that features these titles (in full) is Merry Mutineers (2nd October 1936):

The endcap:

Later in 1937, the endcap was amended to feature an updated Columbia logo. The earliest to feature this endcap is Spring Festival (6th August 1937):

A new endcap was introduced, and this time it is the colour version of the Proud Lady logo used on the Columbia feature films. This version was only used at the end of Window Shopping (3rd June 1938), and was the last time it mentioned that it was "A Charles Mintz Production" - on the endcap, at least (apologies for the grotty-looking image):

The next Color Rhapsody, Poor Little Butterfly (4th July 1938), has this endcap, which no longer mentions Mintz. This version lasted until towards the end of the Tashlin era - in 1942:

In 1938, a new set of opening titles (with the "castles in the sky" motif) was introduced. The following are taken from Nell's Yells (30th June 1939):

When Scappy's popularity declined badly (thanks to Allen Rose), his name was removed from the titles, and was replaced by a Columbia tagline. The earliest cartoon in my archives to feature this is Blackboard Revue (15th March 1940), and was also used throughout the Tashlin era:

The Frank Tashlin cartoon, Cinderella Goes To A Party (3rd May 1942), features this closing title. It's the same as the previous endcap, except for the additional "The End" tag. This was only used on this cartoon:

The following Rhapsody, the Fox & Crow's Woodsman Spare That Tree (2nd July 1942) features this closing title. This time, the Proud Lady now sports a light-blue shroud. Like the previous version, this endcap was only used on one cartoon:

The next Rhapsody, Song Of Victory (4th September 1942), features an updated version of the previous title, with an additional "The End" tag. This was used until mid-1945:

When Dave Fleischer took over as producer in 1942, the following set of titles were introduced. The Proud Lady now features in the opening titles as well as the closing titles. The follwing are taken from the only-known surviving Color Rhapsody that features these original titles, the Fox & Crow's Slay It With Flowers (8th January 1943). It is believed that these titles lasted until towards the end of 1943:

In 1945, the Proud Lady endcap was replaced by the following version, which I find rather boring. The earliest cartoon I have which features this is Hot Footlights (2nd August 1945):

The endcap was later replaced by this version, featured on Loco Lobo (9th January 1947). You will notice that this title is obviously influenced by the Warner Bros cartoon titles, which is hardly surprising as around this time, ex-Schlesinger associates Henry Binder and Raymond Katz both took over as producers:

This set of opening titles are taken from Cockatoos For Two (13th February 1947). Sadly, this only exists in the collectors'/traders' circuit in B&W, and is the only-known cartoon to feature this title version:

Later in 1947 (until the final cartoon in 1949), the following set of opening/closing titles were introduced. Again, the Warner Bros influence is clear, with the Color Rhapsody title zooming towards the viewer. The earliest cartoon I have to feature this full-set of titles is The Coo-Coo Bird Dog (3rd February 1949), but for reasons of picture quality, these screenshots are taken from the Fox & Crow's Grape Nutty (14th April 1949) instead:

The endcap:

And I will finish this post with a special set of titles. The following are taken from Song Of Victory (4th September 1942), which was made during Frank Tashlin's exit and Dave Fleischer's arrival:

The credits were shown at the end of this cartoon, rather than at the beginning:

Phew, that was a long post (and a lot of images, too)! Hope you enjoyed them. If you do, watch out for my next post very shortly, which will feature the Phantasies/Fables titles.

1 comment:

Mike Matei said...

I nominate this as best post on a blog ever.