When the Krazy Kat and Scrappy cartoons were becoming out of favour with cinemagoers in 1939, the Screen Gems studio decided to bring in two B&W series, the Phantasies and Fables (there weren't much difference between the two), which were initially a mix of one-shot and Krazy/Scrappy cartoons (who both had star billing on the opening titles).
The first Phantasy to be released was Scrappy's The Charm Bracelet (released 1st September 1939), but the following opening title was taken from the one-shot (hence no character billing) The Wallflower (3rd July 1941), the last cartoon to have this title:
The following endcap was used from the The Charm Bracelet, right up until As The Fly Flies (17th November 1944):
At the start of 1941, the Proud Lady also appears at the start, and the Phantasies/Fables title cards were slightly amended to reflect this. These series of titles were used right until the end of Frank Tashlin's reign in 1942 (towards the end, the credits were moved to the cartoon title):
When Dave Fleischer took over as producer in 1942, the Fables series was dropped, and a new set of Phantasies opening titles appeared in The Gullible Canary (18th September 1942). The titles, although in B&W, are in the same style as the Color Rhapsodies:
The first handful of shorts have their story titles incorporated into the opening titles, while later ones will have their own individual style:
Like the previous set, several of the earlier cartoons have their story titles incorporated into the opening titles:
In 1945, sometime after Dave Fleischer left, the Screen Gems studio decided to scrap the Proud Lady in its opening and closing titles. The first Proud Lady-free Phantasy is Goofy News Views (27th April 1945), in which the cartoon starts immediately with the 1943 Phantasies title, and finishes with a plain-looking endcap below:
That's it! Hope you enjoyed seeing these rare Columbia Cartoon titles. If you would like to see some more, be sure to check out Jerry Beck's Columbia page on his Cartoon Research website (click here to go directly onto that page).
And there will be more Columbia cartoon-themed posts very shortly. Stay tooned!