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Color Classics

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Color Classics
Directed byDave Fleischer
Produced byMax Fleischer
Animation byCharacter animation:
Roland Crandall
Seymour Kneitel
William Henning
Color process2-strip Cinecolor (the first short called Betty Boop in Poor Cinderella)
2-strip Technicolor (late-1934-late-1935)
3-strip Technicolor (early-1936-mid-1941)
Production
company
Distributed byParamount Pictures
(A ViacomCBS Company)
Release date
August 3, 1934 – August 22, 1941
Running time
6–10 minutes (one reel)
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Color Classics are a series of animated short films produced by Fleischer Studios for Paramount Pictures from 1934 to 1941 as a competitor to Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies.[1] As the name implies, all of the shorts were made in color format, with the first entry of the series, Poor Cinderella (1934), being the first color cartoon produced by the Fleischer studio. There were 36 shorts produced in this series.

History

The first Color Classic was photographed with the two-color Cinecolor process. The rest of the 1934 and 1935 cartoons were filmed in two-color Technicolor, because the Disney studio had an exclusive agreement with Technicolor that prevented other studios from using the lucrative three-strip process. That exclusive contract expired during September 1935, and the 1936 Color Classic cartoon Somewhere in Dreamland (1936) became the first Fleischer cartoon produced with three-strip Technicolor.[2]

The first cartoon in the series, Poor Cinderella, featured Betty Boop (with red hair and turquoise eyes); future shorts usually did not have familiar or recurring characters.

Many of the Color Classics entries make prominent use of Max Fleischer's Stereoptical process, a device which allowed animation cels to be photographed against actual 3 dimensional background sets instead of the traditional paintings. Poor Cinderella, Somewhere in Dreamland, and Christmas Comes But Once a Year all make prominent use of the technique. Disney's competing apparatus, the multiplane camera, would not be completed until 1937, three years after the Stereoptical Process's first use.[2] The Color Classics series ended in 1941 with Vitamin Hay, featuring characters Hunky and Spunky. A similar series would be started by Fleischer's successor Famous Studios during 1943, with the name Noveltoons.

Later statuses

During 1955, Paramount sold all rights to the Color Classics cartoons to television distributor U.M. & M. TV Corporation U.M. & M. altered the original beginning credits sequences for some of the shorts, to remove all references to the names "Paramount Pictures" and "Technicolor", and to add their own copyright notices. Before the retitling could be finished, U.M. & M. was bought by National Telefilm Associates (NTA). Instead of refilming the openings, NTA obscured the references to the Paramount and Technicolor names by placing black bars over the original title cards and copyright notices. Only a few Color Classics had their title cards redone by U.M. & M., among them Greedy Humpty Dumpty, Play Safe, Christmas Comes But Once a Year, Bunny Mooning, Little Lambkins, and Vitamin Hay.

NTA distributed the Color Classics to television, yet allowed the copyrights on all of the shorts to lapse except The Tears of an Onion. Many public domain video distributors have released television prints of Color Classics shorts for home video. The UCLA Film and Television Archive has, through the assistance of Republic Pictures (successor company to U.M. & M. and NTA), retained original theatrical copies of all of the shorts, which have periodically been shown in revival movie houses and by cable television.

Ironically, original distributor Paramount has, through their 1999 acquisition of Republic, regained ownership of the Color Classics, including the original elements. Olive Films (current licensee for Republic, and which currently has home video rights) has, to date. not announced any plans to release the Color Classics officially to DVD or Blu-Ray.

During 2003, animation archivist Jerry Beck conceived a definitive DVD box set of all the Color Classics, excluding The Tears of an Onion, and tried to enlist Republic Pictures' help in releasing this set. After being refused, Kit Parker Films (in association with VCI Entertainment) offered to provide the best available 35mm and 16mm prints of the Color Classics from Parker's archives to create the box set Somewhere in Dreamland: The Max Fleischer Color Classics. These "interim restored versions" contain digitally recreated Paramount titles; the U.M. & M.-modified prints had to have their title cards as well as their animator credits redone. The Tears of an Onion was not included in the set, as it remains copyrighted by Republic successor Melange Pictures.[3]

Filmography

Many of the cartoons do not have recurring characters, but Poor Cinderella featured Betty Boop, and some featured Newlyweds, Hunky and Spunky, and Tommy Cod.

All cartoons released during 1934 and 1935, except for Poor Cinderella, which was produced in Cinecolor, were produced in two-strip Technicolor. All shorts from 1936 and onward were produced in three-strip Technicolor.

Title Original release date Animation Story Music
Betty Boop in Poor Cinderella August 3, 1934 Character animation:
Roland Crandall
Seymour Kneitel
William Henning
Background animation:
Anderson Craig
Murray Mencher
Jack Scholl
Charles Tobias
Phil Spitalny
(director, uncredited)
Sammy Timberg
(director, uncredited)
Little Dutch Mill October 26, 1934 Willard Bowsky
Dave Tendlar
George Steiner
(uncredited)
An Elephant Never Forgets November 9, 1934 Seymour Kneitel
Roland Crandall
Sammy Timberg
Jack Scholl
The Song of the Birds March 1, 1935 Seymour Kneitel
Roland Crandall
Sammy Timberg
The Kids in the Shoe May 19, 1935 Seymour Kneitel
Roland Crandall
George Steiner 
(uncredited)
Dancing on the Moon July 12, 1935 Seymour Kneitel
Roland Crandall
Charlie Tobias
Murray Mencher
Time for Love September 6, 1935 Willard Bowsky
Nicholas Tafuri
Sammy Timberg
Musical Memories November 8, 1935 Seymour Kneitel
Roland Crandall
Sammy Timberg
Somewhere in Dreamland January 17, 1936 Seymour Kneitel
Roland Crandall
Murray Mencher
Charles Newman
The Little Stranger March 13, 1936 Dave Tendlar
Eli Brucker
Sammy Timberg
The Cobweb Hotel May 15, 1936 David Tendlar
William Sturm
Sammy Timberg
Bob Rothberg
Greedy Humpty Dumpty July 10, 1936 David Tendlar
William Sturm
Sammy Timberg
Bob Rothberg
Hawaiian Birds August 28, 1936 Myron Waldman
Sam Stimson
Sammy Timberg
Play Safe October 16, 1936 David Tendlar
Eli Brucker
Sammy Timberg
Vee Lawnhurst
Tot Seymour
Christmas Comes But Once a Year December 4, 1936 Seymour Kneitel
William Henning
Sammy Timberg
Bob Rothberg
Tot Seymour
Bunny Mooning February 12, 1937 Myron Waldman
Edward Nolan
Sammy Timberg
Chicken a La King April 16, 1937 David Tendlar
Nicholas Tafuri
Sammy Timberg
Bob Rothberg
A Car-Tune Portrait June 26, 1937 Character animation:
David Tendlar
Nicholas Tafuri
Herman Cohen (uncr.)
William Sturm (uncr.)
Eli Brucker (uncr.)
Joe Oriolo (uncr.)
Jack Rabin (uncr.)
Uncredited story by:
Dave Fleischer
Isadore Sparber
and
David Tendlar
King Ross
Peeping Penguins August 26, 1937 Myron Waldman
Hicks Lokey
Sammy Timberg
Bob Rothberg
Educated Fish October 29, 1937 Myron Waldman
Hicks Lokey
Sammy Timberg
Bob Rothberg
Little Lamby November 12, 1937 David Tendlar
William Sturm
Sammy Timberg
The Tears of an Onion February 26, 1938 David Tendlar
Joseph Oriolo
Sammy Timberg
Hold It! April 29, 1938 David Tendlar
Nicholas Tafuri
Sammy Timberg
Vee Lawnhurst
Tot Seymour
Hunky and Spunky June 24, 1938 Myron Waldman
Graham Place
Sammy Timberg
All's Fair at the Fair August 26, 1938 Myron Waldman
Graham Place
Sammy Timberg
The Playful Polar Bears October 28, 1938 Myron Waldman
Graham Place
Sammy Timberg
Hunky and Spunky in "Always Kickin'" January 29, 1939 Myron Waldman
Arnold Gillespie
Sammy Timberg
Small Fry April 21, 1939 Willard Bowsky
Orestes Calpini
Sammy Timberg
The Barnyard Brat June 30, 1939 Myron Waldman
Tony Pabian
Sammy Timberg
The Fresh Vegetable Mystery September 29, 1939 David Tendlar
William Sturm
Joe Stultz Sammy Timberg
Little Lambkins February 2, 1940 Character animation:
Dave Tendlar
Nelson Demorest (credited as N. Demorest)
Joe Stultz Sammy Timberg
Ants in the Plants March 15, 1940 Myron Waldman
George Moreno
George Manuell Sammy Timberg
A Kick in Time May 17, 1940 James Culhane
Alfred Eugster
George Manuell Sammy Timberg
Snubbed by a Snob July 19, 1940 Stan Quackenbush
Arnold Gillespie
Joe Stultz Sammy Timberg
You Can't Shoe a Horse Fly August 23, 1940 Myron Waldman
Sam Stimson
William Turner Sammy Timberg
Vitamin Hay August 22, 1941 David Tendlar
Otto Feuer
Bob Wickersham Sammy Timberg

See also

Notes

References

  1. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. pp. 66–67. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  2. ^ a b Maltin, Leonard. Of Mice and Magic, p. 114
  3. ^ Treadway , Bill. Review for Somewhere in Dreamland DVD.
General
  • Barrier, Michael (1999). Hollywood Cartoons: American Animation in Its Golden Age. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-516729-5.
  • Maltin, Leonard (1980, rev. 1987). Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-452-25993-2.

External links

This page was last edited on 4 June 2021, at 20:31
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