Sunday, October 21, 2012

Cartoons on TCM!

Well, for one night only. I think I've mentioned before that the reason TCM no longer has its Animation Alley show or has animated shorts in between movies the way they have tons of Traveltalks shorts is because one of TCM's corporate brethren (I think Boomerang, although I'm not quite certain of the exact when in which Boomerang and Cartoon Network are linked) has paid for the rights to the Looney Tunes and MGM animated shorts (which means mostly the Tom and Jerry shorts, with stuff like the Happy Harmonies shorts from the 1940s getting short shrift), leaving them unavailable to TCM.

So it's rare that TCM is able to get the rights to show any cartoons, and tonight is one of those nights. They're going to be showing some of the Fleischer brothers' work. In the 1920s, they came up with the "follow the bouncing ball" idea for animated musical shorts with one of the early sound-on-film processes. They also did Betty Boop and Popeye shorts, but I think Paramount wound up with the rights to them, with those rights eventually getting sold to Universal. The Fleischers were able to make two feature films before the animation unit went bankrupt in the early 1940s, and those two features are kicking off the night: Gulliver's Travels at 8:00 PM, followed by Mr. Bug Goes to Town at 9:30.

You've probably seen the ads that TCM has run between movies getting people to try to buy the Jolly Frolics animation collection on DVD at the TCM Shop. All those ads must have een in exchange for broadcast rights to some of those shorts, as they're coming up at 11:00 -- at least, seven of them are, with the most famous of them being Gerald McBoing Boing. Unfortunately, like the Mack Sennett stuff last month, TCM's schedule isn't giving an exact broadcast time for these.

Finally is a bunch of silent animation from the teens and 1920s, about which I know next to nothing. It's too bad they're on after midnight, but that's what recording is for, I suppose.

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