Andrea/Duck Dodgers here. I friendly welcome every fan of animation at my blog. The goal is to support the love and rediscovery of Classic Theatrical Cartoons from the Golden Age of Animation, keeping meanwhile an eye on Golden Age "Funny Animals" Comics as well as on modern animated productions! Every SUPPRESSED ethnic caricature to be sometimes presented here is just for HISTORICAL and EDUCATIONAL purpose and NOT to offend anyone. Stay Tooned and Enjoy the place !

Friday, October 06, 2006

"Play Safe"

Many cartoon fans consider Color Classics as the minor works in the Fleischer opus. In some way, this is true. With this series, Fleischer brothers tried to compete with Silly Symphonies, and Disney influence really overpowers the typical Fleischer style in most of the cartoons. Often criticized as being too sappy or sentimental, these cartoons still have lot of qualities to recommend. Animation is often on very solid level, and the use of color could sometimes be quite extraordinary. The best few entries in this series are genuine Fleischer classics that could compare with many of their better known earlier works. Sadly, these cartoons have been available for decades mostly in bad quality TV prints, with faded or red tinted color. We are going to present the screenshots from some rare superior quality prints, to demonstrate how these cartoons were supposed to look some 70 years ago.

The first cartoon I'm going to present here is "Play Safe", released on 10/16/1936. This cartoon about a boy obsessed with trains and the dog who saves his life has a nightmare sequence that evokes the spirit of the earlier Fleischer cartoons, and also contains some of the most beautiful scenes with 3-D sets in the entire series. Many of you have already seen this cartoon, but rarely in such good quality.


Blogger Gabriel said...

judging from the looks it's obvious it's very well done, at least! I wish i could watch it. Thanks, duck!

11:49 am

Anonymous Russell H said...

This cartoon has been a favorite among train-buffs because of its fanciful renditions of the kind of "streamlined" steam locomotives that were just then coming into service. Interestingly, the locomotive that almost runs down the boy appears to be modeled on a then-popular Lionel O-scale loco, rather than on a "real" one.

I seem to recall a railroad-themed Betty Boop cartoon in which the 3-D backgrounds featured actual Lionel electric trains. Anybody know which one that was?

1:28 pm

Anonymous Nic Kramer said...

Any plans of putting up stills from the first Color Classic cartoon "Poor Ciderella" (and one the last cartoons to have pre-code gags)?

3:00 pm

Blogger Duck Dodgers said...

this post, as well as many other ones in the past days, was done by Hammerson...not me.
Thanks for the nice words anyway.

5:39 pm

Anonymous J Lee said...

As Leonard Maltin and othersd have noted, the Color Classics either with some sort of mechanical/technological themes or with nightmarish sequences are by far the best of the lot, becuase those with things the people at the studio were actually interested in, as opposed to the normal Disney Silly Symphony-type stories.

You can also see the advancement in the studio's artistic ability in "Play Safe" with the animation of the St. Bernard. It's really the first time the Fleischers (director Dave Tendlar in this case) animated a realistic-looking dog that wasn't overly stiff in its movements, like the realistic horses from "Poor Cinderella" two years earlier.

8:17 pm


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