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.