Toby the Milkman (1931)
Until recently, Toby the Pup was one of the most mysterious and least known cartoon characters of the clasic era. All of the twelve Toby cartoons produced in 1930 and 1931 were once considered as lost. Fortunately, five cartoons have been discovered so far (though one of them survives only in an incomplete form), and there's always a hope that the others might appear in some archives all over the world. One of these rare cartoons, "Toby the Milkman" is featured in today's post. All Toby the Pup cartoons were produced by Charles Mintz and distributed by RKO Radio Pictures.
Toby the Pup cartoons were co-directed, co-written and animated by the powerhouse trio of Sid Marcus (who also created the character), Dick Huemer and Art Davis. Each of them took roughly one third of the cartoon, and worked on it almost independently. Such approach is really evident in "Toby the Milkman", because this cartoon consists of three nearly separate parts. In the last segment, "Toby the Milkman" for no particular reason suddenly transforms into a barn dance cartoon, with hilarious results.
This cartoon shows quite a lot of Fleischer influences in the design and gags. Also, Toby himself was rather similar in appearance to the earliest incarnations of Fleischer's Bimbo. That is not a coincidence, since both Sid Marcus and Dick Huemer worked at Fleischer studio before joining Charles Mintz.
"Toby the Milkman" is a very funny and enjoyable cartoon, and also a great example of early 30s rubber hose animation.
Take a look at the funny animal crowd in the background of the following five screenshots. You'll surely notice among them the two familiar characters from another series produced by Charles Mintz.