Random semiconscious musings

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

WB Cartoon Credit Beauty

A couple of days ago I featured some of the weird results of WB's "Blue Ribbon" treatment on some fo the classic cartoons included in their re-release packages. Today I'm going to present a couple of neat aspects about the original cartoon titles.

Most of us are familiar with the boring old "Merrie Melody" theme tacked onto the cartoon opening with the generic "Blue Ribbon" title card which chops off any production information, contributor credits, and releae dates. In addition, even cartoons which should have been designated as "Looney Tunes" were stripped of their original series identification. In addition, the beautiful musical renditions of Carl Stalling were also genericized and removed from the titles.

Let's relive some of the neat and interesting opening title sequences! (PS: I don't have time to make DVDs or distribution tapes of any of these cartoons..... so please spare us both the trouble by not even asking for trades... thank you).

My first entry displays the original opening titles from the Merrie Melodie cartoon, "Mighty Hunters". Make note of how much nicer this opening is, compared to the yucky, boring old Blue Ribbon version:
"Mighty Hunters (1940)"



Next up- although this cartoon was not a victim of the "Blue Ribbon" treatment, an interesting title quirk was still dropped upon print syndication. The cartoon "Hop And Go" from 1943 was re-released under the Sunset/ Guild Films banner- although they weren't as bad as the "BR" releases, all the opening WB shields of the B&W Looney Tunes were taken off so that references to WB pictures were gone. In the case of this cartoon, it looked as if the cameraman used the same background layout for the opening zoom, making the effect that the WB shield is sitting on top of the target:

"Hop And Go (1943)"




Moving along, the beautiful opening sequences for two mid-1940s cartoons which were hacked off for the blase static title card. Pay particular attention to the wonderful music scores accompanying the full credit rosters, which were removed:


"Doggone Cats (1947)" (print courtesy of the holdings of Thad Komorowski)



"Hop, Look, And Listen (1948)"



Don't you agree that the original versions look much nicer?

After 1948 the Blue Ribbon treatment was adjusted a bit- at least the cartoons retained their animation and contributor credits- but the original cartoon designation as "Looney Tune" or "Merrie Melody" was still dropped, along with original production numbers, in favour of a generic opening title.
Here are some examples of original title sequences that were dropped with the "Blue Ribbon" openings:

"For Scent-mental Reasons (1949)"



"Daffy Duck Hunt (1949)"



"The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950)"



"Cat-Tails For Two (1953)"



"Bell Hoppy (1954)"



And there you have it. WB cartoon credit beauty.

I do have an alterior motive for making this post- if any private film collectors who happen to pass by my humble little blog are aware of a rare and untampered print of theirs, make a small, unselfish gesture- contact WHV or the parties in question and see about offering your prints to be restored and archived so that the whole world can enjoy the cartoons as they were meant to be- because it's people like yourselves who care to preserve such uniquities that these elements may even exist. It won't lessen the value of your holdings at all, rather, it will increase the worth of the original even that much more (if you intended to sell, at any measure anyway).

Thank you- we now return you to your regular blog activity...

7 Comments:

  • Wow those are cool! Its a real shame how "Daffy Duck Hunt" (interesting how this one uses a solo Porky headshot, rather than one with Porky and Daffy)and "The Scarlet Pumpernickle" were released on the first Golden Collection with the Blue Ribbon titles.

    By Blogger Nick, at 4:25 PM  

  • I know you said you had no current plans on trading, but do you have plans on making those prints available for Jerry Beck for use on upcoming Golden Collections.

    And one minor request. If you have the cartoon The Little Match Girl, could you post that? Thanks. Your blog is cool btw. Well, any blog that focuses on classic animation, rocks really.

    By Blogger BrandonPierce, at 5:07 PM  

  • Thanks for posting these. I got no sound in "Bell Hoppy" though. I recognised the "Scent-imental" theme from Two Guys from Texas, "Everytime I Love You Just a Little Bit More", or something like that.
    Chris

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:57 PM  

  • I recognised the "Scent-imental" theme from Two Guys from Texas, "Everytime I Love You Just a Little Bit More"

    Thanks for that info, I love the trivia that goes with the music composition "humour" Stalling interjected throughout the WB cartoons.

    do you have plans on making those prints available for Jerry Beck for use on upcoming Golden Collections

    Of course, I'm always available to offer whatever I can for a cartoon venture such as that.

    By Blogger Larry T, at 11:22 PM  

  • Thanks, Larry!

    Marvellous pot!

    Do you own more original titles?

    By Blogger Duck Dodgers, at 3:26 AM  

  • Aside from retaining it's original credits, the BR version of "The Mighty Hunters" benefits from being one of only a handful of pre-1956 Blue Ribbons to get the more uptempo 1945-54 Stalling musical opening, so it doesn't bother me as much as some of the other BR shorts (the 1941 Merrie Melodies theme, while more polished than what came before it, is also more sedate, which didn't fit the faster pace the cartoons were moving at, especially by the time Clampett hit his stride in 1943).

    By Anonymous J Lee, at 8:08 PM  

  • And one minor request. If you have the cartoon The Little Match Girl, could you post that? Thanks. Your blog is cool btw. Well, any blog that focuses on classic animation, rocks really.

    With the recent YouTube fiasco, I don't think anybody's going to be posting The Little Match Girl anytime soon.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:03 PM  

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