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We, Robots! (Part 15): H/B Ho Hum, and Disney’s Afternoon Automatons

I begin this week with what amounts to a footnote, just to prove I haven’t forgotten about a decade. The 70’s (at least to this writer’s tastes) were a decidedly fallow period, with Hanna-Barbera still primarily in command of the airwaves, but its creative spark at its nadir. While some of its character designs retained some appeal, the execution...

The Animated Adventures of Phil Kimmelman

November 1935 saw Phil Kimmelman being born into a world in turmoil. Dictatorial powers ran wild through Europe and Asia. The United States, crippled by the Great Depression, was locked into an internal struggle over the issue of getting involved or isolating itself. Such things were the topics of discussion in the Washington Heights grocery store owned...

Love is On the Air: Classic Valentine’s Day TV Specials

October through December is definitely “prime time” for any animation fan who loves classic TV specials. Our favorite stories revolving around Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas return each year like familiar old friends. However, it’s easy to forget that we don’t have to wait another eight to ten months to enjoy such specials again. Through...

The Friz and the Diz

EDITOR’S NOTE: Last week Jim Korkis suffered a minor heart attack. He is currently at Osceola Regional hospital in Kissimmee, Florida. We received this message from Jim’s brother, Chris: He’s been staying at the hospital for testing – and it looks like he’ll have open heart surgery in the next couple of days. He asked if you would get the word out...

Dynamo Doc in “Freeloading Feline” (1960)

It’s pretty freezing here and in so many places right now- and I’ve been hunkering down reading animation history papers from my class at College for Creative Studies. We’re showing mid-to-late 30s tomorrow, one of my favorite classes. The students had some good insights on early 30s animation from the last class so I know tomorrow will be a fun showing,...

We, Robots! (Part 14): Freaks and Finks

Time to close out the prolific 60’s, and move on. Robots were literally a dime a dozen, cropping up everywhere, and we have a few left to dredge up (or sweep under the rug). Most of today’s coverage is in a “super” vein, capitalizing in the popularity of several DC franchises – though the majority do so in satiric fashion, as one series exceeds its...

Max and Dave: Specials, Leading To Noveltoons

The Fleischers must have had the idea that they could restore their relationship with Paramount by putting out occasional extended specials in Technicolor. Having run the gamut on Arabian Nights tales with Popeye, they decided to turn their attention to new characters and storylines. So they went with something more recent – Johnny Gruelle’s popular...

Animator Breakdown: “Trombone Trouble” (1944)

(This written piece was originally published on my Patreon page on April 5, 2020. If you want more exclusive animator breakdown videos, look into the page directory, and consider subscribing.) Here’s an animator breakdown I’ve wanted to present from the start: Trombone Trouble (1944) starring Donald Duck! In today’s society, superhero characters and...

Jack Kirby at Ruby-Spears

Suspended Animation #408 The Ruby-Spears animation studio was founded in 1977 as a subsidiary of Filmways by writers Joe Ruby and Ken Spears who had created Scooby-Doo Where Are You? for Hanna-Barbera. It closed in 1996. Ruby and Spears died in 2022 within three months of each other. From roughly 1980 to 1986, Jack Kirby known for his iconic comic...

Old King Cole Display Company: Christmas Promotional Campaign (1935)

In Thunderbean News: Work takes over a lot of our lives sometimes, and these weeks here at the school have been a pretty heavy lift. Happily there’s a weekly history class where I get to show early 30s cartoons on film (and from some of the things we’ve worked on). I always find it to be a joy to show this stuff to people who have never seen it. In...

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