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Favorite Fleischer Christmas Cartoon, "Season's Greetinks" (1933)

Discussion in 'Fleischer / Famous Studios' started by sidestreetsam, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. sidestreetsam

    sidestreetsam Moderator Staff Member Forum Member New Member

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    ~ Howdy, Folks!

    The Popeye cartoon, "Season's Greetinks" (1933), is one of my all-time Christmas cartoon favorites! The Fleischer Brothers did quite a few of these Christmas themed cartoons. Anybody out there have a favorite?

  2. peterhale

    peterhale Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    Michael Sporn posted a study of Olive's eccentric skating cycle from Seasin's Greetinks (at 1:33 & 1:49). The drawing before contact of each foot has been replaced with an eccentric drawing with her head turned away and down, and her leading foot retracted rather than extended. This gives an unexpected kick to her placing her foot down. (It looks as if the cycle was done straight, and the "kick" drawing substituted later.) It is a great Fleischeresque touch - just throwing it out of 'smooth-but-boring' into something quirky. I guess if a Disney animator decided to do something similar he would have added an inbetween before or after the eccentric drawing for smoothness - here it has just been popped in for impact without a qualm!
  3. sidestreetsam

    sidestreetsam Moderator Staff Member Forum Member New Member

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    ~ Hey, Peter!

    That's very perceptive of you! You've hit on something that I've always liked about Fleischer cartoons. Eccentric walks and cycles. There are literally hundreds of examples littered thruout the films. Can't say enough good things about Michael Sporn and his site Michael Sporn Animation, Inc.. Thanks for the link to the Olive article. Very interesting.

    I also love the way all the characters bounced in time to the music in the early Fleischer shorts. I always think of the Fleischer cartoons as being more cartoony and generally fun, as opposed to cartoons like Disney's which became progressively more realistic and less amusing.

    Here's another great one from Max and the Boys! A Color Classic from 1936, "Christmas Comes But Once a Year".

  4. sidestreetsam

    sidestreetsam Moderator Staff Member Forum Member New Member

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    ~ Howdy, Folks!

    Here's another Christmas cartoon from the Fleischer Studios that always strikes me as pretty grim. But the Fleischer Brothers handle it well. It's a Color classic from 1936, "Somewhere in Dreamland". Merry Christmas!

  5. peterhale

    peterhale Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    I love it when the shopkeepers do that stock Fleischer "despair" thing - sagging forward at the waist with arms hanging limply. They used it frequently in the Popeyes, where it worked fine as a shorthand caricature for an emotion - but in this film more realistic acting might have been expected!
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  6. sidestreetsam

    sidestreetsam Moderator Staff Member Forum Member New Member

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    ~ Hey, Peter!

    Very perceptive of you! The Fleischers had a whole bunch of these reaction shots that they would use to convey complex emotions. They also archived various poses and character personalities into a sort of morgue file that the animators used over and over for reference. The idea being twofold in that it was faster and cheaper to retrace a scene rather than build it up from scratch once again.
  7. oneuglybunny

    oneuglybunny Moderator Staff Member Forum Member

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    Perhaps, as a reflection of the era in which these cartoons were produced, many of the old vaudevillian cues were still in play. Comedians such as "Red" Skelton and Jackie Gleason, among others, performed their comedy on stage in front of a live audience. They learned to exaggerate their expressions and poses to convey feelings even to people two hundred feet away in the back rows. Let me posit that when the Fleischers made their cartoons, they used many of the "stock" poses that live performers used on stage, since they reasoned an audience would expect these cues, despite the differing media. Another web site calls this "The Coconut Effect," where the audience has come to expect a device in the story, even when that device is unnecessary, obsolete or even dead wrong.
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  8. sidestreetsam

    sidestreetsam Moderator Staff Member Forum Member New Member

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    ~ Hey, oneuglybunny!

    You are absolutely correct! Of all the golden age animation studios Fleischer's was the only one based in New York, the home base for American vaudeville. The Fleischer films always seen to possess a certain inner-city grittiness. The Fleischer animators lived right in the middle of Broadway's vibrant theatre district and vaudeville circuit. I addition to that, all the premier movie palaces were doing big business during this era and the Fleischer boys grewup watching Buster Keaton, Stan Laurel, and Charlie Chaplin... who all started on the stage in either vaudeville or British music hall traditions. These stock reactions and routines are so ingrained in our society (just check out The 3 Stooges) as to become thought of as archtypes, that is, seemingly understood by all without need of explanation.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013

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