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fleischer shorts nobody talks about?

Discussion in 'Fleischer / Famous Studios' started by 411314, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. 411314

    411314 Apprentice Forum Member New Member

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    According to[​IMG] Big Cartoon Database, the Fleischers did some series called "Animated Hair Cartoons" and "Fun From The Press". Why are these never mentioned in any history of the studio? They always mention Popeye, Betty Boop, Gaby, Out Of The Inkewell, and Stone Age Cartoons, but not Animated Hair or Fun From The Press. Is BCD wrong about these existing?
  2. peterhale

    peterhale Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    An interesting question! I had never heard of these series, but a little research confirms their existence.

    When the Fleischers started their own distribution company, Red Seal, they needed extra product, and so acquired films from other studios. Animated Hair features caricatures (or rather, likenesses) by newspaper artist 'Marcus' which are shown being "drawn" by a hand, then lines and section of hair, beard, moustache and/or eyebrows move around (as animated cutouts) to create a new face. Clever, but a bit boring after a while. The number of these films is a bit uncertain, as they seem to have been released in different combinations of content. (see Animated Hair 18 here). The purchasing of material from other studios proved a mistake, as Red Seal failed to recoup its investment on these films and ended up in bankruptcy.

    Fun from the Press is a little more elusive. Made in 1923, before Red Seal was formed, it appears to be a series of humorous pieces culled from the newspapers, produced by The Literary Digest - a celebrated magazine that published condensations of current affairs articles from the press of USA, Canada and Europe from 1890 to 1938. References to the film series appear in the press during 1923:

    From The Schenectady Gazette 2nd June 1923:

    From The Fort Wayne Sentinel 20th April 1923:

    From The Milwaukee Sentinel 23rd November 1923:
    Despite the increasing promotional hyperbole the series does not seem to have caught on. Listings of Dave Fleischer's credits refer, in brackets, to "3 inserts". I can't tell whether The Matchstick Brigade was the Fleischer contribution to a package of gags from other sources, or the MB was added from another source to a Fleischer animated series, or Fleischers animated the whole package.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
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  3. 411314

    411314 Apprentice Forum Member New Member

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    So if I understand correctly, you're saying the Fleischers animated parts (inserts) of some of the "Fun For The Press" ones but not any entire short in that series, and "Animated Hair" was an outside acquisition so Red Seal Pictures would have something more to distribute?
  4. peterhale

    peterhale Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    Animated Hair does seem to be one of the outside acquisitions for Red Seal to distribute.

    Fun from the Press, however, I am not sure about. The press ads I found were all from 1923 - it would seem the series did not take off. It was distributed by W. W. Hodkinson, and produced by The Literary Digest. Maybe Fleischers' studio was subcontracted to make the series, but the reference to 3 inserts suggests they just provided some animated items. Either the series failed to live up to The Literary Digest's standards, or the audiences didn't find it very funny - either way it would appear it was scrapped fairly quickly.
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  5. 411314

    411314 Apprentice Forum Member New Member

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    Well, thanks again for the info! It's always so interesting to me to learn about animation history.
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