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1930's-40's Cartoon - Characters Stamp Hebrew Letters -- what cartoon?

Discussion in 'Mystery Cartoon' started by Debra Cancelliere, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. Debra Cancelliere

    Debra Cancelliere Newbie New Member

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    Hi - I am new to this forum and so happy to have found you. I've been searching for this for a looong time.

    When I was a little kid in the 70's in the US, I remember watching an old cartoon mixed in with Looney Tunes or Merrie Melodies. It was a take on The Shoemaker and the Elves. The shoemaker and wife were sad because they had to go to bed without the shoes being made/didn't have materials - whatever. The elves come and get to work, set up an assembly line of shoes and get the work done. While working the assembly line, the elves are shown stamping each shoe like one would stamp a completed project with a "seal of approval". This part goes by very quickly but I distinctly remember a shoe stamped with Hebrew letters that I think spelled out "kosher". I was young and my Hebrew reading skills were very basic but I know I saw it! It's a very small detail but I was amazed at this small and hidden thing the animators included. At that point, I didn't even know there were Jewish animators!

    Does anyone remember this and/or know where I can find it to buy/view?

    I have seen other cartoon versions of The Shoemaker and The Elves - some where birds come in and turn into the elves and I thought that was it but when I watch I didn't see the stamping or the letters. Either I saw the wrong cartoon or the part I saw was edited out for whatever reason.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Ebrathedebra
  2. saltyboot

    saltyboot A Moderating Moderator Staff Member Forum Member

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    Would it be Jolly Little Elves by Walter Lantz (1934)? Instead of stamping the seal of approval, they were writing in the shoe size in Hebrew. Maybe he was writing "kosher"? This part is at the 6:12 mark.

  3. Glowworm

    Glowworm Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    It's very difficult to read, but being Jewish, and able to read Hebrew, I can guarantee that that elf was writing "Kosher" on the shoe. Heck, I hate to say it, but those elves even look Jewish--which is probably why they were writing in Hebrew in the first place.
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  4. peterhale

    peterhale Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    Friz Freleng's Holiday for Shoestrings (Merrie Melodies, 1946) is a remake of Lantz's Jolly Little Elves, even reusing some of the gags (perforating the toecaps with a waffle iron, a boss-eyed elf unable to hit a nail, etc). Not the "Kosher" gag, of course - the Holocaust had made Jewish gags particularly inappropriate.

    But in the 30s the "Kosher" symbol was a popular reference: in Shuffle off to Buffalo (Merrie Melodies, 1933) the guy in charge of the Baby Factory gets a request in Hebrew, and, after some Yiddish banter (the baby asks, "How are you doing?" and the old man replies, "I make a living!") he stamps the resultant baby with the "Kosher" letters, and in Now that Summer is Gone (Merrie Melodies, 1938) a squirrel stamps acorns with the mark.
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  5. saltyboot

    saltyboot A Moderating Moderator Staff Member Forum Member

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    Ah... so that's what they are saying.

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