Monday, December 28
from Wikipedia: Trolley Troubles is a 1927 animated short subject film, produced and directed by Walt Disney. The cartoon is noted for being the first appearance of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, a character that Disney and Ub Iwerks created for Universal Pictures and Charles B. Mintz. Oswald would later serve as the basis for Mickey Mouse.
In the early summer of 1927 Disney finished the first Oswald cartoon. It was named "Poor Papa" but Universal was not very satisfied. They had expected a more Charlie Chaplin-like character and thought Oswald was too big and too weak. Disney agreed to make some changes and the cartoon was not released in theatres at the time.
Instead, Oswald's second-produced cartoon was submitted for release: "Trolley Troubles". Universal was pleased and the short was released by Universal on September 5, 1927. In the cartoon, Oswald is a trolley conductor. Due to road trouble, however, the trolley car goes completely out of control.
The press loved the new cartoon series Walt made and Oswald became a true hero. From that moment on, a new cartoon was released every two weeks.
Sunday, December 27
"Lady, Play Your Mandolin!" from 1931
As was typically the case with the early entries in the Merrie Melodies series, one purpose of the cartoon was to promote a Warner-owned popular song. The title theme, written by Oscar Levant with lyrics by Irving Caesar, was a 1930 #5 pop hit sung by Nick Lucas and released by Brunswick Records, which had been purchased by Warner Brothers the previous year (Another recording, by the Havana Novelty Orchestra was released the same year on RCA's Victor Records). In the short, it is sung by a female fox character who would later become Foxy's girlfriend, Roxy.
The short was animated by Rollin Hamilton and Norm Blackburn with a musical score and direction of the Brunswick Recording Orchestra by Frank Marsales.
Friday, December 25
Thursday, December 17
CartoonLand Mysteries -- A short film about how cartoons were made in the 1930s and 40s. From the Walter Lantz studios the narrator takes you through the process of how an Oswald the Lucky Rabbit episode is made in this vintage "Going Places" short