First color cartoon! A frame from "Gertie, The Dinosaur" by Bray Studio, produced in experimental "tecknicolor" (Kalmus pioneer system) in 1916... one year before "The Gulf Between" (1917)!
This was the second "bogus Gertie" film from Bray. The previous one (in black & white) was to show off Bray's technical patents for animation. This one was Bray's sole claim to a "first" for animation - full color effects.
Bray's other lost "first", his 3-D cartoon "COLONEL HEEZA LIAR IN DEPTH" (1922) has deteriorated beyond all repair.
King Features' abandoned TV POPEYE redesign!
In 1957, the year Paramount's contract to make POPEYE cartoons ran out, King's producer Al Brodax tried to revitalize Popeye with a new series of cartoons from a studio as far from Famous as he could get.
He went to his pal Jack Kinney, formerly of Disney, then heading up UPA's feature length production of 1001 ARABIAN NIGHTS (starring Mr. Magoo). Kinney had his designers work up a pitch - above is one of the images found recently in the home of the late Steve Bousustow, behind a desk - which was rejected by the powers that be at King.
Forced to go the safe route, Brodax produced over 100 cheap Popeye cartoons out of Paramount's New York studio - farming out some to his old pal Kinney. Brodax's artistic inclinations were rewarded when he overhauled THE BEATLES cartoons into YELLOW SUBMARINE - and the rest is history!
MGM's Lost "Wonder Woman" cartoon!
In 1942, MGM sensing the success of Max Fleischer's SUPERMAN cartoons decides to compete with Paramount by optioning the rights to Wonder Woman from DC Comics (Detective Comics Inc./National Periodical Publications).
Happy to leave Hanna-Barbera with the Tom & Jerry cartoons, MGM handed the Wonder Woman assignment to their newest director Tex Avery. Avery was reluctant to adapt the super-heroine, as it was not his style at all. Preston Blair animated Diana Prince in an incredibly sexy performance. Avery made the Japanese Wolf character the real star of the cartoon, limiting Wonder Woman to a few brief sexy shots.
The cartoon, was only partially finished and the negative ordered destroyed, was titled THE TRICKY CHICK. One great line on the existing story board has Wonder Woman asking the disguised spy, "Is that a Rising Sun or are you just happy to see me?".
Fred Quimby cancelled the cartoon series when he saw that it could not compete with the Fleischer Superman series. The option was cancelled - the rights reverted back to DC. The animation of Wonder Woman was reused in various Red cartoons, such as SWING SHIFT CINDERELLA and WILD AND WOLFY. Avery stuck to humor cartoons. This rare cel set up (above) has just been located in the estate of Douglas Mayer (nephew of Louie B. Mayer) and will be auctioned at Christies later this year.