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tservo2049 asks: Tell me everything about Fred Ladd. Give me the history and chronology of his companies, the information you know now. Were his 4 companies (Delphi Associates, Radio & Television Packagers, Color Systems Inc., and Entercolor Technologies) related in any way? If so, when did they become one of the other companies? I need this info desperately!

mighty atom
Desparately?? Fred Ladd certainly holds a special place in animation history. He was the first to bring anime to American TV, produced a few animated features and colorized Porky Pig, Betty Boop and Popeye cartoons. You can read more about Fred Ladd in this AWN INTERVIEW by Harvey Deneroff, and you can see more of his work at the Colorized Cartoons Database.
Here is a timeline of his career, with the emphasis on animation. He has worked on importing and dubbing many live action films, which I skip over in order to concentrate on our interests here. Fred is still working in Encino, California.

1950-60 - Radio & Television Packagers (Cartoon Classics, Space Explorers) Fred is employee of this company, not owner.
1960 - Fred producing/writing PINOCCHIO IN OUTER SPACE
1963 - JOURNEY BACK TO OZ (writing/producing)
1963 - "Little Adam Productions" (The Big World of Little Adam) - also dubbed Toel features for A.I.P. (Little Norse Prince, Puss In Boots, Treasure Island, etc)
March 1963 - began Astro Boy dubbing as work-for-hire, for NBC Enterprises
1964 - "Delphi Associates" starts with GIGANTOR
Oct. 1965 - "Kimba" dubbing work-for-hire
1966 - dubbed pilot of SPACE ACE (RING-O) never sold
1967 - Begins colorizing experiments
1968 - COLOR SYSTEMS, INC. (partnered with Elliot Hyman) begins with 78 Porky Pig cartoon, 100 Betty Boops, 18 Krazy Kats, test of FARMER AL FALFA, Mutt & Jeff cartoons; colorized 43 PD cartoons (including Felix, Bosko & Buddy titles) for former employer Radio & Television Packagers.
1974 - Dissolved COLOR SYSTEMS
1975 - Sets up GREATEST TALES INC. (to dub Japanese animated fairy tales (Snow Queen, Hansel & Gretal) for institutional market)
1974-84 various dubbing projects mainly live action; established PLAID PRODUCTIONS with Graham Place (Fleischer animator) did commercials, TALES OF THE GOOD BOOK (animated Bible stories). Note: Elliot Hyman dies July 23, 1980
1984 - Ladd in Los Angeles starts ENTERCOLOR TECHOLOGIES CORP. Columbia's Barney Googles, L'iL Abner, Oswald The Rabbit test, ten Mickey Mouse cartoons.
1986-87 - Entercolor colorizes Fleischer POPEYE cartoons for Turner - also 26 Turner Merrie Melodies and MGM Captain & The Kids titles. Ladd re-dubs G-FORCE (a re-do of BATTLE OF THE PLANETS) also for Turner.
1992 - dubbed color GIGANTOR episodes for Sci-Fi Channel
1995 - creative consultant on SAILOR MOON dubbing

snowman in july

PEBYRNE writes:I'm looking for information about a cartoon from my childhood - I think the name is "Snowman in July." It's about a snowman who is kept frozen in a freezer so he can see warm weather in July. It might be foreign. Any information you can provide will be appreciated.

The cartoon many know as SNOWMAN IN JULY was originally called THE SNOWMAN (or "Der Schneemann"), which was produced in Nazi Germany in 1943 by Hans Fischerkoesen. Fischerkosen (1896-1973) was a great German cartoonist/producer who produced short color theatrical cartoons during the wartime era. Some of them were acquired, along with many other Europeon cartoons, for U.S. TV distribution in the 1950s in cartoon packages with names like CAPTAIN SAILORBIRD and BOZO'S STORYBOOK.

MATTHEW HUNTER asks: Many Warner animation books (including yours I believe) mention a special from the 1970's called "Daffy Duck and Porky Pig meet the Groovie Ghoulies." It was an experiment by Warner Brothers in loaning their characters to another studio, Filmation I think. I think it wound up as a one-shot special with limited TV release. Everything I have heard (which is very little) about this special has been bad, and it is cited as being a worse teamup than Daffy and Speedy Gonzales ever were. Several questions: Whatever happened to it? What is a "Groovie Ghoulie?!" What is the special about?
I am sure there are many WB cartoon fans out there ask themselves the same three questions. Could your page be so kind as to become the first in history to unmask the mystery?

Here's a "Lost Warner Bros. Cartoon" that should remain lost, forever!
DAFFY DUCK AND PORKY PIG MEET THE GROOVIE GOOLIES (note the spelling of "Goolies") was first telecast on Dec. 18, 1972 as part of the ABC SATURDAY SUPERSTAR MOVIE, a weekly Saturday morning series that featured special one hour episodes and one-shots, by different animation studios. The "Groovie Goolies" had their own show on CBS the previous season, and were introduced on SABRINA AND THE GROOVIE GOOLIES in 1970. They were a rock group of monsters, an erzatz MUNSTERS (Drac, Frankie, Wolfie, Mummy, Hagatha, etc.)

Daffy meets the Goolies!
(Sorry about the poor
quality of these 16mm
frame grabs)

The Looney Tunes characters involved here were Daffy, Porky, Elmer, Yosemite Sam, Tweety, Petunia Pig (voice by Jane Webb), Wile E. Coyote, Foghorn Leghorn, Pepe LePew, and Sylvester. Mel Blanc provides the Warner character voices and he sounds pretty good here, with the exception of an awful baritone Elmer Fudd, and Daffy & Tweety who are sped up way too much, sounding like they are on helium! The Looney Tunes are drawn reasonably well with the exception of Pepe and Wile E. who look particularly terrible.
Needless to say, this Filmation production is an abominable mess, with limited animation and an annoying laugh track (not to mention the bland stock background muzak). I'd be happy to provide a plot synopsis, but keep in mind, the film sounds better than it is:

PLOT SYNOPSIS: The Groovie Goolies are at home watching a TV interview of Petunia Pig interviewing Daffy Duck about his latest movie "King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table". A clip is shown: Foghorn is King Arthur, Sylvester is his loyal jester. Foggy asks Sylvester to take his new son (an egg) for a walk. While walking, Sylvester decides to eat the egg. Tweety tries to stop him, but the egg hatches. Daffy (as Arthur in a baby bonnet) emerges.
At this point, "The Phantom Of The Flickers" (a Karloffian character) interupts the show and promises to distrupt all of Daffy Duck's movies. The Goolies decide to go to Hollywood to help save Daffy's films.
To make a long convoluted story short: The Goolies arrive at "Daffy Duck Studios" where the Toon Squad mistakes the Goolies for stuntmen, then for the Phantom themslves. They chase around the studio, eventually stopping to screen the rest of the "King Arthur" film. In the film within a film, Arthur (Daffy) asks Merlin's (Porky) help in winning the hand of Lady Guinevere (Petunia). Daffy pulls the sword from the stone, infuriating Mordred (Yosemite Sam) who challenges Daffy to a joust.

Daffy tries to
pull Frankie's face off!

The Phantom stops the screening and grabs the film. The Goolies & Looneys chase after him and corner him on a pirate ship set. The Phantom get's away and disguises as a little boy, hiding the film in his guitar. He runs into "Mad Mirror Land" and he and three of the Goolies become live action (!!). This is the best part of the picture, as the Goolies chase the kid using pixilation techniques. They chase into a western town set, then get distracted and begin to play music. Frankie grabs the guitar and his gigantic sneezes force the whole group through the mirror and back into cartoon land.

(Are you still following this?)

The Phantom is revealed to be Claude Chaney, Drac's long lost uncle, a formerly famous actor who wanted revenge for movies going to color (??). Daffy gives Chaney a job, "King Arthur" wins an Ozzie Award, and the Goolies go home. The last scenes has some of the Looney Tunes, led by Sam, following the Goolie gang home to their castle.

AVOID THIS STINKER AT ALL COSTS! It is very sad to see our favorite characters this way. If this plot synopsis spares even one of you from ever seeing this cartoon, then I have done my job.

SIMON asks: Some sources list Clampett's "It's A Grand Old Nag" (1947) as the only cartoon released by Republic, but I've also seen references to a series of travelogue spoofs called "Jerky Journies" that were apparently released in '49 by Republic. Do you know anything about these cartoons? Were they really released? Are they all lost now? Do you know who worked on them?

The JERKY JOURNEYS were indeed released. There were only four. Republic was a low budget studio and I suspect that they were interested in promoting their "TruColor" process. Cartoons were a great way of doing that. Bob Clampett's "Charlie Horse" cartoon (released 12/1/47) cost $20,000. to produce. Republic got four JERKY JOURNEYS for a total of $46,787. This was possible because there is almost no animation in these films!
Producer Leonard Lewis Levinson's Impossible Pictures partnered with Art Heineman to make these gag travelouges which depended on verbal humor and long pan backgrounds. Amid Amidi did an interview with Pete Alvarado in ANIMATION JOURNAL (Vol. 8 #1, Fall 1999 - available from Chapman University) who says he, Paul Julian and Robert Gribbroek moonlighted from Warners painting the backgrounds over Heineman's layouts. Like Avery's Travelouge spoofs, but with hardly any action, one was even done in the style of a narrated slide show. Frank Nelson provided most of the voices. Here's the whole list:





SIMON also asks: A similar question, were Iwerks' "Granpop Monkey" cartoons ever released? Another case of conflicting sources, I've read that they were released through Monogram, but I've also read that they were never even completed. If they were completed, do any prints exist?

Three cartoons starring "Three Monkeys" were released in 1940 by Monogram: A BUSY DAY, THE BEAUTY SHOPPE and BABY CHECKERS. I believe these were produced by Ub Iwerks, sponsored by Boots Chemists in England and picked up by B-studio Monogram for U.S. distribution. These films still exist in private collections. There is a VHS tape available from The Whole Toon Catalog called "British and Australian Cartoons" that contains A BUSY DAY and THE BEAUTY SHOPPE.

MOE HARE asks: I would like to know if any of the "Toby The Pup" cartoons survived in any kind of form? I know that Charles Mintz produced the series and was released by RKO/Radio pictures and wouldn't Turner own the rights to the films today? Do you have any kind of images of Toby? And will any of these cartoons make it to video someday.

Until recently, only a fragment (about half) of TOBY IN THE MUSEUM was the only "Toby" cartoon around. Four prints were discovered in Europe within the last eight years. TOBY IN CIRCUS TIME was preserved by the UCLA FILM ARCHIVE and a great 35mm print exists in their vaults. TOBY THE MILKMAN, DOWN SOUTH and HALLOWEEN all showed up on TV in France (the program CARTOON FACTORY on Arte). The rest are still considered lost. I think they've all fallen into the Public Domain. No one has the original negatives, though I suppose RKO had them in the 1930s and they could still be in some RKO storage somewhere, if anyone cared enough to look. Turner's rights (now Warner Bros.) to RKO films is limited to TV distribution of feature films only. RKO, which still exists, I believe still owns all other rights to their properties. Mike Barrier says in his book, HOLLYWOOD CARTOONS, that Dick Huemer joined the Charles Mintz studio to make the Toby series (in 1930). The following year, Huemer created the Scrappy cartoons for Columbia release (for whom Mintz had already been doing the KRAZY KAT cartoons).

Scenes from HALLOWEEN, courtesy of reader "Duckfilm"

Buzz Dixon asks: Back in the early 60s I saw a "serial" on a local morning kid show in Asheville, N.C. (I say "serial" because they ran other cartoons "serials" that were originally features, such as THE ADVENTURES OF MR. WONDERBIRD and several Russian fairy tale featurettes). The name of the serial was THE SPACE ADVENTURERS or something like that (in the mid-to-late 70s Universal 16 listed a film in their catalog that sounded very close to the cartoon I'd seen; that is the only published reference to it I've ever seen).
The plot involved a young boy stowing away on a spaceship that was taking off to rescue his missing father, who had disappeared on an earlier spaceflight. What made the story quite memorable, however, was that the rockets and spaceflight scenes were live action miniatures, not cartoon animation as the rest of the movie. In fact, the live action footage came from an abandoned Barvarian film called ROCKETSHIP ONE TAKES OFF (or some simimlar variant title). Stills from ROCKETSHIP ONE can be found in several sources and a clip (without cartoon animation interior shots) ran on a Discovery channel special on spaceflight last year. My questions are (a) what is the origin of SPACE ADVENTURERS and (b) is it available on tape or disc anywhere?

space cadets
Well this is quite a mystery, but I do have some of the answers.
The film is actually called THE SPACE EXPLORERS. It was put together in 1957 by a small New York company called Radio & Television Packagers, Inc. run by Fred Ladd (who would bring Japan's ASTRO BOY and GIGANTOR to America in the 1960s - see above). The film takes place in a futuristic "1978" where a young boy, Jimmy, stows away on a spaceship of Professor Nordheim and his female navigator, Smitty. They are en route to Mars, where Jimmy hopes to find his father, the first astronaut to land there, years earlier.
According to ace cartoon researcher Ray Pointer, the plot goes like this: "Jimmy's father was "Commander Perry," and the spaceship that he took to Mars was The Polaris! (You get the picture?) When Jimmy heard that the Polaris was lost, he stowed away in a shipping crate that was loaded onto the rescue ship, The Polaris II, was commanded by the Professor and Smitty, his female assistant.
"When Jimmy is revealed, the journey becomes a "vehicle" to teach astronomy. As it turned out, they stopped at the Moon, and it was there that Jimmy accidentally finds his father who has crash landed there, never landing on Mars. He did manage to bring back a several valuable photographs of the planet taken from outer space."
According to Fred Ladd, he took a half-hour Eastern Europeon animated short film (he couldn't remember the original title), and made a two-hour movie of it by reruning and reusing the footage, and padding it with live action spaceship shots from a German film called Weltraumschiff 1 Startet and outer space and planet shots from a Europeon feature called UNIVERSE.
Because the Sputnik craze was so hot, they rushed the first hour of THE SPACE EXPLORERS to television as soon as it was finished. They then released the second hour, a few months later, as THE NEW ADVENTURES OF THE SPACE EXPLORERS. In the 1960s, Ladd cut the film into 6 minute episodes for syndication!
According to Ray Pointer, "The sequel, THE NEW ADVENTURES OF THE SPACE EXPLORERS reused material from the first with a new twist. The professor tricks Jimmy into going with him on a mission to Mars to retrieve a defective data gathering satellite.
"In this one, aspects of Einstein's Theories are explained along with other interesting scientific information. Thinking back on it, I found that they cleverly integrated film footage with intelligent writing and made an entertaining educational series that keep this five year old excited about the prospects of interplanetary travel.
"There was a similar educational series like this called JOURNEY TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA. It was similar in concept to SPACE EXPLORERS, made up of Eastern European animation cut together with live action footage about undersea life. Again, well done, but I liked SPACE EXPLORERS better. There was also another serialized adventure, JOURNEY TO THE BEGINNING OF TIME, but this was entirely live action cut together with the same narrative technique used in the other two series."
More SPACE EXPLORERS info Click Here.
Anyone have a copy of SPACE EXPLORERES (on tape or film)?

JON COOKE asks: Do any pictures of Buzzy Boop exist (the title character of two of the lost Boop cartoons)? I think it would be interesting to see what she looks like.

Buzzy Boop, Betty's michievous niece, appeared in two cartoons which are considered lost.
Neither was ever in the U.M.&M. TV package (and thus not contained in the Republic "Definitive Betty Boop" VHS and Laser collections), but luckily a dupe 16mm print of the first one BUZZY BOOP survives in some private collections. The dupe has poor sound, but has the original Paramount titles (what else would it have?). Here are some frames so you can see this "lost" cartoon character.

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