Sunday, January 21, 2007

I Found Old Cartoons To Buy! The Farmer Alfalfa Show! Jim Tyre! Carlo Vinci! B and W Eros!

Holy crap! I found a great site where you can get tons of old cartoons that they don't run on TV anymore!


It's almost impossible to find B&W cartoons anywhere. They don't run them on TV because the execs tell me that kids don't like B&W. I know this to be a lie, because I have little cousins and whenever I visit them I bring armloads of old cartoons-Betty Boop, Popeye, Terrytoons and stuff, and the kids sit in front of the TV in awe! They laugh, rock back and forth cluthing their little toes and then after the cartoons are finished they act them all out then watch them all again! And again and again!

There was a kind of humor in the old cartoons that you can't find in modern cartoons and even in the great 1940s color cartoons.

Terrytoons from the 1930s have these lost styles of animation that later disappeared as animation techniques became more standardized and influenced by Disney.

Carlo Vinci was way ahead of his time. In the late 20s he had already figured out squash and stretch, he could animate dancing, he animated really sensual little furries. Each animator was figuring out how animation works in his own way. There were no rules and the gags are cartoony and crazy.

Farmer Alfalfa cartoons are completely wacky and unpredictable and a lot of pure cartoony fun.

50s TV Cartoons Had Cool Packaging!
Hey, in the 50s TV was a lot smarter than today. They had a great idea for showing old cartoons.
I remember when I was a consultant for the Cartoon Network, a few years ago, they used to have these 3 hour blocks where they would throw together unrelated old cartoons from different eras and studios and give the block a retarded name like "Down Wit' Droopy D". This was a dead giveaway that these were "old" or "used" cartoons. Kids would know this and the feel cheated, because kids think that new means better.

In the 50s, they would take old cartoons and make half hour shows out of them. They would animate a new fun title sequence and write a rousing theme song-like the Bugs Bunny Show's "This Is It". Then in between the classic cartoons, they would get real animators to animate "bumper" scenes of the characters talking to the audience which made the kids think the characters were real. It made the cartoons feel special and new. This was the inspiration for the bumpers in the Ren and Stimpy Show.

The studios that now own all these old cartoons tore off all these great title sequences and threw out the bumpers, so most of these shows are lost.


Here is a great discovery. The Farmer Alfalfa Show from the 1950s.

The shows are intact as actually aired on TV 50 years ago! With:

Rare classic Terrytoons-even black and white ones!

New Titles animated in the 1950s by Carlo Vinci and the old Terrytoons animators- but -here's the really cool part- animated in the 1930s style!'s like they had to remember how they animated 25 years earlier-so it has a bit of 50s UPA influenced style (what they were doing at the time), mixed with the typical Terrytoons style - mixed with the rubber hose style! It's a really funny combination!

Jim Tyer Bumpers!
Between the cartoons are these weird non sequitor bumpers animated by the craziest animator of all time!

The Original Commercials!
As in all old TV shows the programs were directly sponsored, and the characters from the cartoons in Farmer Alfafa do these long elaborate commercials for Tootsie Rolls. Animated by the real Terrytoons animators! So cool
I just ordered a whole bunch of the Farmer Alfalfa Show
Now I'm gonna dig through the rest of the cartoons at World's Best Comics and dig for more animated treasure...


Mcnuggetinator said...

Jackpot! That site even has Heckle and Jeckle, MightyMouse (Both the classics and Ralph Bakshi's) and your version of Beany and Cecil! But arent these DVDs, like pirated copies or sometihng? They dont look official.

Anonymous said...

I noticed you put up a screen shot from "Busted Blossom." Those titles kill me!

Oh boy!

Anonymous said...

I found this great site where you can download a lot of 30's and 40's cartoons for free in high quality.

It beats watching them on youtube.

Another great piece of information.
I would love to buy a bunch of them
but shipping them to Belgium (where I live)isn't cheap!!

Charlie J. said...

thats so true about kids!
My 5 year old cousin watches all the crappy modern kids shows like batman and yugioh, but I noticed he gets bored about ten minutes into each episode and wanders away. So I showed him "Goofy Goat", and he couldn't believe it! He was literally jumping up and down on the sofa and spitting all over the place making cartoon noises!

Kris said...

Looks like there IS a bunch of cool stuff hidden in the junk (why would anyone want a DVD of Grape Ape?).

The DVDs with no real "cover image" are almost certainly unofficial and pirated, which makes me a little suspicious of the quality. But really, when the studios that own the rights to these cartoons refuse to release them, I don't feel bad getting them through whatever other means.

irishlass said...

what a great site you have!

Anonymous said...

I've been looking to find a box set of yours and Bakshi's version of Mighty Mouse
Why is it 60$?

Anonymous said...

I'll have to check out that site - thanks. At the itunes store there's a bunch of old cartoons to download for free. Search for vintage tooncast in the podcast section. Lots of politicaly incorrect stuff.

Anonymous said...

Awesome! Thanks!! =)

pat said...

great find. and... also... i really wish they still played b&w cartoons on cartoon network. i'd even forgive a "down wit droopy D" rap title sequence. i used to stay up on school nights to watch those cartoons (i think they came on at like midnight, or 11 or something).

Anonymous said...

Are these on DVD or VHS?
I love old cartoons.

Julián höek said...

hey Zwoltopia thanks for that cool link with classical toons to download!

Anonymous said...


I went to that and watched Betty Boop And The Little King and I saw something I do not think I have ever seen before.
there are certain things that actually looks like they are 3D, specifically when the king walks down the street, or when the opera singer walks on stage. it is like you can see things change behind Background objects, like street lights.
it is like everything has true depth, not just animated depth.
can you watch it and maybe explain to me how they did this, it really blew my mind!!!
the link is

Dan Spilatro

Hryma said...

Thanks for posting these John, finding gems like this is awesome.
I have a few dvd's I picked up for a couple of bucks each and amongst them are some b&w Popeye!

Anonymous said...

John, are these the same DVDs tha Jerry Beck is selling?

Anonymous said...

>>certain things that actually looks like they are 3D<<

It's a technique called "Stereoptics" created by Max Fleischer to add more depth to animation. He would create 3D sets, and crafted a wooden frame that the cels would be held up against in front of the 3D background.

The most impressive use of this, in my opinion is in the Betty Boop short "Grampy's Indoor Outing"
(The use is at the very end of the short

Anonymous said...

My mistake! I meant "In My Lady's Garden"- also just as funny!

C. A. M. Thompson said...

I wish there was a show where you hosted awesome old cartoons on Turner Classic Movies or Cartoon Network or something.

Matthew Hunter said...

Maybe it worked so well back in the 50's because most people still had black and white even color cartoons were shown in black and white then. Even so, it's a shame nobody shows black and white cartoons on TV anymore. In not doing so they're depriving us of some great cartoons...Felix, Betty, Popeye, Bosko. Someone from Cartoon Network once told me they considered black and white "ratings poison", and back then they only showed those cartoons at 2AM on weekends. Now they don't show them at all. They don't even show COLOR classics anymore. "My Gym Partner is a Monkey"? Do people actually watch that?

Anonymous said...

still going?

Anonymous said...

cool, thanks

does anyone use that technique anymore?

Anonymous said...

Can you post the other essential titles(when you get a chance to peruse their entire inventory)that the aspiring cartoonist should get? I don't want to end up buying something that isn't going to advance or will slow down my learning.

-David O.

Hammerson said...

B&W Terrytoons are really strange and fascinating cartoons. I wrote about them several months ago at Classic Cartoons blog. Take a look:

Early Terrytoons - introduction

Bully Beef (1930)

Golf Nuts (1930)

(I hope the links will come out correctly)
Can you please post some examples of Carlo Vinci's earliest animation? I didn't know that he was already at Terrytoons during the early 30s. And these bumpers from the 50s TV show must be quite amazing, especially if they were done by Jim Tyer imitating the 30s style of animation.

Anonymous said...

>>does anyone use that technique anymore?<<

The only people who ever used it were really Fleischer and a few other German animators, a specific short I have in mind is "The Snowman" (I don't remember who made it, or how to spell the german title)

Me and a buddy of mine have been trying to experiment with some similar techniques.

PS, it too blew my mind the first time I saw it

Lulu said...

I used to record stuff from that show "late night black & white"- I also remember being a kid and watching ren & stimpy and my dad being all like "those new cartoons aren't as good as looney tunes" but I watched both just as much. (now the new ones DO suck)

Anonymous said...

I lucked into some Black and White cartoons from the Japanese version of Cartoon Network. It's mostly silent-era Terry stuff.

HERE'S a link to my blog entry, FWIW.

Some scenes in "The Spndthrift" looks like it has Jim Tyer's touch.

wayne moises said...

I watch all the old terrytoons since I was six years old st that time in the Philippines every episode I watched several times on abs-cbn channel 9 during the 1960's-70's then I watch on youtube on iPod and interactive computer to watch the classic cartoons from yesteryears became a collectors item like consignment items
Like VHS beta and DVD videos will remain an entertainment package for all ages.thanks for the information about the history of cartoons and send e-mail in your comments in your opinion.from Wayne