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Saturday, October 27, 2012


Before there was Bugs Bunny or even Disney, there was Terrytoons.


Terrytoons was a cartoon studio that made cartoons between 1916 and 1968, originally for movie theatres, later becoming the first "straight to video" company, making it's cartoons available for home film projectors in the '30s.

Terrytoons were the "cheap" cartoon studio of the '20s to '60s. Whereas Warner Brothers and Disney became famous for Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse respectively, Universal for Woody Woodpecker and Paramount for Popeye, there were few stars on Terrytoons. Most notably Mighty Mouse and Heckle & Jeckle, both didn't come out until the '40s.

And cheap Terrytoons was. Whereas most cartoons had sound by 1928, Terrytoons were still silent until 1930 and in black and white until 1942. They were syndicated to TV from the '50s to the '80s and I remember watching many Terrytoons cartoons when I was a kid. Even as a little kid, Terrytoons were pretty sucky and lame compared to the Bugs Bunny cartoons I loved.

Here's one example of how Terrytoons were in their early days. In 1930 they made this atrocity "Chop Suey", probably one of their first sound cartoons - this is a French copy in English with German sub-titles (they were STILL showing THIS on TV in the '70s!):

(Note the scene at 00:50 where the two rats approach the Chinese laundry to pick up some OPIUM to smoke from the cat inside. They get wasted, drop their pipes and then drift away on the clouds of smoke.....)

Cartoons were as racist then as America was in those days. But who ever knew they blatantly promoted drug use!

Another Terrytoon feature (and the reason WHY I hated them - Mighty Mouse.)


Speaking of Terrytoons and drugs.....:

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