Enter a world of animated movie magic from eight time Academy Award winner George Pal. Hosted by Gumby, Pokey, and new pal "Arnie the Dinosaur," "The Puppetoon Movie" features classic characters like "Tubby the Tuba," "Jas... more »per in a Jam," and "Speedy Alka-Seltzer." With hip jazz tunes from Charlie Barnet and Louis Armstrong, and as many as 5,000 individually carved puppets per short, "The Puppetoon Movie" will astound and delight children and film buffs of all ages!« less
"What you are getting on this DVD is actually TWO MOVIES FOR THE PRICE OF ONE!
First, you get `The Puppetoon Movie' which was a theatrical release in 1987. It was a labor of love written and directed by Arnold Leibovit and was born out of the highest regard for George Pal's marvelous Puppetoons from the 30's and 40's. It opens however with a somewhat inept Gumby skit wherein Pokey and Arnie the T-Rex proceed to initiate Gumby into the world of George Pal by sitting him down and showing him some Puppetoons. I advise you to skip this chapter and launch right into the second through the tenth chapters which are nine Puppetoons conveniently divided by chapters:*1. The Little Broadcast (1943) and The Big Broadcast of '38 (1937)
*2. Hoola Boola (1938?) and South Sea Sweethearts (1938) for Horlick's
3. Sleeping Beauty (1935) for Phillips
4. Tulips Shall Grow (1942)
5. Together In The Weather (1946)
6. John Henry and the Inky Poo (1946)
7. Phillips Cavalcade (1934-9?) for Phillips Radio
8. Jasper in a Jam (194?)
9. Tubby the Tuba (1947) The last Puppetoon short made.*Puppetoons 1 and 2 (unfortunately) each consist of two Puppetoons edited and spliced together! -why? The other ones have their logos and credits removed in an attempt to create a cavalcadesque Puppetoons show, somewhat disappointingly shorn in effect.
All of the Puppetoons were made before television was invented, when the movie theater was the true pinnacle of the dream vision manifest experience, although there were radios in practically every home. George Pal financed several of his Puppetoons by funding from clients who were basically paying to have their products' recognition foisted on an unsuspecting movie-going public. These advertisements were shown before feature films, and they were nonetheless successful because they used a soft sell approach with the product not appearing until late in the film, and even then it was almost a parody of itself.
Phillips Radio Manufactures was one of the first companies to utilize Pal's films for advertising. Radio was the "TV" of the time. Different kinds of music from around the world provided a perfect backdrop for Pal's animation, which works wonderfully when set to music. Horlick's Malted Milk was another one of Pal's many advertising clients. The product was a "tonic" which would make the drinker "energetic" almost like Popeye and his spinach.
'The Bonus Puppetoons' is the second movie and alone is worth the price of the disk! It is probably more of what you may actually be looking for. It is twelve uncut Puppetoons complete with titles and logos. Three of these Puppetoons (4, 6, and 11) are complete versions of ones cropped in 'The Puppetoon Movie' and all twelve are crisper and clearer too. Definitely satisfying.
1. What Ho, She Bumps (1937) for Horlick's
2. Bravo, Mr. Strauss (1943)
3. Olio for Jasper (1946)
4. Phillips Cavalcade (1934-9?) for Phillips Radio
5. Jasper's Derby (1946)
6. Hoola Boola (1938?)
7. Ether Symphony (1936)
8. Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp (1936)
9. The Magic Atlas (1935) for Phillips
10. Jasper and the Haunted House (1942)
11. The Big Broadcast of '38 (1937) for Phillips
12. Ether Ship (1934) for Phillips, (made with beautiful glass models!)Plus: A very interesting and long interview with Puppetoon Studios animator, Bob Baker!"
Awesome Nostalgia & Extra Films
Michael Osborn | 10/20/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this DVD when Amazon sold it for 35 bucks, but this price is a steal! This is a great collection of stop-motion cartoon shorts from the 30's and 40's. The quality of these films are amazing considering how old they are. Plus, the music is swingin'! Buy it. Highly recommended."
"CLASSIC GEORGE PAL WARTIME ERA ANIMATION"
Michele D. Williams | 06/10/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When you stop to consider that all of this animation was created without the use of modern animation luxuries such as computers, the imagery will boggle your mind! This film is a treat and a collectable for any lover of fine and unique animation, whether it be claymation, pen and ink, puppetry or any other....feast your eyes and ears on some wonderful animation and fantastic music from the 30's and 40's!!!"
Birthe Jrgensen | Odense, Denmark | 08/29/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a big fan of stop motion animation, and anything that bears the name George Pal, for that matter. This is a great collection of small puppet films, many of them advertising for "Phillips", it seems. However, I do miss one particular of these rare "Phillips" films. -It involves a laughing man going to a fairground attraction, trying everything; shooting, hitting, rollercoaster, etc, finally ending up in his armchair watching TV. It's a marvellous piece of work, with probably more puppets moving than in any of the others. Perhaps collector of this production Arnold Leibovit can clue me in, why it wasn't included. Stop motion is truly high art, and much more atmospheric than cartoons. It deserves more attention and respect, than I feel it gets. It can be a million times more scary and eerie than any form of hand-drawn animation, in my opinion. -Could this be the reason movies and television prefers the "safer" cartoons ?. We're drowning in cartoons !. The world needs a puppet channel !. Thank God for people like Pal, Zeman, Trnka, Quay, Svankmajer, Park, Starewitz, etc, etc."
Photoscribe | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA | 05/23/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"It could have been more satisfying! There, of course, is the requisite "Tubby the Tuba", but just ONE piece featuring the Screwball Army! There were NUMEROUS Pal Puppetoon productions featuring these comical takes on fascism! Where's the Dr. Seuss "Mulberry Street" short? The short with the clarinet playing woodchopper? The other "Punchy & Judys"? (I wonder if the creators of "Little Lulu" ever commented on those!) And why so many from the thirties?? Most of Pal's best output of these little gems was in the forties and fifties....
Pal's Puppetoon work had a singular artistry to it. The figures moved unlike most other stop-action animated units, most of which generally just try to put across the tableau as plainly as possible. Pal's creations REACTED like cartoon characters...wild takes, feature distortion, ambient movement...all very idiosyncratic. The only other animation to be that generous with detailed movement were the Warner's Looney Tunes/Merry Melodies made between 1940 and 1955.
Most of them were funny, charming and quirky and embraced the art deco aesthetic like nothing else I've ever seen in animated art. What Pal's people could wring out of simple geometric shapes was amazing, and you'll notice, that's about all that they used...no weird freehand polygons are visible in the animation work...just spheroids, cones, rods and other distinct geometric solids. The only exception to this seems to be the "Punchy & Judy" bits.
His animation team must have suffered from gawrsh-awful cases of carpal tunnel syndrome and writer's cramp, because this was all incrementally implemented BY HAND to give the illusion of fluid movement. They just don't make them like that anymore...and this DVD should have featured fewer of the movie house adverts for Philips radios and Horlock's malteds and more of our old afternoon cartoon show favorites!"