Archive for June, 2010

14
Jun
10

Another Fine Cartoon Larry Harmon’s Gotten Us Into

In my last post, I talked about the “Bozo the Clown” cartoon which Larry Harmon brought to TV and which was based on the live action Bozo the Clown.  This particular cartoon was not the only one with which Harmon had an association.

According to the web site patfullerton.com, “Larry Harmon obtained the rights to the Laurel and Hardy team name in 1960.”  The web site goes on to say that Harmon’s “initial idea was to make Laurel and Hardy film cartoons and sell team-related merchandise.”

Patfullerton.com says that “Harmon brought Laurel & Hardy cartoons to the small screen in 1966.” According to Ron Kurer’s Toon Tracker web site, Harmon obtained approval from this venture from “Stan and Eda Laurel and from Hardy’s widow (Hardy passed away in 1957), Lucille, in 1961.”   Kurer goes on to say that “Harmon’s company began animating ‘The Laurel and Hardy Comedy Show’ around the same time that producer David L. Wolper contracted with Hanna-Barbera to produce another series following Laurel’s death.”  Wolper and Harmon had a legal entanglement over the cartoons, which resulted in a settlement wherein, in Kurer’s words,  “Harmon gave permission to use the characters in exchange for distribution rights.”

According to patfullerton.com,  the legendary comedy team’s “animated likenesses appeared in 156 cartoons.   Larry Harmon himself voiced Stan and Jim MacGeorge provided Oliver’s vocals.”  The characters crossed over into the “hour long ‘The New Scooby Doo Movies’, in the episode entitled ‘The Ghost of Bigfoot.'”

I have attached the Laurel and Hardy cartoon, “Tale of a Sale”, from YouTube.

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13
Jun
10

More Animated Clowning Around

In my last post, I talked about how the Fleischer brothers used the rotoscoping technique in the production of the “Out of the Inkwell” cartoons featuring Koko the Clown.  This post talks about another cartoon clown–one based on a human TV clown.

Bozo the Clown was the host of “The Bozo Show” on WGN in Chicago for many years.  There were also various regional Bozos.  Bear with me for a bit and I promise to get to how this applies to animation.

According to Don Markstein’s Toonopedia web site, “Bozo the Clown didn’t start out as a cartoon character. ”  Rather, according to Markstein, “He began in a series of book and record sets, designed so kids could listen to a story and read it at the same time.”  The first of these, Markstein continues, was ‘Bozo at the Circus’, issued in 1946 by Capitol Records.”  The first actor to voice Bozo and portray him in promotional performances “was Pinto Colvig, who also portrayed Disney’s Goofy.”

Toonepedia points out that, in 1956, “Larry Harmon (one of several actors who portrayed Bozo in one venue or another), along with several partners, bought most rights to the character.”

According to the TV Acres web site, Harmon, “in 1959, produced a series called, ‘Bozo the Clown’ (The World’s Most Famous Clown).”  TV Acres says that the Bozo cartoon “featured Harmon voicing both Bozo and his circus sidekick, Butchy Boy.”  Toonepedia says that “there were 20 five-minute shorts made in 1958 by Jayark Films.”  Beyond the original twenty shorts, Jayark created 136 more from 1959-1962.

I usually like to attach one or more YouTube clips to each of my posts, with the posts relating to the topic I am discussing.  However, I was, unfortunately, unable to find any clips from the “Bozo the Clown” cartoon.  If you don’t remember it, you’ll just have to take my word for it that the cartoon existed.  Trust me.