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The Puppetoon Movie (1987)

Paul Frees , Victor Jory , Arnold Leibovit  |  G |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Frees, Victor Jory
  • Directors: Arnold Leibovit
  • Format: Animated, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 21, 2000
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004Z4VL
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,726 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Puppetoon Movie" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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, Jasper 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!

Before Wallace and Gromit, before Gumby and Pokey, Hungarian-born animator and director George Pal (1908-1980) created the stop-motion shorts he dubbed "Puppetoons." Arnold Leibovit has assembled an affectionate tribute to Pal that includes animation from 11 "Puppetoons." Twelve other films are included on the DVD version, although there's some overlap. Pal used his charming little figures in miniature Busby Berkeley numbers and simple boy-meets-girl stories. But he could tackle more serious subjects, as he proved in "Tulips Shall Grow" (1943). He caricatured the Nazi wehrmacht as the goose-stepping, robotic Screwball Army, attacking Holland (where the artist had made his first films before coming to America). His most endearing short is probably "Tubby the Tuba" (1947), the story of an eager little horn who wants his song to be heard. In 1947, Ebony praised Pal's "John Henry and the Inky Poo" (1946) as "that rarest of Hollywood products that has no Negro stereotypes, but rather treats the Negro with dignity, imagination, poetry, and love." But the magazine criticized his series about Jasper, a little African American boy. These films have aged less gracefully, and modern viewers may find jokes about watermelon, haunted houses, and other standards of ethnic humor objectionable. Not rated: suitable for ages 8 and up. Parents may want to monitor the use of ethnic stereotypes. --Charles Solomon

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two Movies for the Price of One! January 20, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "CLASSIC GEORGE PAL WARTIME ERA ANIMATION" June 9, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
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!!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Nostalgia & Extra Films October 20, 2003
By A Customer
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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely wonderful. August 29, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
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.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cute, but.... May 23, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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 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!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great material well presented. A delight!
Published 1 month ago by Adam
4.0 out of 5 stars The perfect combination of Stop-Motion and Nightmare Fuel!
I remember this as a child and being very creeped out by it but at the same time I couldn't take my eyes off of it. Definitely nostalgic! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Cynthia Peach
1.0 out of 5 stars BORING, If you're expecting Gumby forget it, only a small appearance
I did not enjoy this what so ever, from the cover I was expecting Gumby & Pokey and animation as such but that is NOT what you'll get in this compilation of so called toons. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Schroeder (Cult Movies Magazine)
5.0 out of 5 stars 2013 Limited Edition Blu-ray is the best!
There is a Limited Edition (3,000 copies) Restored Blu-ray of The Puppetoon Movie which includes additional George Pal Puppetoons. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Paul J. Mular
5.0 out of 5 stars Watermelon???
When I read the description of this DVD, it said something strange. I had no idea that "haunted houses" were a standard of ethnic humor. Oh wait, I get it... Spooks! Read more
Published on October 7, 2012 by Shopaholic1969
4.0 out of 5 stars PUPPETOONS!
Do you remember Gumby & Pokey & all of George Pal's creations? These are wonderful memories & fun for some of our grandkids who never saw the originals! Read more
Published on September 23, 2012 by Sandra
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, but enough with the advertisments Pal!
(1) For those who appreciate stop frame animation this IS something to own. However, I wish the DVD company would have restored some of the puppetoon shorts. Read more
Published on March 6, 2011 by Pumpkin Toss
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it!!!
i LOVE these cartoons! i cherish my childhood memories and i remember watching this type of cartoon with my sister when we were little - SO many years ago! Read more
Published on July 29, 2010 by P. Lee
4.0 out of 5 stars Childhood Memories
I'm only 20 years old but when I grew up, I watched the short of Tubby the Tuba over and over. It wasn't until recently me and my younger siblings remembered it and were... Read more
Published on December 14, 2009 by A. Gilchrist
4.0 out of 5 stars "What's dat,fumigatin' de Atmosphere?"-Treasures from George...
Indeed,what IS that fumigating the atmosphere,as the scarecrow wondered aloud in "Jaspar and the Haunted House"? Well it is pioneer animator/puppeteer George Pal. Read more
Published on October 12, 2009 by Robert Badgley
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