The Puppetoon Movie
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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
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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!
You have to order it direct from B2MP dot net (do a google search, amazon deletes the webpage here)
The Puppetoon Movie Blu-ray
Limited Edition 2-Disc Set
The Puppetoon Movie is a 1987 animated film written, produced, and directed by Arnold Leibovit. Some of the Puppetoons included in the film are Tubby the Tuba, Tulips Shall Grow, John Henry and the Inky Poo, all created by George Pal in the 1930s and 1940s, and framed by a story featuring Gumby, Pokey, and Arnie the Dinosaur.
Not Available at retail. Limited to 3000 copies.
* Bonus Puppetoons (High Definition):
- And To Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street
- 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins
- The Sky Princess
- Rhapsody in Wood
- Date with Duke
- Jasper and the Beanstalk
- Rhythm in the Ranks
* The Great Rupert (High Definition) B/W:
starring Jimmy Durante, Terry Moore, and the Puppetoons
* Previously unreleased interview footage (Standard Definition):
- Ray Harryhausen
- Ray Bradbury
- Gene Roddenberry
- Roy Disney
- Wah Chang
- Duke Goldstone
- Russ Tamblyn
* Bonus Puppetoons (Standard Definition):
- What Ho She Bumps
- Mr. Strauss Takes A Walk
- Olio for Jasper
- Philips Cavalcade
- Jasper's Derby
- Hoola Boola
- Ether Symphony
- Aladdin and the Magic Lamp
- The Magic Atlas
- Jasper and the Haunted House
- The Philips Broadcast of 1938
- The Ship of the Ether
* The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal (Standard Definition):
Arnold Leibovit's inspired tribute to George Pal
* Audio commentary by Arnold Leibovit and Jerry Beck
* And more...
Full-color and B/W * 79 Minutes on 2 Discs * 1947 * Not Rated