Thursday, March 11, 2010

One More Home Made Cartoon Compilation

Some would say that tinkering around with silent-era "Out of The Inkwell" cartoons is a superfluous exercise in "re-inventing the wheel." But, in the interest of learning more about my Pinnacle Studio 12 video software and my own cartoon nerdiness, I went and did it any way

So, "Neener, neener, neener," says I.

In 2007 and 2008, Warner Home Video released a baker's dozen of these "Out of The Inkwell" cartoons as bonus features on their POPEYE THE SAILOR box sets. Unfortunately, the versions of these shorts they offered up were absolutely mute. So I made it my mission to add music and sound effects to enhance my own viewing experience.

The earliest cartoons, from 1919/1920, had dark, blurry "Bray Studios" title cards. I replaced them with my own versions and added vintage music tracks from old 78s.

The next group of cartoons, from 1921 - 1924, received new music beds from the 78 rpm archive as well as laboriously synched-up sound effects. The Pinnacle Studio 12 has a rather limited palette of sfx, but through the use of judicious sound-editing I managed to mix it up a bit. "Trip To Mars" turned out especially well, I felt.

The last three cartoons in the set received "Stuart Productions" music montages. Missing main title cards were also created and inserted.

Two "bonus" cartoons were added:

1. "Finding His Voice" was an early sound cartoon that the Fleischers produced in association with the Western Electric company. It explains how the sound-on-film process works. I've had a 16mm print of this for decades and it always bothered me that the sound track falls out of synch about two minutes into the film. I was able to bring the whole picture back into synchronization and it is amazing how well-timed this thing actually is! Mind you, the animators had not yet perfected how to animate dialog, but they were obviously giving it their best shot.

2. In the cartoon "Koko Back Tracks" time is made to run backwards and hilarity ensues. I took this cartoon, reversed it and created "Koko Back Tracks (Backwards)" which has to be about the most useless bonus feature ever. But, hey, "Dat's how I roll!"

Have I finally sated my unwholesome desire to tweak old cartoons via my computer's video editor? Is the animated monkey finally off my back? Don't I have anything better to do?

I wish I knew.


KL from NYC said...

If you need 1950s-1960s stock music, check and search for Stock or Library Music. She has good vintage stuff from Capitol and other stock houses.
BTW, At your other blog, I think you've already closed out the comments (for good reason) everytime I leave music links for you. I hope you got them eventually.
(BTW2--I've finally finished that on-line course. My certificate's on the way.)

Richard Holland CFRE said...

Hi Craig

I'm looking for some of your great cover art, especially for the "Hit Records That Were Never..." comp. Can you drop me a line at