Sunday, 5 September 2010

Rare Walter Lantz Cartoon

I came across with cartoon short Boy Meets Dog which was produced by Walter Lantz in 1938 and it was actually sponsored by some toothpaste commercial and I remembered it when I re-watched it again, and its very rare and not many Lantz fans have probably heard of it or not - but one of the reasons why I know this cartoon well because I remember when my Dad used to live in Hong Kong about 30 years ago and VHS tapes were new at the time and I remember my Dad purchased three Tom & Jerry tapes (although unfortunately only two of those tapes still work today) and he brought two VHS tapes with Looney Tunes and we only have one in the house, and the one we still have contained the early Bugs Bunny cartoon shorts and Merrie Melodies stuff from roughly 1941 and 1942, but they actually showed one Walter Lantz cartoon and it was this one, and that one was Boy Meets Dog!
I do like this cartoon short and its got a funny story although the short is quite weird - its about a boy named Bobby who has a strict father who wouldn't allow him to have sundaes or go fishing and while walking home from school depressed he comes across a homeless dog and takes it home; his father finds out and sends Bobby to his room with no supper (that's what parents did in those days) and when he enters his room Bobby's bedroom appears to have gnomes as a wallpaper and one of the gnomes come to life and take his father on a cheesy trial and proclaim him as guilty for being too hard on his father. After being it was only a hallucination, Bobby's father learns that he's been hard on his son and starts taking him to sundaes and fishing.
Yeah, its not one of the greatest stories you know and the trial thing does sound ridiculous, but I quite like its music in it and the animation is okay I can't complain about it - but what can me a complaint is that the graphics and the background paintings are too bright and they don't quite match! Wasn't this cartoon colorised or something.
Yes, the cartoon short was distributed by Castle Films - and the story was based on the Comic Strips by Gene Byrnes on his series Reg'lar Fellers, and the only known voice actor in this short is the famous Billy Bletcher who voices the father and when you listen to the voice - you can tell it was Bletcher, the rest of the cast like the gnomes or Bobby and whoever voiced them is unknown - probably too shy because they don't want to be recognised or maybe that the cartoon is so rare the voices have been a mystery! I'd be very interested on who voiced Bobby the boy. Don't those gnomes and trial gnomes look like one of the Seven Dwarfs in Snow White?

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