The Walter Lantz Cartune Encyclopedia: 1940


NOTE: In early 1940, Universal decided to cut their weekly advance to the now-independent Lantz studio. This left Lantz scrambling for alternative sources for funds and ultimately forced his studio to shut its doors for a brief period. The fourth Andy Panda short, Crazy House was completed during this short close and is recognized as Lantz's first fully-independent cartoon. He later managed to secure a seven-year contract with Universal and reopened shop again. This would last until 1947, when he would seek United Artists for distribution of his films. The studio's closure during this year explains why only eight shorts were released.


Andy Panda Goes Fishing

Andy Panda Goes Fishing

Release Date: 1/22/40
Direction: Burt Gillett
Story: Victor McLeod and Gil Burton
Animation: Ray Fahringer and Fred Kopietz
Music: Frank Marsales

Notes:
  • Production Number: 983
  • An Andy Panda cartoon
  • Includes reused animation from Life Begins for Andy Panda (1939)
  • Michael Fitzgerald incorrectly lists this cartoon as a December 1939 release.
  • The opening credits feature an unusual theme song. The vocal version was used only once for this cartoon while instrumental versions would play over the opening titles of 100 Pygmies and Andy Panda (released in April) and Crazy House (released in September).
  • Andy refers to the turtle (who talks like Jack Benny's valet, Eddie Rochester) as "Mr. Whippletree." Model sheets refer to him simply as "Rochester Turtle" while Nat Falk's 1941 book How To Make Animated Cartoons features an illustration of the character labeled "Winchester Turtle." The 1940 children's book adaptation of 1939's Life Begins for Andy Panda by Paul T. Gilbert also refers to the character as "Winchester Turtle."
    Video availability:
  • Woody Woodpecker and Friends, Vol. 6 (DVD; Columbia House)

  • Screen Shots (click to enlarge):





    Kittens' Mittens

    Kittens' Mittens

    Release Date: 2/12/40
    Direction: Alex Lovy
    Story: Victor McLeod
    Animation: George Dane and LaVerne Harding
    Music: Frank Marsales

    Notes:
  • Production Number: 985
  • A Cartune short
  • Last onscreen credit for Victor McLeod
  • Some sources incorrectly list this cartoon as Kitten Mitten
    Video availability:
  • Woody Woodpecker and Friends, Vol. 7 (Edited; DVD; Columbia House)

  • Screen Shots (click to enlarge):





    Adventures of Tom Thumb Jr.

    Adventures of Tom Thumb Jr.

    Release Date: 3/4/40
    Direction: Burt Gillett
    Music Frank Marsales

    Notes:
  • Production Number: 987
  • A Cartune short
  • Last onscreen credit for Burt Gillett at Lantz
    Video availability:
  • Woody Woodpecker and Friends, Vol. 5 (DVD; Columbia House)

  • Screen Shots (click to enlarge):





    100 Pygmies and Andy Panda

    100 Pygmies and Andy Panda

    Release Date: 4/22/40
    Direction: Alex Lovy
    Music: Frank Marsales

    Notes:
  • Production Number: 986
  • An Andy Panda cartoon
  • The final appearance of Mr. Whippletree
  • Includes reused animation from Life Begins for Andy Panda (1939)
    Video availability:
  • Woody Woodpecker and Friends Classic Cartoon Collection, Vol. 2 (DVD; Universal/MCA)
  • Woody Woodpecker and Friends, Vol. 7 (DVD; Columbia House)

  • Screen Shots (click to enlarge):





    Crazy House

    Crazy House

    Release Date: 9/23/40
    Direction: Walter Lantz (uncreited)
    Music: Frank Marsales (uncredited)

    Notes:
  • Production Number: 990
  • An Andy Panda cartoon
  • Reissued for television as Fun House
  • Michael Barrier speculates that the director of this short is actually Alex Lovy.
  • Incorrectly listed as Andy Panda's Crazy House in Michael Fitzgerald's Universal Pictures
    Video availability:
  • Woody Woodpecker and Friends, Vol. 9 (Edited, retitled TV print; DVD; Columbia House)

  • Screen Shots (click to enlarge):





    Recruiting Daze

    Recruiting Daze

    Release Date: 10/28/40
    Direction: Walter Lantz
    Artists: Alex Lovy and Lester Kline
    Story: Ben Hardaway and Lowell Elliot
    Music: Frank Marsales
    Narration: George Fischer

    Notes:
  • Production Number: 991
  • A Cartune short featuring Punchy
  • Working title: Be Prepared
  • First onscreen credits for Ben Hardaway and Lowell Elliot at Lantz
  • Leonard Maltin claims that the director of this cartoon is actually Alex Lovy

  • Screen Shots (click to enlarge):





    Knock Knock

    Knock Knock

    Release Date: 11/25/40
    Direction: Walter Lantz
    Artists: Alex Lovy and Frank Tipper
    Story: Ben Hardaway and Lowell Elliot
    Music: Frank Marsales

    Notes:
  • Production Number: 992
  • An Andy Panda cartoon
  • The first appearance of Woody Woodpecker
  • The final musical score by Frank Marsales at Lantz.
  • Historian Michael Barrier speculates that this short was actually directed by Alex Lovy, not Walter Lantz.
    Video availability:
  • Woody Woodpecker Favorites (DVD; Universal/MCA)
  • Woody Woodpecker and Friends Classic Cartoon Collection, Vol. 1 (DVD; Universal/MCA)
  • Woody Woodpecker and Friends, Vol. 1 (Edited; DVD; Columbia House)
  • Comedy Legends: Abbott and Costello: One Night in the Tropics (VHS; Universal/MCA)
  • Woody Woodpecker and His Friends, Vol. 1 (VHS; Universal/MCA)
  • Woody Woodpecker and His Friends, Vol. 1 (Laserdisc; Universal/MCA)

  • Screen Shots (click to enlarge):





    Syncopated Sioux

    Syncopated Sioux

    Release Date: 12/30/40
    Direction: Walter Lantz
    Artists: Alex Lovy and Ray Fahringer
    Story: Ben Hardaway and Lowell Elliot

    Notes:
  • Production Number: 993
  • A Cartune short featuring Punchy
  • No credit is given to the musical director of this cartoon. One would tend to think that Frank Marsales would have done it, but it is also possible (and very likely) that Darrell Calker could have as well. Calker would take over Marsales' place starting in 1941.
    Video availability:
  • Woody Woodpecker and Friends, Vol. 8 (Edited TV print; DVD; Columbia House)

  • Screen Shots (click to enlarge):




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