When Franklin D. Roosevelt became president during the midst of the Great Depression, one of his most ambitious programs to combat the widespread poverty and unemployment of the day was the Works Progress Administration. This program was designed to upgrade and reinforce the national infrastructure, with a primary focus on construction projects involving roads, government buildings and bridges.
I’ve been a huge fan of Tex Avery since I was a small child. I spent most of my childhood cutting my teeth on animation from masters like Bob McKimson, Chuck Jones, Tex Avery, and the Fleischer Brothers, and Avery always had his own unusual style. For years he worked at Warner producing the Looney Tunes shorts, and produced some of his best work at MGM Studios. Avery’s work is bizarre, innovative, and so absolutely funny that they still manage to produce laughter just as much as the classic Looney Tunes.
This year, Warner released two whole (long overdue) volumes of uncut, unedited Tex Avery shorts on Blu-Ray for animation fans and collectors alike. In celebration of that release, I thought I’d list five of my all time favorite Tex Avery shorts, most of which were produced with MGM Studios.
Are there any shorts from Tex Avery that you love that I didn’t list? Let us know in the comments!
BOOTLEG FILES 765: “Tin Pan Alley Cats” (1943 Warner Bros. animated short).
LAST SEEN: On DailyMotion.com.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Withheld from release due to politically incorrect humor.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.
In today’s woke environment, the possibility of giving a second chance to the long-banned racially insensitive Warner Bros. cartoons collectively known as the “Censored Eleven” is nil. At least one of these cartoons, the 1943 “Tin Pan Alley Cats,” is certainly deserving to be kept out of circulation – but not so much for its broadly demeaning caricatures as for the laziness and sloppiness that went into its creation.
A seemingly over-qualified man takes a position at an armored truck company and bids his time as the viewer discovers more and more about him and his reasons for being there.
In 1925, French filmmaker Marc Allégret’s traveled to the French Equatorial Africa colonial region with writer André Gide to create a documentary record of the customs and cultures of the diverse tribal groups within the region. Unlike other documentaries of that era, most notably Robert Flaherty’s “Nanook of the North” and “Moana,” Allégret took an observatory approach to the subject, capturing the everyday life and special events of the African people.
Part of the 2021 TCM Classic Film Festival, the SF Sketchfest presents their rendition of “Plan 9 from Outer Space.” The virtual event is depicted through a series of web cams, and in glorious black and white just for authenticity. Despite the characters not being able to play off one another, the adaptation of “Plan 9” from Dana Gould is actually damn good, and that can be attributed mainly to the fantastic cast, all of whom have a great time with the goofy material.
I’m a big fan of “Josie and the Pussycats.” I think the theme song one of the most raucously entertaining themes ever made, while the cartoon is one of the better byproducts of the “Scooby Doo” influence. Hoping to continue the series, Hanna Barbera took their franchise to the more obvious setting: Space! And they branched out in to orbit with Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space: The Complete Series, now on Blu-Ray.
Charlie Chaplin’s “A Woman of Paris” (1923) has been one of the most misjudged films of all time, for both its content and its history. In this episode, we take a new look at this work with Wes D. Gehring, author of “Charlie Chaplin and A Woman of Paris: The Genesis of a Misunderstood Masterpiece.”
The episode can be heard here.