OutOfOdor
2021-01-09T15:24:54Z
This is another rather pointless list of mine, this time listing cartoons distributed by the pirate distributor Astra TV/Cinepix Inc. for television sometime in the 1950s in their "Whimseyland" package. Mention must be briefly made of a company called Screen Attractions, a predecessor to this outfit. Some of these same cartoons were previously handled by SA, like the Mutt and Jeff and Charley films. (Heck, "Egyptian Daze" even has the text "A Screen Attraction" on its end card.)

A Duck Came Along = "Along Came a Duck" (Van Beuren, 1934) (likely)
A Fireman's Life = "Hook and Ladder Hokum" (Van Beuren, 1933)
A Good Time = ???
A King’s Christmas = “Christmas Night” (Van Beuren, 1934)
Batter Up = unknown Paul Terry Aesop Fable (potentially "Over the Plate [1925]"?)
Bunk and Bunk = "Barnyard Bunk" (Van Beuren, 1933)
Cat in Toyland = ??? (possibly "Felix Trips Thru Toyland" [Sullivan, 1925?]?)
Charley at the Circus (Pat Sullivan, 1918)
Cholly Polly (Columbia, 1942)
Cinderella = “Once Upon a Time” (Audio Productions, c. 1937)
Country Boy Rabbit = “Country Boy” (WB, 1935)
Dog Missing = “Dog Gone” (Mutt and Jeff, 1926)
Egyptian Daze = “Mummy O’Mine” (Mutt and Jeff, 1926)
Goats and Whiskers = “Billy Goat’s Whiskers” (Terry, 1937)
Heavenly Daze = “Koko’s Paradise” (Fleischer, 1926)
Home Sweet Home = ???
Icy Daze = ???
Invisible Revenge (Mutt and Jeff, 1925) (Presuming this is originally an Astra print, by way of the "Charley at the Circus" music appearing in this.)
Junior Camera Bug = ???
Love Bugs = "Fly Hi" (Van Beuren, 1931)
Lumberjack = “The Saw Mill Mystery” (Terrytoons, 1937)
Magazine Rack= “I Like Mountain Music” (WB, 1931)
Midnight Follies/Midnight Frolics = "We're in the Money" (WB, 1933)
Midsummer Day Dream = "Bosko’s Woodland Daze" (WB, 1931)
Misses His Swiss = “Felix Misses His Swiss” (Sullivan, 1926)
Mister Do-All = “Jack from All Trades” (Sullivan, 1927)
Off to the Races = “Ups and Downs” (WB, 1931)
On Duty = “One More Time” (WB, 1931)
Peppers and Peppers ="The Dog and the Bone" (Terrytoons, 1937)
Racing Fever = ??? (TBA McCrory "Life Cartoon Comedy")
Rag Dog (Van Beuren, 1935)
Sailing, Sailing - TBA Carpenter-Goldman "Sailor Jack" cartoon
Scare Crow and the Wolf = ???
Scared Rabbit = “The Timid Rabbit” (Terrytoons, 1937)
Simon and His Goose = ??? (probably “Simple Simon” [Iwerks, 1935])
Soda Clerks (Mutt and Jeff, 1925)
Spring Cleaning = “Kiko’s Cleaning Day” (Terrytoons, 1937)
Spring Time = ???
Swiss Daze = ???
Sunken Treasure = "Felix Braves the Briny" (Sullivan, 1926)
The Dancing Bear (Terrytoons, 1937)
The Happy Kittens = ???
The Inventor = “Felix Turns the Tide” (Sullivan, 1922)
The Magic Fish = ????
The Under Dog (Fables Studios, 1926)

Some of these I don’t have access to the original B&W Astra prints that were used as sources for Fred Ladd’s redrawns, but I can tell they were sourced from this distributor because of the distinctive title cards.
"With all respect to the great mousetrap."- Popeye, "The Spinach Overture" (1935)
Tommy Stathes
2021-01-09T19:12:46Z
Originally Posted by: OutOfOdor 


However, there are a few that I dunno if they're Astra or not:
Batter Up = “Play Ball” (Terrytoons, 1932)
Country Boy Rabbit = “Country Boy” (WB, 1935)
Lumberjack = “The Saw Mill Mystery” (Terrytoons, 1937)
Misses His Swiss = “Felix Misses His Swiss” (Sullivan, 1926)
Off to the Races = “Ups and Downs” (WB, 1931)



The answer is yes, and there were many many dozens if not hundreds of these prints. Astra and Cinepix were the same outfit, simply repackaging things under different names at different times.

nickramer
2021-01-10T05:24:37Z
Weren't those the ones that had that redrawn Felix short where he was colored orange and had odd '70's sounding music added?
PopKorn Kat
2021-01-10T06:15:07Z
Originally Posted by: nickramer 

Weren't those the ones that had that redrawn Felix short where he was colored orange and had odd '70's sounding music added?



Yes, they were indeed.
Tommy Stathes
2021-01-10T06:33:58Z
Originally Posted by: nickramer 

Weren't those the ones that had that redrawn Felix short where he was colored orange and had odd '70's sounding music added?



Put more clearly, it was prints from these TV packages that were eventually used for those redrawns.
kazblox
2021-01-10T16:26:52Z
Batter Up is actually "The Ball Park," directed by Frank Moser and released in May 19th, 1929.
Tommy Stathes
2021-01-10T18:12:20Z
Originally Posted by: kazblox 

Batter Up is actually "The Ball Park," directed by Frank Moser and released in May 19th, 1929.



Indeed it is!
Leviathan
2021-01-10T20:13:06Z
Was "Felix Braves the Briny" in the Astra TV package? that was another silent Felix that got redrawn in Color.
OutOfOdor
2021-01-10T22:12:18Z
Thanks for reminding me! It was, retitled "Sunken Treasure".
"With all respect to the great mousetrap."- Popeye, "The Spinach Overture" (1935)
OutOfOdor
2021-01-10T22:15:02Z
Realized I never included "A Fireman's Life"/"Hook and Ladder Hokum" here, which I'm pretty sure is an Astra/Cinepix bootleg print....
"With all respect to the great mousetrap."- Popeye, "The Spinach Overture" (1935)
Tommy Stathes
2021-01-11T00:39:04Z
Anytime you see that specific title card background, absolutely yes. Felix Braves the Briny was "Sunken Treasure" in the Astra package. As I said, that package was the source for the redrawns, and the fake title (and especially the title card design) is a giveaway.
OutOfOdor
2021-01-11T01:10:59Z
There's also this end title, another tell-tale sign of an Astra print:
UserPostedImage

It appears Ladd or his editor took some music on his redrawns directly from the Astra prints. Their usual opening fanfare music can be heard in "Spring Cleaning" and "Bosko's Woodland Daze", and the music in "Invisible Revenge" shows up in their print of "Charlie at the Circus". The sequence of Sharples tracks heard in "Accidents Will Happen" and "Mickey's Follies" can be heard in a few Cinepix and Astra prints. I just dunno if these were on the prints themselves or they just took them from some other Astra print and laid 'em over whatever redrawns they felt like.

I'm guessin' there were a few that were completely silent, hence the new music tracks - although the Astra version of "Soda Jerks"/"Clerks" has some lovely, jaunty stock music in it, while the Ladd redrawn has funky 70s stuff instead.
"With all respect to the great mousetrap."- Popeye, "The Spinach Overture" (1935)
Tommy Stathes
2021-01-11T18:08:55Z
It was a combination of both...use what was on the prints already, and I'm sure in the case of Soda Jerks, "This is an especially wild cartoon...let's pep it up with some sassy new music cues." But one thing I will say is that sometimes Astra's prints of the same cartoons varied from time to time, with different faked title card designs and different music tracks laid over the same things. It really was a shoddy enterprise. Those minor details didn't really matter to the head honcho (or the public). There was no late 2010s Porky Pig-like concern for such minutiae in that sort of scenario and time period.
OutOfOdor
2021-01-11T22:31:52Z
I would honestly like to think that in the case of "Soda Jerks", they just thought the jaunty stock music heard in the Astra print sounded a bit old-fashioned and they decided to give it more of a wild, kitschy 70s soundtrack to fit with the times, to "pep it up" a little.

Speaking of stock music, Tommy, ever heard of a website called Library Music Themes? They might be able to help with some of the more intriguing, non-Sharples stock tracks used by Astra and other companies.
"With all respect to the great mousetrap."- Popeye, "The Spinach Overture" (1935)
Tommy Stathes
2021-01-12T00:45:04Z
Originally Posted by: OutOfOdor 

I would honestly like to think that in the case of "Soda Jerks", they just thought the jaunty stock music heard in the Astra print sounded a bit old-fashioned and they decided to give it more of a wild, kitschy 70s soundtrack to fit with the times, to "pep it up" a little.

Speaking of stock music, Tommy, ever heard of a website called Library Music Themes? They might be able to help with some of the more intriguing, non-Sharples stock tracks used by Astra and other companies.



I don't think I'd heard of it before, but thanks for sharing. Re: Astra again...the print R&TVP secured of Soda Jerks might not have even had the same music track as the one you hear on my YouTube upload. We may never know...and it may never really matter for much! At least we've still got the films in question. 😉
OutOfOdor
2021-01-12T02:28:47Z
Good point. I'm not a seasoned film collector like yourself, so I had no idea about the alternative music tracks and whatnot. Once again, thanks for stopping by.
"With all respect to the great mousetrap."- Popeye, "The Spinach Overture" (1935)
Tommy Stathes
2021-01-14T07:43:34Z
Screen Attractions is an older incarnation (1930s) of the same company as Astra/Cinepix. There were quite a few Mutt & Jeff and Charley cartoons in the package partly because the company was handling that material as far back as the late 20s and 30s, and didn't just dupe one or two random ones from other sources.

Also, I thought you would like to know that Astra's title for Bosko's Woodland Daze was actually Midsummer Day Dream. I'm not sure why it was corrected for the redrawn.
Tommy Stathes
2021-01-14T07:47:10Z
I noticed R&TVP'S "Toy Shoppe" missing from the list, and Astra's two titles for that short (We're in the Money) were Midnight Frolics (earlier version) and Midnight Follies (later prints).
OutOfOdor
2021-01-15T01:39:41Z
Once again, thanks for dropping in with your insight, Tommy.

Wait, the Astra print of "Bosko's Woodland Daze" is actually called "Midsummer Day Dream?" Huh. Maybe Ladd had access to a different version than the one you have which kept the original name, but that's entirely conjecture.

I'll admit, I wasn't kinda sure as to if "Love Bugs" was Astra or not. Was the "Kiko's Cleaning Day" cue ever used by Astra themselves, or was it just thrown in there and "Cinderella" by Ladd's editor?

About "Screen Attractions Corp."/Modern Film Sales - yes, I'm aware of their connection to Astra and Cinepix. Knowing they distributed redrawn Mutt and Jeffs to theaters in the 30s, makes total sense that they'd include a few of these in the package. Speaking of them, I noticed a few titles listed on your old, archived website as part of one of your Vintage Film DVDs, apparently Screen Attractions prints: "Slight Fantastic" and "Racing Fever" - were these later included in the Astra/Cinepix package, by any chance? I'm also kinda wondering the same about Mutt and Jeff in "Where am I?" The ending music heard in Ladd's version is also heard in a few Astra bootleg prints.

(Speaking of - I swear, there were two 30s redrawn version from Screen Attractions/Modern Film Sales of that short. The one that was included in Ray's set with the peppy 20s jazz in the background, and the version with the (horrid!) ad-libbed dialogue used as the basis for Ladd's 70s version.)

One thing I kinda wonder - are there cartoons that were included in both the Astra package and the Cinepix package?
"With all respect to the great mousetrap."- Popeye, "The Spinach Overture" (1935)
Tommy Stathes
2021-01-16T00:39:26Z
Originally Posted by: OutOfOdor 

Once again, thanks for dropping in with your insight, Tommy.

Wait, the Astra print of "Bosko's Woodland Daze" is actually called "Midsummer Day Dream?" Huh. Maybe Ladd had access to a different version than the one you have which kept the original name, but that's entirely conjecture.



You bet...and who knows. I wrote to Ladd once about some of these things, and the gist I got from him is that there were lots of small details that didn't matter in the long run and that he might not have remembered anymore.

Originally Posted by: OutOfOdor 

I'll admit, I wasn't kinda sure as to if "Love Bugs" was Astra or not. Was the "Kiko's Cleaning Day" cue ever used by Astra themselves, or was it just thrown in there and "Cinderella" by Ladd's editor?



From the sounds of it, Love Bugs was probably an Astra print...but those cues were probably messed with by a R&TVP editor. I've never heard strange reuses of specific original film cues in title cards for other things in the older prints.

Originally Posted by: OutOfOdor 

About "Screen Attractions Corp."/Modern Film Sales - yes, I'm aware of their connection to Astra and Cinepix. Knowing they distributed redrawn Mutt and Jeffs to theaters in the 30s, makes total sense that they'd include a few of these in the package. Speaking of them, I noticed a few titles listed on your old, archived website as part of one of your Vintage Film DVDs, apparently Screen Attractions prints: "Slight Fantastic" and "Racing Fever" - were these later included in the Astra/Cinepix package, by any chance? I'm also kinda wondering the same about Mutt and Jeff in "Where am I?" The ending music heard in Ladd's version is also heard in a few Astra bootleg prints.



If something was a Screen Attractions release, you can bet it was probably in the later TV packages. They were sticklers about keeping, reusing, and duping more and more things as time went on. The more the merrier. I think my Slight Fantastic is a pre-TV print but Racing Fever is a TV-era print. But in short, all of those Mutt & Jeffs were Astra offerings. No question about that.

Originally Posted by: OutOfOdor 

(Speaking of - I swear, there were two 30s redrawn version from Screen Attractions/Modern Film Sales of that short. The one that was included in Ray's set with the peppy 20s jazz in the background, and the version with the (horrid!) ad-libbed dialogue used as the basis for Ladd's 70s version.)



There was probably only one version of the redrawn picture for these shorts in the 30s, but there were definitely multiple versions of the soundtracks. The tracks might date from different periods, not sure. I think I have two or three with dialogue, whereas those same films are commonly heard with different tracks, sans dialogue.

Originally Posted by: OutOfOdor 

One thing I kinda wonder - are there cartoons that were included in both the Astra package and the Cinepix package?



Not sure if I didn't make this clear enough earlier, but Astra and Cinepix were virtually the same company...meaning most of the material overlapped. If the Cinepix moniker came after Astra or vice versa, this would only mean that more material kept being added to the overall package as time went on.