Cancelled: 10th Annual Greatest Cartoons Ever!

Alex Marquee - Greatest Cartoons Ever Cancelled

Shows for Sunday, December 26, 2021 Are Cancelled

After conferring with SAS Entertainment, the managers of the Alex Theatre, we’ve come to the joint decision to cancel the 10th edition of the Alex Film Society’s The Greatest Cartoons Ever! At this point it is uncertain whether front-of-house and technical theatre staff can be available for Sunday’s shows, given the rapid spread of the Omicron variant and delays in turning around COVID testing results due to the sudden, overwhelming demand. The New Year’s Eve event scheduled at the theatre has also been cancelled.

The Alex box office will be refunding tickets purchased for this event.

AFS was looking forward to this show and the return to normalcy that it represented, so we’re disappointed that we won’t be able to bring this annual holiday favorite to you at this time. We will regroup after the first of the year to determine what the path forward looks like, both for this show and other shows under consideration.

Following is the lineup for what had been planned:

THE WISE QUACKING DUCK (1943, R. Clampett)

This animated gag fest features the classic, lunatic Daffy Duck (before he became a foil for Bugs Bunny) versus mild mannered Mr. Meek, haplessly trying to provide a duck dinner for Mrs. Meek, aka: “Sweety Puss.”

THE WISE QUACKING DUCK

A TRIBUTE TO DAVE FLEISCHER

HA! HA! HA! (1934, D. Fleischer)

Using the “Out of the Inkwell” format, in this Betty Boop cartoon, Koko gets a toothache and Betty, taking on the role of a dentist, gives KoKo a dose of laughing gas.

HA! HA! HA!

SOMEWHERE IN DREAMLAND (1936, D. Fleischer)

Recently restored, this was the Fleischer’s first film in full Technicolor and features a remarkable use of the studio’s stereoscopic “set back” technique for backgrounds.

SOMEWHERE IN DREAMLAND

TERROR ON THE MIDWAY (1942, D. Fleischer)

This short is a terrific entry into the highly influential and ahead-of-its-time Superman series. Great use of animation, camera technique and lighting to tell a “King Kong-esque” story.

TERROR ON THE MIDWAY Out

A TRIBUTE TO TEX AVERY

THE SHOOTING OF DAN MCGOO (1945, T. Avery)

The second of Avery’s Droopy cartoons, it soon becomes an hilarious Droopy and the Wolf gag fest.

THE SHOOTING OF DAN MCGOO
CRACKPOT QUAIL (1941, T. Avery)

Much like his classic Elmer Fudd vs. BugsBunny match ups, director Fred “Tex” Avery’s Willoughby the Dog chases a wise-cracking Quail.

CRACKPOT QUAIL

LONESOME LENNY (1946, T. Avery)

The fifth and last of Tex Avery’s outrageous Screwy Squirrel cartoons is a loose parody of John Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice And Men, with Avery again voicing the title character.

LONESOME LENNY

CARTOON STARS OF THE SILVER SCREEN

WOODY WOODPECKER in SKI FOR TWO (1944, J. Culhane)

With great animation, a Christmas theme and a terrific musical number, “The Sleigh a la Russe,” for Woody, this is a real holiday treat.

SKI FOR TWO

POPEYE & OLIVE OYL in WE’RE ON OUR WAY TO RIO (1945, J.Tyler / I.Sparber)

Popeye and Bluto, on shore leave, visit Rio and fall in love with Olive Oyl (who else?), a bewitching Samba dancer, in this beautifully produced musical cartoon.

WE'RE ON OUR WAY TO RIO

BUGS BUNNY in BULLY FOR BUGS (1953, C. Jones)

Director Chuck Jones said that this cartoon started out as a directive from Warner Bros. management not to do a bullfighting cartoon, which, of course, immediately prompted Chuck and writer Michael Maltese to develop what is often lauded as one of the best entries in the Bugs Bunny canon.

Bully for Bugs

(Lineup is subject to program availability)

 

Our Onstage Hosts for the Program

Frank Gladstone

Frank Gladstone began his career managing his Emmy award-winning animation studio, Persistence of Vision, and has since held management positions at Disney, Warner Bros. and DreamWorks, among others. Now CEO of Gladstone Film, he directs and consults for both major and independent studios. He currently teaches animation history at CalState Long Beach and lectures on animation, filmmaking and story structure at universities and professional organizations world-wide. A past commissioner for the City of Glendale Arts Council, Frank is ASIFA-Hollywood’s executive director and the executive producer of the industry’s annual Annie Awards.

Jerry Beck

Jerry Beck is a well-known animation historian and cartoon producer. His twelve books on the subject include The Animated Movie Guide; Looney Tunes: The Ultimate Visual Guide; and The 50 Greatest Cartoons. A former studio exec, he is currently a consulting producer at Warner Bros., Universal and Disney for their classic animation compilations. Beck has programmed retrospectives for the Annecy and Ottawa Animation Festivals, The Museum of Modern Art and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. He is currently teaching animation history at Cal Arts and other universities locally and nationally; he is also the editor of two animation blogs, Cartoon Research and Animation Scoop.

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