Dynamo Doc in “Freeloading Feline” (1960)

It’s pretty freezing here and in so many places right now- and I’ve been hunkering down reading animation history papers from my class at College for Creative Studies. We’re showing mid-to-late 30s tomorrow, one of my favorite classes. The students had some good insights on early 30s animation from the last class so I know tomorrow will be a fun showing, Who would have thought these cartoons would still find fans 85 years after they were made!

The Little King is the major project getting tweaks here- with some of the Fleischer material as well for their restoration program. I’ll keep details simple this week on these. The long and the short is progress is good. Bonus and menus are all set up now. Three additional prints are getting scanned in the next day or so to improve one title and have some selection to choose from on a pretty good print of Cactus Capers. After that there’s just one more film.

Rainbow Parades volume 2 will start being shared here as we get through these next few titles. Technicolor is an amazing process when the prints are well-made!

The Lou Bunin set cleared a hurdle last week and I’m hoping there’s more to come very soon. It’s looking like it, and not too soon! I’m hoping February will be a busy month in terms of things going out the door here and it’s off to a good start.

As for the physical media we have ready to ship – Click here.

Castle Films home movies were the only way some of us ever heard of Dynamo Doc.

And— onto our cartoon!

When I was a kid I had never seen a Dynamo Doc cartoon, nor had ever really heard of the character. There was, however, those Kiddie Cartoon booths at Kmart and the more local to Michigan Meijer stores, and they featured a picture of Doc with dollar signs in his eyes. I always wondered what that character that was as I stepped into the booth to see another Terry Bears I had never seen.

Freeloading Feline (1960) isn’t a really bad cartoon, but there’s really not much to recommend it either unless you are a diehard fan of cartoons. The series sprouted out of the ‘Hickory, Dickory and Doc’ series. There’s only three of those until the series was revamped to feature only Doc. Sadly, he’s one of the least interesting characters the studio ever created- even less interesting than Peterkin Pan, Tom Thumb or the Dumb Cluck. I wonder if the staff at Lantz felt the same way.

This image is from “Freeloading Feline”

Freeloading Feline isn’t the funniest cartoon by any means. The Lantz cartoons from this period have sometimes pretty limited animation – usually followed by a pretty fully animated shot – a strange contrast at times. What I think is really interesting in this cartoon is that the dog antagonist in this short is generally in much fuller animation than the star of the cartoon— with better posing and some really funny timing.

La Verne Harding gets top credit here as in many of the shorts from this period. You’ll recognize Dal McKennon and Paul Frees on the track as well.

Here’s a scan of this short, from an unexpected 35mm print I got a little less than a year back. I had never seen this one growing up, but have an odd love for Space Mouse– a cartoon than played as part of the Lantz TV package on Channel 50 in Detroit for many years in the 70s.

Have a good week all!