Color and spring – they go together! Left, a UB Iwerk's Comicolor entitled Summertime. Right, Molly Moo-Cow and the Butterflies, a Burt Gillett's Rainbow Parade Cartoon from Van Beuren Studios. Both were released in 1935.
Springtime Cartoon Classics Full of Color
BY GARY SCOTT BEATTY, WRITER AND ILLUSTRATOR OF BOOKS, AND PUBLISHER AND EDITOR, MUSKEGONMAGAZINE.COM
It's spring, a favorite theme for early animators.
Once color came to motion pictures, early animation artists loved playing with the design potential presented by spring: bright flowers, blue skies, butterflies, and cute, young animals.
The ComiColor Cartoon below was produced by Ub Iwerks Studio in 1935. Iwerks was Walt Disney's collaborator in the formative years of Disney's studio (Steamboat Willie, Plane Crazy). The ComiColor cartoons take advantage of Cinecolor, a two color film process. Watching them, it's hard to believe there is a mix of only two colors.
You might think characters in this short were based on designs from Disney's Fantasia, but Summertime was released a full five years before. Creatures from myth and legend have always been popular with cartoonists. Here, a young pan character ushers in spring, despite the objections of Jack Frost.
Below we revisit Molly Moo-Cow from Van Beauren Studios. Two Disney veterans were brought in to the Van Beauren Studio in 1934 to raise the style and quality of the company's cartoons. The result was the handsome Rainbow Parade series.
Happy spring! If you want to see more classic cartoons here, let us know on Facebook!
These Works are in Public Domain and not Derivative as specified by U.S. copyright law (title 17 of the U.S. Code).
Gary Scott Beatty, editor and publisher of Muskegon Magazine .com, is a guest writer at Dread Central and also writes and illustrates graphic novels, like the strangest zombie apocalypse story ever written, "Wounds," now available here on Amazon.