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This disfunctional family is helped by showing compassion to an orphan in A Waif's Welcome (1936) — but not before cartoon chaos.

Charity, Candy and Toys in Classic ’30s Cartoons


With the toy buying season upon us, we look at classic cartoons featuring charity, candy, and toys.

I admire the amount of subtlety in the characters in A Waif's Welcome (1936) (above). The father is scared of his wife, but agrees to make her happy by taking in the orphan. The mother dotes on her child, but shows real compassion taking in the orphan. Disney alumni Burt Gillett and Tom Palmer brought focused plotting to Van Beuren Studios when they were brought in in 1933.

Just a few years earlier, Van Beuren Studios were producing shorts like Candy Town (Silvery Moon) (1933 re-release) (above), much less focused but charmingly creative. Apparently, the moon is not made of green cheese, but candy! If you wonder why the cat has Betty Boop's voice, it's possible this voice work was done by Mae Questel, Betty's voice at Fleischer Studios for nearly 10 years.

Van Beuren Studio's A Toy Town Tale (above), produced in 1931 makes more sense than a lot of Van Beuren Studio cartoons from this period. (No, I don't know what the man in the moon has to do with awakening toys, or what happened to the elephant.) This includes the songs Silent Night, Parade of the Tin Soldiers (by Leon Jessel), and the 1911 ragtime hit Oh, You Beautiful Doll (by Seymour Brown and Nat D. Ayer).

Van Beuren Studio's Toy Time (1932) (above) is a cartoon musical featuring mice playing with toys, and the most emaciated cat I think I've ever seen in cartoons.

Look for a cartoon page next month, where we'll be sharing classic holiday cartoons like like Jack Frost, Christmas Comes But Once a Year, and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer!

What do you think of classic cartoons? Too violent or bigoted to be enjoyed today? Let us know at Muskegon Magazine .com on Facebook.

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With the toy buying season upon us, we feature four classic cartoons featuring charity, candy, and toys, perfect for Thanksgiving and pre-holiday viewing! VIDEO!

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