Andrea/Duck Dodgers here. I friendly welcome every fan of animation at my blog. The goal is to support the love and rediscovery of Classic Theatrical Cartoons from the Golden Age of Animation, keeping meanwhile an eye on Golden Age "Funny Animals" Comics as well as on modern animated productions! Every SUPPRESSED ethnic caricature to be sometimes presented here is just for HISTORICAL and EDUCATIONAL purpose and NOT to offend anyone. Stay Tooned and Enjoy the place !

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Circus Capers

Aaah, here's another of those ugly black & white cartoons that all of you love so much ;-)
This is a Van Beuren cartoon called "Circus Capers" (09/28/1930), and it's quite entertaining one, despite some crudeness in drawings and animation. The main characters are Mickey and Minnie... I beg your pardon, Milton and Rita Mouse, the heroes of many Van Beuren cartoons from the early 1930s. Their resemblance to the more famous mouse couple was so strong that Walt Disney sued Van Beuren studios. Van Beuren was not allowed to use the blatant Mickey Mouse rip-offs anymore, after the court settlement in 1932. so Milton and Rita were sent into the early retirement. Still, in their short career they appeared in some funny pre-code cartoons, and behaved in a way that probably wouldn't be approved by the old Uncle Walt. In fact, I'm using this cartoon to illustrate what kind of outrageous gags and innuendos were allowed in cartoons before the introduction of Hays Code in 1934. It's interesting to note that the strict censorship mellowed again during the World War II years, to the delight of the great directors like Tex Avery, Bob Clampett and
Frank Tashlin. Cartoons from 1943 like "Red Hot Riding Hood" or "Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs" couldn't have been made two or three years earlier. Also, a cartoon like "Circus Capers" would be unthinkable after 1934.









































The typical freaky Van Beuren close-up at the end. I love it!

13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Dear friend
I found your blog when searching for a blog about classic cartoons. Now I just want to know if you can reply me about a classic cartoon or not. If so kindness is in your eyes and can help me to cure my nostalgic memorabilia please tell me wherecan I ask it?

9:11 am

 
Anonymous Nate Birch said...

It's like the doodles I used to make in the margins of my paper while taking notes in class come to frightning life.

10:42 am

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

theres an old friz freleng cartoon from 1935 that ive been looking for, its called The Country Mouse. seems like you guys can easily find videos and images of old cartoons, so if you know anywhere i could find pictures of this cartoon or even a website where i could watch it, that would be great. thanks.

1:32 am

 
Blogger Hammerson said...

>>
Hi Dear friend
I found your blog when searching for a blog about classic cartoons. Now I just want to know if you can reply me about a classic cartoon or not. If so kindness is in your eyes and can help me to cure my nostalgic memorabilia please tell me wherecan I ask it? <<

Sorry for the late response. I'm not sure if I understood you well... if you have any questions about classic cartoons, you can post them here in the comments, or join the Golden Age Cartoons forum (the link is here on this blog).

1:40 pm

 
Blogger Hammerson said...

>> theres an old friz freleng cartoon from 1935 that ive been looking for, its called The Country Mouse. seems like you guys can easily find videos and images of old cartoons, so if you know anywhere i could find pictures of this cartoon or even a website where i could watch it, that would be great. thanks. <<

I used to have this cartoon for many years, but sadly I can't find it anymore, so I'm not able to make the screenshots at the moment.
Perhaps my colleagues Duck Dodgers and mmm...Donuts could help, if they have it.

1:44 pm

 
Blogger King of [Silent] Cartoons said...

This is a personal childhood favorite of mine. I was thrilled to get a 16mm print for $5 awhile back. :-)

7:41 pm

 
Blogger Kevin W. Martinez said...

Hi andrea, It's Leviathan once again.

I think we have a new champion for the title of "most Blatantly Plagarized Mickey Mouse Ripoff", knocking Foxy (of Lady Play Your Mandolin and a couple of the earliest Merrie Melodies) off that particular throne. The Van Beuren people didn't even put as much effort as Rudy Ising did about masking the fact.

However, This makes Disney's ultimate avqusition of RKO's distribution deal even more Ironic

4:42 am

 
Blogger ryan said...

is there anyplace i can see this cartoon?

2:09 am

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just looked this up because we saw this cartoon on a "150 classic cartoons" dvd bought for 5$ at walmart of all places! you folks would love it.

1:40 am

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just purchased an old book called Aesop's Movie Fables Book which shows Milton Mouse and a lot of other characters published by Van Beuren and has games and songs, very similar to the Walt Disney Mickey Mouse book from 1931. 18 pages, soft cover, 1930. Anyone know if this is a series? Thanks, Lee

4:00 am

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a song that comes on when it first starts it sounds arabic or hindi and I'm never able to find it do you know it

9:55 pm

 
Anonymous KS2 said...

Hello! I have a DVD of old cartoons, and Circus Capers happens to be on the DVD. When I first watched it I asked myself, "Is THAT Mickey and Minnie?" And as the cartoon progressed, lots of the things in the cartoon made my mouth drop (laughs). Then when Rita Mouse was making goo-goo eyes at the other guy, I thought, "Minnie wouldn't do that!" So I prepared myself for some research, and I found your blog. Thank you a lot for this information and history. I myself love old cartoons like this.

3:18 pm

 
Blogger L.R> said...

I am looking for 1931 Aesop's movie fables book by Van beuren Studio to purchase for my husband as his great grandfather was one of the illustrators, does anyone know where I can find it?

8:19 pm

 

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