Friday, November 9, 2012

Foofle's Picnic (1960)

While at Terrytoons Gene Deitch created a character called Foofle, a silent man who goes into a string of bad luck, with seemingly everything trying to get him. Three cartoons were made with the character, although only one (Foofle's Train Ride, 1959) was completed under his reign. The other two cartoons, Foofle's Picnic and The Wayward Hat (both 1960), started under Deitch but was completed after he left. One other cartoon, The Leaky Faucet (1959), was meant to star Foofle but it was rewritten so that the classic Terrytoons character Dimwit would star instead.

I happen to have a CinemaScope print of Foofle's Picnic, which is embedded below.



Even though this was finished after Deitch left, it's clear that it was heavy in production while he was still in charge. The post-Deitch Terrytoons had extremely limited animation, but here it's fuller compared to other cartoons from the era. And while uncredited, Jim Tyer did some scenes in this film. It's quite possibly his last work for Terrytoons.

The other issue is the narration, by Tom Morrison. It's pretty obvious that this was produced as a pantomime cartoon, but someone, possibly Bill Weiss, felt that it needed a narrator talking through it. Too bad, because the constant talk disrupts the flow of an otherwise good cartoon.

Thanks to Tom Stathes for transferring my print.

1 comment:

Vincent Olin said...

Gene Deitch was fired in this studio
Foofle's final cartoon The Wayward Hat.