Color Classics were a series of animated short subjects produced by Fleischer Studios for Paramount Pictures from 1934 to 1941 as a competitor to Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies. As the name implies, all of the shorts were made in color, with the first entry in the series, Poor Cinderella, being the first color cartoon produced by the Fleischer studio. There were 36 films produced in this series.
The first Color Classic was photographed in the two-color Cinecolor process. The rest of the 1934 and 1935 cartoons were shot in two-color Technicolor, because the Disney studio had an exclusive agreement with Technicolor that prevented other studios from using the lucrative three-strip process. That exclusive contract expired in September 1935, and the 1936 Color Classic cartoon Somewhere in Dreamland became the first Fleischer cartoon produced in three-strip Technicolor.
While they are sometimes considered by film historians to be pale Silly Symphonies knock-offs, many of the Color Classics are still highly regarded today, including Somewhere in Dreamland (1936), the Academy Award nominated shorts, Educated Fish (1937) and Hunky and Spunky (1938, first in a subseries). Both lost to the Disney nominations, "The Old Mill" and "Ferdinand the Bull." The first film in the series, Poor Cinderella, featured Betty Boop (with red hair and turquoise eyes); future films were usually one-shot cartoons with no starring characters.
Many of the Color Classics entries make prominent use of Max Fleischer's Stereoptical process, a device which allowed animation cels to be photographed against actual 3D background sets instead of the traditional paintings. Poor Cinderella, Somewhere in Dreamland, and Christmas Comes But Once a Year (starring Betty Boop character Grampy) all make prominent use of the technique. Disney's competing apparatus, the multiplane camera, would not be completed until 1937, three years after the Stereoptical Process's first use. The Color Classics series ended in 1941 with Vitamin Hay, starring Hunky and Spunky. A similar series would be started by Fleischer's successor Famous Studios in 1943, under the name Noveltoons.
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Goon Cartoons is an Original Animation Channel! We feature original short films, animation, cartoons, pencil tests and experimental crap from creators Frank Forte, Gene McGuckin, Jim Smith and friends.
Frank Forte is currently a storyboard artist on Bob's Burgers (Sundays on FOX). He has worked in animation for feature films, TV and gaming. Some of the shows/films Frank has worked on include: Despicable Me 2, Lego Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out, The Super Hero Squad Show, Marvel Heroes 4D, Lego Hero Factory, Lego Bionicle: The Legend Reborn, HI HI PUFFY AMI YUMI, Re-Animated Pilot (Out of Jimmy’s Head), The Mr. Men Show, Bionicle: The Legend Reborn (DVD-2009), Lego Clutch Powers 4D ride at Legoland and Lego Atlantis. He co-created The Cletus and Floyd Show with Gene McGuckin, a tribute to animation directors Tex Avery, Bob Clampett and Chuck Jones. Robert S. Rhine and Frank Forte created the pilot episode of Sickcom the Animated Series which was sold to Spike and Mike.