Saturday, March 02, 2013

Irv Spence's Cartoon Diary: March 2, 1944

The Academy Awards for 1943 from Grauman's Chinese Theater were broadcast over the radio in two parts. There was a pre-ceremony broadcast over KFWB, with George Jessel, followed by the actual ceremony, hosted by Jack Benny, on KNX. Both broadcasts can be heard here. The announcement of short subject winners is among a long list of awards "presented earlier in the evening" rattled off at the end of the program.

Because of wartime rationing this was the first time the awards were held in a theater rather than a banquet setting and it was the first time the supporting actor and actress winners were presented with a statue instead of a plaque. The statues this year were made of plaster rather than bronze, also due to the war.

And "Yankee Doodle Mouse," released June 26, 1943, was the first of seven Tom and Jerry shorts to win an Academy Award.

Some of the Tom and Jerry crew pose with their seven Oscars in 1953.
L to R: Ed Barge, Irv Spence, Dick Bickenbach, Joe Barbera, Bill Hanna, Ken Muse.
Via Dave Wessels Comix.

The following background layout drawings from "Yankee Doodle Mouse", credited here to Ernie Smythe, were downloaded from the Tom and Jerry Online site.

This nicely reconstructed pan is from one1more2time3:

At 2:44 into the cartoon there is an abrupt and ugly cut where the screen goes black for several frames. The continuity for the initial release indicates that a scene involving ration stamps and another communique from Lt. Jerry was, for some unknown reason, cut from the subsequent re-release of the film. The excised scene has been lost except for this layout drawing.

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