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He gave his regards to Broadway (first of two posts) December 15, 2007

Posted by Jeff in 1929 through WWII, Dance, George M. Cohan, Movies, Musicals, Theater.
2 comments

George M. CohanGeorge M. Cohan (1878-1942), the antagonist of my original screenplay Equity, was too sick with cancer to attend the premiere of Yankee Doodle Dandy, the movie based on his life starring James Cagney. But a few days later, in a scene reminiscent of the worst excesses of that wonderful movie, they got him in a wheelchair and sneaked him into the back of a Times Square movie theater so he could see it with a real audience.

Cohan’s verdict: “Nice movie. I wonder who it’s about?” He died less than six months later.

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Old inbetweeners refuse to fade away January 19, 2008

Posted by Jeff in Art, Cartoons, Zook.
15 comments

Old inbetweeners refuse to fade away  ...

Watercolor by Virgil “Vip” Partch. Left to right: Sam Cobean, Tony Rivera, Bill McIntyre, Vip Partch, Reginald Massie (foreground), Dick Shaw.

This probably dates from late 1941 or 1942, after the Disney strike in which they all participated. All five would have been in their late twenties to early thirties at the time …

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“John Henry and the Inky-Poo” January 18, 2008

Posted by Jeff in 1946 through 1960, Cartoons, Movies, Puppetoons.
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John Henry’s home The last completed movie my father ever worked on was his personal favorite.

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“Tubby The Tuba” January 17, 2008

Posted by Jeff in 1946 through 1960, Cartoons, Classical, Movies, Music, Puppetoons, Zook.
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Reg Massie, 1945

Reg Massie, 1945

Unlike clay animators like Nick Park, Will Vinton or Art Clokey, George Pal’s animators worked in a “replacement technique” using hand-carved wooden puppets. A separate puppet (or puppet part) was used for each motion, rather than clay or hinged parts. A single walking sequence, for instance, could involve 12 pairs of legs for one character. An average Puppetoon short would use 9,000 puppets.

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“Jasper In A Jam” January 15, 2008

Posted by Jeff in 1946 through 1960, Cartoons, Jazz, Movies, Music, Peggy Lee, Puppetoons, Swing, Zook.
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From 1946, a George Pal Puppetoon featuring Charlie Barnet and Peggy Lee, and designed by Reg Massie.

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“Together In The Weather” January 14, 2008

Posted by Jeff in 1946 through 1960, Cartoons, Movies, Puppetoons, Zook.
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This week, a festival of George Pal Puppetoons designed by my father, Reginald Massie (1909-1989).

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Dad makes The New Yorker July 2, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Art, Zook.
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New Yorker magazine cover, 10/8/1949, by Reg Massie

The October 8, 1949 cover of The New Yorker magazine, by my father, Reginald Massie.

He would have been ninety-eight years old today. Happy Birthday, Dad!

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“Mr. Strauss Takes a Walk” January 16, 2008

Posted by Jeff in 1929 through WWII, Cartoons, Classical, Movies, Music, Puppetoons.
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Here’s a goodie from George Pal with the music of Johann Strauß* …

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Books I like: The Gourmet Cookbook January 25, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Books I like, Zook.
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gourmet_cookbook.jpg

Whenever I compare notes with anyone on the question “What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?”, I always have the topper.

You see, I used to be a cookbook librarian.

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