100 Family Cartoons Collection, Vol. 1 [DVD]

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A Bout With a Trout
The Brementown Musicians
Directed by Dave Fleischer, brother of the legendary Max Fleischer (who serves as producer), this animated short film was the first cinematic adaptation of the classic comic book Superman. Long before George Reeves or Christopher Reeve donned the famous red cape, voice-artist Bud Collyer was Superman, providing the superhero's dialogue in dozens of shorts and television programs over the course of three decades. In this first adventure, Clark Kent must turn into his alter-ego Superman and save the people of Metropolis from certain doom at the hands of a maniacal scientist with a deadly energy cannon. Joan Alexander provides the voice of Lois Lane. ~ Matthew Tobey, Rovi

Yankee Doodle Donkey
A-Haunting We Will Go
To Spring
Tom Thumb
Mary's Little Lamb
Musical Mountaineers
Ali Baba
The Bulleteers
The city of Metropolis is under siege by a nefarious group of terrorists that go by the moniker of the Bulleteers (because of their innovative Bulletcar). They've already struck some of the city's famous landmarks and the utility stations that are part of its lifeblood. Now they are making their demands known: Metropolis has 48 hours to hand over the city Treasury. If the city refuses, they will bring ruin upon Metropolis. The Mayor says that their demands are totally unreasonable and absolutely refuses to comply, prompting the terrorists to launch their attack (targeting the Daily Planet for special abuse). This prompts Lois Lane to take off after them, hoping for a scoop, and it prompts Superman to engage them in a final battle, during which he succeeds in destroying the mighty Bulletcar, capturing all of the Bulleteers and saving (once again) both Lois and the entire city of Metropolis. ~ Craig Butler, Rovi

The Enchanted Square
As kindly police officer gives a young blind girl a Raggedy Ann doll, he tells the thankful lass that she will gain the power of sight if she simply uses her imagination. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Slick Sleuths
House Cleaning Blues
A Language All My Own
After performing this cartoon's title song before a packed audience, popular singer Betty Boop climbs into her private airplane and embarks upon a journey to Japan (getting directions from the Statue of Liberty along the way). Upon her arrival, Betty is greeted by cheering throngs of Japanese citizens who have festooned the city with posters bearing her name. During her subsequent stage performance, Betty emerges from a paper lantern and, backed by a chorus of doll-like geishas, offers a reprise of "A Language of All My Own" in Japanese. (One cannot imagine this delightful cartoon being made a few years later, at the height of WW2). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Billion Dollar Limited
The third in series of classic Fleischer Superman cartoons, Billion Dollar Limited starts with heavily armed guards keeping watch as a billion dollars of gold is loaded onto a train, to be taken to the mint. Clark Kent is also at the station, bidding farewell to fellow reporter Lois Lane, who has won the prize of accompanying the train to its destination and writing a story about the trip. As Kent leaves, he is almost swideswiped by a strange looking car. Inside the car is a gang of masked thugs, intent on getting that gold for themselves. In their technologically advanced car, they are capable of catching up with the train, and several sneak on board. They quickly turn loose the car that contains most of the guards, then climb over the train cars to the engine and seek to gain control of it. Lois, hearing noises, travels to the engine, just after the engineer and his assailant fall from the car. Lois grabs a machine gun left behind by one of the crooks and opens fire on the still-pursuing car, then tries to control the train, with little success. Kent, reading over the wire about the danger to the train, changes into Superman and flies off to the rescue. He saves the train from being diverted into a carload of TNT and rescues it as it falls off of a bridge dynamited by the gangsters. Although he almost succumbs to a tremendous load of tear gas, he finds the strength to overcome the villains and deliver the train to its final destination. ~ Craig Butler, Rovi

The Big Bad Wolf
In the first of two sequels to Disney's Oscar-winning The Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood stops to visit the porcine heroes while on her way to deliver "cakes and wine" to her bedridden Grandma. Despite the dire warnings of Practical Pig, his carefree brothers Fifer and Fiddler offer to escort Red through a shortcut in the deep dark woods, where resides their old nemesis the Big Bad Wolf. Determined to make a meal of Red and the pigs, Big Bad disguises himself first as Goldilocks the Fairy Queen (with appropriate ballet slippers), and then as Grandma (who bears a marked resemblance to Jimmy Durante). Inevitably, Practical Pig must come to the rescue of both Red and his two foolish siblings. This cartoon reprises the signature tune from The Three Little Pigs, the imperishable "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Big Drip
Baby Be Good
Betty Boop and the Little King
Otto Soglow's popular comic-strip characer "The Little King" had already appeared in his own cartoon series for Van Beuren productions when he guest-starred in this "Betty Boop" vehicle. Forced to attend a boring opera with the Queen and their entourage, The Little King (who speaks in a bizarre "whistling" voice) manages to escape his guards and heads to a nearby vaudeville house, where Betty Boop is headlining in an equestrienne act. Not only does the Little King manage to pick up some extra change as a pretzel vendor, but he also ends up performing on stage with Betty. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Secret Agent
En route to a humdrum assignment, reporter Clark Kent is caught in the crossfire between Nazi agents and a beautiful blonde American counterspy. The girl has a cache of valuable documents in her possession, and the Nazis are determined to prevent her from delivering the papers to Washington. Though captured by the enemy spies, Clark manages to burst full-force into his true identity as Superman, racing to the female agent's rescue as she faces certain death on a sabotaged bridge. Bud Collyer does not provide the voices of Clark Kent and Superman in this episode, which may explain why the "two" characters only have one line of dialogue between them (Some historian believe that this line was delivered by Sam Parker, who'd voiced the title role in Fleischer's Gulliver's Travels). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

A Kick in Time
Base Brawl
Betty Boop with Henry The Funniest Living American
The elongated title of this "Betty Boop" cartoon refers to "Henry", the popular comic strip created by Carl Anderson. In the funny papers, Henry was a bald, mute, mouthless boy who engaged in a variety of pantomimed adventures. On the Big Screen, however, Henry has not only grown a mouth, but also a set of vocal chords. The plot gets under way when Henry wanders into Betty Boop's pet shop, hoping to purchase a cute little dog named Pudgy: alas, he doesn't have the necessary two dollars. Betty offers to give Henry the dog for free if the boy will take of her store while she goes out. "Take care" is right! Before long, the establishment is in a shambles, and all the valuable caged birds have escaped. The cartoon's featured song is, appropriately, "Everybody Oughtta Have a Pet". ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Hunky and Spunky
The first of the Superman cartoons filmed under the aegis of Famous Studios, Japoteurs begins with a Daily Planet headline letting the audience know that the U.S. has developed the world's largest bomber plane and that it will soon be making a test flight. The paper's top reporters, Clark Kent and Lois Lane, are allowed to take a tour of the plane prior to its flight, and see that, in addition to its other features, it can also serve as an airstrip for launching smaller planes. Lois stows away after the tour is over, but she's not alone -- a number of Japanese spies have also stolen aboard, and they hi-jack the ship soon after it takes off. The spies plan to fly the plane to Tokyo, but Lois manages to radio for help, and Superman flies to the rescue. Upon his arrival, he learns that Lois has captured and the spies threaten to release her from the bomb bay doors if Superman doesn't leave. He obeys, but the spy releases Lois anyway, but Superman saves her. Beaten, the agents have set the controls so that the bomber will crash into Metropolis, but Superman uses his massive strength to catch the plane just in time. ~ Craig Butler, Rovi

Rhythm on the Reservation
The Underground World
The offices of the Daily Planet are visited by a man named Henderson. He tells the assembled that he is an explorer, as is his father, who has been missing for some time. Henderson wants to launch an expedition into the deep, mysterious caverns that his father was exploring when he disappeared, and he wants the Planet to finance it. Reporters Lois Lane and Clark Kent join the adventurer, with Lois to travel immediately with him down a river into the caverns, and Clark to join them via a separate boat. Lois and Henderson find land and disembark, but their boat slips away and crashes into a cavern wall, where it explodes. They are then captured by some fierce creatures, half-bird, half-man, who plan to sacrifice them by throwing them into a pit of fire. Clark, who had heard the earlier explosion, discovers what is going on and switches to his alter ego, Superman. Superman quickly mops up the birdmen, saves Lois and Henderson, and seals up the caverns leading to the birdmen's land. At the end of the film, editor Perry White burns Lois and Clark's story, saving he can't print it because it is too unbelievable. ~ Craig Butler, Rovi

There are no volcanoes near the great city of Metropolis, but when word comes that a long-dormant volcano in the South Pacific is headed for a cataclysmic eruption, Daily Planet editor Perry White quickly dispatches ace reporters Lois Lane and Clark Kent to cover the big event. White hopes that the two rivals can put aside their differences and work in tandem, but Lois is not about to give away her chance at a solo byline on a story as big as this. She slyly purloins Clark's press pass. While he goes through the red tape of acquiring another, she takes off for where the action is. And there's a lot of action, as the volcano has entered into its full-strength convulsions. Lois finds herself in mortal danger, trapped aboard an overhead tram, the cables of which are breaking. Meanwhile, Clark has seen that the volcano has blown its top and changes into Superman. The Man of Steel uses his incredible strength and ingenuity to force the lava flow into the sea and away from populated areas, then manages to save Lois and the cable car in the nick of time. ~ Craig Butler, Rovi

A Scout with the Gout
Betty Boop and Little Jimmy
In this "Betty Boop" cartoon, Betty shares the spotlight with James Swinnerton's popular comic strip character "Little Jimmy." In her efforts to stay in shape, Betty has set up an exercise gym in her attic. Paying Betty a visit, Little Jimmy tries to help Betty with her "daily dozen", but succeeds only in causing all the athletic equipment to malfunction. Trapped in a vibrating reducing belt, Betty tells Jimmy to go for help, but the kid manages to get distracted along the way. By the time Jimmy returns, Betty is as skinny as a beanpole--leading to a "laff riot" finale that almost defies descrption. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

A Little Soap and Water
Betty Boop wants to give her pet dog Pudgy a bath. Pudgy doesn't want to take a bath. There! That's the entire plot of this cartoon, which largely consists of a wild chase through Betty's house, punctuated by Pudgy's contrary behavior whenever he's plunked into a tub of soapy, bubbly water. But Betty prevails, and Pudgy ends up clean as a whistle--for about twenty seconds. Song: "A Little Soap,a Little Water and a Song". ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Be Human
Poor Cinderella
Swat the Fly
The Camptown Races
Bored of Education
Betty Boop and Grampy
Happy You and Merry Me
Vitamin Hay
Simple Simon
Jungle Drums
A military plane carrying American Army lieutenant Fleming and reporter Lois Lane crashes in the jungles of darkest Africa. Before he dies, Fleming entrusts a packet valuable documents to Lois, warning her that the papers must not fall into enemy hands. Unfortunately, Lois is promptly captured by a tribe of hostile natives, led by a "white god" who is actually a Nazi agent in disguise. Rushing to Lois' rescue, Superman is faced with the triple dilemma of recovering the documents, destroying a convoy of Nazi submarines and preventing the plucky girl reporter from being burned at the stake. Don't miss the closing scene with a disgruntled Hitler listening to a robust rendition of Frank Loesser's "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition". ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Judge For a Day
After being annoyed by a variety of "typical" urban pests, Betty arrives at the local courthouse, where she works as clerk. Dreaming that she has been appointed Judge for a Day, Betty decides to get her revenge against the pests who've been harrassing her all morning, inviting the public to "have a laugh" at the troublemakers' punishment. If you think "Judge Judy" is tough, wait till you see the Torquemada-like tortures imposed by "Judge Betty" on such miscreants as back-slappers, messy gum-chewers, obnoxious cigar smokers, careless drivers, and even people who do bad celebrity imitations! Songs include: "If I Were Judge for a Day" and "SING (It's Good for Ya". ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

More Pep
Trolley Ahoy
Stop That Noise
Westward Whoa
The Magnetic Telescope
An excited astronomer presents to the world his new creation, a magnetic telescope that exerts tremendous pull upon objects in outer space. Daily Planet reporters Lois Lane and Clark Kent, along with Planet editor Perry White are present at the initial presentation, and witness how the telescope succeeds in capturing a meteor and altering its path. Unfortunately, the telescope cannot adequately control the meteor, and fragments plummet down upon the city of Metropolis. The astronomer is forbidden to continue his experiments, for fear that greater destruction could come, but the stubborn scientist refuses to listen and tries to next capture a passing comet. The police try to thwart his efforts by disrupting the telescope's power supply, but it is too late -- the comet is now on a collision course with Earth. While Lois calls for help, Clark slips away and changes into Superman. The comet is too powerful for even the Man of Steel to send back into space on his own, but by welding together the telescope's power source and reversing its polarity, Superman is able to force the comet back into space and save the day once again. ~ Craig Butler, Rovi

Dick Whittington's Cat
Electric Earthquake
As Electronic Earthquake opens, the viewer sees a strange cable that flows into the harbor near Metropolis. The cable slinks along the harbor to the underwater lair of a brilliant Native American scientist. The scientist visits the Daily Planet, where he demands that Metropolis be returned to his people, who settled there long ago. Editor Perry White refuses to print the scientist's demand, at which point the scientist tells him that he will destroy the city if his demand is not met. He returns to his secret lab, followed by Lois Lane, who smells a good story. Unfortunately, Lois is discovered and captured, and the scientist proceeds with his plan. Utilizing his cable, he sends enormous surges of electricity under the ground, triggering a terrific earthquake. Superman finds the source of the earthquake and breaks the main cable, then begins dismantling various other cables from the lab. This unfortunately causes the lab to start flooding. Superman saves Lois in the nick of time, and succeeds in capturing the evil scientist as well. ~ Craig Butler, Rovi

Casper the Friendly Ghost
Eleventh Hour
The year is 1942, America is at war with Japan, and American reporters Clark Kent and Lois Lane are under house arrest in a Yokohama hotel. Unbeknownst to Lois, Clark manages to elude his captors every night at 11 PM--at which time he assumes his true identity as Superman in order to commit various acts of sabotage against the enemy. Certain that the Americans are responsible for this michief, the Japanese High Command sentences Lois to death by firing squad if another ship or munitions plant is destroyed--and now Superman must figure out how to rescue Lois while simulatenously accomplishing his deadly mission. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Leprechaun's Gold
My Friend the Monkey
An unusually tall and slender Betty Boop is enchanted by an organ grinder's monkey--so much so that she invites the "jitter-monk" into her home. Betty's dog Pudgy seemingly finds a kindred spirit in the mischievous simian, so Betty briefly steps out of her apartment and heads downstairs, intending to purchase the animal from its owner. But in her absence, the monk shows his true nature by eating all the food in the house and leading the flustered Pudgy on a not-so-merry (and VERY destructive) chase. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Happy Days
Chick and Double Chick
Old Mother Hubbard
Bargain Counter Attack
Terror on the Midway
The last of the Superman cartoons produced by the actual Fleischer studios, Terror on the Midway opens as reporter Clark Kent drops his friendly rival Lois Lane off at the circus. On assignment, Lois heads into the big top, ready to enjoy her work and relax. Unfortunately, a mischievous monkey has managed to unlock the cage that holds a ferocious gorilla. The gorilla makes its way into the big top, where it begins terrorizing the crowd and the performers. Although its handlers are quick on the scene, it overpowers them and continues wreaking havoc, forcing the audience to flee. Lois, seeing a little girl trapped, tries to rescue her, but ends up focusing the rampaging ape's attention on them both. Fortunately, Clark has heard about the melee, and changes to Superman. After subduing some other animals that have escaped in the fracas, he is attracted by Lois's scream. She has climbed a pole to escape the ape, but he is still advancing toward her, even as a fire rages around them. Superman rescues her just as the pole is falling, and subdues the ape into the bargain. ~ Craig Butler, Rovi

The Arctic Giant
Explorers near the North Pole make a startling discovery: a perfectly preserved prehistoric dinosaur-like animal, frozen in ice. This invaluable discovery is brought to Metropolis, where the experts at the city's museum can study it more closely. Lois Lane, a reporter with a nose for news, is of course on the scene. Although she's all business, the engineer to whom she is speaking gets distracted by her shapely gams as she climbs the stairs in front of him. Not noticing what he is doing, he sets his oil can down precariously on a ledge; it gets knocked off into the engine which controls the museum's freezing unit and knocks the unit out altogether. The engineers work to restore power quickly, before the temperature rises and the ice surrounding the monster melts -- but to no avail. Freed from centuries in his frozen prison, the giant goes on a rampage throughout Metropolis. Fortunately, Superman is quickly on the scene, and although he gets sidetracked rescuing Lois -- who is determined to be in on the action so that she gets the best story -- he eventually defeats the reptile and all turns out well. ~ Craig Butler, Rovi

Sinbad the Sailor
John Henry and the Inky-Poo
Based upon the African-American folk tale, John Henry and the Inky Poo opens on a dark, stormy night. A woman is painfully giving birth alone. All of a sudden, a brilliant flash of lightning and crash of thunder strike, and her son John Henry appears, full grown. A giant of a man, John Henry is blessed with tremendous strength and enormous self-confidence. Soon after his birth, John Henry comes across railroad tracks and a train and knows his calling: to drive steel and build the railroads that will allow his country to grow. John Henry goes to work, but almost immediately a threat to all of the workers appears: a machine (inky poo) that is said is able to do the work of ten men. Contemptuous of such a claim, John Henry challenges the machine to a race, believing firmly that a man can do anything a machine can, "if he only has the mind to do it." John Henry's mother is against the race, fearful of what might happen, but John Henry must go through with it and prove the value of a human. He does indeed beat the machine at the steel driving race, but at the cost of his own life. ~ Craig Butler, Rovi

Snubbed by a Snob
Destruction Inc.
Going undercover, reporters Clark Kent and Lois Lane investigate the murder of an elderly watchman from the Metropolis Munitions Factory. It turns out that factory owner Jones is the head of a gang of saboteurs, determined to commit various acts of mayhem before blowing up the plant. Stumbling onto the conspirators, Lois goes to great athletic lengths to avoid capture, but is ultimately bound and gagged and stuffed into a torpedo tube, which is then fired at a naval vessel. Looks like it's time for Clark Kent to assume his true identity as Superman and go into action--which he does, and how! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Betty in Blunderland
While working on an "Alice in Wonderland" jigsaw puzzle, Betty Boop falls asleep, and promptly dreams her way not only into Wonderland but also the land Behind the Looking Glass. Wearing an incongrously sexy "Alice" costume, our heroine climbs through a mirror, falls down a rabbit hole (misleadingly labeled a "subway"), drinks "Shrink-Ola" to gain entrance into Wonderland, then meets all the familiar Lewis Carroll characters, including the Mad Hatter and March Hare, the Walrus and the Carpenter, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the White Rabbit and the Mock Turtle. Unfortunately, the fearsome Jabberwocky spoils all the fun by kidnapping Betty (or is it Alice?). forcing her new friends to race the rescue. Heard on the soundtrack are such familiar Paramount-owned tunes as "Did You Ever See a Dream Walking" (from 1933's Sitting Pretty) and "Everyone Says I Love You" (from the 1932 Marx Bros. classic Horse Feather). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Betty Boop's Ker-Choo
Bimbo and Koko are among the contestants in a big auto race, where all the funny animals in Fleischer-land are in attendance (the "humanized" cars await in stalls like horses, and the judge's panel consists of three elderly blind men). The favorite in the race is Betty Boop, but she's late again, and her Yiddish-accented car has no idea where she is. When Betty finally shows up, she explains in song that her tardiness is due to a "cold in my 'doze'". Once the race begins, it's a real thriller-spiller, with even the spectators getting into the act--and catching Betty's cold in the process ("Ah, ah, CHOO!)" ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Loose in a Caboose
The Mummy Strikes
As The Mummy Strikes opens, Miss Hogan, assistant to noted scientist Dr. Jordan, finds the doctor's dead body in the Metropolis Egyptian Museum, a syringe nearby. Miss Hogan is accused of murder and found guilty. After her trial, Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent is contacted by Dr. Wilson from the museum, who says he has evidence to clear Hogan. Kent goes to the museum, secretly followed by Lois Lane, who eavesdrops on their conversation. Wilson explains that he has translated some heiroglyphics Jordan had been working on and that he believes Jordan had injected an "elixir of life" into the four mummified guards that surround the coffin of King Tush, and then had tried to open the King's coffin, thereby bringing down upon himself the Tush curse. When Kent tries to open the coffin, he finds that doing so releases a poisoned needle, which must have killed the doctor. It also brings the King's guards back to life, and they promptly attack Jordan and Lois. Kent switches to Superman and makes short work of them ,and the film ends with the news that Hogan has been released. ~ Craig Butler, Rovi

There's Good Boos Tonight
Spooking About Africa
Wolf Wolf!
Always Kickin'
Mechanical Monsters
The Mechanical Monsters is the second in the famous Fleischer series of Superman cartoons and contains two notable "premieres" -- the first time Superman uses his x-ray vision and the first time Clark Kent uses a phone booth to change into Superman. In this short, Metropolis is the scene of a series of strange crimes. Giant robots, under the control of the Mad Scientist that created them, are robbing establishments of money and jewels. Naturally, the Daily Planet's top reporters, Clark Kent and Lois Lane, are after the story behind these robberies and the mechanical monsters that are perpetrating them. They arrive at the scene of a robbery in progress at a jewelry store; trying to intervene, Lois somehow gets trapped inside one of the robots. Kent makes the switch to the mighty Superman and follows the robots as they make their way back to the scientist's lair, but he gets waylaid by some pesky power lines. While he deals with this distraction, the Mad Scientist discovers Lois, ties her up and plans to get rid of her by pouring a cauldron of molten steel on top of her. Superman arrives with barely a second to spare, rescues the intrepid girl reporter, makes mincemeat of the robots and brings the Mad Scientist to justice. ~ Craig Butler, Rovi

Jack Frost
Balloon Land
The Scared Crows
Ding Dong Doggie
Betty Boop's dog Pudgy idolizes the cocky dalmatian at the local firehouse, dreaming of becoming a "fire-dog" himsel. Imagine Pudgy's delight when the dalmatian offers to give him a few firefighting tips. Alas, Betty won't let Pudge leave the house, so our canine hero sneaks out and hitches a route on a fire engine en route to a huge conflagration at a general store (which fortunately was already advertising a "Fire Sale"). But things don't quite work out as planned, and before long Pudgy is being harrassed and humiliated by those pesky little humanized flames that exist only in cartoons. The background music includes "Brotherly Love", from the "Popeye" cartoon of the same name. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

You Can't Shoe a Horsefly
Not Now
The Enchanted Horse
Boo Moon
The Three Bears
Pantry Panic
On with the New
In her late-1930s "tall and slim" mode, Betty Boop is a combination cook and dishwasher at "Ye Olde Quaint Coffee Potte" restaurant. Fed up with this dead-end job, Betty jumps at the chance for a career change when she lands a attendant's job at the Bundle from Heaven Nursery. At first, Betty enjoys taking care of the cute babies at the nursery (who are bathed and diapered on a conveyor belt!), but when the kids start breaking up furniture and smashing water pipes, she she has a sudden and startling change of heart. Song: "Off With the Old Job, On With the New". ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Impractical Joker
The Barnyard Brat
Ship of the Ether
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