LOST AND FOUND: Sam Singer’s “Little Dan’l Boom” (1959)

Sometimes Missing Links should stay missing. To wit: Little Dan’l Boom in ‘Trips Th’ Trapper” (1959)

Happy Thursday everyone! Thunderbean Thursday is back!

Over these past weeks I’ve been helping prepare a show for TCM. Last week’s article described it in detail – here.

Tune into TCM this Saturday, October 2nd, to watch CARTOON CARNIVAL at 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern – followed by a two-hour tribute to Fleischer Studios.

I’m happy to say I’m back working on scanning and finishing touches this week on more than several projects at the same time. There’s a few more things to scan in the next week or so as well. While rest is nice, watching each project wrapping is pretty satisfying.

One of the most enjoyable things in scanning films (for me at least!) is when the collector you are borrowing something from offers something you’ve never seen or heard of before. Longtime Cartoonologist Jeff Missinne was kind enough to lend some prints for both the upcoming Aesop’s Fables and Tom and Jerry sets–and while he was at it, in true Missinne fashion, he included a few gems that probably should have been left at the contaminated film mine. This honestly wasn’t too much of a surprise; this is the same person who once sent me a 45 minute audio tape of ‘Jingle Bells’ in every possible version you can imagine, claiming the tape was the cure (or cause of?) “Santa Claustraphopia”. Jeff was kind enough to borrow this print from another long-time Cartoonologist, Dave Kirwin. Thanks to both of you. Hopefully no one will want their five minutes back after seeing this!

Lil’ Dan’l Boom in “Trips the Trapper” (1959) lives up to its title if there is such a thing. It has all the marks of being produced by Sam Singer Productions. Jeff guessed this might be a pilot for a possible series, and I think he’s probably right too. It may very well have dated before its 1959 copyright date. It’s likely Sam Singer, if he was indeed the producer, either made or sold this pilot to Sterling Films. Of course, it is meant to capitalize on the popularity of Disney’s Davy Crockett Disneyland TV episodes (and it was five years before NBC’s Fess Parker Daniel Boone TV series). Singer was no doubt worried about using the actual name of the folk hero to avoid any possible lawsuit for an attempt to connect the cartoon with Disney’s show.

In terms of the actual film, ignore my joke above about the quality — I’ll let you decide. I’ve always enjoyed some aspects to Singer studio’s work. In this case, maybe I should consult with Jerry to see if he’s interested in putting this particular golden film classic into a certain show he does from time to time. (Editor’s Note: I am indeed interested! – Jerry).

Animator Ken Southworth worked on quite a few of Singer’s productions over the years, at least some of it moonlighting while at another studio during the day. He told me he sort of enjoyed working on Singer’s efforts since they were always simple and there were never any corrections or changes. No corrections or changes always spells quality!

I hope you enjoy this never-really-seen short, presented here from a super-rare Kodachrome print. As Jerry has said, the collectors do the Lord’s work saving things that otherwise probably wouldn’t be. This, is a shiny example. There’s another bizarre short Jeff sent as well that was scanned, but when I watched it tonight my brain broke. I’ll give you all at least a week of normal animation before unleashing it.

Have a great week everyone, and make sure to check your Coonskin cap before putting it on!

Thanks again Dave and Jeff.

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