Norman Normal - Title Card

Toon In: Paul Stookey’s Norman Normal (1968)

Friends, Norman Normal is a different offering for Toon In. For one thing it happened to be scored by none other than Paul Stookey. Indeed, the very same Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul, and Mary. In fact it was co-produced, co-written and even features voice work by Stookey as well. Norman Normal also is one of the lesser seen Warner Bros. animated shorts.

[Via] John 1948Ten

I mention that Norman Normal hasn’t been seen by many. That could be because it was released as a cartoon special for it’s adult sensibilities. Nothing to worry about of course in regards to language or the like. It is because it follows Norman as he basically confronts the issues of life that are weighing heavily on his mind.
Norman Normal

Our main protagonist in Norman Normal is a ball bearing salesman. Right off the bat he shares with us, thanks to the many doors in his mind, an ethical quandary concerning his Boss. Who by the way is voiced by Stookey as well, actually most of the characters that Norman encounters are voiced by the singer-songwriter.
Norman Normal - Boss

While his Boss wants him to land a new client by getting him to drink too much, we see that Norman Normal is thankfully of stronger morale character. Not that he isn’t finding himself confused by what is expected of him. So he decides to visit his Father to seek advice. I will naturally leave it to you to decide if he has been given sage advice or not.
Norman Normal - Father

Finally we get a chance to visit Norman at a company party. Where as you can probably guess, things aren’t exactly peachy-keen. On display is more of personal issues of others that they try to foist on their co-worker.
Norman Normal - Party

The part of Norman Normal is voiced by Dave Dixon. It really is an interesting animated short. Certainly worthy of your six minutes of time. While it was originally released on February 3, 1968 there are still powerful as well as relatable messages within it.

Now, settle back and dive into Norman Normal!

Paneless Window Washer - Popeye - Toon In

Toon In: Popeye – The Paneless Window Washer (1937)

I yam what I yam! As is of course our offering for this week’s Toon In. The 1937 Fleischer Studios short Popeye the Sailor in The Paneless Window Washer. This actually marks the 43rd theatrical cartoon by the Fleischer Studio. Originally released on January 22, 1937 – it involves our favorite cartoon sailor doing his best to prove he is the best and most Paneless Window Washer!
Paneless Window Washer - Popeye - Paneless

You have probably figured out that in The Paneless Window Washer the source of trouble comes from Bluto. Indeed he is the sole proprietor of the Bluto Window Cleaning Co. and has decided to drum up business.
Paneless Window Washer - Bluto Window Cleaning Co

Doing so as a matter of fact by using a hose to splash mud on the windows of the building across the street. Which I hate to say is a rather smart way to keep yourself in business. However, this is an underhanded business practice to say the least.
Paneless Window Washer - Bluto with a hose

Bluto’s plan hits a snag though when he is about to clean the windows of Olive Oyl, a public stenographer. Popeye is already on the job and is ready to demonstrate his own unique style of cleaning windows.
Paneless Window Washer - Popeye and Bluto

Obviously the possibility of losing payment for cleaning the windows he dirtied rubs Bluto the wrong way. Before you can say ‘I yam what I yam’ the two animated icons are engaged in fisticuffs!

Synopsis aside, The Paneless Window Washer is truly a remarkable short. Not just because in its six minute running time it manages to pack in so much humor. It is the animation itself that frequently takes my breath away. While watching it, friends, be sure to check out the angles used throughout the short. Certainly a unique and a refreshing take on animation from 81 years in the past!
Paneless Window Washer - Animation Angle

Now then, grab your favorite beverage and snack and enjoy The Paneless Window Washer!

[Via] 8th Man

The Hole - 1962 - ICBM

Toon In: The Hole (1962)

It has certainly been a while since the last Toon In offering, friends. You might have thought we’ve dropped into The Hole perhaps? I have definitely missed sharing what I believed to be worthy animated shorts of course. However it was getting a little discouraging to constantly find the subjects of the posts getting yanked. Especially when they are Academy Award winning shorts like in the case of 1962’s The Hole!

The Hole was written by Faith and John Hubley. While some say they also animated the short I have in fact found sites that claim it was Bill Littlejohn as well as Gary Mooney. For the Hubley’s legendary animation studio, Storyboard Studios, of course. If that studio sounds familiar it might be because you remember their work on The Electric Company!

Nanto Vision 1

By the way, Littlejohn also worked on the likes of 1965’s A Charlie Brown Christmas and other Peanuts TV specials. With Mooney being involved with Jay Ward’s George of the Jungle and Underdog to name just a few of the projects they had a hand in. Furthermore the animation for the short is rather different for the time. Instead of animation cells the short was shot using watercolors on paper.
The Hole - Toon In

Certainly giving it a very unique look I would say.
The Hole - Dizzy Gillespie

Also of note are the voice actors that were hired for The Hole. None other than George Mathews (Gunfight at the O.K. Corral). And the iconic jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie. Furthermore the dialogue in the short film was improvised. Which indeed suits the two characters quite well.

In The Hole we listen to two construction workers talk about a myriad of subjects. Dirty dishes, citizenship, dancing, Saints, as well as nuclear war. It’s an enjoyable short to say the very least. The humor coming not from hijinks but ‘real life’ conversations between two co-workers. It also feels incredibly timeless. Which is probably why the Academy Film Archive preserved it in 2003. With the Library of Congress inducting it in the National Film Registry in 2013!

You have a little information on The Hole now, friends. So set aside fifteen minutes of your time and enjoy the short.

[Via] Amesea

Here on Toon In we have shared the work of John Hubley before. Back in February of 2016, the Oscar nominated short Rooty Toot Toot. It’s a little lighter than The Hole and also worthy of your time.

Tweet Zoo - Tweety Bird

Toon In: Merrie Melodies’ Tweet Zoo (1957)

Welcome back to a new installment of Toon In, friends. Our offering this week entitled Tweet Zoo was released in theaters back in 1957. A Merrie Melodies animated short that was directed by Friz Freleng. Who as a matter of fact created the likes of Porky Pig, Yosemite Sam, and the stars of Tweet Zoo Sylvester and Tweety.
Tweet Zoo - Sylvester And Tweety

In addition it has also been noted that the Tweet Zoo title is a play on the 1928 hit song Sweet Sue, Just You. Which was composed by Victor Young and featured lyrics by Will J. Harris. It was covered by many bands and singers from Benny Goodman to Miles Davis. Furthermore it was sung by the cast of I Love Lucy in 1952 as well as 1954 and once again in 1957.

[Via] Michael Johnson

You get all types of knowledge here at The Retroist, right?

Tweet Zoo was written by Warren Foster (Porky in Wackyland ) and finds Sylvester in a tour group at the city zoo. Of course his attention is solely on Tweety Bird who happens to be one of the rare exhibits. Certainly our favorite wise-cracking yellow canary isn’t going to let himself become an easy meal, right?

1957’s Tweet Zoo features the talented Mel Blanc of course. Moreover Freleng injects some of the most laugh out loud animated physical bits of comedy. Case in point when Tweety Bird takes refuge in the the bear den and Sylvester tries to reach him with a net.

I can’t help but bust a gut at the bear’s reaction every single time. However while Tweet Zoo is a fantastic animated short. It was actually another Sylvester and Tweety short that won the 1957 Academy Awards – that honor fell to Birds Anonymous.

So without further ado, join us and Toon In as we enjoy 1957’s Tweet Zoo!
[Via] Classic Cartoon Vault

After watching Tweet Zoo perhaps you feel up to more cartoon fun?

Then why not check out Zim Animation’s 3D animated intros to the likes of He-Man, Ghostbusters, and more?


Cuphead Announcement Trailer Is Stunningly Beautiful

The Upcoming Cuphead was originally announced back at E3 in 2015. StudioMDHR certainly turned more than a few heads with the below teaser. I was of course blown away by its mix of Fleischer Studio inspired art style. As well as what I have to say looks to be a platformer with shoot ’em up game elements!

[Via] StudioMDHR

As I just mentioned, the game was announced in 2015. Although it was revealed to Microsoft’s E3 2014 press conference. Furthermore Cuphead was expected to debut in 2016. In the early part of October 2016, StudioMDHR announced that Cuphead wouldn’t debut until mid-2017. The reason being was a sound one I believe. Instead of forcing themselves to a strict deadline, which would of course mean the excising of certain parts of the game. They wisely decided to delay so that their full vision for the game would be kept intact when it is released on September 29th of this year.
Cuphead - Don't Deal With the Devil

The systems it will be readily available for include the Xbox One, Windows 10, and Steam. I will have to admit that I was rather shocked that the title wasn’t being offered to the Playstation. However I wouldn’t be too surprised if a little down the road it doesn’t make its way over to the Sony fans.
Cuphead - Carnival

Brothers Jared and Chad Moldenhauer are the lead game designer and art director for Cuphead. They started working on the idea for the game back in 2010 in fact. Featuring hand-drawn animation and watercolor backgrounds, the audio includes original jazz recordings.

I should mention the story for Cuphead involves the titular character losing a bet with the Devil himself. Judging from that 2015 E3 teaser our hero and his pal Mugman decide to fill up with some liquid courage and try to repay that debt. Doing so involves overcoming 30 boss battles. Which is five more than the Guinness World Record says a shoot ’em up has challenged Players with so far.

I have also read that Jared and Chad have stated they are aiming for old school difficulty. While I’m hoping they aren’t going as old school as Capcom’s Mega Man I will buy this game no matter what. My love of animation that I share on the Toon In posts demands I play this game even if I’m horrible at it.
Cuphead - Devil

I ask you to look at these beautiful screencaps of the game in action. That anything is possible in a cartoon feel really shines through!


Certainly a lot of work has gone into Cuphead, the team has expertly crafted a title that wears it’s love of the Fleischer Studios on its sleeve. In addition StudioMDHR has a merchandise page that is suitably retro of course. Pins featuring the likes of Mugman and Cuphead are available. As well as sweaters, T-shirts, stickers and even posters. All looking like they were plucked right out of the animated shorts of the 1930s!

[Via] StudioMDHR

Now while we patiently await the release of the game…

Why not delve into those very shorts that inspired the creation of Cuphead?

For your viewing pleasure, we present 1939’s Small Fry from the Fleischer Studios!

[Via] Disney Short Film