Screen Gems Cartoons

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Credits
Descriptions by
Lenhill, Mr. Logo Lord, and garfield13

Captures by
Lenhill, Mr. Logo Lord, and garfield13

Editions by
Lenhill, V of Doom, Bob Fish, garfield13, and DatuDimatablan

Background

Charles B. Mintz and his wife Margaret J. Winkler opened their animation studio in 1929 to produce animated film shorts, using various vanity cards, which include "Color Rhapsody", "Phantasy", and "Fable" among others. Columbia Pictures Corporation released their cartoons and then later acquired a stake in the company in 1933 and launched "Screen Gems". However, when Mintz became indebted to Columbia in 1939, he ended up selling his studio to them. Under new management, the Screen Gems became a full time animation studio in 1940 until 1946 when Columbia closed its animation unit.

The "Screen Gems" name was inspired by an early Columbia Pictures slogan, "Gems of the Screen", itself based on an American patriotic song entitled "Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean".

Columbia later revived the "Screen Gems" name for its its television arm, and then as Sony's genre film division.

General Titles

1st Logo (1929-1939)

Note: Krazy Kat was the first cartoon series ever to be produced at the Mintz-Winkler studio.

Logo: It's Columbia Pictures' then-current print logo used onscreen. Usually it was used as a closing logo, with the print logo framed by a TV screen-like outline, the cartoon series' name at the top and the text "Recorded by RCA Victor "HIGH FIDELITY" Sound System" below the logo, which is overlapped by "The End" in a fancy script font.

Variants: On Krazy Kat, the logo can be barely seen on the second card of the opening credits.

Closing Title: Same as the opening, but instead of the credits, we can now see clearly the Columbia Pictures print logo overlapped by the "The End" written in script and "A KRAZY KAT COMIC" below. Later in 1930, the disclaimer changed to "A WINKLER KRAZY KAT COMIC".

Technique: None. For Krazy Kat, 2D animation is used, but it is unknown if the curtains were also animated.

Music/Sounds: The intro/outro of the cartoon's music, or a custom fanfare.

Availability: Rare, as many of the Krazy Kat shorts were reissued by Samba Pictures, Inc.

2nd Logo (1938-1946)

Logo: It's Columbia Pictures' 1936 logo, noticeably redrawn, with the words "COLUMBIA" in chiseled letters and the clouds behind the Torch Lady (who is holding an American flag) drawn in blue. It also has the cartoon series name and "IN TECHNICOLOR" overlapping the pedestal. Starting in 1942, the American flag was changed into a plain drape (as in the movie logo). Two color schemes for the 1942 variant are known:

  • Orange clouds, purple company name, with the Torch Lady holding a pink (or purple due to film deterioration) drape.
  • Blue clouds, navy blue company name, with the Torch Lady holding a periwinkle drape.

Closing Title: TBA

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: The theme of the cartoon.

Availability: TBA

3rd Logo (1939-1945)

Logo: Nothing but the 1936 Columbia Pictures logo, only with two changes:

  • It has "Presents" in white script below. A variant shows the logo with "Presents" fading in after a few seconds.
  • The shining of the torch is a bit different.

Closing Title: TBA

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: The theme of the cartoon.

Availability: Rare.

Reissue Titles

Background: As with Warner Bros. and MGM, Columbia too reissued a large portion of its color cartoon library beginning roughly when the studio closed in 1946.

1st Logo (1940s)

Logo: On a blue background with white stars is a yellow shape. On the shape are the red words "a COLUMBIA FAVORITE" and below, the name of the cartoon and "Color by TECHNICOLOR" on a rainbow print. Several characters from the Columbia cartoons are surrounding the logo (a la the 1942-1946 Color Rhapsodies logo and the 1942-1944 Phantasies logo) including Li'l Abner's pig Salami from Porkuliar Piggy (1944), the buffalo and Indian from Lo the Poor Buffal (1948), the turkey and moose from Topsy Turkey (1948), the Daffy-esque duck and the hunter from Wacky Quacky (1947), and the dog and cat from Flora (1948) among others.

Closing Title: Early reissued cartoons had the original end titles. On later cartoons, the words "A COLUMBIA FAVORITE" and (below) "The End" (in script) appear on a background which varies depending on the cartoon (along with the fonts for the text).

Variant: On cartoons directed by Ub Iwerks like Skeleton Frolic (1937), the black words "Directed by UB IWERKS" were added below the title of the cartoon.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: The intro of the cartoon theme.

Availability: Can be found on reissue prints of cartoons like: The Way of all Pests (1941), Bon Bon Parade (1935), Window Shopping (1938), Frog Pond (1938), Mr. Moocher (1944), The Fox and The Grapes (1941), Skeleton Frolic (1937), The Herring Murder Mystery (1943), Mountain Ears (1939) and Rocky Road To Ruin (1943) among others.

2nd Logo (1950s)

Logo: On a background with colorful rombs, on the top of the screen are the words "A COLUMBIA FAVORITE" in white letters. Below it's the cartoon name in big yellow letters and below it "COLOR BY TECHNICOLOR". On the bottom of it the words "REPRINT" are written in an inflated bottom script.

Closing Title: Same as the previous logo.

Trivia: This title was designed by United Productions of America.

Variants:

  • On UPA-reissued cartoons like The Magic Fluke (1949), the copyright stamp was added below "COLOR BY TECHNICOLOR". This is followed by the credits and then the UPA logo appears.
  • On Totally Tooned In, the "REPRINT" script is blacked out.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: Same as the previous logo.

Availability: Can be found on reissue prints of cartoons like: Kitty Caddy (1947), Boston Beanie (1947), Up 'n Atom (1947), Concerto in B Flat Minor (1942), The Magic Fluke (1949), Mother Hubba-Hubba Hubbard (1947), Be Patient, Patient (1944), Foxy Flatfoots (1946), and Kuku Nuts (1945), among others.

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