Independence Day in the USA, 2024

It’s Independence Day here- but before the usual 4th of July post, here’s some short Thunderbean news:

We’re moving forward on various things here, and working especially to dub special discs this next week. We’re been done with Mid Century Modern, Volume 3 for a bit now, and we are throwing everything we have at it to get replication started as soon as we can. To that end,this week we have two ‘limited edition’ Thunderbean -Tee-Shirts— Private Snafu and Van Beuren’s Tom and Jerry. We also have a limited release on Blu-ray of the strange 60s Zagreb-Studio produced Sam Bassett — Hound for Hire cartoons on Blu-ray. All can be found at the Thunderbean shop.

Happy Thursday, the 4th of July, 2024 to everyone, everywhere. For those of us in the United States, it’s the Day the country declared independence from England. If you went to a local Walmart (or nearly anywhere) the things you would see on the shelf for sale for the holiday are glitzy and shiny..and of course there’s lots of fireworks for sale all over the place too That is the commercial aspect of the holiday- but other than that stuff it’s a pretty traditional day for cookouts here- and seeing a large public fireworks display at night or the days before the holiday.

AND— today’s patriotic cartoons!

I don’t think there’s many films made these days around this holiday at all— in fact, I think when theatrical cartoons ended that was the end of any mention of the 4th of July in
Animation for the most part, or close– so most of these are from WW2.

While I know it’s not a holiday anywhere else in the world, it’s pretty custom here on Cartoon Research to talk about some of the classic cartoons based on the holiday… so we’re not breaking from tradition! So, here are some of my favorite ‘Patriotic” cartoons:

Sammy Salvage:
Ted Eshbaugh’s little spot for the war conservation board is one of my favorite patriotic themed films since it’s so strange. From Sammy’s almost complete inability to turn his head in the first scenes to the various metal creatures marching to their destruction to the ‘junk ain’t junk no more’ song, I find it entertaining over and over.

Yankee Doodle Mouse is, perhaps, the essential 4th of July cartoon, even though it’s a pretty usual Tom and Jerry for the period. It ends with a pretty patriotic moment, with Tom, tied to a big red firework, explodes in a beautiful American Flag firework display. I always felt like this was a little beyond the pale since Tom is likely hurt if he’s even still in existence, and I don’t think Jerry would truly salute his actual death.

Here it is on Daily Motion:

Of course, the only time of year to ever watch Patriotic Popeye is on the 4th. Here’s a scan (not mine!) of an IB tech 16mm print:

The Spirit of 43 (1943 of course!) is a short that was around for many years in all sorts of fair prints since its in the Public Domain. I’ve always liked this one, even though it’s about paying taxes. The ending animation is used in a few of these films, but I think it’s most effective here. We used the cloud/flag idea for the Snafu cartoons DVD and Blu-ray, based on the ending of this film:

So, now, what are *your* favorite patriotic cartoons? I would put Old Glory on my own list, but honestly those cheeks on Porky always scare me a little!

Have a good 4th folks in the states, and happy week to everyone else!