A Columbia Art Extravaganza

Back in the early 1930s, Columbia Pictures published tomes consisting entirely of amazingly splashy ads for its upcoming movies. These Columbia yearbooks don’t show up for sale often, and when they do, they don’t come cheap.

But the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s Margaret Herrick Library has done us all a favor by scanning in the 1933-1934 edition of the book. You can view it–or even download it in PDF form–here.

Naturally, our primary concern here at Scrappyland is the yearbook’s Scrappy-related pages. I wrote about them years ago–pilfering images from an eBay auction–but they’re well worth re-celebrating.

Here’s a dazzling spread about Scrappy and his Mintz stablemate Krazy Kat–which, as with the other images here, you can view in larger form by clicking.

Scrappy and Krazy Kat

Here’s another rather amazing ad which has Scrappy heading up a parade of characters, with Mickey Mouse–maybe the biggest movie star of the era, period–back in the crowd.

Scrappy Parade

And here, just to make Mickey seem even less important, is a mere half-page promo illustrated by someone who didn’t know what Mickey Mouse looked like. He may have been “always good,” but he was no Scrappy.

Mickey

I’m confused as to why Mickey (and the Silly Symphonies) appear in this 1933-1934 volume at all.  In 1930, Disney decided to move distribution from Columbia to United Artists; by mid-1932, after completing its obligations to Columbia, it did so.

Perhaps this book–despite the 1933-1934 date–came out at in the first half of 1932, when Columbia was still distributing Disney shorts but knew that the jig was about to be up. That might explain why it promoted them so half-heartedly.

The rest of the Columbia yearbook is devoted to upcoming live-action movies. I’ve never heard of some of them, and some titles don’t appear in IMDB, suggesting that their names changed before release, or maybe that they weren’t made at all.

The splendiferous artwork oozes with pre-code excitement. (It’s even better in color, as you’ll see if you peruse it at the Academy’s site.) I wish I knew who painted it all. And even though it has nothing to do with Scrappy or animation, I can’t resist sharing a few of the spreads here.

Columbia ad

Columbia ad

Columbia ad

Columbia ad

Columbia ad

Columbia ad

Columbia ad

2 comments to A Columbia Art Extravaganza

  • Wow – a two-reel comedy ad from before the Columbia Shorts Department signed The Three Stooges, Andy Clyde, Harry Langdon and Leon Errol in 1934. At that point, the only productions were the “Musical Novelties” and the short-lived George SIdney & Charlie Murray series.

  • Fernando

    That has got to be the scariest incarnation of Mickey I have ever seen.

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