The other night I was watching bits and pieces of the TV Week Logie Awards in-between the ad breaks of Borat. I usually don’t bother watching the Logies as it has no credibility whatsoever, considering the people who vote for the awards, the readers of TV Week, are usually aged between 12 and 15. From what I saw the show was boring and Gretel Killeen was a horrible host, which in itself was not surprising at all.
One part of the show that was interesting was Mr Movies Bill Collins being inducted into the Hall of Fame. I have very fond memories of watching Mr Collins on Channel 10 back in the 80s on Saturdays and Sundays. I especially remember that on Sundays he used to show Martin & Lewis and Abbott & Costello films. I still watch him on Fox Classics where he is still very passionate about the great films that he presents.
Seeing Bill Collins on Sunday night put a germ of an idea into my head. If Fox Classics can showcase classic movies with the Bill Collins’ Golden Years of Hollywood why can’t they do the same thing for classic animation too? Sure, a lot of people dismiss animation as being only kids’ stuff only worthy of being shown on Saturday mornings, yet I think that anything which features around 20,000 drawings in only sevens minutes of entertainment deserves a little more respect. Worse still, very little of the classic animation is ever shown on Australian TV anymore. I think that Boomerang shows some Looney Tunes and Tom & Jerry and that’s it! FTA does not show any of these cartoons anymore, while even the Disney Channel does not show the antics of Mickey, Donald and Goofy any longer.
My idea is for Fox Classics (or whichever station) to have a Golden Years of Animation show, presented in a similar way to how Bill Collins presents his classic movies. They could feature a half hour of classic cartoons that have not aired on TV for many years, presented by a knowledgeable host. Each show could be grouped together by say directors, characters or themes and they could even in some cases complement the movies that Bill Collins presents in his show. (For example if Bill shows a Frank Tashlin directed live action film such as Hollywood or Bust, it could be proceeded by Tashlin directed cartoons such as The Fox and The Grapes, Puss ‘N’ Booty and Porky Pig’s Feat.)
This is just an idea and I believe that in America there have been similar types of shows in the past on Cartoon Network or TCM. I don’t think it would be difficult for Fox Classics to get the rights to these cartoons as most are already in the vaults at Foxtel, having in the past been shown on Disney Channel, TV1, Cartoon Network and Boomerang. The rights to those cartoons that Foxtel don’t already have access to would not cost much to get either.
Here’s a brief rundown of how I’d structure each show.
Show 1 – Spotlight on the early Chuck Jones cartoons
- Tom Thumb In Trouble
- Sniffles Takes A Trip
- The Dover Boys
Show 2 – Spotlight on UPA
- Gerald McBoing Boing
- When Magoo Flew
- Rooty Toot Toot
Show 3 – Spotlight on Tex Avery at MGM
- Little Rural Riding Hood
- Bad Luck Blackie
- Symphony In Slang
Show 4 – Spotlight on the Silly Symphonies
- The Skeleton Dance
- The Three Little Pigs
- The Ugly Duckling (1939)
Show 5 – Spotlight on Bugs Bunny
- A Wild Hare
- The Rabbit of Seville
- Bully For Bugs
I could probably do a lot better if I put some thought into the content. This is all just off the top of my head.