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Baby Checkers (1940)

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Gran'pop Monkey opens a nursery, but the mischievous baby animals overwhelm him and his two assistants.

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Gran'pop Monkey opens a nursery, but the mischievous baby animals overwhelm him and his two assistants.

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Monkey Puzzle
4 January 2010 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

After he lost his cartoon studio about 1936, Ub Iwerks bounced around a bit: first to Leon Schlesinger, where he directed some Porky Pig cartoons, and eventually to the Fleischer Brothers, where he worked on an elaborate Pterodactyls-vs-zeppelins cartoon before that studio imploded from brotherly bickering. Eventually he wound up back at Disney where he worked in the back room improving animation techniques and winning a technical Academy Award for the work.

Somewhere about 1940 he went to Great Britain where he did a few cartoons in an attempt to make Great Britain a power in international animation, but the War put paid to that idea until it was revived in the later 1940s under fellow Disney alumnus David Hand.

This is one of cartoons. It is based on Gran'pop Monkey,created by Lawson Wood for his Collier's magazine cover illustrations; Collier's was one of the general interest slicks, like The Saturday Evening Post and Liberty. In this one, Gran Pop is running a day care center for all sorts of animal babies. Naturally they get into mischief.

The animation is facile, but the situations are purely matters of cuteness, with no bite in the humor. Of some interest for animation history, it is watchable, but little more.


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