An Animators Draft: A Car-Tune Portrait (1937)


Today I am re-posting an original animators draft for the Max Fleischer “Color Classic” cartoon A Car-Tune Portrait (released June 26th, 1937). Drafts for non-Disney cartoons are scarce, but vital to identifying and studying individual animators style.

First, let’s take a look at the cartoon itself. Animators on this film include Dave Tendlar, Eli Brucker, Nick Tafuri, Joe Oriolo, Bill Sturm, and Herman Cohen. The voice of the Lion conductor (orchestra leader) was provided by radio announcer David Ross.

Now let’s go through the film, shot by shot, from this original document found in Dave Tendlar’s personal files. Note the original title was “Animal Orchestra”. The draft does not include the opening sequence of the characters being drawn by an artists hand. The film must have run short and they added this sequence late in production.



Scene 3portrait7


Scene 8portrait12
Scene 10portrait13


Scene 11portrait11

Scene 13portrait14


Scene 21portrait28


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Scene 28capture3a

Scene 29portrait29


Scene 32portrait20



(This post was originally published, in somewhat different form, by Jerry Beck on Cartoon Research in 2006).

8 responses to “An Animators Draft: A Car-Tune Portrait (1937)

  1. I disagree. I thought this was one of the better cartoons of this series. It was better than the Famous Studios remake.

  2. The cartoon’s obviously based off of Disney’s “The Band Concert”, but earns a little place in cartoon history as being the first to use Franz Lizst’s Hungarian Rhapsody as the jumping off point for the musical gags. Friz Freleng and Hanna-Barbera’s efforts are far better known, but the Fleischers got there first.

  3. Maybe that’s the problem. It’s imitative of Disney, without enough ‘Fleischer’ to it. It hurts to think they thought they had to be more like Disney, rather than keep going radically in their own direction and distinguish themselves.

  4. I hardly see much of “The Band Concert” in it. I mean where’s the tornado? Besides, there still some Fleischer stuff in it that I can hardly tell it’s Disney influence much.

    • Thematically, it’s the same — taking a piece of classical music and having the characters begin by trying to do a serious performance, and having it descend into chaos.

      Disney’s writers opted to have the chaos in large part come from an external source in the tornado, while the Fleischers internalized the problem by having things fall apart entirely due to the misbehavior of various band members (which in it’s own way, reflects the attitudes of the studios — Disney was the responsible one that by the mid-30s tended to be wary of any character not wearing a sailor’s suit act as a deliberate troublemaker, while the Fleischers even in the Color Classics enjoyed showing regular characters engaged in on-screen anarchy).

  5. The last section of your comment regarding “attitudes of studios” seems muddled. You are saying that, outside of Donald, Disney characters were not anarchic? In your earlier comment you say ‘A Car-tune Portrait’ is ‘basically’ based off ‘The Band Concert’. Later you say ‘thematically’. There is a big difference between the two. Thematically it could be said ‘A Car-Tune Portrait’ has much in common with many cartoons as does ‘The Band Concert’ depending on which theme you observe.

  6. Thematics aside, the fact alone that the animation of Donald Duck in THE BAND CONCERT by Dick Huemer, an ex-Fleischerite, is better drawn and acted than anything in A CAR-TUNE PORTRAIT, two full years earlier, is very revealing of the differences between the two studios. Sorry, I love the Fleischer cartoons, but it’s there.

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