Toby the Pup

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A Toby the Pup promotional poster

Toby the Pup is an animated cartoon character created by animators Sid Marcus, Dick Huemer, and Art Davis. He starred in a series of early sound shorts produced by Charles B. Mintz for RKO Radio Pictures. The series lasted from 1930 to 1931. Twelve cartoons were produced, though very few still survive today.

Toby can be seen dancing in one of the scenes of the movie Cool World.

History[edit]

In 1930, Charles Mintz, while simultaneously producing the Krazy Kat cartoon series for Columbia, decided to create an additional series to be distributed through RKO Radio Pictures. He hired two Fleischer animators, Dick Huemer and Sid Marcus and assigned them to work with Art Davis to create a new series. Marcus, who worked for the Mintz studio when it was still located in New York City, devised Toby the Pup. Toby was very similar to Fleischer's Bimbo, in both personality and character design. He wore custodian hat, and a pair of shoes that look like dog feet. Despite the series' success, it concluded after only twelve films; most likely because of RKO's ties with the Van Beuren studio. However, by the time the series ended, Mintz was already negotiating with Columbia for backing on a second cartoon series headed again by Huemer, Marcus, and Davis. This time, Huemer devised a new character, a small boy named Scrappy.

Today, very few of the Toby cartoons are known to exist. Only a fragment (about half) of The Museum exists in the Library of Congress. Prints of the short have turned up in a few private film collections in the United States and four were discovered in Europe. UCLA currently owns a sound print of Circus Time. The Cartoon Factory, a syndicated compilation of public domain cartoons distributed throughout Europe, featured three Toby cartoons, The Milkman, Down South, and Halloween. Lobster Films, the company behind the program, currently holds these titles. A substantial fragment of The Showman has also surfaced. In 2005, a full 16mm print of The Brown Derby was found in a private collection in San Marcos, Texas, by Toby Heidel. The print is currently housed at UCLA and restoration is being attempted by Jere Guldin.

Filmography[edit]

1930[edit]

Film Original release date Notes
The Museum August 19, 1930
The Fiddler September 1, 1930 Lost cartoon
The Miner October 1, 1930 Lost cartoon
Toby the Showman November 22, 1930
The Bug House December 7, 1930 Lost cartoon

1931[edit]

Film Original release date Notes
Circus Time January 25, 1931
The Milkman February 25, 1931
Brown Derby March 22, 1931
Down South April 15, 1931
Halloween May 1, 1931
Aces Up May 16, 1931 Lost cartoon
The Bull Thrower June 7, 1931 Lost cartoon

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Lenburg, Jeff (1999): The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books.
  • Maltin, Leonard (1987): Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons. Penguin Books.

External links[edit]