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Director: Frank Moser
Release Date: 1930
Rating: ★★

Family Album © Audio Productions‘Family Album’ is a commercial by Charles W. Barrell for the Western Electric Company, glorifying the telephone, and its ‘offspring’: other inventions that are derived from telephone technology, including the microphone and the speaker.

The film reuses the character Talkie from Fleischer’s earlier film ‘Finding his voice‘ (1929), but its star is an anthropomorphized telephone, talking about his family. Although quite educational, the film is less interesting than Fleischer’s film. The animation, by veterans Paul Terry and Frank Moser, is rather poor and limited. There’s no rubbery animation whatsoever, and the designs are still in 1920s style.

‘Family Album’ is available on the DVD ‘Cultoons! Rare, Lost and Strange Cartoons! Volume 2: Animated Education’

Director: Cy Young
Release Date: 1930

A Desert Dilemma © Audio Productions‘A Desert Dilemma’ is a short commercial for a car insurance, made by Cy Young (misspelled as Sy Young in the opening titles).

The cartoon is still rooted in the 1920s: its animation is from the silent era, and the designs are old-fashioned. The story is rather incomprehensible, and one wonders whether this commercial has ever been a success. However, it has a lively jazzy score to enjoy.

Nothing in this film indicates a rare talent, but a year later Cy Young would make a very early color short called ‘Mendelssohn’s Spring Serenade’, which is miles ahead from this short. Soon after he was hired by Walt Disney, and became a star effects animator at the Disney studio, providing stunning special effects for the studio’s first five features. Young left Disney in 1941, after the strike, and worked for the US Air Force. He ended his own life in 1964.

‘A Desert Dilemma’ is available on the DVD ‘Cultoons! Rare, Lost and Strange Cartoons! Volume 2: Animated Education’

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