Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year, and Farewell to a Beloved Film Collector

First off, let me wish everyone peace and prosperity for 2008!

The film collecting and historian community's new year has been shadowed by the passing of Harold "Rusty" Casselton on December 30th, from complications from liver cancer.

I knew Rusty only through some vague email correspondence but I can tell you he was a generous man and invaluable resource to the film history community. A short bio on Rusty is given below, borrowed from

Rusty Casselton (1954-2007) film professor, historian, and collector. Harold "Rusty" Casselton was a student, teaching assistant, long-time friend and business partner of Ted Larson. Casselton taught for many years at Concordia College before becoming Director of Film Studies at Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2001. He was a nationally known and respected restorer of rare and silent films.

Here is a good article with all the details. You may need to sign up to see it:§ion=news

Rest in peace Rusty, you will be missed.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas, CartoonsOnFilm Style

Howdy Bloggers and Surfers,
Just in case I won't be able to post sooner, I figured I'd treat you all to a Christmas-themed post. I pulled a couple prints from my collection of obscurities and am able to share them with you, again, via my MacBook's iSight camera and YouTube.
As always, please overlook the amateur, poorly framed/focused and low-res image.

First we have a Cinepix Inc. bootleg of a well known Van Beuren cartoon. Note, however, that Cinepix used a silent home movie print and added a somewhat creative music track. Excuse the water damage in the first few feet...

How do you like that "heavenly" odd music that continues after the end title?

Second, a Krazytoons print of a more obscure 1930s cartoon (but with a very famous character). A very nice print for being a bootleg!

Hope you all have a wonderful Holiday season, and will be back blogging soon.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Ken Southworth (1918-2007)

As posted by Ray Pointer at
Ten minutes ago, I received a call from Ken's wife, Carol that he had passed away of a stroke this morning.
I had spoken with him two weeks ago, and he had had a bad fall and was getting around by a cane.
My association with Ken began on THE ADVENTURES FROM THE BOOK OF VIRTUES in 1996. The following year we joined forces to produce the popular three volume Home Instruction course, THE KEN SOUTHWORTH ANIMATION Program that consisted of instructional VHS tapes and workbooks.
The origin of this series was based on Ken's desire to pass on his 50 years of experience to the next generation. Since talent for the animation field can come from virtually anywhere in the world, there is the possibility that someone in an isolated area without the means to attend one of the major Animation Schools might benefit from a few basic lessons. As a result we fashion this series of courses designed to spark that raw talent.

THE KEN SOUTHWORTH ANIMATION series was featured in several Video Catalogs including Schlesinger's Educational Library Video, The Whole Toon Catalog, and our web site: as well. While Ken established the original web site, I continued to develop it to what it is today. As a result, we have linked to many people worldwide who have found us, and told us how much they have enjoyed our product.

Ken was employed at The Walt Disney Studios from 1943 to 1951. He was primarily an Assistant Animator
in the Jack Hannah and Jack Kinney units working on numerous DONALD DUCK, GOOFY, and PLUTO short subjects. During this period, Ken developed the "Splat" shock/impact effects that became cartoon conventions in the Disney shorts. Ken also worked on a number of the Disney animated features including THE THREE CABBALLEROS, SONG OF THE SOUTH, and THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW. He assisted Frank Thomas on CINDERELLA, primarily on the STEPMOTHER, and also assisted Milt Kahl on ALICE IN WONDERLAND. In one of our programs, Ken took great pride in stating that he had done considerable work on the Croquet Sequence in ALICE IN WONDERLAND, saying, "Chances are, if you see a drawing with ALICE holding a flamingo, I did it!"

Ken left Disney after ALICE in WONDERLAND to accept an offer as an Animator for Walter Lantz, working under Tex Avery. When the second version of the famous WOODY WOODPECKER opening title was done, it was animated by Ken and LaVerne Harding. Ken then went to MGM during its last two years, with an Animator's credit on several of the Cinemascope cartoons produced by Hanna and Barbera starring TOM AND JERRY and DROOPY. When Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera launched H-B Enterprises in 1957, later to become Hanna-Barbera Productions in 1959, Ken went along with them, as an animatior on HUCKLEBERRY HOUND, QUICK DRAW MCGRAW, THE FLINTSTONES, TOP CAT, JONNY QUEST, SPACE GHOST, DINO BOY, SCUBBY DOO, THE SMURFS, DON COYOTE, and SWAT CATS. Ken was with H-B for 21 years.

In the early 1960s, Ken was also a Stop-Motion Animator and Storyboard Artist on DAVY AND GOLIATH for Clokey Productions. He was also Director and Layout Artist on QT HUSH and YOUNG DANIEL BOONE.
In the 1970s, he was a Storyboard Artist and Animator on STAR TREK, LASSIE, HE-MAN, and BRAVESTAR for Filmation. Ken was also an Animator on Bugs and Tweety for GREMILINS 2 and EARTH DAY TV. His fianl assignment was as a Director on ADVENTURES FROM THE BOOK OF VIRTUES on PBS.

During his active years, Ken taught Animation at the Hanna-Barbera Evening School, The American Animation Institute (Cartoonists Local 839), and since his retirement ten years ago, continued to speak at colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada including VanArts.

Ken was a most unique, generous, and inspiring man. With all of his past experiences with business ventures, he stated that I was the best associate he had ever worked with. That was really a tremendous compliment in light of his rich history, which gives me a great deal to live up to. Always the optomist, Ken had this to say about the future of animation:

" I think the best is yet to come, remembering that the play's the thing...I'm very optimistic for both 2D and 3D animation."
Rest in Peace, Ken,