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“Jasper In A Jam” January 15, 2008

Posted by Jeff in 1946 through 1960, Cartoons, Jazz, Movies, Music, Peggy Lee, Puppetoons, Swing, Zook.

From 1946, a George Pal Puppetoon featuring Charlie Barnet and Peggy Lee, and designed by Reg Massie.

This was the best of the Puppetoons headlining “Jasper.” As we’ll see in Friday’s offering, Pal was sufficiently enlightened to insist on black actors and singers at a time when it would get his shorts banned in the South (yes, even when they didn’t appear onscreen). Does that cancel out the stereotyping — okay, the racism — of the Jasper shorts? No, but it deserves consideration.

Here are other Puppetoons designed by my father.

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1. Dave Mackey - January 2, 2007

When I was a child, my local ABC affiliate (WABC in New York City) showed the Pal films liberally, in the days before “Good Morning America” or “Regis and Kelly” ruled the time slot. They leased a whole package of these from NTA, including the pre-1950 Paramount library. There was another Pal film out of that group I remember vividly, “Date with Duke” which featured Duke Ellington.

I think my love of jazz and swing music came from watching these films as a wee tot. This one, of course, features Charlie Barnet and his orchestra with their two biggest jazz tunes, “Cherokee” (which was a Ray Noble composition) and “Pompton Turnpike”.

I never saw black in these cartoons. I saw very interesting imagery. And that’s why I wish they were better remembered by the populace at large, instead of being regarded as cultural remnants of a less-enlightened society.

2. Bob Bower - January 21, 2007

I have not seen any mention of it, but a favorite of mine was “Jasper Say Ah!” Jasper endures the trials of dentistry!
There was another character that we loved, too, Rusty, a red-haired, befreckled kid. Great cartoons, which sparked my interest in puppetry.

3. jospeh Bokknight - July 14, 2007

Dave, I agree!

4. Anonymous - April 21, 2010

Of course Charlie Barnet was a white band and Peggy a white singer.
Could have used Basie and Billie, or many other great black performers.

5. Childhood memories - May 7, 2010

thank you so much for posting this video! I have looked for it everywhere…. it brings back soooo many memories!!

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