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Van Beuren Studios: Lost Cartoon TreasuresAnnouncements [A]
If asked what Van Beuren Studios was famous for, most people today would probably look at you with a blank stare. Other than being vaguely known for the re-releases of the infamous Charlie Chaplain series, the little known production company also helped lead the pack when it came to classic cartoons of their time.
Van Beuren Studios was started by an upstart named Amadee J. Van Beuren. Paul Terry was also involved in the studio’s history, but later left to start his own production company, called Terrytoons. Van Beuren’s most recognized characters were called “Tom and Jerry,” but bear no relation to the cat and mouse characters released by MGM Studios eight years later. Their success was modest, yielding 26 cartoons in all. Aesop’s Fables, the studio’s other front runner gave rise to the now not so recognizable Cubby Bear, one of the series’ stars.
Walt Disney Studios had already made a splash with music and sound effects in their early toons, and Van Beuren promised to follow suit and do the same later on. The producers hired Tom Palmer, who had actually worked with Walt Disney Studios, along with Leon Schleisinger Studios, and Universal Pictures cartoon studio, to create a new series in hopes of jump-starting the B-list studio’s reputation. The somewhat well-received series was called “Rainbow Parade.”
Despite the studio’s mild successes, it was forced to closed its doors when RKO Radio Pictures decided to release Walt Disney cartoons, rather than those produced by Van Beuren.
The now little known toons were shown on black & white television sets throughout the nation, but their popularity was always overshadowed by the Disney giant.