"A treasure trove for Marxists of all stripes." -Joe Adamson
The Animated Marx Brothers To many people, The Marx Brothers always seemed cartoonish. Small wonder that film animators plucked their personas from their first appearances in The Cocoanuts (1929) and Animal Crackers (1930) and caricatured them in countless animated appearances in theatrical cartoons. Their animated likenesses have since been wisecracking in television cartoons, direct-to-video movies, fan films, commercials, flip books, avatars, emoji, a slot machine, and two TV pilots so rare they were once thought not to exist.
At last, Marx Brothers fans can rejoice. Matthew Hahn’s search for every animated appearance of a Marx brother has trailed longer than Groucho’s coattails. His discoveries include the backstories of the studios, moviemakers, and stars, rare test drawings from the Smithsonian Institution National Portrait Gallery, abandoned projects, connections, coincidences, and apocrypha.
Through the reels of Silly Symphonies, Looney Tunes, and Merrie Melodies, to their comic clashes with Heckle & Jeckle, Oswald Rabbit, Krazy Kat, Pooch the Pup, Buddy, Cubby, Willie Whopper, Flip the Frog, and Popeye, journey back through the most detailed analyses ever compiled of animated Marx Brothers appearances. The author also draws from appearances in You Bet Your Life (1950), Quick Draw McGraw(1959), The Simpsons (1989), Tiny Toon Adventures (1990), and Animaniacs (1993), among many others.
Featured contributions include Walt Disney, Ub Iwerks, Walter Lantz, Rudold Ising, Hugh Harman, Shamus Culhane, Joe Grant, Tex Avery, Bob Clampett, Friz Freleng, T. Hee, Robert McKimson, Bob Godfre, Bill Hanna, Joe Barbera, Michael Maltese, Daws Butler, Dayton Allen; Pat Harrington, Jr.; Frank Welker, Frank Ferrante, Dan Castellanata, Laurel & Hardy, Joe E. Brown, Greta Garbo, Frank Nelson, and Jerry Colonna.
Illustrated. Foreword by Joe Adamson, an authority on The Marx Brothers and animation. Epilogue contains a never-before-published Groucho anecdote. Index. Bibliography.
About the author: Matthew Hahn is an award-winning filmmaker, whose research for this subject took more than thirty years.
"Just when I thought I knew everything about The Marx Brothers, Hahn’s book is a complete and detailed guide to the rare and unexplored world of Marx animation. From famous Warner Bros. shorts to TV commercials, theatrical releases, print ads, promos and unreleased gems and on and on, this is the first companion that perfectly lays out every aspect of anything ever drawn of The Marx Brothers. Concise and nicely written, it made me want to search high and low for these amazing treasures." -Mike Rowe, actor, comedian, and Emmy Award-winning writer-producer
"The Marx Brothers arguably generated more laughter than any other comedy team. And Mr. Hahn's wonderful book is a potent reminder of their pop culture influence. Mickey Mouse and Popeye donned Groucho's greasepaint. Bugs Bunny was inspired by the Marx spirit. The Marx presence in animation perpetuates their legacy as does this brilliant contribution." - Frank Ferrante, Groucho Marx portrayer
"Matthew Hahn has written an authoritative guide to the appearances of our Brothers' likenesses in animated cartoons, from the dawn of the motion picture age to today. . . I can assure you that this deserves a place on your Marxian bookshelf. Includes a beautifully-written foreword by Joe Adamson himself!' - Noah Diamond, author, Gimme a Thrill: The Story of I'll Say She Is, The Lost Marx Brothers Musical and How It Was Found
"This . . . beautifully crafted . . . Incredible book . . . documenting where the Marx Brothers’ influence appears in the animated world is a treasure for those of us who miss their comic brilliance."—Aviva Kempner, Director, YOO-HOO, MRS. GOLDBERG
Marx Brothers fans love just about anything the comedy troupe ever did – even bits of film they didn’t do. Matthew Hahn has created the complete – and I mean complete – guide to the Marx Brothers in animation.
The look of the three (sometimes four) brothers were so outlandish, they were ripe for caricature. Their zany humor felt right at home in cartoons. Their stardom at the dawn of the talkie era made them instantly recognizable to the public – and it was a quick, easy laugh for animators to add the Marx boys to any scene to liven up the proceedings. Hahn, a huge Marx fan had to know how many cartoons they appear in – together or separately, and he has done his homework.
The first 60 pages detail the theatrical cartoons – Disney’s The Bird Store (1932) is apparently the Marx’s first animated cameo… and before you know it every studio in Hollywood, New Rochelle and Manhattan, goes Marx crazy. “Television Marxtoons” is the second chapter and that begins with a 1960 Quick Draw McGraw cartoon (“Scooter Rabbit”) and goes all the way to a 2015 Spongebob episode! Everything!
Did you know there were two Marx Brothers cartoon pilots (one by Filmation in 1966; another in 2000 produced by Gary Kurtz, with Frank Ferrante as Groucho)? Later chapters document “Animated Effects and Credits in Marx Brother Movies”, “Marxtoons in You Bet Your Life, Groucho and the DeSoto Commercials” and a chapter on Marx animation that didn’t fit in the other chapters (like the Vlassic Pickle commercials). “Marxtoon Trivia”, “Where To Buy Marxtoons” a bibliography, footnotes and an index fill the 195 pages – and Joe Adamson was the obvious choice to pen a Foreword. Perfect! A nifty piece of research – I enjoyed it"
- Jerry Beck, Cartoon Research
"With the inclusion of an informative Foreword by Joe Adamson (an authority on The Marx Brothers and animation) and an Epilogue that contains a never-before-published Groucho anecdote, a Bibliography, and an Index, "The Animated Marx Brothers" is a 'must read' for the legions of Marx Brothers fans and certain to be an enduringly popular and valued addition to community, college, and university library Theatre/Cinema/TV collections."
- Midwest Book Review