Paul Terry - Writer





Animator and Producer. Nationality: American. Born: Paul Houlton Terry in San Mateo, California, 19 February 1887. Career: News photographer, then syndicated cartoonist for Hearst newspaper chain; 1915—joined Bray Studios as animator; 1919—formed own studio, and produced cartoon series Aesop's Film Fables ; 1930—founded Terrytoons: collaborated with Frank Moser until 1936; after 1936, individual directors were assigned to the films; cartoon series include Farmer Al Falfa, Peg Leg Pete, Puddy the Pup, Kiko the Kangaroo, Gandy Goose, Dinky Duck, Mighty Mouse, Heckle and Jeckle, Little Roquefort, and Casper the Ghost; 1955—sold studio and films to CBS, and retired. Died: In New York City, October 1971.


Films as Animator and Producer with Frank Moser:

1930

Caviar ; Pretzels ; Spanish Onions ; Indian Pudding ; Roman Punch ; Hot Turkey ; Hawaiian Pineapple ; Swiss Cheese ; Codfish Balls ; Hungarian Goulash ; Bully Beef ; Kangaroo Steak ; Monkey Meat ; Chop Suey ; French Fried ; Dutch Treat ; Irish Stew ; Fried Chicken ; Jumping Beans ; Scotch Highball ; Salt Water Taffy ; Golf Nuts ; Pigskin Capers

1931

Popcorn ; Club Sandwich ; Razzberries ; Go West, Big Boy ; Quack Quack ; The Explorers ; Clowning ; Sing Sing Prison ; The Fireman's Bride ; The Sultan's Cat ; A Day to Live ; 2000 B.C. ; Blues ; By the Sea ; Her First Egg ; Jazz Mad ; Canadian Capers ; Jesse and James ; The Champ ; Around the World ; Jingle Bells ; The Black Spider ; China ; The Lorelei ; Summertime ; Aladdin's Lamp

1932

The Villain's Curse ; Noah's Outing ; The Spider Talks ; Peg Leg Pete ; Play Ball ; Ye Olde Songs ; Bullero ; Radio Girl ; Woodland ; Romance ; Bluebeard's Brother ; Farmer Alfalfa's Bedtime Story ; The Mad King ; Cocky Cockroach ; Spring Is Here ; Farmer Alfalfa's Ape Girl ; Sherman Was Right ; Burlesque ; Southern Rhythm ; Farmer Alfalfa's Birthday Party ; College Spirit ; Hook and Ladder Number One ; The Forty Thieves ; Toyland ; Hollywood Diet ; Ireland or Bust

1933

Jealous Lover ; Robin Hood ; Hansel and Gretel ; Tale of a Shirt ; Down on the Levee ; Who Killed Cock Robin? ; Oh Susanna ; Romeo and Juliet ; Pirate Ship ; Tropical Fish ; Cinderella ; King Zilch ; The Banker's Daughter ; The Oil Can Mystery ; Fanny in the Lion's Den ; Hypnotic Eyes ; Grand Uproar ; Pick-Necking ; Fanny's Wedding Day ; A Gypsy Fiddler ; Beanstalk Jack ; The Village Blacksmith ; Robinson Crusoe ; Little Boy Blue ; In Venice ; The Sunny South

1934

Holland Days ; The Three Bears ; Rip Van Winkle ; The Last Straw ; The Owl and the Pussycat ; A Mad House ; Joe's Lunch Wagon ; Just a Clown ; The King's Daughter ; The Lion's Friend ; Pandora ; Slow but Sure ; See the World ; My Lady's Garden ; Irish Sweepstakes ; Busted Blossoms ; Mice in Council ; Why Mules Leave Home ; Jail Birds ; The Black Sheep ; The Magic Fish ; Hot Sands ; Tom, Tom the Piper's Son ; Jack's Shack ; South Pole or Bust ; The Dog Show

1935

The First Snow ; What a Night ; The Bullfight ; Fireman Save My Child ; The Moth and the Spider ; Old Dog Tray ; Flying Oil ; Peg Leg Pete the Pirate ; A Modern Red Riding Hood ; Five Puplets ; Opera Night ; King Looney XIV ; Moan and Groans ; Amateur Night ; The Foxy-Fox ; Chain Letters ; Birdland ; Circus Days ; Hey Diddle Diddle ; Foiled Again ; Football ; A June Bride ; Aladdin's Lamp ; Southern Horsepitality ; Ye Olde Toy Shop ; The Mayflower

1936

The Feud ; The 19th Hole Club ; The Alpine Yodeler ; Barnyard Amateurs ; Off to China ; The Western Trail ; A Wolf in Cheap Clothing ; Rolling Stones ; The Runt ; The Busy Bee ; The Sailor's Home ; A Tough Egg ; Puddy the Pup and the Gypsies ; Farmer Alfalfa's Prize Package



Other Films as Animator and Producer:

1916

Cat-astrophe ; Wolfhound

1921

The Country Mouse and the City Mouse ; The Fox and the Grapes ; The Frog That Wanted a King

1922

The Spendthrift ; The Eternal Triangle ; The Model Diary

1923

Cat's Whiskers

1927

Carnival Week

1936

The Hot Spell (Davis and Gordon); Kiko and the Honey Bears (Davis and Gordon); The Health Farm (Davis and Gordon); A Bully Frog (Davis and Gordon); Kiko Foils a Fox (Davis and Gordon); Sunken Treasure (Davis and Gordon); A Battle Royal (Davis and Gordon); Robin Hood in an Arrow Escape (Davis and Gordon); Farmer Alfalfa's Twentieth Anniversary (Davis and Gordon); Cats in the Bag (Davis and Gordon); Slanked Again (Davis and Gordon)

1937

Salty McQuire (Davis and Gordon); The Tin Can Tourist (Davis and Gordon); The Book Shop (Davis and Gordon); The Big Game Hunt (Davis and Gordon); Red Hot Music (Davis and Gordon); Flying South (Davis and Gordon); The Hay Ride (Davis and Gordon); Bug Carnival (Davis and Gordon); School Birds (Davis and Gordon); Puddy's Coronation (Davis and Gordon); Ozzie Ostrich Comes to Town (Davis and Gordon); Play Ball (Davis); The Mechanical Cow (Zander); Pink Elephants (Gordon); The Homeless Pup (Gordon); The Paper Hangers (Davis); Trailer Life ; The Villain Still Pursued Her ; Kiko's Cleaning Day (Gordon); A Close Shave (Davis); The Dancing Bear ; The Saw Mill Mystery (Rasinski); The Dog and the Bone (Gordon); The Timid Rabbit (Davis); The Billy Goat Whiskers (Foster); The Barnyard Boss (Rasinski)

1938

The Lion Hunt (Davis); Bugs Beetle and His Orchestra (Foster); His Off Day (Rasinski); Just Ask Jupiter (Davis); Gandy the Goose (Foster); Happy and Lucky (Rasinski); A Mountain Romance (Davis); Robinson Crusoe's Broadcast (Foster); Maid in China (Rasinski); The Big Top (Davis); Devil of the Deep (Foster); Here's to Good Old Jail (Donnelly); The Last Indian (Rasinski); Milk for Baby (Davis); Mrs. O'Leary's Cow (Donnelly); Eliza Runs Again (Rasinski); Chris Columbo (Donnelly); String Bean Jack (Foster); Goose Flies High (Foster); Wolf's Side of the Story (Rasinski); The Glass Slipper (Davis); The Newcomer (Davis); The Stranger Rides Again (Davis); House-wife Herman (Donnelly); Village Blacksmith (Davis); Doomsday (Rasinski); The Frame-Up (Rasinski)

1939

The Owl and the Pussy Cat (Donnelly); One Gun Gary in Nick of Time (Donnelly); The Three Bears (Davis); Frozen Feet (Rasinski); G-Man Jitters (Donnelly); The Nutty Network (Davis); The Cuckoo Bird (Davis); Barnyard Eggcitement (Rasinski); Nick's Coffee Pot (Rasinski); The Prize Guest (Davis); A Bully Romance (Donnelly); Africa Squawks (Rasinski); Barnyard Baseball (Davis); Old Fire Horse (Donnelly); Two Headed Giant (Rasinski); The Golden West (Davis); Sheep in the Meadow (Davis); Hook, Line, and Sinker (Donnelly); The Orphan Duck (Rasinski); The Watchdog (Donnelly); One Mouse in a Million (Rasinski); A Wicky-Wacky Romance (Davis); The Hitchhiker (Donnelly); The Ice Pond (Davis); The First Robin (Rasinski)

1940

A Dog in a Mansion (Donnelly); Edgar Runs Again (Davis); Harvest Time (Rasinski); The Hare and the Hounds (Donnelly); All's Well That Ends Well (Davis); Much Ado about Nothing (Rasinski); It Must Be Love (Rasinski); Just a Little Bull (Donnelly); Wot's All th' Shootin, Fer (White); Swiss Ski Yodelers (Donnelly); Catnip Capers (Davis); Professor Offkeyski (Rasinski); Rover's Rescue (White); Rupert the Runt (Davis); Love in a Cottage (White); Billy Mouse's Akwakade (Donnelly); Club Life in Stone Age (Davis); The Lucky Duck (Rasinski); Touchdown Demons (White); How Wet Was My Ocean (Donnelly); Happy Haunting Grounds ; Landing of the Pilgrims (Rasinski); The Magic Pencil (White); Plane Goofy (Donnelly); Snowman (Davis); Temperamental Lion (Rasinski); The Mouse of Tomorrow (Donnelly)

1941

What a Little Sneeze Will Do (Donnelly); Hairless Hector (White); Mississippi Swing (Rasinski); Fishing Made Easy (Donnelly); The Home Guard (Davis); When Knights Were Bold (White); The Baby Seal (Rasinski); Uncle Joey (Davis); The Dog's Dream (Donnelly); The Magic Shell (Davis); What Happens at Night (Rasinski); Horse Fly Opera (Donnelly); Good Old Irish Tunes (Rasinski); Bringing Home the Bacon (Davis); Twelve O'Clock and All Ain't Well (Donnelly); The Old Oaken Bucket (Rasinski); The Ice Carnival (Donnelly); The One Man Navy (Davis); Uncle Joey Comes to Town (Davis); Welcome Little Stranger (Rasinski); The Frozen North (Rasinski); Slap Happy Hunters (Donnelly); Back to the Soil (Donnelly); The Bird Tower (Davis); A Yarn about Yarn (Rasinski); Flying Fever (Davis)

1942

The Torrid Toreador (Donnelly); Happy Circus Days (Rasinski); Funny Bunny Business (Donnelly); Cat Meets Mouse (Davis); Eat Me, Kitty, Eight to the Bar (Davis); Sham Battle Shenanigans (Rasinski); Oh Gentle Spring (Rasinski); Lights Out (Donnelly); Tricky Business (Donnelly); Neck and Neck (Davis); The Stork's Mistake (Donnelly); All about Dogs (Rasinski); Willful Willie (Rasinski); The Outpost (Davis); Tire Trouble (Donnelly); All Out for "V" (Davis); Life with Fido (Rasinski); The Big Build-Up (Davis); School Daze ; Night Life in the Army (Davis); Doing Their Bit ; Ickle Meets Pickle (Rasinski); Frankenstein's Cat (Davis); Barnyard WAAC (Donnelly); Somewhere in the Pacific (Davis)

1943

Scrap for Victory (Rasinski); He Dood It Again (Donnelly); Barnyard Blackout (Davis); Shipyard Symphony (Donnelly); Patriotic Pooches (Rasinski); The Last Round-Up (Davis); Pandora's Box (Rasinski); Mopping Up (Donnelly); Keep 'em Growing (Davis); Super Mouse Rides Again ( Mighty Mouse Rides Again ) (Davis); Camouflage (Donnelly); Somewhere in Egypt (Davis); Down with Cats (Rasinski); Aladdin's Lamp (Donnelly); Lion and the Mouse (Davis); Yokel Duck Makes Good (Donnelly); The Hopeful Donkey (Davis)

1944

The Butcher of Seville (Donnelly); The Helicopter (Donnelly); Wreck of the Hesperus (Davis); A Day in June (Donnelly); The Champion of Justice (Davis); The Frog and the Princess (Donnelly); Mighty Mouse Meets Jekyll and Hyde Cat (Davis); My Boy Johnny (Donnelly); Eliza on the Ice (Rasinski); Wolf! Wolf! (Davis); The Green Line (Donnelly); Carmen's Veranda (Davis); The Cat Came Back (Rasinski); The Two Barbers (Donnelly); The Ghost Town (Davis); Sultan's Birthday (Tytle); A Wolf's Tale (Rasinski); At the Circus (Donnelly); Gandy's Dream Girl (Davis); Dear Old Switzerland (Donnell y)

1945

Mighty Mouse and the Pirates (Rasinski); Port of Missing Mice (Donnelly); Ants in Your Pantry (Davis); Raiding the Raiders (Rasinski); Post War Inventions (Rasinski); Fisherman's Luck (Donnelly); Mighty Mouse and the Kilkenny Cats (Davis); Mother Goose Nightmare (Rasinski); Smokey Joe (Rasinski); The Silver Streak (Donnelly); Aesop's Fable: The Mosquito (Davis); Mighty Mouse and the Wolf (Donnelly); Gypsy Life (Rasinski); The Fox and the Duck (Davis); Swooming the Swooners (Rasinski); The Watch Dog (Donnelly); Who's Who in the Jungle (Donnelly); Mighty Mouse Meets Bad Bill Bunion (Davis); The Exterminator (Donnelly); Mighty Mouse in Krakatoa (Rasinski)

1946

The Talking Magpies (Davis); Svengali's Cat (Donnelly); The Fortune Hunters (Rasinski); The Wicked Wolf (Davis); My Old Kentucky Home (Donnelly); It's All in the Stars (Rasinski); Throwing the Bull (Rasinski); The Golden Hen (Davis); Dinky Finds a Home (Donnelly); The Johnstown Flood (Rasinski); Peace-Time Football (Davis); The Trojan Horse (Davis); The Tortoise Wins Again (Rasinski); Winning the West (Donnelly); The Electronic Mouse Trap (Davis); The Jail Break (Donnelly); The Snow Man (Rasinski); The Housing Problem (Davis); The Crackpot King (Donnelly); The Uninvited Pests (Rasinski); The Hepcat (Davis); Beanstalk Jack (Donnelly)

1947

Crying Wolf (Rasinski); McDougal's Rest Farm (Davis); Deadend Cats (Donnelly); Happy Go Lucky (Rasinski); Mexican Baseball (Davis); Aladdin's Lamp (Donnelly); Cat Trouble (Rasinski); The Sky Is Falling (Davis); The Intruders (Donnelly); Mighty Mouse Meets Deadeye Dick (Rasinski); Flying South (Davis); Date for Dinner (Donnelly); Fishing by the Sea (Rasinski); The First Snow (Davis); One Note Tony (Rasinski); Super Salesman (Donnelly); A Fight to the Finish (Rasinski); The Wolf's Pardon (Donnelly); Hitch Hikers (Rasinski); Swiss Cheeze Family Robinson (Davis); Lazy Little Beaver (Donnelly)

1948

Felix the Fox (Davis); Taming the Cat (Rasinski); Mighty Mouse and the Magician (Donnelly); Gandy Goose and the Chipper Chipmunk (Davis); Hounding the Hares (Donnelly); The Feuding Hillbillies (Rasinski); Mystery in the Moonlight (Donnelly); Seeing Ghosts (Davis); Sleepless Night (Rasinski); The Witch's Cat (Davis); Magpie Madness (Donnelly); Love's Labor Won (Davis); The Hard Boiled Egg (Rasinski); The Mysterious Stranger (Donnelly); Triple Trouble (Donnelly); Out Again, in Again (Rasinski); Free Enterprise (Davis); Magic Slipper (Davis); Gooney Golfers (Rasinski)

1949

The Wooden Indian (Rasinski); Power of Thought (Donnelly); Racket Buster (Davis); Dingbat Land ; Lion Hunt (Donnelly); Stowaways (Rasinski); Cold Romance (Davis); The Kitten Sitter (Donnelly); Happy Landing ; The Catnip Gang (Donnelly); Hula Hula Land (Davis); The Lyin' Lion (Rasinski); Mrs. Jones' Rest Farm (Donnelly); The Covered Pushcart (Davis); A Truckload of Trouble (Rasinski); Perils of Pearl Pureheart (Donnelly); Dancing Shoes (Davis); Flying Cups and Saucers (Rasinski); Paint Pot Symphony (Rasinski); Stop, Look, and Listen (Donnelly)

1950

Comic Book Land (Davis); Fox Hunt (Rasinski); Better Late Than Never (Donnelly); Anti-Cats (Davis); Aesop's Fable ; Foiling the Fox (Rasinski); The Beauty Shop (Donnelly); Merry Chase (Davis); Dream Walking (Rasinski); Law and Order (Donnelly); The Red Headed Monkey (Davis); All This and Rabbit Stew (Rasinski); The Dog Show (Donnelly); King Tut's Tomb (Davis); Cat Happy (Rasinski); If Cats Could Sing (Donnelly); Mouse and Garden (Davis); Beauty on the Beach (Rasinski); Wide Open Spaces (Donnelly); Sour Grapes (Davis); Mother Goose's Birthday Party (Rasinski)

1951

Rival Romeos (Donnelly); Squirrel Crazy (Davis); Three Is a Crowd (Rasinski); Woodman Spare That Tree (Donnelly); Stage Struck (Davis); Sunny Italy (Rasinski); Songs of Erin (Rasinski); Bulldozing the Bull (Donnelly); Spring Fever (Davis); Goons from the Moon (Rasinski); Musical Madness (Donnelly); The Elephant Mouse (Davis); The Rain Makers (Rasinski); Injun Trouble (Donnelly); Seasick Sailors (Davis); Tall Timber Tale (Rasinski); Aesop's Fable: Golden Egg Goosie (Donnelly); A Swiss Miss (Davis); Steeple Jacks (Rasinski); Little Problems (Donnelly); Pastry Panic (Davis); The Helpful Genie (Rasinski); 'Sno Fun (Donnelly); A Cat's Tale (Davis); Beaver Trouble (Rasinski); The Haunted Cat (Donnelly)

1952

Papa's Little Helpers (Davis); Movie Madness (Rasinski); Mechanical Bird (Donnelly); Seaside Adventure (Davis); City Slicker (Davis); Prehistoric Perils (Rasinski); Papa's Day of Rest (Davis); Flat Foot Fledgling (Davis); Time Gallops On (Davis); Off to the Opera (Rasinski); The Happy Cobblers (Davis); Hypnotized (Davis); Hansel and Gretel (Rasinski); Flipper Frolics (Rasinski); Little Anglers (Rasinski); Foolish Duckling (Davis); House Busters (Rasinski); Mysterious Cowboy (Davis); Happy Valley (Donnelly); Good Mouse Keeping (Davis); Nice Doggy (Donnelly); Happy Holland (Donnelly); Moose on the Loose (Davis); Sink or Swim (Rasinski); Flop Secret (Donnelly); Picnic with Papa (Davis)

1953

Soapy Opera (Rasinski); Thrifty Cubs (Davis); Hair Cut-Ups (Donnelly); Wise Quacks (Davis); Mouse Meets Bird (Rasinski); Snappy Snap Shots (Donnelly); Hero for a Day (Davis); Pill Peddlars (Rasinski); Featherweight Champ (Donnelly); Playful Puss (Davis); Plumber's Helpers (Rasinski); Hot Rods (Donnelly); Ten Pin Terrors (Rasinski); The Orphan Egg (Donnelly); Friday the 13th (Davis); When Mousehood Was in Flower (Rasinski); Open House (Donnelly); Bargain Daze (Davis); Sparky the Firefly (Rasinski); Mouse Menace (Donnelly); The Reluctant Pup (Davis); How to Keep Cool (Rasinski); Log Rollers (Davis); Growing Pains (Donnelly)

1954

Spare the Rod (Rasinski); Runaway Mouse (Davis); How to Relax (Rasinski); Blind Date (Donnelly); Nonsense Newsreel (Davis); Helpless Hippo (Rasinski); Pet Problems (Donnelly); Prescription for Percy (Davis); Satisfied Customers (Rasinski); Tall Tale Teller (Rasinski); Arctic Rivals (Davis); Howling Success (Rasinski); Pride of the Yard (Donnelly); Cat's Revenge (Davis); Reformed Wolf (Rasinski); Blue Plate Symphony (Rasinski)

1955

Barnyard Actor (Rasinski); A Yokohama Yankee (Rasinski); Duck Fever (Rasinski); The First Flying Fish (Rasinski); No Sleep for Percy (Rasinski); An Igloo for Two (Rasinski); Good Deed Daily (Rasinski); Bird Symphony (Rasinski); Phoney News Flashes (Rasinski); Foxed by a Fox (Rasinski); Last Mouse of Hamlin (Rasinski); Little Red Hen (Rasinski)



Publications

On TERRY: articles—

The Cartoonist , August 1967.

Classic Film/Video Images (Muscatine, Iowa), July 1979.

Maltin, Leonard, in Of Mice and Magic , New York, 1980.

Griffithiana (Gemona), no. 28, December 1986.

Times Literary Supplement , 16 August 1996.


* * *


Paul Terry was the Kmart producer of theatrical cartoons. He was strictly a businessman and cartoons were his business. His goal was to make cartoons as inexpensively as possible. Because his cartoons were simplistic, they were produced faster, allowing Terrytoons to have more cartoons showing in the theaters. Terrytoons were cheap and uninspired. Terry ruled his kingdom with an iron hand, with ultimate control over all stories and characters. He preferred to make one-shot cartoons instead of using continuing characters like Disney and others. Outstanding creative talents were stifled at the studio, and animators of high caliber went on to greener creative pastures. Regardless of this, some memorable cartoon characters were eventually created by the Terrytoon Studios.

In 1940 Isidore Klein proposed a parody of the popular Superman series by having a fly with similar superhuman powers. Terry rejected this idea only to come back a few weeks later and propose a mouse with these superhuman powers. Thus Mighty Mouse (originally known as Super Mouse) was born in The Mouse of Tomorrow and Terrytoons had created its first superstar. The Mouse of Tomorrow told the story of a mouse who escapes from terrorizing cats. He hides out in a supermarket where he washes in Super Soap, eats Super Soup, Super Celery, and Super Cheese, and turns into Super Mouse. Then he returns to save the rest of micedom and throttle the cats. Several films were produced with the Super Mouse character until a conflict of interest developed between the cartoon and a Super Mouse comic book. So Terry changed the mouse's name to Mighty Mouse. To enhance the one-dimensional character of Mighty Mouse musical spoofs of opera were used with Mighty Mouse singing his dialogue. All of the successful formulas were used to death by Terry but the longevity of the series indicates its popularity.

In the meantime Terry had created another successful series, Heckle and Jeckle. Terry's idea was to use the look-a-like concept in a new cartoon. This was an innovative idea, never used before. Heckle and Jeckle were mischievous magpies who talked with accents, one British, the other New York, and the two were never distinguishable from one another. Heckle and Jeckle was a very self-reflexive cartoon, and the magpies often referred to their animated status. The Power of Thought was an entire cartoon focusing on animation of the characters. As with all of Terry's cartoons, the formula was used repeatedly. But the characters of Heckle and Jeckle were so strong that they survived repetition better than the rest.

With the success of Heckle and Jeckle and Mighty Mouse, Terry began to change his attitude about continuing characters. The studio began creating other continuing characters, some meeting with success, others failing after one or two episodes. In 1952 Terrytoons was the first studio to sell its cartoons to television. In 1955 he sold out completely to CBS, thus ending his involvement in the production of Terrytoons. Terrytoons were always simple, pleasant, and nonviolent (with the possible exception of Heckle and Jeckle). They worked very well on television because although limited in the quality of animation they were considerably better than average. Terrytoons owes a great debt to television and the endurance that these cartoons have found in the medium.

—Maryann Oshana



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