FYI July 30, 2019

On This Day

1932 – Premiere of Walt Disney’s Flowers and Trees, the first cartoon short to use Technicolor and the first Academy Award winning cartoon short.
Flowers and Trees is a 1932 Silly Symphonies cartoon produced by Walt Disney, directed by Burt Gillett, and released to theatres by United Artists on July 30, 1932.[2] It was the first commercially released film to be produced in the full-color three-strip Technicolor process[3] after several years of two-color Technicolor films. The film was a commercial and critical success, winning the first Academy Award for Best Cartoon Short Subject.[2]

During spring the flowers, mushrooms, and trees do their calisthenics. Some trees play a tune, using vines for harp strings and a chorus of robins. A fight breaks out between a waspish-looking hollow tree and a younger, healthier tree for the attention of a female tree. The young tree emerges victorious, but the hollow tree retaliates by starting a fire. The plants and animals try to extinguish or evade the blaze. By poking holes in clouds and making it rain, the birds manage to put out the fire, although the hollow tree perishes and dies forever in the flames. The young tree then proposes to the female tree, with a caterpillar serving as a ring, and they embrace as a 12-color rainbow forms behind them.

In May 1932, the first three-strip Technicolor camera was completed.[4] Herbert Kalmus wanted to test it in the animation field, giving the company time to build enough cameras to offer the whole movie industry, but could not find any interested animators. Finally Walt Disney agreed to try it as an experiment on Flowers and Trees,[4] which was already in production in black-and-white, and ordered the cartoon redone in color. The color animation caused the production to run over budget, potentially ruining Disney financially, but the cartoon proved so popular that the profits made up for the budget overage.[5]

As a result of the success of Flowers and Trees, all future Silly Symphonies cartoons were produced in three-strip Technicolor. The added novelty of color helped to boost the series’ previously disappointing returns. Disney’s other cartoon series, the Mickey Mouse shorts, were deemed successful enough not to need the extra boost of color, remaining in black-and-white until The Band Concert (1935).

Disney’s exclusive contract with Technicolor, in effect until the end of 1935, forced other animation producers such as Ub Iwerks and Max Fleischer to use Technicolor’s inferior two-color process or a competing two-color system such as Cinecolor.

Flowers and Trees was the first animated film to win an Oscar at the fifth Academy Awards in 1932. It won an Oscar for best “Short Subjects, Cartoons”, a category first introduced that year.[6]

Home video
The short was released on the 2001 Walt Disney Treasures DVD box set Silly Symphonies.[2]

Born On This Day

1913 – Lou Darvas, American soldier and cartoonist (d. 1987)
Louis F. Darvas (30 July 1913 – February 1987) was an American artist and sports cartoonist. He received the National Cartoonist Society Sports Cartoon Award for 1963 and 1967 for his work.

He also authored a book called “You Can Draw Cartoons”, published in 1960 by Doubleday.

Darvas was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He started his artistic journey as a cartoonist at Thomas Jefferson Junior High School, and then at the West Technical High School through the 11th grade. He then got a job scrapping old signs for an advertising firm, while he followed his cartoonist training in night art classes at John Huntington Institute.


Darvas’s first newspaper job was with the Toledo News Bee as an artist. He moved to Cleveland and worked with the Cleveland Press from 1938 onwards.

During World War II, he served in the United States Army Air Corps as head of the drafting and art room of the senior staff school supervising charts and graphs for secret Air Force statistical records. During his stint in the Army, he won the first place for cartoons in the art show of the Army Air Corps Tactical Center at Orlando, Florida in 1944.

He was the author of a daily comic strip called “Half Nelson” for the Chicago Sun-Times Syndicate for a year before returning to Cleveland Press.

His work appeared regularly from 1946 onwards on the cover of the Sporting News.

Lou Darvas died aged 73, and was survived by his wife Margaret, his daughters Janet and Laura, his son Robert, his stepdaughter Terry Rohde, 2 grandchildren and a sister.


He was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Sports Media Association and received the National Cartoonist Society Award for the best work in the field of sports in 1964 and 1968.

External links
NCS Awards
Lou Darvas’ Book.
Lou Darvas Course on DVD.



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