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‘Eveready Harton’: The world’s first animated porno?
06.30.2014
10:05 pm
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‘Eveready Harton’: The world’s first animated porno?


 
Because there are so many competing stories about the provenance of “Eveready Harton” (AKA “Buried Treasure”) the animated short that is perhaps the earliest example of a pornographic cartoon made in the US, it’s hard to take any one of them as definitive. The entire truth will probably never be known. It apparently dates to either 1928 or 1929 and might have been produced for a party honoring Little Nemo creator Winsor McCay. (As a huge Winsor McCay buff, I’d like to believe this version is true.)

According to one source, Disney animator Ward Kimball who told Karl F. Cohen in Forbidden Animation: Censored Cartoons and Blacklisted Animators in America

The first porno-cartoon was made in New York. It was called “Eveready Harton” and was made in the late 20’s, silent, of course—by three studios. Each one did a section of it without telling the other studios what they were doing. Studio A finished the first part and gave the last drawing to Studio B [...] Involved were Max Fleischer, Paul Terry and the Mutt and Jeff studio. They didn’t see the finished product till the night of the big show. A couple of guys who were there tell me the laughter almost blew the top off the hotel where they were screening it.

The credits identifies “E. Hardon” as the director (probably a pseudonym). Fast forward nearly 50 years later and the culprits were identified in the program notes of a late 70s San Francisco screening as Vernon Stalling (a “Krazy Kat” and later Disney animator), George Cannata (Spider-Man, Scooby-Doo), Rudy Zamora, Sr. (Smurfs, Super Friends) and “Woody Woodpecker” creator Walter Lantz. [Lanz seems a likely suspect: I used to have a snippet of vintage animation where Woody is reading a newspaper and his eyes pop out of his head when he realizes that the headline reads “Woody is a fag!” but the Woody character wasn’t created until 1940.]

In 2002 “Eveready Harton” was given its first “legit” theatrical release in the French documentary/compilation The Good Old Naughty Days.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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06.30.2014
10:05 pm
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