Lonesome Ghosts Mickey PHOTO: Courtesy of Alex Film Society (“The Greatest Cartoons Ever”)

Animation ecstasy

Kids of all ages will love ‘The Greatest Cartoons Ever!’

By Carl Kozlowski 12/22/2011

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What’s a family to do with a houseful of kids of all ages, burned out on the excitement of opening Christmas presents but still stuck with each other the day after Christmas? 
 
Brian Ellis has the answer. 
 
As a board member of the Alex Film Society, Ellis helps program special classic-cinema events throughout the year 
at the historic Alex Theater in Glendale. And this Monday, the day after Christmas, Ellis, along with fellow Society members Jerry Beck and Randy Carter, has scheduled the second annual edition of “The Greatest Cartoons Ever!” 
 
Featuring classic animated shorts from iconic characters ranging from Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy to Tom and Jerry, Mighty Mouse and Bugs Bunny, the 90-minute program will present the characters in full 35mm glory — a format in which they haven’t appeared since their initial releases at least five decades ago. According to Gladstone, it’s that mix of classic footage with a classic setting that makes the event a memorable time for people of all generations. 
 
“We try to pick the ones people are very familiar with and remember from their own childhoods or are happy to show their children,” says Gladstone. “The days of making these kinds of films are gone, but the appeal lives on. We as hosts will talk between every second or third film and give insights about them.” 
 
Among the titles being shown in this year’s programs are “Popeye Meets Ali Baba,” which has the rare distinction of 
being a two-reel, or double-length, cartoon. There will also be screenings of “Duck Amuck” with Daffy Duck, the original “Woody Woodpecker” cartoon, and best of all, the 1957 all-time classic “What’s Opera, Doc?” with Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd. 
 
“That’s the one where everyone sings along to ‘Kill the wabbit! Kill the wabbit!’” laughs Gladstone. “I don’t care who you are, where you go, or how old you are, you can’t help singing along to that song.”

“The Greatest Cartoons Ever!” will screen at 2 and 7 p.m. Monday at the Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $12.50 for seniors, students and kids under 12, and $10 for AFS members.  Visit alexfilmsociety.org or call (818) 243-2539 (ALEX). 

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