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Horlick's Malted Milk Presents: The Puppetoons!

What is Horlick's Malted Milk?

Horlick's Malted Milk was one of Pal's many advertising clients. The product was a "tonic" which would make the drinker "energetic." This premise opened the door for some very entertaining Popeye-esque Puppetoons, in which someone drinks Horlick's to overcome otherwise insurmountable odds.

These aren't like today's advertisements, though. They were shown in movie theaters (no TV, remember!) before feature films, and they are about 7 minutes long... short subjects, like your average cartoon.

The advertisements were very successful, because they used a "soft sell" approach... the product didn't appear until late in the film, and even then was almost a parody of itself.

Southseas Sweethearts (1939)

"Southseas Sweethearts," one of my favorite Puppetoons, is included partially in "The Puppetoon Movie," where it is mixed with "Hoola Boola."The film starts with an idyllic scene of "Southseas living," complete with "Hawaiian" music (great stuff for "Exotica music" fans... this predates Martin Denny). The peaceful natives sing, dance, and swim...

A native man is merrily chasing his girlfriend through the jungle, but she's too fast for him.

Click on our tired-out hero for a 1.1 meg movie of the chase...

Girlfriend dives into the scenic lake for a dip. This scene is technically extraordinary... the parts of her body which are above the water are the usual Puppetoon wood. The parts below the water are cel-animated (flat).

And of course, a glimpse of (very innocent) nudity is unusual for a film of the time.

Unfortunately, the local witch-doctor and his massive henchmen see this scene and decide she'd make a good sacrifice to the volcano god.

"Our hero" tries to prevent the abduction, but he gets stomped... literally. In this still, one of the henchmen is wiping his feet on "our hero's" head.

Cut away to a ship arriving with a British explorer. He finds our ailing hero, and immediately knows what to do... give the chap Horlick's, and lots of it!

It works... there is a climactic battle at the volcano, and of course, a happy ending as the lovers are reunited.

Here are two models used in Southsea Sweethearts. A dance around the fire, and some components of "girlfriend." These models aren't poseable... there are entirely new pieces for each motion of the legs, arms, head, torso, etc.... picture a room full of models like these!

On Parade (1936)

I've only seen fragments of this, but it seems to be about an army who becomes basically indestructible because... you guuessed it, they drink Horlick's! Fortunately, it's a "good" army who only defends their own city.

Note: the above image is animated if you are using Netscape 2.0 or Internet Explorer 2.0 or higher

A rare hand-out which Horlick's representatives would give theater owners. This one is for "On Parade."

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This page was first posted December 1, 1996.