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A Cartoonist's Nightmare (1935)

A cartoonist falls victim to the very villains he has drawn. It's up to Beans the Cat to save the day.


Jack King




Uncredited cast:
Billy Bletcher ... Demon Beast / Villains (voice) (uncredited)


At a ramshackle cartoon studio, everyone goes home except one dedicated cartoonist drawing Beans's latest adventure. After dozing off, the gorilla-like, demon-faced beast he has drawn laughs evilly and pulls the cartoonist into the drawing. It's time for revenge. He and his ilk have made cartoon villains the chumps for years; but now, thrown into a cell filled with his own villains, he'll be the chump. The cartoonist is knocked about by Battling Barney the Kangaroo, a cruel octopus, Spike the Spider, the Mad Doctor, Villain No. 999 and others. They force the poor cartoonist to draw the pit into which he'll be thrown. But Beans, trapped behind prison bars that were meant to protect him, will save the day. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

21 September 1935 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The calendar that hangs on the wall of the cartoonist's office shows the present month as "Octember." See more »


[first lines]
Night Watchman: You gonna work all night, son?
See more »


The Teddy Bears' Picnic
Music by John W. Bratton
Lyrics by Jimmy Kennedy
Sung with substitute lyrics by the cartoon villains
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

It may be a nightmare for the cartoonist, but it's not for the viewer
22 September 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

As has been said by me a fair few times already, it is always interesting seeing early Looney Tunes characters that are not the iconic more well known characters that we all know and love, with more interesting and fleshed out personalities.

Beans the Cat, the third Looney Tunes star after Bosko and Buddy, never made it big, starring in 10 or 11 cartoons and then retired after a year when Looney Tunes/Warner Brothers/Merrie Melodies started to evolve and become more imaginative and wittier. This is a shame, because he was a funnier and more compelling character than either Bosko or Buddy (both of which lasted longer), though there are admittedly funnier and more interesting Looney Tunes character around, being neither an annoying stereotype or bland.

The cartoonist has a fun role that is done quite inventively here, the frustration and such is done very nicely. The caricatures of particularly Bob Clampett were funny and will be for anybody familiar with them, a potential problem with caricatures is not knowing who they're caricaturing so it goes over the viewer's head but that is far from the case here.

One of the earliest cartoonist/characters on page coming to life cartoons (something done a lot in animation), 'A Cartoonist's Nightmare' is not among the best of them (1953's 'Duck Amuck' is the king of them all) but it's a good one still. It's not hilarious, the best of it is still very amusing but not much more than that, and not hugely imaginative and fairly slight in terms of story with the conflict obvious.

However, the way the drawings come to life are handled in an inventive and lively way and look great. Everything looks very fluid and detailed and the setting of the animation studio is used to full advantage. The energy is constant.

Not just in the very amusing gags and the characterisation. But particularly in the cleverly orchestrated, beautifully scored and characterful music score, with songs that are catchy and with remarkably witty lyrics (particularly the song of the villains, who are suitably dastardly).

In conclusion, pretty good and interesting. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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