Terrytoons

Terrytoons was an Hollywood animation studio founded by Paul Terry that operated from 1916 to 1968.

Through much of its history, the studio was considered one of the lowest quality houses in the field to the point where Paul Terry noted, "Disney is the Tiffany's in this business, and I am the Woolworth's." To that end, it had the lowest budgets and it was the slowest to adapt to new technologies like sound and colour while its graphic style remained remarkably static for decades. This conservative attitude was aggravated by its inflexible release schedule which Paul Terry took pride for providing a new cartoon each week like a bottle of milk, regardless of the cost to the quality of the films.

Its most popular characters included Mighty Mouse, Gandy Goose, Dinky Duck, Deputy Dawg, and Heckle and Jeckle.

The studio was sold outright by the retiring Paul Terry to 20th Century Fox in 1955. Fox put it under the management of UPA alumnus Gene Deitch, who had to work with even lower budgets. The most notable talent during this period was Ralph Bakshi who got his start with this company with his most notable work being the Mighty Heroes series.

Eventually after the departure of Bakshi, the studio basically petered out in the late 1960s, but the film library was still regularly rereleased by 20th Century Fox. Fortunately for the studio, its existing cartoon library saw a long life in TV reruns. The Terrytoons cartoons (especially Mighty Mouse and Deputy Dawg) were syndicated to many local TV markets, and they were a staple of after-school and Saturday morning cartoon shows for over three decades, from the 1950s through the 1980s, until the library was acquired by USA Network in 1989 and has been little used since.




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