Antique Animal Antics! - Fri. Aug. 7th - 8PM

Oddball Films presents Antique Animal Antics!, a program of vintage films full of adorable, hilarious and anthropomorphic animals from the 1930s-1970s. Decades before youtube, CGI, and the Buddies franchise, these furry film stars were doing tricks, solving crimes, talking, singing and drinking at the local pub! A crime-solving, canoeing pooch tracks down a thief in the Yukon in highlights from The Test (1935) starring wondermutt Rin Tin Tin Jr. Fall in love with Squeak the Squirrel (1957), a little ground squirrel in search of a nut and willing to perform any number of tricks for those sweet nutty treats. Then, the Kodachrome tale of a rescued woodchuck who is forced to wear doll clothes for her dinner in Chucky Lou: Story of a Woodchuck (1948). Head out for a beer, with a bull in the hilarious and horrifying documentary Manimals (1978), about people who keep exotic pets in their New York City apartments from Oscar-winner Robin Lehman. Hammy the Hamster is back in a new adventure; when a boot makes its way down the river, Hammy and his friends turn it into a tiny house for the fluffy talking rodent in The Boot House (1961).  One randy pooch dreams of a lovely harem of singing bitches in the Jerry Fairbanks Speaking of Animals short In a Harem (1951). Hollywood primate Zippy the Chimp almost has his birthday party ruined by a bully, until quits monkeying around and gets revenge in Zippy's Birthday Party (1940s). From Oscar-winning Dutch director Bert Haanstra comes the docu-comedy Zoo (1962) that examines the unique behaviors of exotic wildlife (human visitors included) in a zoo.  With even more surprises in store and everything screened on 16mm film from the archive!

Date: Friday, August 7th, 2015 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to or (415) 558-8117


Manimals (Color, 1978)
Directed by multi-Oscar winner Robin Lehman, this intriguing personality documentary centers around New York City inhabitants who keep exotic pets.  Alternating between humor and horror, the film explores the people who humanize wild animals, revealing some interesting characters and the semi-wild monkeys, goats, cows and birds that accompany them in their New York apartments and even out on the town.  The film features a cow that goes to the local bar to get a bucket of beer and a woman who dresses her exotic birds in Yankees uniforms.  You can catch a clip here:

Chucky Lou: Story of a Woodchuck (Color, 1948)
One of the most baffling nature films of the collection, in stunning Kodachrome! Chucky Lou was just a little woodchuck in the woods, until some tummy trouble and a well-meaning woman with a picnic basket lands the funny little rodent in some kind of animal reserve.  Then, it gets really weird when they sit Chucky Lou on a stool and encourage children to dress her up in doll clothes! Nature! Isn't it wonderful?!

Hammy the Hamster in The Boot House (B+W, 1961)
Another chapter of talking rodents from Tales of the Riverbank, otherwise known as Hammy the Hamster, a British children’s television show of talking animals that originated in Canada; created by David Ellison and Paul Sutherland. One day, Hammy the Hamster is told of a strange craft seen moving down the river. On inspection it turns out to be an old boot and Hammy decides that it would make an ideal home for him. He and his critter friends pull it ashore and up the hill and start work on converting it into a house. As darkness falls, Hammy moves in and finds that his friends have prepared a house-warming party for him.

Squeak the Squirrel (Color, 1957)
You've heard of lab rats, well how about an adorable lab squirrel?  No, he's not being tested with make-up or medication; scientists are testing his intelligence by setting up a series of obstacles on his way to his sweet nutty rewards. Will he learn to use a step stool and a pulley?  Will he ever get that nut he's after?

Zippy's Birthday Party (B+W, 1940s)
It's primate powerhouse Zippy the Chimp's birthday and he wants nothing more than a party with his friends.  Everyone's having a grand old time, in their pretty party dresses, watching zippy roller skate in a white tuxedo and open his presents; until the town bully comes to the party with a jack in the box and a bad attitude.  When the bully steals Zippy's cake, the birthday boy is done monkeying around and plots a sinister (especially for a children's film) revenge on the human child. Not necessarily the best lesson we've learned, but revenge by bodily harm certainly is sweet when administered by a chimpanzee.  

In A Harem (B+W, 1941)
Who doesn't love a talking animal short? Especially one from the cheese-master himself Jerry Fairbanks! This barktacular is an all-dog, “talking” short from Paramount’s “Speaking of Animals” series. A little pooch falls asleep and dreams he has his own exotic harem of singing bitches (they are dogs, after all).

Zoo (B+W, 1962)
Hilarious docu-comedy by the brilliant Dutch filmmaker Bert Haanstra. Many exotic creatures can be observed going through life's daily rituals in this swinging little documentary: the inhabitants of the zoo and its equally fascinating human visitors. Director of the 1959 Oscar-winning short Glass, Haanstra must have spent many days shooting to capture these amazing shots. Utilizing a hidden camera and brilliant editing , “natural” animal and human behavior/interaction is cleverly exposed.

 "Observing people and animals when they don't know you're there is 
 fascinating: I bonded with them" – Bert Haanstra

The Test (B+W, 1935, condensed version)
A condensed highlight reel from the short feature starring wondermutt German Shepherd Rin Tin Tin Jr. Rinty is on the case when a thief has been stealing furs from the local fur trappers.  Watch him flex his poochy prowess as he tracks down the thief and saves the day! Co-starring Grant Withers and Grace Ford and directed by Bernard B. Ray.

Curator’s Biography
Kat Shuchter is a graduate of UC Berkeley in Film Studies. She is a filmmaker, artist and esoteric film hoarder. She has helped program shows at the PFA, The Nuart and Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater and was crowned “Found Footage Queen” of Los Angeles, 2009. She has programmed over 150 shows at Oddball on everything from puberty primers to experimental animation.
About Oddball Films
Oddball films is a stock footage company providing offbeat and unusual film footage for feature films like Milk, documentaries like The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, Silicon Valley, Kurt Cobain: The Montage of Heck, television programs like Mythbusters, clips for Boing Boing and web projects around the world.

Our screenings are almost exclusively drawn from our collection of over 50,000 16mm prints of animation, commercials, educational films, feature films, movie trailers, medical, industrial military, news out-takes and every genre in between. We’re actively working to present rarely screened genres of cinema as well as avant-garde and ethno-cultural documentaries, which expand the boundaries of cinema. Oddball Films is the largest film archive in Northern California and one of the most unusual private collections in the US. We invite you to join us in our weekly offerings of offbeat cinema.