ANNOUNCEMENT: Shorts! A Tiny Blogathon

UPDATE: Get direct links to all the posts on the event page!

Greetings! I am happy to announce something light and fun and guaranteed to brighten your day. Most fans of classic movies enjoy the occasional short film and this blogathon is all about these movies in miniature. I hope you will join me on May 2-4 to celebrate these delightful pictures.

While television shows are noted for telling complicated stories in a limited time frame, short films for movie theaters are pretty much limited to animation outside the indie film circuit. Let’s celebrate a time when shorts were a beloved part of the motion picture experience.

The Basics

You can pick any short film made from the dawn of film to 1970.

No duplicates, please. However, if someone is writing about a general topic, feel free to take a more specific angle. For example, if a blogger is writing about “The Short Films of Laurel and Hardy” you are more than welcome to write about a specific short starring Stan and Ollie.

Feel free to step out of Hollywood; foreign films are welcomed enthusiastically.

No television, these films need to have been created for the movie theater.

Comedy, drama, live-action, animation, documentary, indie or mainstream… If it tells its tale in the short format, I want it.

How short is short?

Good question. For the purpose of this event, I will arbitrarily say 40 minutes or under.

Sign me up! What do I do?

Tell me your short of choice and I will add you to the roster. Grab and banner and display it with tiny pride. When the blogathon arrives, send me a link to your post and that’s it! Easy.

I will not be assigning days so you may post at any time during the event.

Need help choosing? Some ideas

Classic animation from Disney, Warner Brothers or Fleischer.

Nickelodeon delights from Biograph, Edison or Vitagraph.

Vintage newsreels and public service announcements.

Short comedies from the Big Four (Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd, Langdon).

Here is a list of the nominees and winners in the Best Live Action Short Film Category.

A few of my favorites:

Cartoons: What’s Opera Doc?; Popeye the Sailor Meets Sinbad the Sailor; Bewitched Bunny; Solid Serenade; anything with Mighty Mouse

Nickelodeon: The Musketeers of Pig Alley; The Ambassador’s Daughter; The Bangville Police

Foreign Delights: The Cameraman’s Revenge; Bout de Zan Steals an Elephant; The Cabbage-Patch Fairy

Sound Comedy: Brats!; Blotto; Disorder in the Court; Our Gang Follies of 1936

But I still don’t know what to pick!

Give me a date range and I will play Shorts Roulette for you, giving you a title and a link to a random public domain short on archive.org or YouTube.

The Roster

Movies Silently | Antosha Ruined by a Corset (1916)

Sister Celluloid | The Cook (1918) and newsreel on the Macy’s Parade for MovieTone News

Silver Screenings | Falling Leaves (1912)

Speakeasy | Dough for the Do-Do (1949) and Porky in Wackyland (1938)

Movie Movie Blog Blog | One Week (1920)

Portraits by Jenni | Star in the Night (1945)

Now Voyaging | Troubles of a Grass Widower (1912)

Coolsville | Bubbles (1929) and Every Sunday (1936)

The Hitless Wonder | A Plumbing We Will Go (1940)

nitrateglow | Oh What a Knight (1928) and Ye Olden Days (1933)

Moon in Gemini | La Jetée (1962) and A Trip to the Moon (1902)

A Shroud of Thoughts | The Music Box (1932)

The Movie Rat | Galloping Bungalows (1924)

Carole & Co. | Run, Girl, Run (1928)

MiB’s Instant Headache | Buster Keaton shorts

Century Film Project | The Tramp (1915)

Margaret Perry | The American Creed (1946)

Critica Retro | 10 Silent Shorts to Brighten Your Day

Silver Scenes | Return to Glennascaul (1953)

The Wonderful World of Cinema | The High Sign (1921)

wolffian classic movies digest | Lonesome Ghosts (1937) and A Knight for a Day (1946)

The Stars Are Ageless | Kid Auto Races at Venice (1914)

Silents, Please! | Papà (1915) and Per amore di Jenny (1915)

Caftan Woman | Them Thar Hills (1934) and Tit for Tat (1934)

In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood | The Playhouse (1921)

Cinematic Catharsis | The Luck o’ the Foolish (1924)

Special Purpose Movie Blog | Mechanized houses in Buster Keaton shorts

Girls Do Film | Canned Harmony (1912)

stevielounicks | Double Whoopee (1929)

Silent-ology | His Wife’s Mistake (1916)

Big V Riot Squad | Mabel and Fatty Viewing the World’s Fair at San Francisco (1915)

Mildred’s Fatburgers | Falling Hare (1943) and Little Red Riding Rabbit (1944)

Wide Screen World | Fleischer & Famous Superman cartoons (1941-43)

The Motion Pictures | Happily Buried (1939)

The Stop Button | Hearts of Age (1934)

Forgotten Failures | Spanking Breezes (1926)

The Cinematic Packrat | The films of Georges Melies

Classic Movie Hub | What’s Opera, Doc? (1957)

Le Mot du Cinephiliaque | Les maîtres fous (1955)

Movie FanFare | The Declaration of Independence (1938)

shorts-marion shorts-laurel-and-hardy shorts-ginger shorts-rascals

125 Replies to “ANNOUNCEMENT: Shorts! A Tiny Blogathon”

  1. Woohoo! What a way to kick off springtime!! May I do Buster (you’ll pardon the expression) and Fatty in “The Cook”? There is also a one-minute old newsreel of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade from British MovieTone News that I would like to do, sort of as the short-short that introduces the short, like in the movies. Only shorter.

  2. Great idea for a blogathon and I’ll contribute with Star in the Night, a modern(for 1940s audiences) look at The Nativity. It’s a sweet gem and won an Oscar, too! I think it was made by MGM and features character actor J Carroll Naish.

  3. I love short films! Could I contribute with a Judy Garland double feature? There’s “Bubbles,” a Vitaphone musical short from 1929, and “Every Sunday” co-starring Deanna Durbin, from MGM in 1936.

  4. I’m like a kid in a candy store with this! I think I’ll compare the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit silent cartoon Oh What a Night with its talkie Mickey Mouse remake Ye Olden Days.

  5. Terence of A Shroud of Thoughts here. I’m calling dibs on Laurel and Hardy’s “The Music Box”!

  6. This might be cheating but will my recent review on the collection of Keaton’s early shorts fit the bill at all?

      1. In my enthusiasm it didn’t occur to me until the middle of the night that my choice was past the “best before” date. I’d like to instead work up something on a double bill of “Them Thar Hills” (1934) and “Tit for Tat” (1935), if I may.

  7. Dear Carole Lombard,

    Thank you for your shorts (as well as the legs that went with them!). In your honor, inspired by my recent visit to the site of the Mack Sennett Studios (where a plaque honoring Sennett was finally rededicated on the precise site after being in the wrong place for 60 years) and a place I regularly pass when I ride the 603 bus to Glendale, I request to write about “Run, Girl, Run” — where Lombard, the real-life track star at Virgil Junior High School, plays Norma Nurmi, a fictional track star at a fictional college — for the “Shorts!” blogathon.

  8. May I write about “The American Creed” (1946)? It was a short video with a number of Hollywood stars encouraging people to pledge to the American Brotherhood of Christians and Jews – in an attempt to combat antisemitism.

  9. Shorts Roulette…ha! I’d take you up on that, but there are just sooo many shorts to pick from ( oh my goodness, the Brits had the best ones ). Could we snag two? At the moment, put us down for Return to Glennascaul ( 1953 ), but we’ll be back to snitch another title. – The Metzinger Sisters – Silver Scenes

  10. I’m in! But so tough to choose. I’ll get back soon- likely a Mack Sennett comedy or perhaps a good Our Gang. Or maybe a Buster! Great blogathon idea!

  11. Hello again its joey,would love review Lonesome Ghosts and A Knight for a Day a short goofy short for my blog Wolffian classic movies digest. Its one of the classic mickey mouse short and a classic goofy short. Both are very classic. I would love review them both together. One is about Four bored ghosts in a haunted house who’ve scared everyone away call up Ghost Hunters Mickey, Donald, and Goofy in hopes to have a little fun scaring them off which is Lonesome Ghosts. A Knight for a Day is a 1946 Disney short film starring Goofy. Directed by Jack Hannah, this 7-minute animated comedy short was written Bill Peet is one of goofy’s classic gems. I would love review both classic disney shorts. would love review them both thanks surely

      1. I’m going to have to think about just where I’m going with the string of Saturday posts. It’ll almost certainly be about a specific cartoon, but with an attempt to put it in context within whatever series it is in. (I’ve got a few Betty Boop cartoons further I want to address, but I’m not sure where I’ll be in the string by early May or whether I’ll have to have started a new string by then.)

    1. Hi there! Hmm, interesting question. Much though I like to include Ethel Barrymore, I think being part of an anthology goes against the theme of “self-contained” that I wanted to establish. Do you have a second choice? I would love to have you aboard.

      1. A lot of them are on collections or paired with other movies. And many are cartoons, like Disney or Looney Tunes. What era would you particularly like to cover? Maybe I can guide you to something.

      2. Yes, they are in the public domain. I enjoyed The Immigrant (Chaplin) and The Play House (Keaton). Let me know your choices and I will add you to the roster.

  12. Please could I cover some of Alice Guy-Blaché’s shorts? It depends what I can find (& I know only a few survived!), but I think Canned Harmony is quite widely available…
    Thanks Fritzi 🙂

  13. So…many…shorts…to choose from!! I think I will go with His Wife’s Mistake’s (1916), one of Arbuckle’s best and barely-discussed comedies.

  14. Can I do two WWII homefront Warner Bros. cartoons: “Falling Hare” (1943) and “Little Red Riding Rabbit” (1944)? or if you want just one I’ll pick the Riding Rabbit. These are long time favorites…

  15. Took me awhile to think of something, but I decided I wanna write about the Superman cartoons of the 40s.

  16. Just a comment here ( we still haven’t picked our second choice ) : I would really appreciate it if you could give a shout-out to JLewis ( I don’t know his full name ) when the blogathon starts. He has been covering short subjects for the last 5-6 years on the TCM Film Union faithfully listing every subject that TCM will air for every week and has also cataloged all the short films for every studio for every year ( even going so far to highlight the ones that are available on DVD and listing which DVD they are included in! ). He just adores short films, so I thought it would be nice if his efforts can be acknowledged outside of the Union. Here is the link to some of his posts if you would like to see them :

    http://fan.tcm.com/profile/jlewis#blogs

    This series covers the top 10 short films beginning in 1939 :

    http://fan.tcm.com/blogpost/a-couple-of-ol-movie-lists-of-interest-what-about-the-shorties-part-1

    Just a suggestion Fritzi!

  17. Hi, Fritzi. Gary from MovieFanFare here, hoping it’s not too late to jump on the Shorts Blogathon bandwagon. If you don’t mind a reposted article, I reviewed the Warner Bros. historical short The Declaration of Independence (1938) last July but never got much traction on it (0 comments), so I was thinking of running it again. If you only want new material, I will instead review Alibi Bye Bye (1935), the final two-reeler the comedy team of Bobby Clark and Paul McCullough made for RKO. Let me know your preference (in either case it will go up on MFF on Mon., May 4), and in the meantime I’ll try to put a banner up on our homepage. Thanks.

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