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Sunnyside Family Festival to Showcase Rare Classic Cartoons

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | September 20, 2012 9:21am

SUNNYSIDE — In a rare opportunity for both kids and film connoisseurs alike, several rarely-seen cartoons from the 1930s and 40s will be shown this Saturday during the second Flicks in the Garden festival in Sunnyside Gardens Park.

Last year, the festival presented short narrative films, some of which were made by local filmmakers. "But this time we wanted to do a family event," said Emilie McDonald, 43, a Sunnyside-based filmmaker and one of the festival's organizers.

The organizers got in touch with Tommy Jose Stathes, a Queens-based archivist and historian of early animated and silent films who also runs the website CartoonsOnFilm.com, and picked seven vintage animated films from his vast collection.

Among the cartoons to be screened are: two produced by Fleischer Studios, “Betty Boop and Grampy” made in 1935 and “House Cleaning Blues” (1937); two Popeye films, “A Date to Skate” (1938) and “Me Musical Nephews” (1942); a pair of Felix the Cat animations, “Neptune Nonsense” (1936) and “Felix in April Maze” (1930); and a rare cartoon called “Along Came A Duck” (1934).

That black-and-white cartoon, which include live action scenes, was made by Van Beuren Studios and tells the story of a little boy who is chasing a duck and runs into a bullfrog.

Films will be shown at dusk. At 6:30 p.m. there will be a family dance party followed by live music from Queens–based Irish traditional musicians New York Trad.

Organizers encourage guests to bring blankets or low chairs.

Sunnyside Gardens Park is also inviting local residents to participate in Oktoberfest & Pumpkin Patch on Oct. 6, which will include pumpkin painting and an arts and crafts fair featuring local artisans.

Sunnyside Gardens Park is located at 48-21 39th Ave. (at 49th Street) in Sunnyside. The rain date is Sept. 23. There is a suggested donation of $10 for non-park members/$5 park members.