Grahame N's Web Pages


BONZO
9.5mm Cartoon Releases

from Grahame L. Newnahm B.Sc.



Bonzo The Dog


A cartoon character of a mischievous pup was created by George Studdy around 1911. Over the following years this character became known as the Studdy Dog and, from 1921, began to regularly appear in The Sketch magazine, which was published by the London Illustrated News. It seems Bonzo's name came from The Sketch's editor because, apparently, readers had been contacting him asking for the loveable character to be named.

The Bonzo dog character became very popular and was popular not only in the UK but all over the world. A wide range of Bonzo merchandise was produced including models, car mascots, jigsaws, soft toys, ashtrays, perfume bottles and other products. Such was his popularity that Royal Worcester and Royal Doulton produced porcelain figures of the nation's favourite dog.

As well as merchandise Bonzo also starred in advertisements for numerous products including cars, tobacco, confectionery and polish. One of the first neon signs in London's Piccadilly circus featured Bonzo - he was smoking a cigarette! For ninefivers, he was also a film star, the only British cartoon hero to appear in a series of 26 short films in the silent days of 1924 to 1926, the first of which was called 'Sausage Snatching Sensation'

The first film starring Bonzo, entitled 'Sausage Snatching Sensation', was premiered on 14th October 1924 at the Marble Arch Pavillion, London.  It was attended by King George V and Queen Mary, the first time a reigning sovereign had watched a film performance in a public cinema!

Despite disappearing from his regular weekly cartoon slot Bonzo was still popular and featured in a number of books. The first Bonzo Annual was produced in 1935 and was called Bonzo's Laughter Annual. Production stopped during the war but resumed and then continued for four years after Studdy's death with the illustrations for the last years being drawn by other artists.



George E. Studdy at the drawing board

Bonzo the dog's creator was George Ernest Studdy. He was born in Devonport, Devon, UK in 1878, parents Ernest and Constance Studdy; the second of three children. His preparatory education started at Clifton College, Bristol, but a pitchfork injury to his foot required numerous visits to a London hospital, so his education continued at Dulwich College whilst he stayed with his aunt between hospital visits. Unable to follow his father's footsteps into the forces he worked briefly as an apprentice engineer and a stockbroker before attending Heatherleys Art School and, briefly, Calderon's Animal School.

George Studdy had begun in animation back in 1914 with 'Studdy's War Studies' but didn't begin the Bonzo cartoon films until the character had been established in comics, strips, magazines and postcards. The Bonzo cartoons were made in close collaboration with his director William A. Ward. Writers included Adrian Brunel, later a well known film director, whilst his animators included Brian White, later the creator of the popular Nipper cartoon strip.

George Studdy also drew for postcards and for many years produced work for Valentine Postcards of Dundee. In 1921 Bonzo started to appear as a regular feature in the Sketch Magazine and continued to appear until he was retired in 1927. After a short break from The Sketch, Studdy returned with a new character - a cat called Ooloo and sadly Bonzo only made a few brief appearances in future editions. George Studdy died in 1948, at the age of 70, after a short illness.


So far as I can establish, whilst Pathé-Baby in France released many 'Bonzo' cartoons on the 9.5mm film gauge; only two 'Bonzo' cartoons were actually released on 9.5mm in the UK by Pathéscope Ltd. The 9.5mm prints were silent, but then so were the original cartoons. Most of the 'Bonzo' 9.5mm releases are listed below. (Researcher Maurice Trace has discovered another Pathéscope 9.5mm release was scheduled for April/May 1935, but there is no evidence of any prints being produced).

I have listed the 9.5mm film releases below, and used illustrations in the UK Pathéscope house magazine "The Pathescope Monthly" and the French Pathé-Baby "Filmathèque" film release booklets. Maybe there are other Bonzo titles released elsewhere still to spot?

The French Pathé-Baby plot descriptions may be the only information we can find on some of these Bonzo films.



Bonzo on 9.5mm film




Watch a Bonzo cartoon released in the USA with added sound "Bonzo In Tanked" GB 192? 17Aug2018

Watch a Bonzo cartoon released on Super 8mm in the USA "Bonzo In Dog Gone" GB 192? 17Aug2018

Watch my 9.5mm Pathéscope print of M.30118 "Tally Ho! Bonzo" GB 1925 18Sep2018

Watch my 9.5mm Pathéscope print of SB.30111 "Bonzo The Traveller" GB 1925 11Oct2018



Pathéscope 9.5mm 'Bonzo' cartoon film boxes - lhs - pre-war release; rhs - 1950s box
note the title is incorrectly printed as 'Bongo The Traveller" - at least the title on the film itself is correct!


The Bonzo cartoon series produced by New Era Films Productions
Produced by William A. Ward - Executive Producer - Gordon Craig
Story & Design by George E. Studdy - Some screenplays were by Adrian Brunel
Animators included - Brian White

 

"Bonzo Steals A Goose" GB 23Mar1925

Number four in the series - Bonzo steals a goose (no extra info!)

 9.5mm silent Pathé-Baby France as M.4618 & M.5060 "Bonzo Chapardeur" - 

"Bonzo? (Sausage Nightmare)" GB 06Apr1925

Number five in the series - Bonzo has a sausage nightmare (original title unknown) -

' Digestion of a too hearty banquet gives Bruno a nightmare. He sees himself, turn-by-turn as a dog-bird,
dog-rabbit and finally dog-sausage. He has a brutal awakening!' - (
French Pathé-Baby catalogue - Sep/Oct 1938)

 9.5mm silent Pathé-Baby France as  M.5043 "Bonzo Fait Un Cauchemar" ('Bonzo Has A Nightmare') - issued Sep/Oct1938
 
Pathé-Baby France 'Filmathèque" booklet Sep/Oct 1938
('Qu'est-ce qu'il m'arrive?' - 'What is happening to me?')

"At The Races: Bonzo Backs An Outsider" GB 04May1925

Number seven in the series - Bonzo ??? (no extra info!)

 9.5mm silent Pathé-Baby France as M.4615 & M.5042 "Bonzo Aux Courses" - ('Bonzo At The Races')

"Bonzo In Gay Paree" GB 10Aug1925

Number fourteen in the series - Bonzo has adventures in Paris after his plane crashes, later he swims the English Channel and wins a trophy.

 9.5mm silent Pathéscope UK as SB.30111 "Bonzo The Traveller" - issued April/May 1935
 9.5mm silent Pathé-Baby France as G.10425 "Bonzo A Paris"
 9.5mm silent Pathé-Baby France as G.10426 "Bonzo Gare La Coupe" ('Bonzo Takes Care Of The Cup')
 9.5mm silent Pathé-Baby Spain  as G.10425 "Bonzo En Paris"
 9.5mm silent Pathé-Baby Spain  as G.10426 "Bonzo Campeón" ('Bonzo Champion')

                         

Note - the 9.5mm Pathéscope print of "Bonzo The Traveller" begins with "Bonzo In Gay Paree" & ends with "Polar Bonzo"
 - (the original Bonzo cartoons were each only around 6 minutes running time)


Pathéscope Monthly magazine April/May 1935

Watch my 9.5mm Pathéscope print of SB.30111 "Bonzo The Traveller" GB 1925 11Oct2018

"Polar Bonzo" GB 24Aug1925 - 7 mins

Number fifteen in the series - Bonzo falls asleep in a cinema and dreams of an adventure at the North Pole

 9.5mm silent Pathéscope UK as SB.30111 "Bonzo The Traveller" - issued April/May 1935
 9.5mm silent Pathé-Baby France as M.4619 & M.5019 "Bonzo Perd Le Nord"


Note - the 9.5mm Pathéscope print of "Bonzo The Traveller" begins with "Bonzo In Gay Paree" & ends with "Polar Bonzo"
 - (the original Bonzo cartoons were each only around 6 minutes running time)

 


Pathéscope Monthly magazine April/May 1935

 

"Sandy McBonzo" GB 05Oct1925 (aka: "Bonzo Goes To Scotland")

Number eighteen in the series - Bonzo has adventures in Scotland -

'Bonzo has taken the train for Scotland together with a brave highlander, who is travelling without a ticket.
They get off in a lost country, go hunting ... and return rich!' - (
French Pathé-Baby catalogue - Nov/Dec 1938)

 9.5mm silent Pathé-Baby France as M.4611 & M.5044 "Bonzo Voyage En Écosse" - issued Nov1938
 
Pathé-Baby France 'Filmathèque" booklet Nov/Dec 1938

 

"Tally Ho! Bonzo" GB 19Oct1925

Number nineteen in the series - Bonzo uses an aniseed ball to lay a false scent to hoodwink a pack of fox hounds

 9.5mm silent Pathéscope UK as M.30118 "Tally Ho! Bonzo" - issued June/July 1935
 9.5mm silent Pathé-Baby France as M.4621 & M.5025 "Bonzo, Maître Renard Et Cie" 
 


Pathéscope Monthly magazine June/July 1935

Watch my 9.5mm Pathéscope print of M.30118 "Tally Ho! Bonzo" GB 1925 18Sep2018

 

"Bonzo R.A." GB 16Nov1925

Number twenty-one in the series - Bonzo becomes a painter

 9.5mm silent Pathé-Baby France as M.4617"Bonzo Artiste Peinitre" - 
 

"Bonzoby" GB 30Nov1925

Number twenty-two in the series - Bonzo watches a Punch and Judy show - '

 9.5mm silent Pathé-Baby France as M.4613 & M.5040 "Bonzo Cabotin" ('Bonzo On The Stage') - issued Apr1938 
 
Pathé-Baby France 'Filmathèque" booklet Apr/May 1938 
('Sur les planches!' - 'On the boards!')

 

"Unknown Bonzo? - " GB 1925

Bonzo fires a catapult at a cuckoo at the golf course. Chases a rabbit. Then chases golfers in a car
Original title currently unknown. All information gratefully accepted! .

 9.5mm silent French Pathé-Baby as M.4614 "Bonzo Bat Le Campagne" ('Bonzo Beats/Scours The Countryside')

"Unknown Bonzo? - Cup-Tie Bonzo?" GB 1925

One of the series released by Pathé-Baby in France - currently no information yet, as no print has been viewed;
There seems a possible original title, but no extra information. All information gratefull accepted! .

 9.5mm silent French Pathé-Baby as M.4616 & M.5041 "Bonzo Gardien Du But" ('Bonzo In Goal') 

"Unknown Bonzo? - Scouts Good Turn?" GB 1925

One of the series released by Pathe-Baby in France - currently no information yet, as no print has been viewed;
nor does there seem a suitable known original title. All information gratefully accepted! .

 9.5mm silent French Pathé-Baby as M.4612 & M.5039 "Bonzo Boy-Scout" - issued pre 1946 

"Unknown Bonzo" GB 1925

9.5mm film researcher Maurice Trace suggests this may have been "Playing The Dickens In An Old Curiosity Shop" as the brief description reads
'Bonzo is Working In An Antique Shop'.

 9.5mm silent Pathéscope as M.3079 "Bonzo Paid To Work" - scheduled for release April/May 1935
  (An entry in the Pathéscope Film release register but no 9.5mm prints appear to have been made)

 

No further Bonzo cartoons were released by Pathéscope on the 9.5mm film gauge;
hardly surprising as they had just signed a deal with Walt Disney and began
releasing his Mickey Mouse cartoons the following month - August 1935!! 

 



Just when I thought this page was finished I had a nagging feeling that I remembered our friend Bonzo from elsewhere.
And yes! These little 9.5mm Fairy film loops! There is a separate page in my web-site film catalogue pages....

So from the box cover illustrated above we find the following Bonzo titles:

"Bonzo In The Soot"

"Bonzo The Crane Driver"

"Bonzo And The Giraffe"

"Bonzo Steals A Meal" (maybe from 'Polar Bonzo' where he steals food from Polar Pete?)

However these little 9.5mm films were only 2ft long, so hardly worth showing as they would run for just about 5 seconds!

 

These little 9.5mm film loops were rather the same as those marketed as 'Fairy'.
The Radex list just gives us one Bonzo title: There is also a Radex page in my
web-site 9.5mm film cataliogues listings.

"Bonzo Helps The Sweep"

These little 2ft lengths seem to have been contact printed on 9.5mm camera film (charger lengths),
but which Bonzo titles do they come from? If Pathéscope made these short films, then maybe
these are from other (or another) Bonzo film that was never released by Pathéscope - once
Mickey Mouse was on 9.5mm, they would hardly bother with Bonzo any more........

 


 
Bonzo cartoon strip annual

Notes:
SB before a film ref. number indicates a 300 foot/ 100 metre film
M before a film ref. number indicates a 200 foot / 60 metre film 
References:
   The Great Cartoon Stars by the late Denis Gifford (Jupiter Books)
   The Animated Film by Ralph Stephenson (Tantivy Press, London)
   Guide To Pathéscope Silent 9.5mm Cartoons & Animated Films by Maurice Trace
   
   The character 'Bonzo' is © the estate of George Studdy

   An almost complete list of the Bonzo cartoon films:- www.bonzo.me.uk/flm2.htm 
   Check out the Bonzo web-site at:- www.bonzo.me.uk 
Blame me (and schoolboy French) for the translations!

Any corrections, or additional information will be greatly appreciated! 
please e-mail me, Grahame L. Newnham at:  presto @ pathefilm.uk 
                              (no gaps in actual e-mail address)

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Created 17Augl2018 .. Last updated: 11 October 2018 ....... 95flmartbonzo.htm ....... ©MMXV111 Grahame .L. Newnham
11Oct2018 - 'Bonzo The Traveller' YouTube upload added