Topic: 1940s

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Pen Point Percussion and Dots: Norman McLaren

Pen Point Percussion (1951), a behind-the-scenes introduction to the sound visualizations and drawn-on-film animation of film pioneer Norman McLaren, from the National Film Board of Canada. And below, another playful...

Glenn Miller, the Nicholas Brothers, and Dorothy Dandridge

Glenn Miller and his orchestra, and the Nicholas Brothers, and Dorothy Dandridge? Yes please! From the little known movie Sun Valley Serenade (1941), this is era-defining swing hit Chattanoog...

Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers in Hellzapoppin’ (1941)

From 1941’s Hellzapoppin’, watch this phenomenal performance by Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers, the Savoy Ballroom's supreme swing dance group founded in 1935 by Herbert “Whitey” White. This cl...

Midget Motor Mania!

Midget Motor Mania! With some history from Jalopy Journal:  Great pre-war tether car footage brought to you via Newsreel (as shown at the front of movies in the theater) from October of 1940. At this fairly early...

Chico Marx plays the piano (and an apple)

Chico Marx plays the piano (and an apple) for his brother Harpo in this 1940 clip from the film Go West. There are more classic clips and more Marx Brothers in the archives. 

Ray Harryhausen’s Mother Goose Stories (1946)

Mother Goose Stories was made in 1946 by pioneering stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen. Distributed to schools, it includes Little Miss Muffet, Old Mother Hubbard, The Queen of Hearts, and ...

Judy Garland sings Over the Rainbow for US troops (1943)

Judy Garland sings Over the Rainbow for US troops in this 1943 radio show performance during World War II. A timeless classic, the song debuted in The Wizard of Oz in 1939, and is a kiddo favorite.

Ella Fitzgerald sings A Tisket a Tasket

The amazing Ella Fitzgerald, in her first screen role, singing A Tisket a Tasket from Abbott and Costello’s Ride Em Cowboy.

St. Louis Blues March – Jimmy Stewart in the Glenn Miller Story

The kiddo loves something about this video, whether it be the music or the marching, he has watched it many, many times in the last few weeks. And it’s a win-win: I love that he now kn...

Tito Puente performs A Maria Cervantes on the vibraphone (1945)

Here’s Tito Puente rocking the Bronx with A Maria Cervantes on the vibraphone in 1945. And here he is again with the same song at the Montreal Jazz Festival almost 40 years later in 198...

The Andrews Sisters – Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy Of Company B

Nothing gets you moving quite like boogie woogie and the Andrews Sisters were brilliant at it. Here they are in a 1941 clip from Abbott and Costello’s Buck Privates. (Loved having both kids dancing around the l...

Visit to Picasso: Watch Pablo Picasso painting on glass (1949)

Visit to Picasso (“Bezoek aan Picasso”) is a Belgian documentary film from 1949 directed by Belgian filmmaker Paul Haesaerts. In an effort to capture the nature of Picasso...

The Nicholas Brothers in the greatest dance number ever filmed

The co-curator has asked for this one daily since we first watched it, and it’s pretty clear as to why — it’s probably about the best dance routine I've ever seen. And I'm not the only one who thin...

Norman McLaren’s Boogie Doodle (1948)

Norman McLaren was a Scottish Canadian film director and a “poet of animation.” Much of his work is pioneering and playful, dancing between abstraction and representation… perfect for kids! Plus, the...