The Pre-Felix Pat Sullivan Studio Filmography
(c) 2006 David A. Gerstein
Story information is taken from copyright synopses and period film reviews, as well as the original shorts when available. Credits are reproduced as given on copyright synopses and may be vague, incorrect and/or incomplete.
Sullivan's Charlie/Charley series (1918-1919) is often confused with the earlier Charlie Cartoons (1916) produced for Movca Film by S. J. Sangretti and animated by John C. Terry, G. A. Bronstrup, and Hugh Shields. Charlie On the Windmill, often misattributed to Sullivan and Messmer, has been positively identified as part of the Movca series by Dalla Cineteca del Friuli (Bologna, Italy).
Special thanks to Pietro Shakarian, Zoran Sinobad, and Tom Stathes.
1916 Powers Animated Cartoons released by Universal Pictures
Sammy Jonsin, Hunter (SJ, Jan. 27) "Animated
cartoon showing the adventures of Sammy Johnsin, an indolent colored
boy." Sammy's "big Mammy" wants him to do chores, but he prefers to
dream about being a mighty hunter in the jungle. After mistaking an
ostrich for a coconut tree, he tries to capture the bird and meets with
Sammy Johnsin, Strong Man (SJ) Sammy
studies an ad for "Bullo," a medicine that makes men as strong as
bulls. He dreams of drinking a bottle, then traveling to the desert,
where he beats up on various animals and rescues a comely cannibal girl
from a lion.
Sammy Johnsin, Magician (SJ, Jun. 29) When
Sammy's mother refuses to give him some flapjacks, he dreams he's a
magician who can create flapjacks by magic. His magic makes a duck lay
eggs and a pig dance on its tail. Finally he charms a snake and saves a
pretty girl; but upon being rewarded with a kiss, awakens to find he's
really being licked by a cow.
Sammy Johnsin Gets a Job (SJ, Jul. 13) Sammy's
mother won't loan him a nickel, telling him to get a job instead. He
gets a job as messenger boy, but falls asleep in the District
Messenger's office, dreaming of an adventure on the Fiji Islands with a
girl and a ferocious baboon. "By Pat Sullivan."
Sammie Johnsin in Mexico (SJ, Aug. 25) Walking
onto a blasting site, Sammie is accidentally blown to Mexico. He gets a
gun and catches a bandit, but is distracted by a passing chicken,
leading him to be captured by the "ferocious Mexicans" instead.
Luckily, it turns out all to be a dream.
Sammie Johnsin Minds the Baby (SJ, Nov. 2) Sammie's
mother tells him to mind the baby. He takes the baby into the fields
and falls asleep, leading him to a nightmare that would "make the hair
of the most unemotional old maid stand on end."
Motor Mat and His Fliv (Nov. 18) Motor Mat
orders a car by parcel post. Taking it on a test drive, he can't make
it stop, leading him to "[do] a million things that he should not do."
When the motor at last gives out, Mat gets a squirrel to pull his car,
dangling a nut in front of it for bait. "A Sullivan Cartoon; Drawings
by Otz Messmer."
Sammie Johnsin at the Seaside (SJ, Nov. 26) At
the beach, Sammie is almost drowned but then plays the hero. "In the
end he is happy as all the heroes of the films and those in real life
ought to be."
Sammie Johnsin's Love Affair (SJ, Dec. 3) Sammie is in unrequited love with a girl. He buys her all sorts of candy and
other goodies. She takes them, but turns him down for another fellow,
leading him to vow that he'll never again fall in love.
The Trials of a Movie Cartoonist (Dec. 10)
An animator has "trials and tribulations" when the cartoon characters he has drawn refuse to do what he'd like them to, talking back and causing mayhem instead.
Sammie Johnsin and His Wonderful Lamp (SJ, Dec. 17)
Sammie reads the story of Aladdin, then searches the ash cans for a
wonderful lamp of his own. He seems to find one and the genie grants
him various wishes, but it turns out to be all a dream.
Nervy Nat Has His Fortune Told (Dec. 24?) A
lady fortune teller tells Nat that he'll have an adventure with a
brunette beauty. At the beach, he follows a girl whom he thinks is his
quarry, unaware that she is African-American. "A Sullivan Cartoon
Sammie Johnsin Slumbers Not (SJ, Dec. 31)
Sammie is kept awake by two howling cats. They disappear when he
threatens them with a bulldog, but return the moment the dog is gone.
Finally they vanish for an extended length of time and Sammie thinks he
has won. But that's when the cats proudly come back with a new litter
Undated c. 1916 Powers Animated Cartoons released by Universal Pictures
Chestnuts Magazine-style single-panel cartoons with animated camera effects illustrate old jokes from Judge and other magazines; "Sunshine makes you fat, but moonshine makes you lean," and so forth. Jewish and Irish stereotypes number among the rube-like characters pictured. "By O. Messmer; Pat Sullivan Studio."
1917 Powers Animated Cartoons released by Universal Pictures
Boomer Bill's Awakening (Jan 28)
The hobo Boomer Bill is asleep in an oasis and dreams of taking a trip to the North Pole, "where there are reindeers, an elusive pole, bears and icicles dozens of feet long." Boomer is awakened from his dream by a policeman telling him to move along. "A Cartoon Comedy by Pat Sullivan; Animated by George D. Clardy."
The Trials of Willie Winks (SJ, Jan. 22)
After troubles with a goat, Sammie Johnsin's friend Willie sics his dog
on the goat. But the goat chases the dog instead, and "the picture ends
in an orgy of bumps" for both boys. "Cartoon Comedy by Pat Sullivan."
Fearless Freddie in the Woolly West (Feb 11)
Freddie, a young boy, dreams he's a cowpoke, first riding a bucking bronco and then engaging in life-threatening conflict with Indians. He is awakened by his mother calling him to say it's time to go to bed.
A Day in the Life of a Dog (SJ, Feb. 25) Sammie
Johnsin reads a book about dogs, falls asleep, and dreams of becoming
one. His adventures conclude in a fight with a cat, whereupon Sammy
awakes, glad he's not a dog. "Cartoon Comedy by Pat Sullivan; Animated
by Will Anderson."
The Tail of Thomas Kat (Mar. 18) As Thomas
the cat sits in a rocking chair, his tail extends through a hole in the
fence, where a chicken "pulls it out till it snaps." The cat fights the
chicken and thinks he's won, but the chicken returns and "pulls the
cat's tail right out." A dog makes fun of the cat, but then a boy ties
a tin can to the dog's tail, and "the cat is consoled, for it sees that
tails are no good, after all." "A Cartoon Comedy by Pat Sullivan."
The Love Affair of Ima Knut (Mar. 25) Ima
Knut falls in love with a fat woman and tries everything to make her
thin. At last a patent medicine makes her so thin she can travel
through the telephone wires, and now Ima resolves to remain a bachelor.
"Animated Cartoon by Otto Messmer; Pat Sullivan."
Inbad the Sailor (Apr. 1) Inbad tells a group of listeners the story of how he was shipwrecked and woke up on a desert island. But his listeners don't believe the tale of his wild adventures.
Boomer Bill Goes to Sea (Apr. 15) They are short of hands on the Mary Ellen.
Boomer Bill is shanghaied and taken on board. He has a terrible time on
the rough voyage until he is put in the stoke hold. "Cartoon Comedy by
A Good Story About a Bad Egg (Apr. 22) A bird
goes on strike when her eggs won't hatch, after which a bear eats all
of the eggs but one. The remaining six-month-old egg rolls away into
numerous adventures, including an encounter with a cheesemaker and
rats. "Cartoon Comedy by Pat Sullivan."
A Barnyard Nightmare (May 6) Farmer Neb has
a dream in which he twists a hen's neck, but does not kill it. Instead,
the twisty-necked hen runs around the farm, inspiring laughter in a cow
and a cat. "Cartoon Comedy by Pat Sullivan."
20,000 Laughs Under the Sea
Professor Punk is fishing one day when he catches Captain Nemo's "scrubmarine" in his line. Nemo pulls the Professor underwater and takes him on a tour of the fathoms below. When Nemo falls asleep, Punk exits the scrubmarine and continues the journey on his own, pursuing a pretty mermaid but getting chased away by her father, King Neptune. "A Cartoon Comedy by Pat Sullivan."
Cupid Gets Some New Dope (SJ, May 27) Sammie
finds some love potion and squirts various people with it. An angry
washwoman kisses her husband instead of beating him. A spinster accepts
a man's proposal instead of spurning him. A cop refrains from arresting
a nurse who walks on the grass where she shouldn't. But once again
Sammie wakes to find it was all a dream.
Thim Were the Happy Days (Jun. 10) An old man
goes to sleep and dreams he's a little boy, playing with a vacuum
cleaner and sucking everyone nearby into it. "Cartoon Comedy by Pat
Sullivan. Animated by Otz Messmer."
A Pesky Pup (Jun. 17) Jones finds a ten-dollar bill while out walking with his dog. Alas, he must soon forfeit the money in fines when the dog raids a butcher shop, disrupts a painter and causes other doggy mischief.
Young Nick Carter, Detectiff (Jun. 24) The
title character decides to be a sleuth and has a dog which he calls his
"sleuth hound." They trace a desperado to his lair, then lead him on a
failed chase which results in their giving up detective work. "Cartoon
by Pat Sullivan. Animated by Otz Messmer."
Duke Dolittle's Jungle Fizzle (Jul. 1)
African explorer Duke Doolittle tries to sell a publisher on his book about hunting. He tells of his voyage and adventures in search of big game in far-off Bambazoo. He loses his gun when confronted by a leopard, but what happened next? The Duke replies that the story is a serial, and won't be continued until four years from now.
Monkey Love (Jul. 15) A flirtatious girl
monkey spurns an elephant, leopard and others in favor of a boy monkey.
The other animals are jealous, until the two get married and boy monkey
is saddled with a huge number of kids. "Cartoon by Pat Sullivan.
Animated by Ernest Smythe."
Box Car Bill Falls In Luck (Jul. 16) Bill is
thrown off a train, finds some money, and goes to a bar to spend it. He
asks for a bottle of "prune juice," but a "purple goofus" comes out of
the bottle and puts him off the booze. Leaving the bar, he has various
hallucinations, driving him onto the water wagon. "Cartoon By Pat
Sullivan. Animated by Bill Cause."
A Barnyard Hamlet (Jul. 28) Retired actor
Hammon Eggs wanders the farm, performing for the animals. He gets in a
singing competition with a cow and ends up pelted with an egg. "Cartoon
by Pat Sullivan. Animated by W. E. Stark."
A Good Liar (Aug. 4) Two African-American
children ask an old veteran how he won his medal. "Back in '61,"
explains the veteran, he was attacked by an enemy plane, overcame it,
and sent their entire food supply—a single bologna sausage of huge
size—home by wireless. The children give the old veteran a medal
reading "liar," leading the old man to grumble that they don't know a
real liar when they see one. "By Pat Sullivan."
Hammon Eggs' Reminiscences (Aug. 4)
Colonel Pepper's Mobilized Farm (Aug. 4) The Colonel's munition factory features hens laying eggs that are stored until rotten, then used as weapons. The Colonel's signal station employs the hens again to engage in target practice.
Doing His Bit (Aug. 4) When Henry is turned down by the army, he decides to become a farmer instead. But farm life doesn't satisfy him when he isn't served "real cider" there, when he fails at cow-milking, or when his attempts to raise crops end up raising "what Sherman called war."
1918Nestor Comedies released by Universal Pictures
How Charlie Captured the Kaiser (© Sep. 10)
Charlie (Chaplin, though not explicitly identified as such) sets out to
cross the ocean in a tub. He meets and bests a German submarine, then
flies to the German front by hanging onto a stork's feet. Once there,
he "conquers Huns right and left," deflating a fat enemy soldier with a
bayonet and then disguising himself to get the drop on their leader.
"Animated cartoon by Pat Sullivan."
Over the Rhine with Charlie (© Dec. 18)
Charlie follows directly on his capture of the Kaiser by "putting on
the climax of mirth" and traveling to Berlin for further adventures.
"Pat Sullivan Cartoon."
Comedies released by Universal Pictures
Getting a Story) Famous
Players/Lasky release as a segment of the Paramount-Bray (later Goldwyn-Bray) Pictograph
Charlie in Turkey (© Jan. 25) Having crossed
the Rhine, Charlie "embarks upon the Bag[h]dad Express for Turkey."
Landing in a harem, he watches dancing girls through a knothole—then
squeezes through to woo "fat Fatima" in person. Alas, he is discovered
by a bodyguard and kicked directly from the palace into a train.
The Adventures of Hardrock Dome (Jan. 29)
Peerless detective Hardrock Dome is "a new character from the pen of
Pat Sullivan of the Bray Studios, Inc. art staff." Baron Lightfinger
escapes jail with the only known formula for the permanent cure of red
noses. Hardrock Dome and Doc Walloper pursue him by balloon to the
island of Hootchi Kootch.
The Adventures of Hardrock Dome (Feb. 5) On
Hootchi Kootch, the Baron is pursued by cannibals. He temporarily
escapes, but "the frying pan and the fire present the only choice" when
this chapter closes.
Further Adventures of Hardrock Dome (Feb. 12)
The Baron flees underwater from the cannibals, but there he finds
Hardrock Dome waiting there for him. "After a number of hairbreadth
adventures with the denizens of the deep," Hardrock and Doc Walloper
capture the Baron and recover the formula.
Charlie Treats 'Em Rough (© Mar. 26) "Our
Pat Sullivanized 'Charlie'" continues to defeat the World War I enemy.
He plants limburger in trenches to drive them out, "sl[ays] half the
German kingdom with one shot from his 'Little Bertha,'" and drives the
enemy back with rotten eggs. "Cartoon by Pat Sullivan."
Charley At the Circus After
sneaking into the circus, Charley is pursued by a guard whom he
presumes wants to throw him out. The chase leads Charley to disrupt a
number of circus performers and acts, including trained fleas. Finally the guard catches Charley, but turns out only to want him to light his cigarette! Charley shrinks as if ashamed, and a close-up shows various Chaplinesque facial expressions in detail. "By Pat Sullivan."
Charley On the Farm Ejected from a freight car, Charley picks himself up near a barnyard—the kind where a single mom chicken spurns her rooster suitor in favor of a duck. Charley woos a milkmaid and gets a job milking cows, but accidentally approaches a bull, leading to a chase. At night, Charley is kept awake by a mama cat and her kittens. Come morning, he flees the farm in search of an easier job. "By Pat Sullivan."
Charley At the Beach At a beachside refreshment counter, Charley orders a "raspberry highball" and faces an effeminate waiter. Back on the sand, Charley shuttles between dressing rooms to peer at the girls inside until a policeman chases him off. (Synopsis taken from a fragmentary print.)
Charley In the West While at a bar, Charley hears a woman in distress. She explains that the Indians have captured her daughter, so Charlie rides off to the rescue. He recovers the girl, whose face is veiled—setting up the end gag where she turns out to be ugly rather than beautiful.
Charley In Russia
Getting a Story or The Origin of the Shimmy (Sept. 27) "If the cub reporter's head is soft, his life is hard." A sailor tells a reporter the story of his trip to the Solomon Islands, where he gives "white Negroes" India ink to drink so that they might turn themselves black, and mohair underwear that causes them all to shimmy uncontrollably—this supposedly being where the dance got its start.
Charley's African Quest (Oct.) Charley reads a newspaper piece describing a reward for the capture of an African "Goofus" bird, then dreams he's there to capture one. The dream-chase leads dream-Charley to trouble with hungry—and apparently Southern—black natives.
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Last updated 22 July 2007
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