Beautiful check from the Walter Lantz Productions, INC.
hand signed check by Walter Lantz. This historic document was printed by the Deluxe Check Printers' Company and has an ornate border around it with the signature of cartoonist and animator: Walter Lantz. This item is over 26 years old.
Walter Lantz's Signature
Walter Lantz Productions was an American animation studio. It was in operation from 1928 to 1948 and then 1950 to 1972 and was the principal supplier of animation for Universal Studios, now part of the media conglomerate NBC Universal.
The studio was formed originally as Universal Studio Cartoons on the initiative of Universal movie mogul Carl Laemmle, who was tired of the continuous company politics he was dealing with concerning contracting cartoons to outside animation studios. Walter Lantz, who was Laemmle's part time chauffeur and a veteran of the John R. Bray Studios with considerable experience in all elements of animation production, was selected to run the department.
In 1935, the studio was severed from Universal and became Walter Lantz Productions under Lantz's direct control, and in 1940 Lantz managed to gain the copyright for his characters. The cartoons continued to be distributed by Universal through 1947, changing to United Artists distribution in 1948-49, and by Universal again from 1951 to 1972.
The biggest characters for the studio were Woody Woodpecker, Andy Panda, Chilly Willy, and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. The music-oriented Swing Symphony cartoons were another staple.
Throughout the studio's history, it maintained a reputation as an animation house of medium quality. Lantz's animated shorts (dubbed "Cartunes") were considered superior to those of Famous Studios and Terrytoons, but they never gained the artistic acclaim of Disney, Warner Bros., MGM, or UPA. However, the studio benefited from gaining talent from the other studios who were tired of the management there and usually found the Lantz studio a more enjoyable working environment. Tex Avery was just one of the many talents Walter Lantz Productions benefited from on the rebound.
After Disney's success with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Lantz studio planned to make its own feature, Aladdin and His Lamp, but it never made it to actual production.
Unlike other major animation studios of America, the studio never continued full-time in existence during the classic period of American animation, closing down in 1948, and then reopening its doors two years later; it was shut down again (permanently) in 1972, after the end of the Golden Age of American animation. Since then, the characters of the studio have continued to be used in syndicated television series, in licensed merchandise, and as mascots at the Universal Studios Theme Parks.
In July 2007, Universal Studios Home Entertainment released The Woody Woodpecker and Friends Classic Cartoon Collection, a three-disc DVD box set compilation of Lantz Cartunes. A second volume was released in April 2008, followed by a vanilla release in 2009, Woody Woodpecker Favorites, which contained no new to DVD material. Animation historian Jerry Beck, partly involved in the production of the DVD releases, has stated that plans for further volumes are currently on hold, due to the current financial crisis.
History from Wikipedia and OldCompany.com (old stock certificate research service).