Above you see a feature-length animated movie made in 1941 by the legendary Max Fleischer studios, and not widely known. It was considered a huge flop. In fact, while the version posted here is called “Hoppity Goes To Town,” the original title was “Mr. Bug Goes To Town” and it was also retitled “Bugville.”
The movie was an epic flop. It’s the financial disaster that caused Paramount to foreclose on the Fleischer studios and shut down their new Miami production facility, moving them back to New York, and renamaing them “Famous Studios.”
Here’s the synopsis from IMDB (written by CPL Rixter):
In a vacant corner lot off Broadway (by about a yard) is a place called the Lowlands by the tiny community that lives there. Bugs and insects are neighbors and hang out at the Honey Shop of old Mr. Bumble the bee and his daughter Honey. Hoppity the grasshopper arrives to be with Honey, his sweetie. This bugs the crooked C. Bagley Beetle, so do his bunglers Smack the Mosquito and Swat the Fly. The Beetle wants Honey and the Lowlands for himself. But the Human Ones, with their littering and carelessness, pose a threat of destruction to every Lowland home of bug and beetle alike. Despite the doomsaying of Mr. Creeper, the snail, Hoppity finds hope of a new home behind the house of two Human Ones: Mary, who cares for a beautiful garden; and Dick, a struggling songwriter who puts his own hope on a Broadway hit to save his home.
As for why the film flopped, there are many theories. Some folks think that audiences just didn’t want to spend that much time watching cartoon bugs. More conspiratorial minded folks think it was deliberate sabotage by Paramount, so they could seize Max Fleischer’s studio and boot him out.
The fact that the movie opened two days before the attack on Pearl Harbor probably didn’t help matters any.
Now you can watch for yourself and see if this second (and last) animated feature by The Max Fleischer Studio was justly or unjustly overlooked.