Flip the Frog opening title via Wikimedia Commons
CAIRO – 16 August 2017: Today in history, August 16, the first ever colored cartoon with sound aired In 1930. The film was titled 'Flip the Frog – Fiddlesticks.' The short film was created by Ub Iwerks, an animator famous for having worked directly with Walt Disney during the early days of the company. Iwerks left to start his own studio, but he eventually returned back to Disney.
Fiddlesticks was made during the time Iwerks was away from Disney. He established a distribution deal with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) with support by Celebrity Pictures for Fiddlesticks. There they created MGM's first sound cartoon.
The plotline of the short is simplistic, following the titular character ‘Flip the Frog.’ Flip hosts a performance in the forest for woodland animals, including a mouse that bears a resemblance to Disney's mascot, ‘Mickey Mouse.’ The animation syncs with the sound, though perhaps not fluidly, they associate music with Flip and the other characters movements.
‘Flip the Frog’ never gained the love and attention amongst the public that characters like ‘Popeye,’ ‘Betty Bop’ or ‘Mickey Mouse’ did. The character was retired by 1933.
Still, the fictional frog can find comfort in the fact that he was the first character to star in a colored cartoon with sound.