Dinky and Weakheart on the roof.


Medium: Theatrical Animation
Produced by: J.R. Bray & Co.
First Appeared: 1924
Creator: Walter Lantz
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The creations of animation man Walter Lantz are legion — Woody Woodpecker, Andy Panda, Chilly Willie … and those are just the big stars. The little guys, some almost …

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… forgotten, include Buzz Buzzard, Homer Pigeon, Wally Walrus and many even more minor. But his very first creation, while stellar enough at the time, is practically lost in the mists of antiquity today — Dinky Doodle, who starred in an animated series produced by J.R. Bray & Co. (Quacky Doodles), with his constant companion, his dog Weakheart (no relation).

Dinky (no relation) came along before Woody and Chilly, before Lantz had his own studio, even before he became the final beneficiary of Charles Mintz's hijacking of Disney's Oswald the Rabbit. He was a contemporary of The "Alice" Comedies, Farmer Alfalfa and Felix the Cat. The first Dinky Doodle cartoon was The Magic Lamp, released on September 15, 1924.

Dinky was a little boy with big, round eyes, and Weakheart was his non-heroic dog. They cavorted through about one cartoon per month for a couple of years, until Dinky Doodle in the Army, released August 19, 1926, 23 in all. Lantz, who had earlier worked on many of Bray's Col. Heeza Liar cartoons, wrote, directed and animated them. His assistants included David Hand (who later directed several Mickey Mouse cartoons) and Clyde Geronimi (who directed parts of Victory through Air Power, Cinderella and other feature-length animations). Lantz often appeared in Dinky's cartoons, just as Max Fleischer did in Koko the Clown's.

The Dinky Doodle & Weakheart cartoons managed to maintain a screen presence for at least a little while during the silent era. But by the time sound came in, they'd completely disappeared.


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Text ©2008-09 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Dinky Doodle is in the public domain. This image has been modified. Modified version © Donald D. Markstein.