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1931 'Princess of Mars' Animated Movie, Discussion On FTMB

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  • Pietro_Mercurios
    Only Slightly Unbalanced
    • Oct 2004
    • 5896

    1931 'Princess of Mars' Animated Movie, Discussion On FTMB

    I do try so very hard not to cross post between the Fortean Times Message Board and the MMWM Forum, but I couldn't resist this one.

    Apparently, Robert Clampett, the animator, approached Edgar Rice Burroughs about making an animated version of The Princess Of Mars, or John Carter of Mars, back in 1931! Supposedly, he even got as far as making sketches, sculptures and production notes with Burroughs son, John Coleman Burroughs!
    Originally posted by FTMB: "Re: A Princess of Mars: The Lost 1930's Cartoon
    Originally posted by Mr. R.I.N.G.
    I could believe this, which I read while reading trivia for Kevin Conran's version:

    Like "Lord of the Rings" and "Dune", there have been numerous failed attempts at filming Edgar Rice Burroughs' "A Princess of Mars" since its first publication in 1917: In 1931, animation legend Robert Clampett approached Burroughs himself with the idea of making the book into an animated film, to which Burroughs was enthusiastic. The author's son, John Coleman Burroughs, helped Clampett create an extensive array of sketches, sculptures and production notes while the rights to the project were picked up by MGM. However, Clampett and the two Burroughs soon clashed with the studio over the direction to take the film - the creators wanting to make a serious sci-fi drama, the studio wanting a slapstick comedy with a swashbuckling hero. Eventually, the studio pulled the plug on the entire project. Originally planned for a 1932 release, it would have been the first feature-length animated film (the honour of which is held by Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)). When Clampett toured and lectured at universities in the 1970s, he would often screen some of the uncompleted animation footage for enthusiastic audiences.
    And a more in-depth article:
    Originally posted by Emperor
    Very interesting - I read them all as a kid and that would have been great. Any examples of the work produced around?

    Ah this page form last year about the film:

    suggests it is avialable on this DVD:

    and points to more info here:
    Link to original Fortean Times Message Board Thread:

    I couldn't help wondering if any Edgar Rice Burroughs fans here, might be interested in the story, or might even be able to fill in some missing details.

    Apparently, unlike the tale of Orson Welles' 1946 Batman Movie, discussed on the FTMB last year, this story appears to be true! What a missed opportunity! :)
  • Azariel
    Eternal Companion
    • Sep 2005
    • 787

    With the advancement of CGI - a new production as been given a go to finally film the unfilmable - A Princess of Mars! Although, an animated film would have been better, a live action is what we are gonna get apparently. I hope I'm not dissapointent and put as much effort as they did with LotRs, and I may like it! I love these books and a film is long over due.


    • Guest's Avatar

      I'd even be willing to sit through Beany and Cecil singing RAGGMOPP again just to see the "Mars" footage. Has anyone actually seen it?


      • Azariel
        Eternal Companion
        • Sep 2005
        • 787

        There was also a 80s attempt at filming ERB' Mars with some artwork stills drawn up for it, but nothing else.