animation / 14 X 7 minutes’ / Black & White / status : completed / French catalog
Willie Whopper is an animates cartoon character created by American animator Ub Iwerks. The Whopper series was the second from the Iwerks studio to be produced by Pat Powers and distributed through MGM. It lasted only one year; from 1933 to 1934. Willie is a young lad who tells of his many outlandish adventures, which are then depicted on-screen. His fantastic accounts are in fact, outright lies, or “whoppers”. His stories are usually preceded by his memorable catchphrase, “Say, did I ever tell ya this one?”
The character’s first-produced film was The Air Race (1933), in which Willie tells of how he entered in and won the 1933 National Air race—even receiving a kiss fromAmelia Earhart in the end. The short reflects Iwerks’ own fascination with aviation. One scene even involves a plane crashing into a “Fireworks” stand which, afterwards is reduced in spelling to “I WERKS” (the animator Ub Iwerks’ last name).
Restored from the surviving printing elements of the Iwerks cartoon company, held at UCLA Film Archives and the Academy Film Archive