Have You Seen This 1939 Cartoon Showing a Day at the Kalama Zoo?
A resurfaced vintage cartoon depicting a day at the zoo may have been based in Kalamazoo. Emphasis on the word 'may'.
In the Facebook group, Vanished Kalamazoo, Adrian Smothers shared a screenshot of what looks to be a very old cartoon. His caption read,
My Grandaughter and I were watching cartoons and this one came up. It was from Warner Bros. and was called "A Day At The Zoo from 1939.
You can see the post here.
The video, now found on Youtube, is indeed from Warner Brothers. But, what caught everyone's attention is the name of the zoo. The "Kalama Zoo". Take a look:
While the majority of these jokes would fly over the heads of most people, there is something oddly comforting about the archaic animation style. Something that reminds one about a simpler time. But, the number one question people seem to have is, "Is this based on OUR Kalamazoo?"
Wait...How Many Kalamazoos Are There?
Surprisingly enough, there are at least 5 Kalamazoos in the United States. They reside in:
- West Virginia
- Michigan (of course)
You can read more about these other Kalamazoos below.
In the comments of the original post, a woman named Deborah T. wrote,
There are many Kalamazoos in the US but given the age of the cartoon, Kalamazoo, MI is most likely due to the Glenn Miller song I Got A Gal in Kalamazoo. It was written for the composer's girlfriend who lived in Kalamazoo, MI.
However, a quick Google search will show that I Got a Gal in Kalamazoo wasn't recorded until 1942, three years after the debut of the cartoon.
Doug Singer chimed in with: there's a Kalama in Washington, but it has no zoo
And many others pointed out the irony that Kalamazoo doesn't even have a zoo.
The truth is, with the age of the cartoon, tracking down the inspiration would prove difficult. Regardless, it sure is a quick blast from the past.
Love vintage things? Check out this new vintage shop in Kalamazoo: