Friday, March 30, 2012

046 The Calico Dragon

Title: The Calico Dragon
Studio: MGM
Date: 03/30/35
Credits: A Hugh Harman - Rudolf Ising Cartoon
Series: Happy Harmonies
Running time (of viewed version): 7:56
Commercial DVD Availability: Roberta

Synopsis: Girl reads story, falls asleep, toys enter story.

Comments: Establishing shot is a painting of a book, in the context of a bed full of toys watching an ugly little girl read it aloud to them. Raggedy Andy looking guy in a Peter Pan/Robin Hood type outfit. The scotty looks great with the red lines on black body. The patterns in the backgrounds are also impressive. The cartoon is essentially showcasing patterns. Crappy little song interlude with the dragon. I think there's too much DVNR on the dragon tongue. And the hopping bunnies. And several other things. The flat patterned trees pre-sage much later tree theory in animation. The chicks live in a bra nest.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

045 Do A Good Deed

Title: Do A Good Deed
Studio: Lantz
Date: 03/25/35
Credits: (Carl Laemmle presents, A Walter Lantz cartoon)
Series: Oswald
Running time (of viewed version): 7:00
Commercial DVD Availability: -

Synopsis: Scouts learn the lesson of if you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.

Comments: Establishing shot is a flag with text on it. Dissolves to a long shot of group activity. The movement is very regimented and unnatural looking because of it (tho they do not look wrong in terms of the physics of the world). Even the interesting bits like the little rabbit's ears, which have a (slightly) more complex rhythm than everything else around them. Oswald is playing an organ; its sound is reminiscent of an old electric organ that was in my grandparents' basement. A good deed for a woodpecker is a bad deed for the insects. Bear has a very white tongue. Lantz wasn't doing Oswald's voice, was he? It is very bland and uninspiring. Anyone know exactly what Oswald is saying in semafore?

This should represent 25% completion.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

044 Pleased to Meet Cha!

Title: Pleased to Meet Cha!
Studio: Fleischer
Date: 03/22/35
Directed by Dave Fleischer
Animated by
Willard Bowsky and Harold Walker
By arrangement with
Series: Popeye
Running time (of viewed version): 6:39
Commercial DVD Availability: Popeye v1d2

Synopsis: Popeye and Bluto vie for Olive's attention, and somehow it comes to blows.

Comments: A lightly Seussian home. Cool keyhole wipe (wipe?). Bluto's a back door man. Interesting high angle. Bluto talks to the camera. Segar-y Bluto at times. Does the title revolve around the cha cha (Hot Cha Melody coming out this month implies it may have been big at the relevant time). Some... unusual... walking. That familiar fish is on the wall. Maybe a real one hung in the Fleischer offices. I wonder if these tricks were based on actual unpleasant bar tricks. Olive ends up on Popeye's lap, moving her knees together and apart. The ending Paramount Mountain lasts for a really long time (13 seconds, 10 without music). They got away with showing Olive's leg up really high. (Many many spell check marks on proper names in this entry)

Monday, March 26, 2012

043 The Golden Touch

Title: The Golden Touch
Studio: Disney
Date: 03/22/35
Series: Silly Symphonies
Running time (of viewed version): 10:02
Commercial DVD Availability: SS 1 d1

Synopsis: What good is money if there is no food? No good at all. The same can not be said of the lack of cats.

Comments: Billions of gold coins in 1935. Hairy knobby man fingers, pre-saging the disgusting power. The cat with the ruff is as close as the cartoon comes to a standard style Disney character. The king and elf are not what I think of as Disney like. Pretty paltry mustache the king has. I think this story has fallen out of favor because it does not really mesh with type A executive ideas about wealth. Which is to say: "sacrifice everything for money, even if it slits your own throat" is now the watchword (which it has been in the past as well, otherwise the story would not have survived).