Monday, April 30, 2012

062 Elmer the Great Dane

Title: Elmer the Great Dane
Studio: Lantz
Date: 04/29/35
Story and Lyrics
Walter Lantz - Victor McLeod
Musical Score
James Dietrich
Fred Avery
Ray Abrams
(...)il Surry
Series: Oswald
Running time (of viewed version): 8:47
Commercial DVD Availability: -

Synopsis: Elmer gets hiccoughs (hiccups to you and me) and swallows many things, and Oswald tries to cure him.

Comments: This is Elmer's debut. Lantz was reportedly a great dane lover; and the breed shows up later in the Lantz filmography, with Cuddles, amongst others. Opens with a long horizontal pan. Shadow shot. Elmer looks a bit odd compared to the later danes. He has those malevolent toes. Oswald's PJs look like a marching band uniform. The face mask on Oswald shockingly looks like the bearded bad guy from much later Lantz cartoons. Oswald's house seems pretty fancy. There's a bulging eye take; Tex's doing? The cuckoo is also reminiscent of late simplified Woody Woodpecker. The music has too fast a beat, really.

Friday, April 27, 2012

061 The Chinese Nightingale

Title: The Chinese Nightingale
Studio: MGM
Date: 04/27/35
Credits: A Hugh Harman - Rudolf Ising Cartoon
Series: Happy Harmonies
Running time (of viewed version): 9:50
Commercial DVD Availability: -

Synopsis: Mechanization claims the job of the emperor's nightingale for awhile.

Comments: I'm not sure if the asian character designs are a bit more stereotypical than they were in Japanese Lanterns, or if they're just more in line with general cartoon designs. Wait, that only held true for the girls in the opening; the emperor is more stereotypical. Maybe the Japanese were less stereotyped than the Chinese. Creepy fingernails. All the birds that aren't the nightingale look interesting; cartoon goes on a bit. Speed talk on the red tipped blackbird. Perhaps it is ungarblable.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

060 The Hyp-Nut-Tist

Title: The "Hyp-Nut-Tist" (punctuation is intentional)
Studio: Fleischer
Date: 04/26/35
Directed by
Dave Fleischer
Animated by
Seymour Kneitel and Roland Crandall
Series: Popeye
Running time (of viewed version): 6:41
Commercial DVD Availability: Popeye v1d2

Synopsis: Popeye and Olive go to see a hypnotism show, and beatings ensue.

Comments: Text based opening (Times Square style animated sign). It may have been funny at the tie to have a woman pay for the night out. It's kinda lost its impact as a joke. Some nice space themed curtain paintings. This feels kinda like a Mad TV sketch. That's not good. '30s style background folks (like the Judge artist John (Held?), or a little like Milt Gross); at least when they're animated; at other times, the audience is very uncartoony and on the background not a cel. Popeye punches the chicken out of Olive.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

059 The Peace Conference

Title: The Peace Conference
Studio: Columbia
Date: 04/26/35
Ben Harrison
Joe De Nat
Manny Gould
Allen Rose
Harry Love
Series: Krazy Kat
Running time (of viewed version): 6:27
Commercial DVD Availability: -

Synopsis: Krazy brings a gun to a peace conference that unleashes famous musicians and singers on diplomats.

Comments: "Yankees Win!" in the establishing mewspaper; I suppose this would have been just about opening day. I wonder if the Yankees were a bad team at the time and it was as unlikely as peace, the equivalent of saying hell froze over. (Probably not; the '34 Yankees finished second in the AL, behind the Tigers, who lost the World Series to St. Louis, like in 2006; in '68, the Tigers won the World Series against the Cardinals tho. Slicing up the world leaves it in pieces. There's a fasces (an axe in rods, a symbol of power in ancient Rome and taken on by Mussolini; thus, "fascism") on the pediment of the Peace building. Krazy is inexplicably a diplomat, bringing a gun for world peace. Somehow I don't think the establishment types in the world diplomatic corps would care much for a slice of American popular music. I also don't think a bunch of American pop singers would get along. Bing Crosby shows up. One of the World Powers is Uncle Sam. One might be Stalin. One looks like the bad guy from melodramas with a tall pilgrim hat and a devil mustache and goatee (sounds French). One red nosed guy looks like Mr Hyde and seems to be wearing a Union Jack. There's a generic Russian looking guy, and what I think is an Italian looking guy (but he might be a gypsy). A Chinese guy. Gandhi. Why these seem to be a mix of personifications of countries and real people, I don't know. There's a clarinetist who looks a little like Harpo and says "hey hey". Peace does not make Mars, god of war, happy. I like the use of classical imagery in the cartoon tho. I also like how Mars is depicted with freckles. A singer with a megaphone and Groucho style pointed hair sings softly to Mars. He gets smacked. Another singer in a bowtie and a double breasted suit also tries (looks like the earlier Bing, but doesn't sing very Bing). There's a band with a fat conductor. Interesting if not entirely well done movement down a hall. This cartoon does a disservice to the complexity of diplomacy.