Friday, March 6, 2009

Just Imagine: The Great Experiment

 Today I am posting a fine Scrappy cartoon from 1935:  'The Great Experiment'. While the main complaint on this one is it's disapointing 'it-was-all-a-dream' ending I still think it's a pretty fun cartoon. Sort of like 'Mark of the Vampire' and it's 'it-was-only-an-act' ending, the virtues are in the journey (which is pretty damn strange) rather than the admittedly lame conclusion.  I am including amongst the frame grabs from 'Great Experiment', for comparison, a few photos from a film which (to my eyes anyway) bears a familial relationship : 'Just Imagine' (Fox, 1930).   While both films fit tongue firmly in cheek it is hard not to notice the pervasive optimism with which the Science Fiction material is treated.  Sadly, contemporary attempts at bringing such levity to the genre have done so in such a prosaic, self conscious, and serious manner (witness such films as 'Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow') as to become utterly tedious and insulting to the intelligence of those appreciate the origins of such material and a crushing bore to those who don't.  That, however, is the subject for someone else's blog. In the meantime enjoy 'The Great Experiment': you'll (Hugo) Plotz !

Hugo Plotz's lab

A similar lab from 'Just Imagine'

Detail of the lab

Note the carefully air-brushed high lights on the beaker glass and the distortion as he passes behind. Advanced stuff for 1935. 

art deco time travel: is there any better way?

A spectacular reveal: the city of the future!

A similar such city as depicted in the title card for 'Just Imagine'

Strange creatures populate the future. An alien?
helicopter derby hats: how 90's!


p spector said...

Hey, Great post!

J.V. (AKA "White Pongo") said...

Thanks Paul! The text of this post is a little 'outta my ass' but I just wanted an excuse to post 'The Great Experiment' and some 'Just Imagine' pics because, well, I like those things. Folks seem to respond to pointy headed justifications for old cartoons - don't ask me why.

p spector said...

I must have a pointy head. I don't know why. But you've illuminated it.