Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Halloween: Krazy Spooks

I really love the early Charles Mintz cartoons. Like the Fleischer and Iwerks Studios their aim, in my opinion, was to entertain their audience through surprise action and sheer hypnotic movement. And there was quite a lot of movement too - all delineated with practically inhuman speed and skill. These were toy characters, after all, and they moved in a way sensible to that goal. On that note I am posting what, sadly, is an incomplete print of the 1933 film "Krazy Spooks". It's a bit of a cheat actually as the only spook to make an appearance is a disguised parrot. There are other problems too: namely the issue of 'floaty' timing which in later years would become a real problem at Mintz. However, in spite of it's banal story line (which includes a cute dog with the regrettable name of 'Happy') it still brims with atmosphere worthy of note, some strong layout and design and an unbelievable ability to move and rotate objects solidly through space. It's fun ... and hypnotic. Enjoy.



Anonymous said...

for some reason she reminded me of minnie mouse, exsept she wasnt a mouse

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

Her voice is very similar to Minnie Mouse. Charles Mintz (the producer of Mintz Studios) stole Oswald the Rabbit from Disney in the 20's. Universal then stole Oswald from Mintz to give to future Woody Woodpecker producer Walter Lantz. That left Charles Mintz out of a job so he recruited animators in New York (including one of the best in the business: Dick Huemer) and opened a studio in LA. By this time Mickey & Minnie (Disney Studios' replacements for the stolen Oswald) were huge stars. The aim of the Mintz Studios then became to capitalize on the success of Mickey & Minnie by coming up with likewise product. 'Krazy Spooks' is a cartoon which reflects this greatly although I would argue the animation and timing (floaty as it gets) is better than "Steeple Chase": A Mickey Mouse cartoon released two weeks earlier (September 30, 1933).

:: smo :: said...

the construction and forms feel so solid in this, and the characters are turning in space a lot and it looks great! i see what you mean about the floaty timing especially when the gorilla comes in. it still looks nice but it feels awkward.

so the true heroes of this story are the fleas...yet in the last shot the dog scratches his back, a flea pops out and BLAMMO! he smacks it into flea paste! i think there's deeper lessons to be learned from this cartoon haha!