Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mr. Elephant Goes O' Town

Well it's almost that magical time of year: the time when people think red, green & gold is a good color combination (it isn't) and fireside hard liquor ads warm us with their televisiony glow. And what better way to kick off the liquor season then with this Color Rhapsody released October 4, 1941! Occasionally funny, occasionally disturbing but mostly alcohol verite, 'Mr. Elephant Goes to Town' is no work of genius. That honor most certainly goes to 'Man of Tin'.

These are fairly new to me as well - I was missing a couple years of the Columbia discs. Amazed to discover some of them have original title cards intact!

Mr. Elephant is a moron.

Mr. Elephant is a stereotype.

Case closed.

Case Open: Liquor lovingly rendered.

Preferred drink? The malted variety. Hey, this is a class establishment!

There's some nice drawings in Mr. Elephant goes to town, occasional bits of nice animation (like Mr. Elephant fleeing the owl above) and the requisite wormy floaty of the late 30's Columbia studio. In a way it isn't as intrusive in a cartoon almost singularly dedicated to the joys of alcohol. The film was released two months to the day before Fleischer Studios' 'Mr. Bug Goes To Town' (December 4) so one wonders if this film was perhaps Columbia exercising some control over over it's similarly named Capra films: 'Mr. Deeds Goes To Town' (1936) & 'Mr. Smith Goes To Washington' (1939)?

Mr. Elephant has a wormily animated conscience that stares back at him from his drunken stupor. I hate it when that happens.

Oh yeah, that night-I thought I deleted those photos!

I did WHAT?!

Is this funny or pitiful? Columbia wasn't afraid to go to those bizarre areas - who knows what they were thinking? Those nubby hands are kinda cool though...

Running into the reflection: a moment of horror any drunk can relate to. 'Man, that guy looks terrible!'

Even a wormy animated conscience needs a belt every now and then.

'Tis the season...

Sorry folks, DVD drive troubles this week so you will just have to imagine as best you can the full 24 bit blogsensory experience that is 'Mr. Elephant'. When I get the problem worked out I'll post the cartoon. In the mean time clamor here for the Mintz cartoons on DVD.

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