Saturday, March 21, 2009

'Bluebirds in the Moonlight'

Well, tired of lookin' at Bimbo yet? Man, that chimp-dog can scuttle! Anyway, here is what is in my opinion the second strongest sequence in 'Gulliver's Travels (Fleischer Studios, 1939): "Bluebirds in the Moonlight". Of course, as always, the essential problem is Gulliver himself. This observation is irrelevant  because, if you're here, you probably love this film just like I do. This copy hails from a Reader's Digest VHS believe it ot not. Sure, it's a little too fruity for Fleischer and has it's flaws but there's no denying the sheer spectacle and showmanship of this part of the film. 

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bimbo Runs like a Dog?

I've been busy lately and haven't had much time to post but here is another cycle from 'Betty Boop's Movie Cartoon Lessons'. This time out we have Bimbo running on all fours like a real dog! Kinda solidifies what we all know about the nature of the relationship between Bimbo and Betty doesn't it? Don't forget to stop off a Sporn's for his delicious Wiffle Piffle cycle!

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!