Thursday, May 14, 2009

Scrappy in: 'Sunday Clothes'

Well, I'm back as promised with an even creepier, er, I mean less creepy Scrappy. Owing to the post below it seemed only natural that I should do some sort of post on a pretty great cartoon, Scrappy's third in fact, "Sunday Clothes" (1931). Columbia seemed kind of unsure of what to do with Scrappy. In fact just about the whole history of the Mintz and the  later Screen Gems Studios seems based on indescision. Is Scrappy a wholesome figure worthy of 'Boy's Life' magazine or sadistic cigar smoking despression era profiteer? 'Sunday Clothes' takes the former path as Scrappy is seen engaging in good clean fun (which evidently washed away a piece of his anatomy) of the 'Our Gang' variety - a series which I think came to bear strongly on the plots of many Scrappy cartoons. Let me tell you - even at 16mm size, which I have been fortunate enough to see, the scene of Scrappy swinging past the camera on the man hole cover is incredible!

Can skid marks be beautiful? Scrappy cartoons ask the tough questions.

I love the depressed denizens of Scrappy's world. Personally I think the Mintz crew animated chaw phlegm better than anyone in the business.

Why an italian is living in a man hole beneath a giant puddle of mud is a mystery to me. Christopher Columbo!


For the 'How To Make a Cartoon' book the italian gains a hat. Whassamattahyou?

Mama Mia! There's two of them!


p spector said...

What I love so much about these cartoons is that the "creepiness" so emulates, and of course amplifies, everyday life.
Growing up in a house in Los Angeles, my dad's father had a smallish grove of fruit trees in the yard. He used to give my dad a shovel and have him scoop up the manure that the horse-drawn carts would leave behind, for fertilizer. This caused my dad no end of embarassment, else I would not have heard about several times decades later. That would have happened in the 1920s.
Around the time this cartoon was made he would have been a young upstart at Mintz. So please, if you ever run across a cartoon with someone shoveling sh*t, I'd be much obliged if you would let me know.
By the way, his father was a complete humorless stoic. How do you imagine a cartoonist came out of that?

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

There are three credits listed in 'Sunday Clothes': Dick Huemer, Sid Marcus and Art Davis. Davis was Huemer's assistant at the time. Sid Marcus was an animator who, I believe, pre-dated Huemer with the company. Outside of that, and a few other artists (like Preston Blair, Al Eugster etc.) who were at Mintz around this time (divined only from the title cards) there isn't much info out there that I've seen and, believe me, that's stuff I'd like to see! I've always assumed the Scrappy drawings from the course were drawings of Huemer or Davis.

As far as familial connections & huemor (sick.) doesn't everybody have a cousin Lenny or an uncle Fritz (a short, dog-like fellow) who nobody talks about because he was a combination pool hustler, pimp and freak show barker? I'll bet he's in there but 'not talked about' in those prim Victorian times. Of course I may just be shoveling ...

D.T.C. Studios said...