Thursday, July 30, 2009

Oswald in "The Shriek"

Ya know this blog has been going for over a year and yet no-one has ever asked: "Hey Uncle Stupid, where's the friggin Oswald?" Yeah, it's true that I tend to fawn over what I consider the A-studios of the early 30's (Fleischer, Mintz & Iwerks) but the B-studios could sometimes truly rise to the occasion by compensating for their lack of draftsmanship * with sheer wildness of ideas. One cartoon from the Oswald series which excels in this regard is "The Shriek" (Lantz Studios, 1933) . It belongs to a sub-class of Egyptian themed cartoons that seemed to enjoy something of a mini-vogue in the early 30's. Practically every studio took a crack at it. This is not the Egypt of a genuine geographic location but loosest of jumping off points; a funhouse filled with strange and supernatural happenings. Enjoy and keep cool!

*Addition* - sometimes lazy communication gets me into trouble. That's because I usually blog while I'm half (or fully) asleep. I should qualify the statement by saying in my opinion I feel the animation, design, layout etc. ("draftsmanship" is a rotten choice of words) at Fleischer, and by association Mintz & Iwerks (who were able to cherry pick from both coasts), was superior to the Lantz Studios. Taken selectively, however, there are some wonderful Lantz Oswald cartoons. That's my opinion an' uhm stickin' to it.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Farmer Al Falfa's Ape Girl

I promised smut and I hate to disappoint so here it is. You know it. You love it. You still don't understand it. Welcome back to the angry and disturbing world of Farmer Al!

You've been a bad fishy

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Horse On The Merry Go Round

This Week: "The Horse on the Merry Go Round" (Columbia Color Rhapsodies 1938). I've written earlier on this forgotten and possibly misunderstood film farmed out by Charles Mintz to the then thread bare Iwerks' Studio and thought maybe it was time to post it. I had remarked on the films daring design and watching the film again one could perhaps even make a case for the use of color and pattern anticipating, though in a much subtler less ham fisted way, UPA cartoons that came much later. I should remark that there is a disturbing stereotype at the 43 second mark. I have no idea as to the cultural origins of such a hateful practice but a similar type midway attraction appears in the first Popeye cartoon so I assume such things did happen. There is no questioning the film was made in sociologically primitive times. Regardless, it is a film with tremendous atmosphere and even lyricism I would say. All the elements that say "Iwerks Studio" are there: a quality not as apparent in, for example, the Warner Brothers' cartoons similarly farmed to Iwerks.

Okay, I'm goin' all marshmallow this week but I promise I'll be back with hardened criminals, tobacco chewing hoboes and perverted chess pieces soon enough ...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Betty Boop For President

A great from two of the Masters: Seymour Kneitel & Doc Crandall. For more on Al Smith clickhere!