Sunday, May 9, 2010
Title: Nellie of the Circus
Studio: Walter Lantz
Director ... Alex Lovy
Story ... Victor McLeod, James Liele
Music ... Frank Marsales
Animators ... Merle Gilson, Ray Fahringer
Running time (of viewed version): 7:01
Synopsis: Nellie is taken off to the circus, until Dan eventually finds her again.
Comments: Harpo Marx shows up. I don't understand why they thought these Mello-Drama characters would make for a good series of cartoons. They're not entirely bad, but they're so ugly, and Dan awful. Ratbone's car windshield is an interesting transparency. The series' hallmark is apparently unconscious characters with their tongues stuck out (and Nellie being physically harmed by the villain). I would have thought the globe marking shot is maybe reused from Crackpot Cruise, but I can't find that kind of shot in it. It must just look like a shot form another studio, as I'm sure it's shown up in the '39s (or maybe there was a Lantz globe marking shot I'm not thinking of). I need to go through the screen shots and see. The lion cub gag was perfectly foreseeable. For some reason, this print lists this cartoon as a Mello-Drama, but One Armed Bandit and Birth of a Toothpick, with the same characters, are listed as Cartunes. Maybe it's the prints' fault. There's an example where a northern European ethnic stereotype of Dan with his Swede/Finn/whatever accent transforms into a black stereotype, which makes the gag a little less offensive, tho the whole "I'll kill you with a razor" part ratchets it back the other way.