Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Title: Slaphappy Valley (Slap Happy Valley in some sources)
Director ... Alex Lovy
Story ... Vic McLeod
Music ... Frank Marsales
Animators ... George Dane, La Verne Harding
Series: Crackpot Cruise
Running time (of viewed version): 7:02
Synopsis: A narrator follows a train trip from LA to Slaphappy Valley.
Comments: That Squiggy voiced narrator again. Hiccuping train conductor is pulling the Porky gag (with I think Mel Blanc's voice), but without technically stuttering. The little guy (Punchy, apparently) also looks like an Egghead rip off. And there's a posted bill advertising the "Hotel Looney". The cartoon feels more modern (modern meaning the '40s, in this usage) than many Lantz entries for the year. It makes me think Lantz was looking at Schlesinger's output and saying "hey guys, copy this little guy's look, and Mel, can you stutter but hiccup instead of actually stuttering, and just everyone in general step it up a bit, wouldja?". It's not exactly like the WB cartoons tho; it's generally more likable than the WB output, and it looks cleaner. It's also much more likable than much of the Lantz output for the year. I think the prospector is a Fred Allen voice caricature. Garbo caricature, for vanting to be alone; she has really long high heeled shoes instead of skis... Alex Lovy's cartoons generally improved over the year (he directed enough), with a few missteps like I'm Just A Jitterbug. There's enough of a quality difference in some cartoons that I would expect someone else was sub directing some of them (or all of them, and it was actually the sub directors who were improving the cartoons; I should compare the credits at the end of the year and see who was credited on good cartoons and who on bad). I can't help but think the tiny dog and the giant luggage might have been seen and lifted by Dr. Seuss for the Grinch Who Stole Christmas (unless it only looked that way in the cartoon, in which case, substitute Chuck Jones/Maurice Noble).