Monday, September 20, 2010

121 Crop Chasers

Title: Crop Chasers
Studio: Columbia
Date: 9/22/39
Credits: none on print (supposedly by Ub Iwerks)
Running time (of viewed version): 7:34

Synopsis: Crow thugs running a protection racket harass some living scarecrows, until the scarecrows save a crow yoot, after which peace is achieved.

Comments: There was a 13 day gap between the last released cartoon and this one. The 9th was a Saturday, the 22nd a Friday. I don't know if that previous week was some kind of box office poison week that everyone wanted to avoid being anywhere near or if it was just a coincidence; the month is slightly heavier in releases than an average month. Establishing pan of a field. Screwy Squirrel (less nasal) voice on a crow? Mel Blanc seems to be the farmer, so it may be him doing that style of voice. With a pool room tough hat like in Small Fry. Not the first "crows eat a garden" cartoon of the year. Unlike Betty Boop's the Scared Crows, this one has a creepy living species of natural (in that they don't seem to just be wearing a suit) scarecrows. They also seem to be hobos, which is maybe some sort of anti-hoboism... pro-hoboism... ah, I dunno. Perhaps Columbia had put this into production to skate on the expected popularity of MGM's Wizard of Oz. If so they should have gotten Eshbaugh to do it, as he'd done his own Wizard of Oz. The scarecrows are bad at their job; they save a crow, tho I suppose you don't want the haunted meat of a crow fouling the well it fell into. Columbia saved a bunch of animation in this by reversing the food taking animation. And having characters speak off screen. And reusing the crows raiding animation. The scarecroows are rewarded with smoking, which is not how a reward would work for a scarecrow in Oz. This is one of those good natured conflict cartoons, where there are a couple of gags, but it's not really funny as such.

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