Friday, December 17, 2010
Title: Mother Goose In Swingtime
Series: Color Rhapsody
Running time (of viewed version): 6:06
Synopsis: A kid gets her dad to tell her a story, which ends up being a musical number full of celebrities.
Comments: An amazingly full cartoon, with lots of short shots, and each shot full of people I mostly can't identify but presumably a 1939 audience would have been able to. Baby Snooks style little girl, with her baby Edward G. Robinson voice. Her visual style is archaic compared to her dad, both are markedly different from the caricature style of most of the characters in the cartoon. Mother Goose has a very specific face, presumably a caricature, as the people in the land presumably also are. I think Martha Raye (as the main singer; thank you denture cream ads for helping me remember her and her big mouth) and Edward G Robinson, maybe James Cagney, but those are guesses amongst a sea of "who the hell is that supposed to be?". Cary Grant on trumpet? W.C. Fields maybe? Hugh Herbert (the woo hoo guy). Shirley Temple? Mickey Rooney (I only recognize him because the caricature is close to the one in Autograph Hound). Laurel and Hardy. Glasses with a clarinet; does that describe Woody Herman? Marx Brothers. There are obvious actors playing instruments, so this muddies ID. David Letterman and Bing Crosby and someone else (at least one of those IDs is wrong). Clark Gable. I think Jack Benny on violin, only guessing that because of the violin association. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing, I think. Red nose: "aw gee, tanks". Grumpy Bogart? I think Greta Garbo has closed eyes and an accent. Might be dancing with Leopold Stakowski? Katherine Hepburn singing Little Jack Horner. Horner himself is Fred Allen or that guy who is like Fred Allen maybe? Bunch of wall eyed female caricatures. Virtually nothing to do with Mother Goose in this cartoon, thus successfully ditching the title character in classic '39 style. Someone (not me) should do a blog identifying all celebrity caricatures from cartoons. I think this is the most interesting of the celebrity cartoons of the year.