Saturday, January 9, 2010

003 Scrappy's Added Attraction

(there isn't a regular title card; the title appears in the cartoon; see the first screencap below)

Title: Scrappy's Added Attraction
Studio: Columbia
Date: 1/13/39
Art Davis
Joe De Nat
Sid Marcus
Series: Scrappy (does that count?)
Running time (of viewed version): 6:27

Synopsis: In a movie theater (admission: 15¢), people watch a long trailer for an action movie, after refusing to sit where the usher takes them.

Comments: The third cartoon of the year, the third self consciously framed with show business (which, incidentally, is also how the Jack Benny show is framed in general). This is actually the most satisfying of the cartoons so far. It doesn't look as good as Lone Stranger, but it is cohesive. It succeeds in what it is trying to appear as; a movie trailer (it might be just that I'm more familiar with the form than I am with what the previous two cartoons were trying to ape, so I can accept this particular form). There's no motivation, just puffery and action sequences; Scrappy is trying to rescue the girl, but that's pretty much as deep as it gets. But in the format of a trailer, it works really well. It even makes the references to Barrymore and Garbo more palatteable. Far better than the other two cartoons so far, which just feel slap dash story-wise, in spite of the fact that they have much more story and explanation of those stories than this short has. The use of a live action western (with Columbia end titles) on the movie screen before the trailer feels natural enough, but the use of a photographic hand a couple of times in the midst of the cartoon is somewhat... disturbing. I can only imagine it is more horrifying on a giant screen. Did the Fleischer's shave off their body hair for Out of the Inkwell? I think it's the hirsuteness that is the unsettling part. The theater has a number of tricks to get people in; it's "Bank Night", they're giving away 8 cars, and you can play keno. Boxoffice would be proud... Lots of text graphics probably saved on animation.
The lion stupidly going "Tiiiiip" "Thaaaaank" is zombie funny.
Anyone know if the inexplicable minstrel dance opening the trailer references anything specific?

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