Monday, July 5, 2010

090 The Stubborn Mule

Title: The Stubborn Mule
Studio: Lantz
Date: 7/03/39
Credits: None on viewed print
Series: -
Running time (of viewed version): 6:35

Synopsis: Mule is useless for Italian fruit seller, so seller gives mule to Lil' Eightball, who also cannot get the mule going.

Comments: Screen grab of the original title comes form the Lantz Encyclopedia. Start with an Italian stereotype, go to a blackface stereotype. The voice characterization is a lot less stereotypical than usual tho; it sounds mostly like Mel Blanc doing a Bugs Bunny voice with a slight southern accent. The character design on Eightball is extremely simplified. I'm not sure I've seen a Lil' Eightball cartoon before (no, there's one on WWv2, so I probably have, but it may have been backgrounding). This cartoon is also more Warnersy (based on present views of what that means, not 1939 views) than the WB cartoons of the time. "Strategy" is said many, many times. Other than the blackface design, this is practically a progressive depiction of a black character at the time. The goofy firemen are kinda inexplicable. Several jokes feel truncated.

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