Monday, September 13, 2010

119 Life Begins For Andy Panda

Title: Life Begins For Andy Panda
Studio: Lantz
Date: 9/09/39
Credits: (none listed, which seems especially odd for this)
Series: Andy Panda
Running time (of viewed version): 8:26

Synopsis: Andy Panda is born, and is eventually hunted for his cuteness.

Comments: The second Lantz cartoon in a row, and the second cartoon available n DVD in a row. But whereas A Haunting We Will Go marked the end of a franchise, this marks the beginning of one. Finchell is a Walter Winchell reference. The animals are crazy for baby pandas at the expense of their own offspring. Deep social commentary? The cartoon title cannot be a reference to Life Begins for Andy Hardy, as that movie was not made until 1941. It could still be a reference to the general naming convention, as Love Finds Andy Hardy came out in 1938. (I suppose it could also be a line from one of the Andy Hardy movies that had been released by this time, as well). Snuffy Skunk appears for a final time. There's a lot of deliberate voice acting in this, but I don't know that they're caricatures. It acknowledges newsreels, but I don't think that counts as fully self reflexive. Pygmies appear in this cartoon; I didn't know they lived in China... Kangaroos too. There's actually color variation in the pygmies; most are brown skinned, but one is black skinned. There's more than one scene with the black skinned pygmy, so I think it was intentional, not just a paint mixup. Andy is not like later Andy. He is interminably sacchrine here. He says "dwaddy", for instance. Not that he got all gritty later, but it's way worse here. There seems like lots of cutting within shots; ex.: immediately after the naming, the kangaroo speaks, then the owl; there is a jump between the two, on the same background but to a slightly different focus point. I wonder if it was an edited moving camera shot; the owl reallllllly jumps on his line following the kangaroo. Andy's dad sounds like Captain Beefheart singing on Zappa's Hot Rats. Yet another exposed human crotch with nothing to see. I wonder if they dubbed in the turtles lines later; in the final chase scene it seems like there's no attempt at all to link to speech.

This entry marks the 75% complete mark for the '39 shorts.

Art from this short appears in How To Make An Animated Cartoon, on pages 34 and 52.

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