Hello my friends and welcome back for another round of classic cartoons.
With the incredible success UPA cartoons had in the 1950's, many cartoon studios began to follow the lead and make animated films like UPA did. As strange as it may seem Disney too made some films in the UPA style. This meant more stylized and seemingly simpler designs, as well as more intentionally limited animation. This is in many ways the opposite of Disney's lush and extremely detailed animation. However with these few cartoons the Disney studio pulled off the UPA style fantastically. The best of these UPA inspired Disney cartoons is Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom (1953). This cartoon is also rare in that it was a sequel to an earlier Disney cartoon, Melody (1953). That film had been released in 3D. However Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom would not contain that gimmick. Instead this film would be in CinemaScope. In fact this was the first CinemaScope cartoon. This was a rare cartoon to feature Ward Kimball as a director. For those of you who don't know, Ward Kimball is one of the most important and talented Disney animators. In fact he was part of the group Walt called his Nine Old Men. Ward was one of the cartooniest of the Disney animators and his animation was often quite funny. With that in mind it should come as no surprise that this film should have such a great sense of humor. This cartoon ended up winning the Oscar for 1953, and that was certainly well deserved. This also received the 29th place in Jerry Beck's book, The 50 Greatest Cartoons. So enjoy this great cartoon.
Next comes an animated short film with an emphasis on the short. This is a cartoon, whose title should tell you exactly what to expect. This is Bambi Meets Godzilla (1969). No one can say it doesn't live up to that title. What simply is a one joke film has made people laugh for decades and will continue to do so. Film student Marv Newland made this film when he couldn't get the right shot of a sunrise for a live action short he was making. This film was made in only the last two weeks of his school semester, but it is better remembered than any other film made in that class. This film would receive the 38th spot in Jerry Beck's The 50 Greatest Cartoons.
Now comes a 1965 Hanna-Barbera TV cartoon starring Peter Potamus entitled Trite Flite.
Next up is an early sound cartoon with Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. I admit to having quite a fondness for the Walter Lantz studio's Oswald cartoons and this one is no exception. I especially love how cartoony and rubber hose like the animation is. The gags are extremely cartoony and purely delightful. The dancing scene is certainly a highlight. So enjoy Snow Use (1929).
We end with a delightful black and white Terry Toons cartoon starring Gandy Goose and Sourpuss. Like later Hanna-Barbera cartoons, Terry Toons would some times base the voice and personality of characters on popular celebrities. Gandy Goose's voice is inspired by the comedian Ed Wynn (who animation fans will probably best know as the voice of the mad hatter in Disney's Alice in Wonderland (1951)), Sourpuss's voice was based off of another popular comedian Jimmy Durante (who animation fans might know as the narrator on Rakin-Bass' Frosty the Snowman (1969)). Gandy and Sourpuss made a great comedy pair with Gandy's silliness annoying the heck out of grumpy Sourpuss. So enjoy Tire Trouble (1942).
-Michael J. Ruhland