Saturday, October 5, 2019

Some Cartoons For Saturday Morning #39 -Silent Edition

Hello again my friends and Happy Saturday Morning. It is once again time for some more classic cartoons. This morning we focus on cartoons from the silent era. 

We start off with a cartoon starring Dreamy Dud, Dud Leaves Home (1919). This film was one of the many animated cartoons directed by newspaper cartoonist Wallace Carlson. The character of Dreamy Dud himself resembles a character (Junior Nebb) who would later play a part in Wallace's comic strip The Nebbs. Like He Resolves Not to Smoke (1915), which I have featured previously on this blog this film is a morality play. While the way he learns the lesson here isn't as bizarre as it was in that film, this cartoon is still a very creative little movie.  

One of the most popular cartoon series of the silent era was Aesop's Film Fables. One of the main contributors to these cartoons was Paul Terry, who would later be the man in charge of Terrytoons. Those familiar with the earliest Terrytoons cartoons will not be surprised by this when the see the somewhat crude drawing style. While these Fables seem crude when compared to other silent era cartoons they were still extremely popular. This was also the most prolific cartoon series of the silent era as Paul and his team turned out one cartoon a week for eight years. While I would never argue that this series is as strong as some of the others from the era, the films are quite entertaining in their own way. One of the most enjoyable parts is that each film would end with a moral that usually had nothing to do with the cartoon proceeding it. Enjoy Henry's Busted Romance (1922). My fellow country music fans might be interested to know the music the following video uses to accompany the film is Mother Mabel Carter.

Next comes one of Walt Disney's great Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons, The Mechanical Cow (1927). Like many Oswald cartoons of this period this is fast paced entertainment that never lets go of your attention for one second. For some reason mechanical animals figured prominently in cartoons for the 1920's and 30's for reasons that honestly allude me.

Coming up next is a stop motion film from legendary Russian director Ladislas Starevich, The Beautiful Leukanida (1912). This is one of his early films involving insects. In this and other films he used actual dead insects in his animation. This short movie was released the same year as his most famous film staring insects, The Cameraman's Revenge (1912).

We end the most famous cartoon character of the silent era, Felix the Cat in a delightful cartoon, All Balled Up (1924).

Thanks for joining me come back next week for more cartoon treasures.

-Michael J. Ruhland

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