Saturday, November 18, 2006

Truly Obscure Animated Cartoons #4


From the Walter Lantz Swing Symphonies series, Abou Ben Boogie is a rarely seen gem, largely due to its mixture of 1940's era stereotypes and overt sexuality. Thus, it needs the inevitable disclaimer, i.e. THIS FILM WAS MADE ONE FUCKING LONG TIME AGO!!! And indeed it was.

While the "dancing girl" scenes remain my favorite part of this cartoon, this is only one facet of the brilliant animation by Pat Matthews, Grim Natwick and Emery Hawkins, orchestrated by the directorial genius of Shamus Culhane. This group also produced the much better known Woody Woodpecker and Andy Panda cartoons, which also demonstrate emphatically that Culhane was leading quite the rock 'n' roll band at the Walter Lantz Studio in 1944.

Actually, Shamus, a most underrated animation director but also an accomplished violinist and knowledgeable classical music buff, would have not appreciated that analogy. Let's just say he led one helluva chamber music ensemble at Lantz in the mid-40's.

And thanks again, Thad K, for uploading this - and while you're at it, we'd love it if you could post The Greatest Man In Siam, yet another jumpin' Swing Symphony cartoon by Shamus Culhane and the fabulous ensemble of artists assembled at Lantz.

1 comment:

Nina Coquina said...

I'd love seeing other cartoons from this series, particularly the Cow Cow Boogie, if you have it.

Great site, I love it.