Can someone explain something to me? Why does Molly Moo Cow have a man’s baritone voice?
On second thought, skip it.
If it weren’t for public domain video releases, and maybe Leonard Maltin’s “Of Mice and Magic,” few animation fans would have heard of Molly. She was part of the Van Beuren cartoon stable, yet another result of the theory that if you give a character some expressions and move it around on film, you’ll impress everyone with artwork and that will equal entertainment.
It appears four Molly Moo Cow cartoons were released—all within months of each other in 1935-36—before the character was quietly retired. “Molly Moo Cow and Rip Van Winkle” was the third. It features some good animation of Molly smiling, frowning, shouting, making 360° turns. And none of it entertaining. The most interesting and imaginative thing in the cartoon is a variation on the old Oswald-splits-into-multiple-Oswalds-when-hit routine that Disney did in the ’20s. Molly is bowling. The bowling ball hits her and she turns into pins.
The pins twirl in mid-air then down they come, forming poor old Molly.
Why the brown colour change? You’d have to ask Burt Gillett or Tom Palmer, the only people who got a credit on this besides composer Win Sharples. The studio had good writers at this point, Joe Barbera and Dan Gordon among them. Whoever the animators were on this cartoon—Carlo Vinci and Jack Zander were at Van Beuren—they didn’t stay much longer. The studio closed in 1936 as RKO decided to release real Disney cartoons, not third-rate imitations.