Friday, 13 March 2015

You Silly Goose

I was going to start off this post with a comparison between “Brokeback Mountain” and “Cowboy Cabaret,” but it’s a stretch at best and clichéd at worst. About as clichéd as the swishy goose in the latter, a 1931 effort of the Van Beuren studio.

The cartoon has all those things you love about Van Beuren—four singers with conjoined mouths, a woman doing the Black Bottom, a barbershop quartet, a Gene Rodemich score (though this wasn’t one of his more inspired works) and absolutely no story (with an ending that, well, ends). About all it’s missing is singing skeletons. As a bonus, you get a chorus line of women with huge hips.

Oh, yes, and the hand-on-hip swisher. Here are some frames. The goose kisses the cowboy, who becomes a little less masculine as a result. The goose, having reacted in ecstasy, rotates its “come hither, boy” rear end and bats its eyes in a piece of cycle animation. I’ll bet this wouldn’t have made it to screens after Code enforcement was tightened in 1934.

Finally, characters off-screen and the Van Beuren gag writers have had enough. The characters dispatch the goose and cowboy by throwing stuff at them and it’s on to the next gag.

John Foster and Mannie Davis are credited.


  1. All I can think of, looking at that swishy goose, is (with Ed Wynn mannerisms and all), Terrytoons's later Gandy Goose! SC

    (Must be the same New York artists involved in designed Gandy, as that's what the goose slightly looks like..)

  2. There's a swishy bird (ostrich?) that appears in a couple of Van Beurens, singing "Listen to the Mockingbird."