Friday, 9 October 2015

It's a Goose

Fanny Brice introduced the song “I’m an Indian” in the 1918 flop Why Worry? She revived the song in her next endeavour, Midnight Frolic, at New York’s New Amsterdam Theatre, and it was a smash. She recorded it in 1921 before taking it to the Palace the following year. It remained part of her stage act.

So it was that Betty Boop included it in her Fanny Brice impression (encouraged by Brice’s voice in dialect) in the 1932 cartoon Stopping the Show.

Betty picks up the song at the start of the second verse. The lyrics take full advantage of the cartoon medium. “Up in the head is a feather from a goose” That’s the cue for a typical Fleischer gag. A goose flies into the scene, nestles on Betty’s head, pokes its head into the camera, growls “It’s a goose!” and flies out of the cartoon.

Doc Crandall and Rudy Eggeman are the credited animators. Mae Questel does an outstanding job voicing Betty and doing impersonations; it’s no wonder Max Fleischer hired her.

If you’re curious about Brice’s song, you can listen to it below. Her pitch is a little higher than Questel’s version of Brice.

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