Friday, 27 November 2015

Roll Up the Scrim For Louis Armstrong

Bimbo and Koko try to escape from an alligator in “I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead You Rascal You.” Swinging on some vines doesn’t help. Instead, they roll up a curtain which reveals the great Louis Armstrong and his band playing the title song.

Louis says something I can’t decipher over the music. He gets sets to play. That’s enough for the plot (?) so the cartoon curtain rolls down, and Bimbo and Koko resume trying to escape.

It’s a kick seeing Louis this young. His orchestra is hot in this cartoon but the gags aren’t as strong or strange as in some of the other Fleischer music-based tunes like “Minnie the Moocher” or “Snow White.”

Willard Bowsky and Ralph Somerville get the arbitrary screen credit.

1 comment:

  1. This is one of the most bizarre and surreal of the early Fleischer cartoons. The title seems very strange today, although it was the name of a popular song back in the 30's so audiences wouldn't be as startled by it as a title for a cartoon as people would be today. As with many early cartoons, the use of live action made it less labor intensive for the animators when full live action scenes were used, and was probably more cost-effective, although paying for a performer of the caliber of Louis Armstrong may have escalated the budget somewhat.

    The most memorable part of the cartoon for me is when Louis Armstrong's disembodied head is singing in live action above the animated antics of the fleeing Koko and Bimbo.