“Not long ago, we decided to do something definitely different. A girl from Chicago showed me some ultra-modernistic sets she had designed which she thought could be used as backgrounds for a sophisticated cartoon. In order to show off the sets, we had to use human characters and have the camera shoot the sort of angles Busby Berkeley made famous. The idea was novel and the result original, but somehow it was not so funny as if animals, fowls or insects had been used.”The cartoon he’s talking about is Page Miss Glory, made by the Tex Avery unit the previous year. The backgrounds were by Leadora Congdon, the only person besides title song composers Harry Warren and Al Dubin to get screen credit. There’s an interesting clash of styles when hick town bellhop Abner falls asleep and dreams of an Art Moderne world. What’s around him is blue-grey and stylised but Abner himself is standard-issue, mid-‘30s animated character in full colour, symbolising how he’s really out of place in the urban world of modern high society.
Still, Abner is a little stylised himself. Here’s a 24-drawing walk cycle. Notice the curved legs. A lot of attention is paid to the fingers, too. He’s strolling to that great tune “Lullaby of Broadway.”
This scene features four different walk cycles—Abner’s, the stylised waiter’s (slower than Abner’s), the short waiter’s (faster) and then the short waiter’s after he drinks a bottle of champagne (slower than the earlier cycle).
Judging by the caricatures at the end of the cartoon, we are left to presume the animators are Bob Clampett, Chuck Jones, Sid Sutherland, Virgil Ross and Bobe Cannon. Which one animated this scene is anyone’s guess.
I’d love to know the name of the song that opens the cartoon after the credits. “Rural Rhythm” by James Cavanaugh, Dick Sanford and Frank Weldon is the tune when Abner sits down on the bench by the front desk.