It’s easy to read something into the Warners cartoon A Ham in a Role, written by Sid Marcus, where a bit-player dog gives up a life in animated cartoons for Shakespeare. After all, there were animators who had worked at Warner Bros. who shared the dog’s view about the “low comedy” contained in the studio’s cartoons.
Anything involving phoney title cards is fun, and Marcus has used one in this short as the dog emerges to lambast theatrical animation’s penchant for cat-and-mouse slapstick. There are some neat drawings in here.
Ironically, Bill Melendez animated this scene. He soon bolted for UPA, where the Warners cartoons were looked upon as odoriferous (vid. Shakespeare’s King John, Act III, Scene IV). Say! That little stagehand in the background could be a cousin of the early Mr. Magoo. Emery Hawkins, Chuck McKimson and Phil De Lara are the other animators, along with an uncredited, UPA-bound Pete Burness. Bob McKimson received the directorial credit after the Art Davis unit put the cartoon into production.