Friday, 24 June 2016

Shaking Simple Simon

Ub Iwerks’ ComiColor series tried to imitate the Walt Disney world of fairy tales and nursery rhymes but didn’t display much of the polish of what Walt’s gang was doing at the time.

Simple Simon (1935) is weighed down with unlikeable characters, trite songs and a story that turns the fair of the lyrics of the rhyme into a circus with lions and acrobats in an attempt to gag it up.

The ending features shake takes, where the animator alternates a regular drawing and a squiggly variation to indicate fear. First, the pieman after Simple Simon spots an angry lion he’s been trying to avoid.

Shake, shake, shake!

Then Simon shakes, too. He doesn’t seem to realise the lion isn’t after him and stares in astonishment when the lion goes after the pieman.

Finally, the iris closes around the lisping dolt to end the cartoon. Not a moment too soon.

Carl Stalling composed the score but no animators are credited.

1 comment:

  1. Another ComicColor with Grim Natwick's distinctive cartooning style. While I do not know if he was animating at this point, he was clearly designing the characters in these films he was directing / co-directing.