Thursday, 22 December 2016

Broken Toys

Nothing says ‘30s cartoons like celebrity caricatures. And the holiday season wasn’t spared them either.

A few are supporting players in Broken Toys, a 1935 Disney cartoon about dolls and other kids playthings tossed in a dump. They vow to repair themselves and march to a new home in an orphanage in time for Christmas. And if the pathos hasn’t got you tearing up yet, listen to this—the climax comes in one those desperate races against time to restore the “sight” of a little girl doll through a delicate operation.

The result? It’s Disney. What do you think happened?

Ah, but it isn’t all melodrama and wet hankies. We get comic relief in the form of, yes, those winsome celebrities who found their way, in all kinds of forms, into cartoons throughout the ‘30s.

Ned Sparks in a box.

Oh, dear! It’s Zasu Pitts.

Aunt Jemima is slapping her nether region. Besides having her own pancake mix and syrup, at the time this cartoon was made the character “starred” in a show on NBC Red, singing away on Wednesday nights from 10 to 10:30 p.m. for General Foods and Log Cabin Products.

W.C. Fields and Stepin Fetchit. The calico elephant is a bit player.

You can learn more about the cartoon from Devon Baxter’s post on Jerry Beck’s Cartoon Research site.

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