Friday, 19 May 2017

Drunken Dancing Turtles

1930 was a great year for cartoons. At least, some of my favourites were made that year. The East Coast was humming along with the Fleischer, Van Beuren and Terry studios at work. I love Swing You Sinners from Fleischer, Chop Suey from Terry-Moser with the great roof chase at the end, and the fun Don and Waffles shorts Gypped in Egypt and The Haunted Ship produced by Van Beuren.

The Haunted Ship has some incredibly inconsistent animation, but it also has weird sea creatures, dancing and swaying for the sake of dancing and swaying, skeletons (what Van Beuren cartoon around then didn’t?) and, best of all, a turtle barbershop quartet.

Here they are pulling out of their shells and dancing to “Sweet Adeline,” adding some vocals at the end. (They open their mouths at the start but nothing comes out. Nothing like Van Beuren sloppiness). A cat bartender ends it all by casually smashing one of the turtles on the head with a bottle.

See some more frames in this earlier post.

John Foster and Manny Davis are credited with overseeing this cartoon, with Gene Rodemich providing a nice musical backdrop.


  1. Who is the cat? He looks like he was modeled after someone.

  2. Perhaps another Paul Whiteman caricature?