Thursday, 11 May 2017

Just Order Two Seidels

3.2 beer doesn’t really strike me as much of a beer, but when you’ve lived through almost 12 years of Prohibition, it was something to celebrate. So on April 7, 1933, 3.2 beer became legal in the United States.

Many cartoonists of the 1930s, as I understand it, enjoyed their alcohol, so it’s only natural that the repeal of Prohibition ended up in animated cartoons. One such effort was Van Beuren’s Doughnuts (1933), starring Tom and Jerry at a bakers convention, where the attraction is 3.2 pretzels.

Poor Tom and Jerry can’t attract any customers. The quality of animation is pretty inconsistent in this cartoon but our heroes are pretty well drawn here. And you can easily read the expressions, helped along by radiating lines and a question mark that appears out of nowhere.

Musical director Gene Rodemich dredges up the 1902 beer drinking song “Down Where the Wurzburger Flows” for the soundtrack. The chorus goes:

Take me down, down, down
Where the Wurzburger flows, flows, flows.
It will drown, drown, drown all your troubles
And cares and woes.
Just order two seidels of lager or three.
If I don't want to drink it, please force it on me,
The Rhine may be fine
But a cold stein for mine,
Down where the Wurzburger flows.

The cartoon ends in a drunken mess. I suspect there were Van Beuren animators who could relate to that, too.

1 comment:

  1. Steve Stanchfield profiled "Doughnuts" here: