Friday, 14 July 2017

Walter Lantz Imitates Tex Avery

What’s the difference between Tex Avery’s “A Gander at Mother Goose” (1940) and Walter Lantz’ “Mother Goose on the Loose” (1942)? Well, there’s a war on now, so Lantz and writers Bugs Hardaway and Lowell Elliott larded up scenes of the cartoon with sexy babes for our boys watching overseas.

(Some of Avery’s spot-gag cartoons aren’t very funny in places but none are as cringingly bad as several of the Lantz efforts around this time).

“Mother Goose on the Loose” is structured just like the Avery cartoon with an off-screen narrator setting up puns (Hardaway liked them as hokey and obvious as possible) and a running gag which caps the cartoon. The running gag involves something Hardaway seemed to think was hilarious—a buck-toothed, cross-eyed moron.

The end gag features Simple Simon pulling a mermaid out of his bucket. She dives back in and he follows.

The twist in this cartoon is the off-screen narrator isn’t part of the film. He’s “in the theatre” showing the cartoon. And he jumps into the cartoon to try to get the mermaid.

Showman’s Trade Review called this cartoon “a natural for Easter.” I have a gag response to that which I’ll save.

Mel Blanc supplies his Jerry Colonna voice and I think he’s doing the Lucky Strike tobacco auctioneer spoof. The narrator is supposed to be a Frank Morgan voice; I won’t guess who’s doing it.

1 comment:

  1. In my humble opinion, this cartoon is very hilarious. Then there's the little lamb who is female but is in love with Nary..not to mention the Pease Porridge hot bit, concluding in the expected nine days old end, then "NINE DAYS OLD"! LOL And the bobbysoxer take on Georgie Porgie.LOL! Steve C.