Friday, 11 August 2017

Can You See It Coming?

Maybe tired jokes the 1930s were funnier back then because they were new. Or new-er. There are some in old cartoons that have been seen so many times in so many cartoons, people know what’s coming.

Consider this one from the Willie Whopper cartoon The Good Scout (1934). A variation on the Iwerks studio’s old crone tests a mud puddle at an intersection with her foot.

Here’s Boy Scout Willie to the rescue with his trusty coat. I already know what’s going to happen. I wonder if they did in 1934.

Hey, crone! Why are you beating up on Willie? He didn’t do anything wrong. He even helped pull you out of the puddle.

Anticipating a Hanna-Barbera cartoon where Mr. Jinks chases Pixie and Dixie past the same light socket seven or eight times, the avenging crone pursues Willie past the same “444” dress shop five times, and then Willie passes it three more times when he jumps on the back of a roadster.

Tex Avery was great at masking ancient or obvious gags by making fun of them on the screen. You don’t expect a cartoon to say “Corny gag, isn’t it?”

Harman-Ising grads Norm Blackburn and Bob Stokes are the credited animators. 20 years later, both were working in live-action TV at NBC. Iwerks was back at Disney displaying his technical adeptness.

No comments:

Post a Comment