Thursday, 9 February 2012

Cinderella Meets Wolf

Tex Avery packs so much into “Swing Shift Cinderella,” it’s hard to even figure out where to begin to describe it. The action’s so fast at times, characters seem to zoom from one place to another in less than a second. But that’s what makes it funny.

He heaps on routines of his that became standard but never lost their impact in the ‘40s. Lots of sex and scare takes by the wolf. Running past a title card during the cartoon. Characters in the wrong picture. Ridiculously long cars. Corny puns that tell you they’re corny puns. Scott Bradley playing “The Trolley Song” from ‘Meet Me in St. Louis.’ Oh, and Preston Blair’s Red, er, Cinderella floor show.

How about some of the drawings of the wolf when Cinderella opens her front door? Here are some of them.

Did Ed Love animate this? The drawings are staggered on ones and twos, something Love loved to do even with limited animation at Hanna-Barbera. Ray Abrams gets the other animation credit.

Oh, and it appears there’s a surprise cameo in two frames. Does the taxi driver look familiar?

Sara Berner gets to show off several voices, including her mock Bette Davis and what she later used for Mabel Flapsaddle, one of Jack Benny’s phone operators. Frank Graham is the wolf, and Keith Scott reports Graham also does the off-camera emcee who sounds like George in the George and Junior cartoons. Imogene Lynn sings for Red, er, Cinderella.


  1. Tax(i) Avery? (throw in 'Hack' Allen as the story man, and you've got two awful cab puns even Ben Hardaway wouldn't touch).

    Looking at this cartoon and "Red Hot Riding Hood", there's still a bit of the Harman unit/Disney influence in the former, especially at the start of the cartoon (the complaining wolf looks like he just stepped out of one of Hugh Harman's early-40s pictures). By 1945, Avery and his animation unit were all on the same page and the results are both faster and with funnier animation timing and reactions.

  2. She's got Bette Davis eyes...