Tuesday 22 January 2013

Cat and Mouse Flip Out

It seems everyone is blushing at one point or another in “The Office Boy,” a 1932 Flip the Frog cartoon. And with good reason. There’s plenty of bathroom and sexual humour to go around.

It’s really hard to pick the most outrageous scene but I stopped halfway through and declared a winner when a mouse and then a cat go up the secretary’s crotch during a chase.

Earlier, the office manager closely stares at a “Private” sign attached to the secretary’s butt. Later, she gets her butt slapped by the boss. That’s after she loses her dress altogether when it gets caught in the roller of a spirit duplicating machine. It’s all about as subtle as a moving van through a plate-glass window.

There are some cute gags with inanimate things coming to life, such as a letter and a face Flip has drawn on a window he’s cleaning. And, later in the cartoon, a fan shaves all the fur off the cat only to put it back on when the cat chased the mouse in the reverse direction, though the way it happens really doesn’t make any sense.

The credits say “Drawn by Ub Iwerks” but more than one person had to work on this because the animation is inconsistent. I suspect Grim Natwick deserves some credit; Natwick created the big-eyed, gartered Betty Boop and arrived at Iwerks’ studio in 1932.

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