Friday 27 June 2014

Music For Cat and Monkey

Corporate symbols don’t turn animals into musical instruments. It’s fortunate, then, that Mickey Mouse wasn’t a corporate symbol yet when he did it back in the 1920s.

Here he is in “Jungle Rhythm.” It’s a typical 1929 cartoon—lots of dancing and noise to the beat of the music. A leopard is minding its own business when Mickey grabs him, hooks up his whiskers and starts playing a public domain tune on him like a harp.

Mickey bashed out “Turkey in the Straw” on various animals in “Steamboat Willie” a year earlier. He does it again here, pounding on heads like drums, pulling tails and clunking on a cow skeleton (in the jungle?) like it’s a xylophone.

Next he shoves in the stomachs of innocent tigers to get them to yowl “Yankee Doodle.”

Finally, he hops over to a lion and finishes “Yankee Doodle” by stretching the animal’s tongue and using it as a Jew’s harp.

The jungle throng generally likes the performance (in reused animation). Even the palm tree applauds.

Much like live action films of the late ‘20s, Disney’s cartoons soon evolved past this kind of non-plot. But these kinds of cartoons are fun to watch in little batches.

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