Tuesday 19 July 2016

Speechless With Colour

The climax of How Now Boing Boing (1954) seems to have been an experiment in shapes and colours by Jules Engle, T. Hee and director Bobe Cannon.

Gerald, as you know, can’t speak and goes “boing boing” instead (except when he’s imitating cars, trains and so on; apparently he can’t imitate speech). In this cartoon, a professor uses a huge piece of equipment designed to unscramble overseas calls to translate Gerald’s boings (and, remarkably, into English instead of another language).

Cannon has the camera cut in and out of the animation to change the perspective a bit.

In the original Gerald cartoon, you feel sorry for the outcast little boy and are happy he triumphs in the end. In this sequel, you don’t care about anyone or the abstract shapes that take up about 25 seconds of screen time.

Gerald Ray, Alan Zaslove and Frank Smith are the credited animators.


  1. The same post-Michael Maltese coyness that hampered Chuck Jones' cartoons of the 1960s and beyond cripple the story here. It just comes across as a more intellectual version of Hugh Harman's MGM efforts of the 1930s and early 40s, where Mike Barrier noted, the desire seemed to be to impress the audience more than to entertain it.