Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Scrappy Meets Santa

The Charlie Mintz studio goes for sentiment in the fantasy cartoon Holiday Land, released at Christmas time in 1934. It’s a nice little cartoon where little boy Scrappy dreams that Father Time appears and, like a miniature Monty Hall, leads him to various curtains behind which are a special prize—an enactment of one of the annual holidays.

Calendar pages are ripped onto the floor. Father Time jumps through one and blares his trumpet to page Santa Claus, Easter rabbits, Hallowe’en witches and so on. Santa jumps through his calendar date and joins the parade. There’s a throwaway bit where a rubber ball from Santa’s bag accidentally falls out of the bag and bounces around, squashing and stretching. It’s not necessary animation but Sid Marcus and Art Davis were trying for Disney charm here.

Santa lifts up Father Time’s robe to reveal a little cherub band playing the American patriotic marching song, The Girl I Left Behind Me. Santa weaves over and back as he walks in a bit of thoughtful cycle animation. A toy in his bag stretches its head up and down in another cycle. All that movement is elaborate for a Columbia cartoon of the period.

And what would a post about a Scrappy cartoon be without Scrappy? (This for you, Harry).

The cartoon features two-tone Technicolor, cel overlays and special songs. The Mintz staff put a good deal of effort into this one and it was nominated for an Oscar.

1 comment:

  1. Say what you want about their content, but the Color Rhapsodies always had great, or in some ways interesting, character designs and gorgeous backgrounds/production values (it really makes a difference depending on what print you're viewing).

    It seems just like the Fleischer Studios did with Betty Boop (Poor Cinderella), I believe Columbia wanted to boost the Color Rhapsodies by having their biggest star headline their first release.