Thursday, 31 January 2019

Thumbing the Goat

Pat Powers pushed the Ub Iwerks’ ComiColor cartoons by telling theatres they were a) in colour, and b) featured fairy tales beloved by all children.

He didn’t advertise their humour because, to be honest, there wasn’t a lot. In Tom Thumb (1936), the title character is swallowed by a goat and goes down a rainbow-coloured esophagus (if a rainbow were brown). He bumps against a detour sign. I think this is supposed to be a gag.

More brown shades inside the stomach.

I guess Iwerks’ idea of funny was “look at the silly expressions the goat makes.” I like the design and the animation (some drawings seem to be reused) but I’m not laughing.

In fairness, the ComiColors were invented to compete against Disney’s Silly Symphonies, which weren’t designed to be amusing, either.

Carl Stalling’s semi dance-band music just bops along not really emphasizing or counterpointing any of the action.

No animators are credited.


  1. If nothing else, they do provide some hearty chuckles. I assume that's what Iwerks was going for (ala' Ising's Barney Bear). Which perfectly defines all of Iwerks output.

    The Cinecolor process was the main drawn, but the current prints just don't do it justice (another reason for a proper home video release, Stanchfield is working on that apparently...).

  2. Out of curiosity, is the term "Tom Thumbnail" used much in internet, etc. jargon?