Friday 14 June 2019

Dance Music For One

In Cellbound, escaped con Spike is hiding inside the prison warden’s TV trying to avoid detection and is forced to become the programming the warden wants to watch.

“Hmmmm, yes. Dance music,” says the monotone Warden. Spike scrambles to play all the instruments, moving up and down or sideways in the set whenever he makes a change.

Cut to a shot inside the set.

The gag topper is the emotionless warden dancing like crazy to the Dixieland music. You can see some frames in this post.

Tex Avery started the cartoon but his unit was disbanded. This was finished up by the Hanna-Barbera unit’s animators under Mike Lah. It was released in 1955, two years after Avery was fired.


  1. For a guy best known for getting the most comedy out of full animation, Avery in this and a few other efforts like "Symphony in Slang" showed he could get the most out of extremely limited animation as well (where the immobility of the warden combined with Paul Frees' monotone voice in the previous scenes sets up the gag here).

    1. Maybe the worst of the "limited" lot, JL, was "Farm of Tomorrow" where the gags just weren't funny. Spot gag cartoons are easily adaptable for limited animation. I gather from his interview with Joe Adamson, he did that type of cartoon when he had no ideas and needed to fill out the release schedule.