Thursday, 18 July 2019

Playing With Candy

Personally, I prefer Waffles the cat when he was paired with Don Dog in Van Beuren cartoons in the earliest of the 1930s. But it appears he was handed a girl friend named Countess Cat by the studio and the two of them appeared together in various Aesop’s Fables.

Film Daily reported on December 10, 1932 that Margie Hines had been inked to an exclusive cartoon voice contract by Van Beuren to play Countess, but had already appeared in Venice Vamp and Pickaninny Blues.

The two co-starred in The Wild Goose Chase and then returned in Silvery Moon (both released in 1932). I like the first cartoon better because there were more odd characters. There are a few in Silvery Moon as well. The backgrounds are pretty imaginative, where things in Candyland are made out of candy canes, including musical instruments played by the two cats. But the plot is the same old music-for-the-sake-of-music which was becoming passe. Still, it’s Gene Rodemich music and his scores for the studio generally set a nice mood.



It’s a shame the animation at the top of the film is cut off.

Music expert Chris Buchman has pointed out this sequence isn’t exactly original. He says it is almost verbatim (other than the characters) what is found in the 1931 Van Beuren cartoon Toy Time, including the music in the background, “The Siamese Patrol March” by Paul Lincke.

The animation in this cartoon doesn’t match the gold standard of Disney at the same period. Variety wasn’t impressed. From the December 27, 1932 edition:

AESOP FABLE
‘Silvery Moon’ (Cartoon)
6 Mins.
Mayfair, N.Y.
Radio [R-K-O]
Up until the minute before they enter the moon this cartoon promises to present something original. After that it’s the regular routine of dancing by pen creatures between wallowings in ice cream and candy.
Very, very young children, preferably graduate infants, will enjoy this short if for no other reason that its suggestion of a visit to the corner candy store right after the show.


My thanks to Devon Baxter for supplying the screen grabs.

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