Monday 28 October 2019

The Hams That Couldn't Be Cured Backgrounds

A very nice silhouette drawing opens the Walter Lantz Swing Symphony The Hams That Couldn’t Be Cured (1942).

My guess is Fred Brunish was responsible for the artwork above. Lantz’s cameraman moves in on it for about six seconds which, of course, saves money animating, inking, painting and so on. Here’s the exterior shot of Algernon Wolf’s home. Again, the camera trucks in. More $avings for Walter.

An interior. It’s a little longer than this but the scene cross-fades out.

One more brief interior. The door is on a cel.

The idea of the Big Bad Wolf telling his side of the Three Little Pigs story is a solid one; Warner Bros. used it at least twice in cartoons by my recollection, once by Friz Freleng and once by Bob McKimson. Unlike the others, this cartoon is based around Darrell Calker’s music. Unfortunately, the music is a swing version of the Kreutzer Etude No 2 which basically repeats the same four bars. As much as Calker’s arranger tried to get some variation out of it, the music’s fairly repetitive. The gags aren’t that strong; basically the wolf gets abused before the music blows up his house. Later Swing Symphonies included lyrics, something you can hang a story or gags on.

Alex Lovy and Robert Somerville get the screen credit for animation, while Dick Nelson (I think) and Kent Rogers supply the voices.


  1. For the record, the last public execution in the US was in 1936, not all that long before this cartoon came out. (That execution was an utter fiasco.) The picture of the scaffold does give one the shivers, though.

    1. Quite creepy indeed...

      For my part, I'm partial to the Terrytoons version, with a (presumably) Carlo Vinci Red skiving off to do some swimming... ;-)

  2. I'm gonna guess the Kreuzer was used, at least in part, because of its familiarity from "The Jack Benny Show"...

    Just listening to it, I'd say the orchestration was pretty good, myself: