Friday 18 December 2020

Screen Gems Santa

“Certainly here was a friend of the downtrodden!” says narrating dog Ronny, as the camera focuses on a long shot of a Salvation Army-type Santa Claus.

“Gratefully, I thawed my soul with the warmth of his abundant heart,” says the narration. The whole cartoon is based on the juxtaposition of the dialogue and the actions on screen. In this scene, Santa is anything but warm or abundant. He swats Ronny out of the scene with his bell.

Columbia/Screen Gems made some train-wreck cartoons, but this isn’t one of them. Flora (released 1948) is my favourite of the 1940 Columbias.

Gerry Mohr is perfect as the dog/narrator. I can’t recall him being in any cartoons until Hanna-Barbera hired him in the ‘60s for The Fantastic 4. Animation is by Grant Simmons, Paul Sommer, Chick Otterstrom and Jay Sarbry, with Dave Monahan joining Cal Howard on the story. The only disconcerting thing is you keep wondering when Woody Woodpecker will pop up because Darrell Calker scores part of this like a Woody cartoon.

1 comment:

  1. Alex Lovy's timing in spots in a little slow, but of the cartoons done in the final Ray Katz-Henry Binder time period at Screen Gems, this is the one that most feels like the Warner Bros. style of cartoons they were aiming for (with ex-Warnerites Cal Howard and Dave Monahan getting story credit here). Also has the most cynical ending this side of the Jones-Maltese "Fresh Airedale" effort from two years earlier.