Friday, 2 April 2021

Willie's Jungle Mate

Hmmm. Yes, they’re there.

They’re there even in poorly drawn in-betweens.

Willie Whopper’s jungle princess has breasts. The lei doesn’t cover her up, like they do in most of that Betty Boop cartoon about Hawaii. Of course, a Betty-like designed seemed to be used for all the heroines in the Willie series.

The National Board of Review magazine rated this cartoon “family.” Maybe it’s for the Stepin Fetchit stand-in, the Kingfish dialect from Amos ‘n’ Andy, or the dice and Ubangi jokes. One theatre manager in South Carolina simply put it to the Motion Picture Herald: “A very poor cartoon,” though one in North Carolina cheered it as “a good comedy that pleased all who saw it.”

Bob Stokes and Norm Blackburn, two former Harman-Ising artists, are credited with animating this Iwerks short, Jungle Jitters, with Carl Stalling handling the score. Harman-Ising would soon be taking over the MGM release from the Iwerks studio on September 1, 1934. This cartoon was still in production on June 4th, according to the Hollywood Reporter, and released July 28th.

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