Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Headless Horse

I don’t know what the fascination was with wooden horses in cartoons of the late ‘20s and early ‘30s, but I think every studio had them. I mean, just draw a regular horse.

A wooden horse enters into the picture in the Van Beuren short Hot Tamale (1930). As you can expect from Van Beuren, the cartoon is twisted.

A mouse and a cat vie for the attentions of a Latina mouse. Why cartoons have cats that want to date mice is confusing at best, but back to our story. Milton the mouse gets away on his wooden horse. But to slow down the cat’s wooden horse, he unscrews its head and shoves rocks inside the body, then put the head back on.

The rocks weigh down the horse so it can’t chase after Milton and the girl on their horse. Finally, it gets moving only for the cat, after yelling with no noise coming out of its mouth, flips off the wooden animal. The horse’s head comes off. We gets spinning eyes that change shape.

The cat registers shock.

He kicks the horse’s body, which gallops into the distance. Meanwhile, he rises up into his sombrero, which twirls around. What?!

But the horse’s head is alive! And it bites him and hangs on. The two of them twirl around.

John Foster and Harry Bailey get the “by” credit and Gene Rodemich supplies the score.

1 comment:

  1. Charlie Judkins identified some of this scene being done by James "Jim" Tyer. (Devon Baxter just provided the information of the discovery onto the Terry and VB Facebook club)