Monday 27 March 2023

The Background Balloons of Balloon Land

One of the most creative cartoons that came out of the Ub Iwerks studio was Balloon Land (1935) where the balloon characters gang up on the evil Pincushion Man, who threatens to annihilate them all with his pins.

It’s unfortunate the story men, animators and background artist are never identified. Besides Iwerks, the only credit goes to Carl Stalling for the musical score, as I suspect he composed some songs for this one (commercial recordings were also used for mood music).

The designs are great in this cartoon. We get a tree balloon with an owl face.

And an angry balloon tree.

Those two trees are animated. Then there are balloon trees in the background with faces on them. The last two are part of one background painting that appears in several scenes.

Here are some blooming balloon bushes in the background.

A glance through several trade papers show favourable reviews for Balloon Land, mainly based on its novelty. The Motion Picture Herald of the period gave a release date of September 30, 1935 and it appears the Hays Office gave it a seal of approval before October 26th. The Film Daily reviewed it on October 23rd but I have not found it in theatre ads before December.