Saturday, January 19, 2008

Those were @#$%^&#@!* Days

1934 was not a good year for Warner Bros. Cartoons. Harman and Ising had left, Everyone was trying their best to make Buddy interesting, and a team of less-than-stellar directors was at the helm of the Merrie Melodies. My previous post regarding "Sittin on a Backyard Fence" proves that they had some talent. But did they make missteps? Ohhhhhhhh yeah. Even Friz wasn't perfect. Here's a pair of commentaries I did on 2 of the worst Warner cartoons ever: Freleng's "How Do I Know It's Sunday" and Bernard Brown's "Those Were Wonderful Days", both from 1934. Don't say I didn't warn you...



8 comments:

Jon Cooke said...

Very funny, you made watching these stinkers a lot more tolerable, Matthew! My favorite observation was about hating to be the poor guy who takes a bite of a fly-filled popcorn ball. Yum!

J Lee said...

The character designs for "Days" were pretty much reused with only slight modifications (including about a four cup-size breast reduction for the damsel in distress) by Hardaway and Dalton for 1938's "Love and Curses".

It's interesting that at the time "Days" was made, not only Warners, but the Fleischers, Terrytoons and even Disney were having trouble animating muscular male characters without making them look like they swallowed a helium balloon. For Ben and Cal to go back to this "look" four years later makes the animation in their 1938 short look particularly ugly.

Lazlo25 said...

I'd love to see how Tex Avery and his team would've handled "Those Were Wonderful Days", and have Carl Stalling do the score instead of Norman Spencer. It looks almost like a Screen Song cartoon for SMITS sake!

Brandon said...

Listening to you groan was like the Angry Video Game Nerd, but without the foul language.

Speedy Boris said...

I think audiences were easily entertained in 1934. Being that animated pictures was still a relatively new thing, if you gave them some fairly fluid animation and some swinging music set to it, they'd be wowed. Not only that, but the animation staff was still learning their craft, and as you said, in 1934 there was quite a bit of hand-changing going on so there was a definite lack of direction. It wasn't until a few years later when the greats like Tashlin, Avery, and Clampett started to turn around the WB animation department that Looney Tunes REALLY took off, though.

Even if these cartoons weren't the greatest, thanks for uploading them. I've never seen them before.

Anonymous said...

Are there any Merrie Melodies you find tolerable,Matt?I like Shake Your Powder Puff because it doesn't us the things come to life thing.

Anonymous said...

The hero in Those Were Wonderful Days has a cameo in Friz's The Girl at the Ironing Board.

Anonymous said...

Jack King animates the bartender playing chopsticks on the cash register and Frank Tashlin animates the boxers dancing.

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