Hey gang- here's another great cartoon!
This is one of the many Disney cartoons I saw as a kid, over and over and over again on VHS, taped off TV.
As an adult, a part of me finds the Warner Brothers cartoons more appropriate to my tastes- the humor is sharper, the characters better. The prevailing opinion is that while Warner Brothers had better gags and more appealing characters, Disney excelled in smooth, technically brilliant animation. So with a Disney cartoon, you're less likely to actually laugh out loud.
This sounds about right to me... think about Bugs Bunny's wit vs. Mickey Mouse's personality, or lack thereof. On the other hand, Donald Duck, while somewhat narrowly defined, is one of the funniest cartoon characters to watch. More about him in a future post. For now, let's get down to my insane-obsessive analysis.
First of all, look at these bums, lying around, waiting for the phone to ring. This cartoon came out in 1937 – 47 years before Danny Aykroyd & company captured our imaginations with Ghostbusters. Now that's forward-thinking!
I also love the idea of trying to catch ghosts with shotguns and nets. At around the five minute mark, Donald even punches a ghost in the face. Who would think of doing this?
The ghosts' voices are funny to me too- the creators just added a weird echo to them to make them sound "otherworldly" or something, but it's a 1930's effect so it sounds like they're in a bathroom stall or something. I love it- it's one of those details that brings me back to watching it as a kid.
This above is the kind of thing you see more of in the Disney shorts. Both Disney and WB showed you crazy things you couldn't see in real life, but while a Bugs Bunny cartoon might be filled with quotable dialogue, shorts like this were more based around complex visual gags. Mickey bouncing off the door (twice), then having to catch his balance before pulling the door to the floor. It's the kind of thing you can only see in cartoons and here is rendered beautifully- the timing, the subtle details that go by before you even realize they're happening.
Mickey catching his balance after bouncing off the wall is one of those moments I love. It happens so fast you barely notice it, but goes so far in terms of bringing life to the character.
Here's another one of those visual gags- this is a fairly long, slapsticky scene of Goofy getting caught up in this armoire-type thing. He's not saying anything particularly funny, but the animation is executed perfectly so it's great to watch.
I haven't seen this one in years, I can't imagine why these old cartoons are never on TV anymore. Kids would still love them. Youtube is great!