Respectful Insolence

While I’m working today, enjoy some bizarre cartoon awesomeness from Max Fleischer, courtesy of Boing-Boing:

Truly amazing. And 80 years old, too, with a wicked jazz soundtrack. The Fleischer brothers rule.

Comments

  1. #1 Ramel
    January 17, 2010

    Ok, what the hell did I just see????

  2. #2 DLC
    January 17, 2010

    The Fleischers were in some ways the Anti-Disney.
    Their animated shorts were almost always done to modern jazz pieces, and included such lights as Cab Calloway.
    Some of their material would not have passed the censors of later times, or have been rated R by the MPAA. But they have a bizarre sense of humor, excellent timing and they’re just damn funny, IMO. Thanks for posting this one, Orac.

  3. #3 Dawn
    January 17, 2010

    Wow. That was just….bizarre. The music was great.

  4. #4 Johnny
    January 17, 2010

    For those who want to see Cab Calloway given the Max Fleischer treatment, I’d suggest http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=betty%20boop and look for Snow White – ‘Memorable rendition of “St James Infirmary”‘.

    To see Betty Boop at her best, look for Bamboo Isle – she does the hula, and does it well.

  5. #5 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 17, 2010

    If only modern music videos were so imaginative, more might be worth watching.

  6. #6 Anne
    January 17, 2010

    Max Fleischer’s Betty Boop, Minnie the Moocher (with Cab Calloway).
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaZOXF83zBg
    Great Calloway-style dancing by the walrus.

  7. #7 Cynic View
    January 17, 2010

    I think the moral of the story is don’t be a criminal if you suffer from schizophrenia.

  8. #8 Isabel
    January 17, 2010

    “For those who want to see Cab Calloway given the Max Fleischer treatment, I’d suggest http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=betty%20boop and look for Snow White – ‘Memorable rendition of “St James Infirmary”‘.”

    Ha – took the words right out of my mouth. I re-watched all the Cab Calloway Betty Boops last weekend. BB as Snow White is one of my all-time favorite cartoons.

    Thanks for posting this cartoon, Orac. Yes, Max and Dave Fleischer rule! They were the most creative and also innovative animators. Some of the Betty Boops have real 3-d backgrounds, and the Popeye cartoons are wonderful also, as are the original Superman cartoons.

    When I organized animation shows in my younger days we showed many of these films, as well as a truly x-rated short in the exact Fleischer studio style that was supposedly done by the animators in their off hours. I don’t remember what it was called, though a few of the scenes are etched in my memory-it was pretty bizarre.

  9. #9 Johnny
    January 17, 2010

    Great Calloway-style dancing by the walrus.

    Made possible by the Max Fleischer invention – the rotoscope.

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotoscoping – how else would Betty Boop get those killer hula moves?

  10. #10 Kristen
    January 17, 2010

    Very cool…way creepy!

    Squirrel Nut Zippers are my favorite band. This video reminded me of The Ghost Of Steven Foster video. It has a very similar style, looks like the Zippers had inspiration.

  11. #11 Uncle Glenny
    January 18, 2010
  12. #12 Len Brucester
    January 18, 2010

    “While I’m working today, enjoy some bizarre cartoon awesomeness”

    I doubt your working. I bet you are hiding because you know someone is going to show up and ask about this.

    “After the WHO declared a flu pandemic in June and thousands of people began getting ill, alarm spread in some countries. In July, England’s top doctor told the National Health Service to prepare for as many as 65,000 deaths.

    Since the near-panic has subsided, Britain reduced its expected death toll to 1,000 and officials have begun debating when to shut the pandemic flu service.”

    The “top” doctor predicted 65,000 deaths and there were only 1000? How is that for competence? This is another case that proves that allopathic medicine is about money.

    “The world’s biggest vaccine makers — GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi-Aventis, Baxter International, Novartis and CSL — are seeing a potential $7.6 billion sales windfall shrink, analysts said.”

    The entire H1N1 scare was a welfare scam for pharmaceutical companies during an economic crisis. The banks got TARP funds, pharmaceutical companies got H1N1.

  13. #13 boygenius
    January 18, 2010

    Wow! And to think these guys made this cartoon 8 years before Albert Hoffman synthesized LSD! I feel sorry for kids today. The quality of cartoons sure ain’t what it used to be, even just going back to my own childhood in the ’70s.

  14. #14 David N. Brown
    January 18, 2010

    What were they smoking in the 1920s?
    Also, I see an anti-vax troll still managed to take offense.

  15. #15 Patrick
    January 18, 2010

    LOL at 3:28 in the video! Gotta love the obligatory anti-semitic caricature, in the form of the goateed, very Jewish ghost (devil?) – complete with the voice inflection and shrug.

  16. #16 Isabel
    January 18, 2010

    “What were they smoking in the 1920s?”

    Well we know the jazz musicians loved to smoke weed. The animators probably enjoyed it too. And I’m sure the drug influenced the free form quality of the artistic output of the time.

    The 1930s produced the trippiest animation all around, including stop motion. Here’s a weird Charles Bowers clip

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4I15-7L0ss&feature=related

    “Wild Oysters” is another classic of his. Ladisvas Starevich was the best. Experimental abstract animation really soared during the decade as well, with abstract shorts even opening for features in theatres and eventually inspiring Disney to make Fantasia.

  17. #17 Johnny
    January 18, 2010

    Gotta love the obligatory anti-semitic caricature, in the form of the goateed, very Jewish ghost (devil?)

    In an age that never heard of Political Correctness, I’ll see your devil Jew, and raise you –
    http://www.archive.org/details/bb_ill_be_glad_when_youre_dead

    I don’t know how the people felt back then (and by ‘people’, I mean Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, and even the audience), and maybe it’s because it *looks* like it was all fun, but what would clearly be racist today seems so…. innocent back then.

    Or maybe I just don’t want to believe something I enjoy (these old cartoons) caused others pain.

    The 1930s produced the trippiest animation all around, including stop motion. Here’s a weird Charles Bowers clip

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4I15-7L0ss&feature=related

    Woah…

  18. #18 Anne
    January 19, 2010

    Cab Calloway, “Reefer Man,” 1933
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D44pyeEvhcQ

  19. #19 David N. Brown
    January 19, 2010

    “Well we know the jazz musicians loved to smoke weed.”
    Don’t know about that, but marijuana was legal till sometime in the ’30s.

The site is undergoing maintenance presently. Commenting has been disabled. Please check back later!