Saturday, 1 October 2011

38. I Love a Parade (1932)

Warner cartoon no. 37.
Release date: August 6, 1932.
Series: Merrie Melodies.
Directed by: Rudolf Ising.
Producers: Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising and Leon Schlesinger (associate).
Cast unknown.
Animation: Rollin Hamilton and Thomas McKimson.
Musical Score: Frank Marsales.

 The short starts off in a circus where there is a clown in the arena performing front flips and back flips. There are reused animation of the crowd that are enjoying the show - but the reuses don't really make much difference. The clown then laughs right at the camera in an extreme close-up. There are bands marching, inside the arena: there are even kangaroos in the band as well, playing the trumpet and flute. One of the drummers (a lion) bangs on the drum too hard, that the drum rips. A dog shows up in the middle of the arena and barks. The lion places the drum inside the lion, and uses it as a drum.

The clown jumps in somser-salting in front of the audience, watching the clown - but as the clown leaves, the audience start to sing the title song, I Love a Parade. The title song is actually quite good here, and it's sung well instead of those annoying falsetto sounds. There is a dachshund that walks in the arena with roller skates to support the very, long body.

A gag in this part that I do particularly like is a lion growling in a cage, and there is a roustabout riding the cage. As the cage goes under a tunnel, the lion is riding the cage, and the roustabout is trapped in bars. That was pretty funny - it seems that the lion has achieved his plan silently. There are other lions in cages, and there is one in which monkeys use as a skip rope. There are pachyderms walking through the scene during the song, and a janitor crow hears them chant I love a parade. The crow replies "Oh yeah?" and gets on with his job.

Meanwhile the ringmaster, who talks in a very fast voice, announces that there are new shows being shown at the circus such as "Jo Jo the Wild Man". We see a shot of an angry African tribe (referred as "Jo Jo) rattling inside the cage. The announcer introduces a show called Gumbo the Indian Rubber Man who seems to perform all these weird dance movements, and routines. The animation is very entertaining to watch, and then the ringmaster enters the scene in which the rubber man forms himself into a bouncing ball in which he uses to bounce.

The ringmaster announces some more shows such as these Siamese pigs that smoke cigars. One pig inhales a cigar, and the other Siamese pig breathes out the smoke. Come to think of it, you don't inhale cigars; you just puff them.

There are show presentations that appear to be shown at the same time. One of them has a muscly man (with a Charles Atlas build) with tattoos everywhere. The man reveals his bald patch, that shows a little boy face tattoo blinking. A rather funny gag I like is when the muscly man as he flexes his arm; in which a tattoo of a woman in a bathing suit - but the bicep moving makes the woman look fat.

There is also a hippo dancing in a hula costume dancing to music. A mouse comes out of a box with a party favor. As the mouse blows it; the hippo can feel the ticklishness favor and she giggles. She accuses the muscly man as the person responsible, so she whacks him on the face. The man is all weary and his tattoo off a ship suddenly sinks. That gag was reused from Big-Hearted Bosko but the reuse isn't too harmful, as it works with his range of tattoos.

The ringmaster announces another show: The Skinny Man from India in which we see a Mahatma Ghandi figure playing the oboe in which a goat runs onto the stage. The goat starts to dance to the music, but not for long as the curtains close quickly.

So far, I must say that these "shows" being shown at the circus are quite entertaining to watch, even though that there very well may have "racist tendencies", such as Indian people that seem to be mainly featured as shows, and an African tribe shown as well. The tattoo sketch was very good though.

 In the arena, there is a goat running around the edge of the arena. There appears to be some type of mamal who is going to ride the goat. However she stands on the goat's bottom that causes him to skid on the ground. She bows when the audience clap at the trick. Suddenly as the backside rider jumps on the goat again, there is dust that fills the entire screen. The next thing is that the goat is the backside rider itself, causing the mamal to run around the edge of the arena.

 Meanwhile there is this female feline who is singing the title song in a great rhythm, but annoying voice though. She is performing in her high-wire act while singing the title song. Meanwhile there is this ostrich who is outside the tent, peeping inside. There are these group of mice that shoot slingshots at the ostrich that sqwuaks. The animation from that was reused from Ups N'Downs.

 There is another ringmaster inside the lion's cage who appears to be whipping the lion inside the cage. The ringmaster asks the lion to "move it", and then the ringleader performs an act in which the lion's jaws are open and the leader places his head on his mouth. The ringleader then does the opposite by widening his mouth. Suddenly the lion starts itching his back, as there are fleas inside it. The lion scratches in different positions, until he finally grabs his teeth out, in which the fleas scram out of the lion's back. The teeth land back on the lion's mouth, the audience applaud; in which the lion bows and that's all folks.

This cartoon was interesting to watch in it's ways, it wasn't a bad cartoon, but it was above average in the usual mediocre Harman-Ising cartoons in that era. The shows that were seen in the circus were in fact entertaining, and it's like watching the circus show. However, watching the tattoo scenes were a bit exaggerated in the shot (like the ship sinking in the tattooed chest). The animation was reused a couple of times, but they didn't really put me off badly, but the reuses still weren't really special. It was an entertaining cartoon, with a couple of great gags, a great song but that's all I can say about it. It wasn't a bad cartoon, and it does work well in its ways. Sorry about the distracting Cartoon Network that appears -but it's the only copy I was able to get hold of.

1 comment:

  1. Hugh Harman would revisit the circus theme in a raucous MGM HAPPY HARMONIES cartoon starring Bosko and Honey and Bruno, who decide to spend a day at the local traveling circus. There are elaborate scenes of circus performers, like a shapely Fatima the dancing girl, seen as a veil drops around her ankle, but the portion of "I LOVE A PARADE" that is exaggerated to its wildest point is that in which the lion starts vigorously scratching fleas. The energy level in "CIRCUS DAZE", the BOSKO cartoon at MGM that picks up where "PARADE" leaves off, is truly dizzying, like nothing I'd ever seen before! And the flea festation comes when an all-too-curious Bruno sniffs a little too close to the flea circus tent, toppling it over and sending the swarm scurrying around the rest of the circus grounds. Believe me, the two cartoons are worth running, side by side.