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Jail Birds (1931)

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Title: Jail Birds (1931)

Jail Birds (1931) on IMDb 6.5/10

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Plot Keywords:

flip the frog


Animation | Short





Release Date:

26 September 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Galgenvögel  »

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An Arresting Cartoon
11 January 2014 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Although Walt Disney lost almost all his staff when Charles Mintz stole Oswald the Lucky Rabbit from him, Ub Iwerks and Carl Stalling stayed loyal. However, when Disney refused to share the public credit for the success of Mickey Mouse, Iwerks and Stalling bolted for producer Pat Powers and a contract with MGM, for which they invented Flip the Frog, another all-purpose clown.

Alas, Flip never developed a definite personality and remained an all-purpose clown. This meant that none of the Flip cartoons are great. However, Iwerks was a good enough producer that some were very good, and this is one of the best. Flip is a prison guard. When one his his convicts escapes, Flip goes after him in a series of beautifully timed and executed jokes, abetted by some clean black-and-white illustrations and Stalling's spot-on musical cues -- Stalling had invented "mickey-mousing" in which the music exactly matched the actions. There's nothing ground-breaking about this cartoon, but it is a fine example of what skilled, dedicated craftsmen can do with a good budget.

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