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Once again, we hear and see Rubinoff playing the violin to open up this
Betty Boop cartoon. He plays soft, quiet music as an introduction until
Betty gives ups her "oop, oop be doop" opening. Then we get to the
story, where we first see big-city buildings, all linked to a toy
factory, producing a mystery package that is transported by a small
train and then by a plane. Eventually, it is dropped down a chimney to
a magical house with wooden soldiers. Inside the box is Betty, in
toy-soldier form! The wooden soldiers come to life, play the trumpets
and all the toys come to life.
From that point, it's a lot of song and dance until a big ape comes to life and tries to harm Betty. That's when the soldiers come to the rescue! In all, nothing super and geared a lot more to little kids.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Parade of the Wooden Soldiers" is a Betty Boop cartoon from over 80 years ago. It has sound, is black-and-white (as almost all of her cartoons) and runs for 8 minutes, a minute longer than cartoons usually did back then. Dave Fleischer and Seymour Kneitel are the directors and both, especially the former, belong to the most lauded cartoon makers of their era. There is always something weird and enigmatic to these Betty Boop cartoons and this one is no exception. Sadly it is not really as funny as I would have liked. My favorite scene is probably the short one with the bunnies disappearing and reappearing very differently than they went in. In 1933, the (still today) popular movie "King Kong" came out, so it's probably not a coincidence that the antagonist here is a big gorilla and Betty plays a sort-of Fay Wray character. Interesting reference, but not enough to let me recommend it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a cartoon in the Betty Boop series produced by Fleischer
studio. There will be spoilers ahead:
This is, in many ways, a "typical" Fleischer short from the early 1930s, if there is such a thing. It's a touch surreal and there are risqué elements which would mostly go over the heads of children but would amuse adults.
The short begins with Rubinoff and His Orchestra in a live action shot as the musicians playing the score. The animation begins with a series of interconnected buildings "giving their all" so that a toy factory can produce a single package. The buildings deflate in turn, the toy factory doing so once the package is disgorged and sent on its way.
The toy is shown on various vehicles of transportation, finally dropped by an airplane (a nice gag with the chimney and with the flames in the fireplace as the package winds up in a toy shop). Betty is in the package, as a toy-sized doll, short skirt, garter and all. The toy soldiers spring to attention and music begins as the toys go to greet Betty.
There are risqué sight gags scattered throughout the toys marching to see Betty. A street cleaner toy marches behind toy elephants, two adult toy rabbits multiply out of sight in a tunnel and a dog follows a toy hydrant, for example. Betty serenades the toys with a song and rockets are fired off in her honor. One of the rockets disturbs a King Kong-like rag doll and it goes on a rampage. It pulls the head off a black-face toy eating watermelon (there are several ethnic caricatures in here) and goes searching for a suitable replacement head.
Betty, meanwhile, has been enthroned and made a queen by the other toys. The ape spots her and decides her head is what is needed. Betty is kidnapped by the ape and the toys spring into action, effectively declaring war on the ape and trying to rescue Betty. Ultimately, the ape is beaten, Betty is rescued (not without damage to her dress, which is shown in another risqué gag toward the end) and a closing parade is shown, with toys seen earlier, with clear damage and attempts at repair obvious. The ending is clever.
This short is in The Definitive Betty Boop Collection and is well worth seeing. Recommended.
Like so many early Betty Boop cartoons, there is a guest musician who
is shown at the beginning of the short. In this case, you see Rubinoff
and His Orchestra performing a bit of the music for the cartoon.
In this cartoon, Betty is dropped into a toy shop (literally) where she and the toys all sing and dance. Unfortunately, a nasty gorilla doll comes alive and begins destroying things. So, it's up to the toy soldiers to organize a counter-strike and save poor Bett.
As far as "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers" goes, I heartily agree with the other reviewer who thought it was designed for little kids. I cannot honestly see teens or adults sitting through this sort of drivel and I am pretty sure when it debuted, a lot of folks too bathroom and snack bar breaks during this film! It's just so gosh-darn saccharine and has absolutely no laughs at all. So, despite great animation, I really couldn't recommend this one.
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