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A parody of a great many Disney films, this short is simply fantastic
and yet another feather in the hat of Bob Clampett (I know I seem to
say that a lot, by Clampett was indeed a genius of animation). The
music is magical, the animation is great, and although it might not be
nearly as hilariously surreal as most of Clampetts other works, it's
still very VERY good and I remain captivated by the short every single
time I sit down to watch it. This animated short can be seen on Disc 4
of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 2 and also features an
optional commentary by Micheal Barrier.
My Grade: A+
A Corny Concerto, what can I say? Simply wonderful. Maybe not as hysterically funny as other Looney Tunes cartoons, but it is special to me for many reasons. A Corny Concerto isn't necessarily what you call hilarious, the funniest it comes to is Elmer's struggles with his loose fitting evening clothes though Porky and the pointer dog sobbing in Waltz time at Bug's "death" was funny too as was Bugs revealing his bra, tutu and pointe shoes and the stunned looks on Porky and Pointer Dog's faces. The animation though is wonderful, the wood in Tales from the Vienna Woods is beautifully rendered, but in terms of animation On the Beautiful Blue Danube was superior, with vibrant colouring particularly of the river itself. In terms of humour, Tales from the Vienna Woods is the better of the two, On the Beautiful Blue Danube is beautiful essentially but rather humourless in comparison. But what both segments have in common is that the music is outstanding. Johann Strauss II is rightly nicknamed "The Waltz King". Both pieces featured are fantastic and two of my favourite classical music pieces of all time, though I am more familiar with On the Beautiful Blue Danube. What impresses me most is how so much is fitted in in such a short running time without feeling bloated. This cartoon is fantastic, perfect for a classical music listener. 10/10 Bethany Cox
'A Corny Concerto' is Bob Clampett's inspired parody of Disney's 'Fantasia'. A cartoon in two parts (packing an incredible amount into seven minutes), 'A Corny Concerto' was actually written by director Frank Tashlin. It opens with a magical moment in which Elmer Fudd, taking the Deems Taylor role, emerges in silhouette onto a platform but confounds the audiences expectations of how tall he will be. Elmer's opening speech is a masterpiece of speech-impediment exploitation, a great piece of word-smithery in a largely musical cartoon. Both sections of 'A Corny Concerto' are set to pieces of music by Johan Strauss. The best of the two is the gloriously off-colour 'Tales From the Vienna Woods', in which Porky Pig and a pointer dog hunt Bugs Bunny to the strains of Strauss's music. It opens fairly inoffensively but then heads into the sort of sick territory only Clampett would ever dream of exploring. Porky's gun falls into the hands of a squirrel who fires it randomly at the trio. Fearing they've been hit, Clampett has the three characters dance around in their death throes! This section ends with a bawdy (for its time) gag in which Bugs slaps a bra on the heads of Porky and his dog and pirouettes into the sunset, hilariously collapsing in the cartoon's blink-and-you'll-miss-it highlight. The second section tells a tale set to 'The Blue Danube', in which a baby version of Daffy Duck attempts to find favour with a group of swans. Their rejection of Daffy is hilarious, particularly the moment the mother swan finds him under a rock and uncaringly slams it back down on his head. The short has a happy ending, however, as Daffy saves the baby swans from a vulture and is accepted into their family, It's the sort of story that could have been played straight and with a doe-eyed sweetness but Clampett and Tashlin instead fill it with gags which defy all accusations of cutesiness. 'A Corny Concerto' is a jaw-dropingly event-packed cartoon and another classic in the classic-stuffed Clampett canon.
I had heard about this Looney Tunes quite often and when I realised
(when it said on this site) that it was a spoof on Fantasia, I became
very excited. I kept thinking, "Ooh, I'm so excited to find out what
this is like." When I watched this on YouTube, I was very impressed.
I find this very much a classic Looney Tune - highly entertaining, funny and sweet. The Fantasia spoof around it works very well. I also noticed that there was only one joke which was relevant to the world of the time. It was a slight fighter jet joke and of course the Second World War was still raging in 1943. Some of the jokes were slightly lame and a little repetitive/predictable, but a delight to watch all the same.
Also, this has a role of Daffy - who does not look a lot like Daffy. Daffy looks much more like a duckling than the little black duck we know. He does a very good job. Of course, so does everyone in this episode.
Being a spoof on Fantasia, there are two stories, both with a piece of classical music in the background. Elmer Fudd introduces each piece and has rather a trouble with his out-fit (you'll see what I mean when you watch it). I personally preferred the second piece to the first piece, partly because the second had Daffy in it.
Recommended to people who enjoy old Looney Tunes cartoons and who very much enjoy "Fantasia". Enjoy "A Corny Concerto"! :-)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Nicely made Warner's Cartoon "Merrie Melody" from 1943. The Warners'
Cartoon stable occasionally took a swipe at the far most prestigious
Disney group across town. Here they decide to have a go at Disney's one
attempt at grand art - his musical cartoon movie FANTASIA, which did
episodes such as alligators and hippopotomi dancing ballet, or Mickey
Mouse in the cartoon's most famous sequence: The Sorceror's Apprentice,
or Moussorgski's A NIGHT ON BALD MOUNTAIN followed by Schubert's Ave
The Warners Cartoons never (at that time) expanded beyond nine minutes - usually they were seven to eight minutes. So there was no full scale spoof on the Disney masterpiece. But everyone could see the spoof by the appearance of the shadow on the podium (Leopold Stowkowski in FANTASIA - here it was Elmer Fudd). Elmer introduces the two segments (both Johann Strauss the Younger standbys: THE TALES FROM THE VIENNA WOODS and ON THE BEAUTIFUL BLUE DANUBE). He too tries to uplift the cultural level of the audience, by explaining how the melody flows around and around, "and it comes out here". To people not around in the 1940s, it is a reference to a popular tune, "THE MUSIC GOES ROUND AND ROUND". Elmer's attempt at cultural awareness is undercut by his shirtfront, which keeps popping up and hitting him in the face. He eventually tears the shirt off. Later he strips even more.
THE TALES FROM THE VIENNA WOODS is a ballet with Porky as the hunter (filling in for master of ceremonies Elmer), hunting Bugs. He has brought along his hunting dog, and Bugs (progressively more effeminate in this ballet than usual) is able to fool them. There is a bit of a knock at SWAN LAKE here, with Bugs disarming the hunters, only to enrage a squirrel by hitting him with the rifle. Then, for the first time in any Bugs Bunny cartoon, Bugs dies (briefly). His resurrection, involving a brazier, is also unique in his cartoons.
ON THE BEAUTIFUL BLUE DANUBE deals with a variant on the "ugly Duckling" of Hans Christian Anderson. Lonely baby Daffy wants to be accepted by a family of Swans (a mother and her three daughters), but he is obviously a duck. He proves himself when he bests a vulture who momentarily grabs the three baby swans. The avenging Daffy takes on the appearance of a U.S. Air Force fighter plane, while the vulture suddenly takes on a yellow coloring. The most subtle point in this sequence is when the mother Swan faints after failing to find her three children. She has fallen faint in the center of a pond or lake surrounded with water. A shocked Daffy runs off, gets a pail of water, and flings it on the Swan - without any effect whatsoever to the Swan.
A delightful romp into cultural pratfalls, to the strings of Strauss.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
From a story by the great Frank Tashlin, who would go on to make live
cartoons with the likes of Jerry Lewis, this is one of the best of the
bugs Bunnies. A parody of, ooh, everything from FANTASIA, BAMBI, the
patronising populising of high culture, to an expression of genuine wartime
anxieties, it proves how animation can offer truths more 'serious' films
THe film is framed as one of those light classics concerts in which an inept conductor tries to explain the evening's programme, but is persistantly defeated by his cheap tux. His battle with his suit is slapstick fun, but also points to the ossification and impoverishment of music etc. by bourgeois respectability.
Like FANTASIA in miniature, the short offers two pieces of animation, choreographed to classical music (both Strauss waltzes, nothing too heavy). THe first, Tales of the Vienna Woods, is the usual Bugs fiasco, where he is chased in a forest by Elmer and a big dog. THis is always fun, but is given added piquancy by the recreation of the forest, which has all the living richness of fairy tale illustrations, and by the film's movement, which is choreographed to the music's rhythm, and reaches delirious heights of hysteria.
THe second, superior segment, The Blue Danube, features the young Daffy Duck, a lonely orphan bird who is rejected by a snooty family of swans. When the young chicks (or whatever) are abducted by a vulture, Daffy comes to the rescue, and is welcomed, if problematically, into the family.
THese segments work on a number of levels. The pieces of music chosen are very famous sentimental impressions of nature - the cartoons reveal a vicious dog-eat-dog (or pig and dog eat rabbit) world of violence and terror. The vulture scenes are as chilling as anything in BAMBI.
To say that nature is a self-generating abbatoir still lets us off the hook. But we must remember the year of the film's production, 1943. THe waltzes of Strauss might be among the most beloved fruits of the Teutonic imagination, but that imagination was currently engaged in the destruction of civilisation and nature across the continent. The scenes with the vulture rounding up the chicks have a very disturbing resonance.
BUt when Daffy rescues them, he turns terrifyingly into a being half shark, half fighter airplane. Contemporary US propaganda films showed the belated war effort as a noble and necessary calling; the questioning films only came when it was safe. BUt here was a cartoon tacitly admitting that the defence of civilisation involves a certain loss of that civilisation, a descent into the barbarity it seeks to exterminate. It is a brief moment, and there is a happy ending, but Daffy's reintergration at the end is not complete - this brilliant cartoon is unerringly prescient.
Her Bob Clampett uses two lovely Strauss Waltzes, "Tales from the Vienna Woods," and "The Beautiful Blue Danube." They are conducted by our friend Elmer Fudd. In the former, Bugs Bunny reigns supreme over a hunter, Porky Pig, and his dog. As is usually the case, our rabbit friend is in total control. There is a great scene where Bugs is playing dead and Porky tries to pull his arms up so they can check him for a gunshot. Great results. In the second, Daffy tries to join a trio of little swans. The music is gorgeous and the animation is right on. The color never ceases to amaze me. Apparently, this was Warner Brothers answer to Disney's "Fantasia."
The Corny Concerto (1943)
*** 1/2 (out of 4)
Warner Brothers's spoof of Disney's FANTASIA has Elmer Fudd playing the orchestra leader and then we get two different sequences. The first has Porky Pig and his dog stalking Bugs Bunny while the second has a group of stuck up white ducks not playing well with a baby Daffy. This here is certainly a classic film for the series as it really does do Disney better than Disney did in FANTASIA. Both of the stories are extremely good and that's certainly the cast for the first one. I thought the little back and forth between Porky and his dog was quite funny. Of course, the real highlight here was the wonderful music and how it was used for the animation.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
. . . is the subject of the Warner Bros. animated short, A CORNY CONCERTO. About the time that this cartoon was released, Real Life debate was raging over American President Harry Truman's decision NOT to reduce the Bulldog Menace when we had a golden opportunity to do so. As World War Two concluded, Britain was fatigued from six years of War, the U.S. was coming on strong, and America had a world monopoly on Nuclear Weapons. After England's King George III lost the Revolutionary War, his sore-loser descendants waited decades before launching a sneak invasion on America, burning down the city of Washington, DC. In the 1940s most Americans were waiting for the other shoe to drop. The squirrel shooting Bugs Bunny during CONCERTO until Bugs turns green in the face is meant to represent the English Squire Threat, even then Kow-towing to a Queen-in-Waiting. CORNY's second half deals with the fact that English monarchs have an exclusive birthright to chow down on swans, but by the mid-1900s America had 10 of the graceful yet succulent white birds for every one left upon that bellicose island. Therefore, our Air Force--represented here by a duckling Daffy Duck (who literally turns into a Fighter Plane at one point because the Warner honchos did not want ANYONE to miss their warning!)--must remain on High Red Alert for the day when a hungry King or Queen's Henchpeople make a run for our border, swooping down like CONCERTO's cartoon vulture, for a brunch of American Swan McNuggets or Swanee Loaf.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"A Corny Concerto" is a brilliant Warner Bros. musical cartoon directed
by Bob Clampett. A splendid rip-off of Walt Disney's "Fantasia", it
casts Elmer Fudd, of all people, as the orchestral conductor who
introduces two familiar pieces of music by our favorite "waltz king"
Johann Strauss, Jr. Co-starring Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, and a baby Daffy
Duck, with absolutely no dialogue! (Somebody once remarked that "A
Corny Concerto" is one of the only Bugs Bunny films in which Elmer Fudd
has the last word.)
My favorite scenes from this charming cartoon: Elmer is hilarious as he struggles with his loose-fitting attire. Porky and his dog are also very funny when they cry in waltz time as Bugs supposedly lies dead. When the buzzard snatches away the three baby swans, it is revealed that one of them is cheating by using a motor. Determined to save the three little swans from the clutches of the buzzard, Daffy essentially becomes a fierce bomber airplane, and the swans become paratroopers (with a nice sound effect).
The best thing about "A Corny Concerto" is the action that occurs COMPLETELY in synchronization with the musical accompaniment, which is hence where the humor of this cartoon lies. In addition, take note of the superb background paintings in this film, particularly during the opening "Tales from the Vienna Woods" segment.
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