At the home of Viennese composer Johann Strauss, lived Johann Mouse. Whenever the composer played his waltzes, the mouse would dance to the music, unable to control himself. One day, when ...
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At the home of Viennese composer Johann Strauss, lived Johann Mouse. Whenever the composer played his waltzes, the mouse would dance to the music, unable to control himself. One day, when Strauss was away, the housecat played his master's music. This forced the mouse to dance, providing the cat with a chance to pounce on him. When word got out about a piano-playing cat and a dancing mouse, they were commanded to perform for the emperor. Written by
David Glagovsky <email@example.com>
Blending Culture, Classical Music, Story Book Artwork, Witty Narration and Charming Story = Academy Award! (OSCAR, man!!)
The animated Short Subject, "CARTOON",if you please, has been with us for just about the entire run of Film, itself. Each succeeding generation has been treated to their life, color, unchecked outrageous behaviour, humor and their moments of pathos.
Traditionally, the products of the various Studios and Creative Talent have generally all been representative of one particular strong point. E.G., Walt Disney's animated pictures, both shorts and features have a dreamy perfection,an other worldly appearance, along with some more gentle humor with a moral. Disney Studios has the Cadillac, the Top of the Line.
Max & Dave Fleischer were the top Animation Studio when Disney was on the way up. Always great as innovators, using top Jazz Bands of the '30's as the inspiration. They only did 2 Full Length Animated Features, GULLIVER's TRAVELS(1939) and MR. BUG GOES TO TOWN(1941)( aka HOPPITY GOES TO TOWN). Other than Betty Boop and Koko The Clown, their biggest "Stars" were found in the Popeye Shorts and the Superman Adventures, and the Fleischers owned the rights to neither.
It is Warner Brothers, "Termite Terrace" which gave us what was probably America's favourite adult cartoons in LOONEY TOONS and MERRY MELODIES, starring Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, en ad infinitum... It was Warner's Cartoon Unit that provided the best laughs as they surely had their finger on the pulse of America's Funnybone.
MGM and Hanna-Barbera fell somewhere in between, never being considered as much of "Art" as Disney, nor as funny as Warners, nor as innovative as The Fleischers. But Hanna-Barberra/MGM came in close seconds on all those counts.
At the time of its making JOHANN MOUSE, The MGM/Hanna-Barbera* partnership had been together for some time, with Tom & Jerry being an item for about 13 years. They (Hanna-Barberra)were undoubtedly MGM's biggest Cartoon Team. They (Tom & Jerry)were undoubtedly MGM's biggest Cartoon Team.(Ha,ha! Get it?)
This 1952 production & Oscar Winner did deviate slightly off of the proved path. Instead of the setting being contemporary United States middle class, the setting is Late 19th Century, the Locale is Vienna, Austria-Hungary(as the Dual Monarchy was called), and in particular from a particular place, in the Home of Johann Strauss, the Walz King, himself.
The use of any dialog either from people or the furry creatures. Instead, we have the Strauss Music, the irresistible reactions of Jerry Mouse and in turn, Tom's feline reaction to the rodent movement.
A voice-over narration by multi-talented Hans Conried moves the story along and reminds us of the period and setting by using a theatrical affectation of an authentic sounding German accent.** The combination of the cartoony situation, the narration, the Strauss Music makes for a most amusing situational comedy story When the entire film is framed with a beautiful story book-like appearance. It is one that should be an award winner, and by George, Oscar, it was!
Our younger Daughter, Michelle Lee Ryan(D.O.B. 8/14/'75)describes this as her favourite cartoon; an interesting point, being that it was out 23 years before her birth.
NOTE:* Long time Animators & Cartoon Directors/Producers William Hanna(1910-2001) & Joseph Barbera(1911-2006) had been partners dating back to the 1930's. After leaving MGM 1n the mid-fifties, they became TV's Premiere Cartoon Studio with (still existing)HANNA-BARBERA Productions.
NOTE:** Fine Character/Voice Actor Hans Conried(1917-1982)had long been thought of as a European born Stage,Film and Radio/TV player. In reality, he was born in Baltimore and raised between there and New York City. He once explained his unusual accent to Jack Paar on the TONITE SHOW as being "a Theatrical Affectation!"(Honest Injun, heard it myself!)
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