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A Symposium on Popular Songs (1962)

Professor Ludwig von Drake plays a variety of popular music, all of which he wrote. First, ragtime: the Rutabaga Rag, with vegetables dancing in stop-motion. Next, the Charleston, with ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Paul Frees ...
Gloria Wood ...
The Andrews Sisters singing The Boogie Woogie Bakery Man / Helen Kane (voice)
Billy Storm ...
Man Singing Puppy Love Is Here to Stay (voice)
Skip Farrell ...
Bing Crosby (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ray Bauduc ...
Musician-Percussion
Danny Best ...
Musician-Trumpet and Cornet
Nick Fatool ...
Musician-Percussion
Justin Gordon ...
Musician-Tenor Sax
Manny Klein ...
Musician-Trumpet
Abe Lincoln ...
Musician-Trombone
Matty Matlock ...
Musician-Clarinet
Eddie Miller ...
Musician-Tenor Sax
Miff Mole ...
Musician-Trombone
Allan Reuss ...
Musician-Banjo and Guitar
Willie Schwartz ...
Musician-Tenor Sax
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Storyline

Professor Ludwig von Drake plays a variety of popular music, all of which he wrote. First, ragtime: the Rutabaga Rag, with vegetables dancing in stop-motion. Next, the Charleston, with cut-out animation of a singer and dancers. Dixieland and more cut-out animation; the crooner/love ballad; 50's doo-wop; and finally, rockabilly. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sixty Years of Syncopation...FROM "RAGTIME" TO THE "BIG BEAT" (original one-sheet poster) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 December 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Symposium de chants populaires  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The singers caricatured in this short are: Helen Kane (1920s jazz), Al Jolson (1930s jazz), Bing Crosby (romantic ballad), The Andrews Sisters (boogie woogie), and Paul Anka (rock 'n' roll). See more »

Quotes

Ludwig Von Drake: Around the turn of the century, I was a starving musician, and I was down to my last rutabaga. And anybody knows what that means: I was dressed in rags all the time.
[sobs]
Ludwig Von Drake: Even my clothes was in rags. And I said to myself, "That's it! I will call my new syncopation... ragtime!"
See more »


Soundtracks

Puppy Love is Here to Stay
Written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman
Performed by Billy Storm
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Music History As Told Only By Prof. Von Drake.
18 May 2009 | by (Hialeah, Florida) – See all my reviews

I'd never seen this Disney special cartoon in its entirety until coming across it at Youtube less than a year ago. Before then, I'd only seen one of the musical segments featured here, "I'm Blue For You (Boo Boo Boo Boo Boo)" on my copy of the "Disney Sing-Along Songs Vol. 5: Fun With Music" VHS. I've enjoyed it ever since and it's now among my most favorites of the Disney rarities. I think this has most definitely got to be one of the best and most interesting Disney shorts ever. Because for one thing, this is one of the earliest projects that the Sherman brothers had worked on and I believe it's among their best (suitable for them and sensible, considering they are veteran songwriters). Plus, we get to see them do their thing here by bringing their tunes to film and what it would be like if they wrote compositions for not only the soundtracks of various Disney movies and other film studios/companies, but also if they had branched out and actually wrote for performers in various genres/sub- genres. Who knows how far they could've gone had they really composed material for recording artists in the music industry as well. I'm so glad that this got made and didn't fall into the trap of the Disney shorts that never were and fade into oblivion. The Sherman brothers have always been at the very top of their game, they are indeed one of the finest song-writing duos in music and have to be my most favorite of those kind of writers who wrote for Disney.

I have no idea what one of the other reviewers here was talking about nor what was wrong with him when he typed that Ludwig Von Drake here was like nails on a chalkboard. Other reviewers from the Disney shorts site and I don't see what the reviewer who complained about Von Drake's presence in this presentation that way and we have no qualms. Von Drake is one of my favorite Disney characters and he isn't grating at all here, he's just as enjoyable here as in anything else. His presence may have been constant, but not constant to the point where we don't get to see/hear any musical numbers at all. The part of which the reviewer here wished there were more time and attention focused on the music and much less Von Drake, he wished that this were longer and so do I actually and that more music genres/sub- genres were covered. But I think he was just exaggerating about the professor taking up a lot of screen time.

I liked this so much I bought and have owned a copy of Walt Disney Treasures: Disney Rarities for what is soon to be going on for three months now, for this short mainly. Recommended, it's great for anybody who is a music lover, has eclectic taste and has a great fascination with music history, as well as an appreciation for real music. The songs in this are by far, no doubt, much better than those coming from the mainstream/commercial side this decade and after the 21st century arrived. From ragtime to old-time rock-'n'-roll, it's a blast journeying through these varieties of music as Ludwig does a superb job at explaining to the audience the developments, inspirations and associations of these as he claims he created. I like how the old-fashioned, traditionally hand-drawn, 2-D animation with Von Drake and cut-out stop-motion animation with the performers of the musical numbers switch back and forth with each other. Everything about this is spectacular, from the well-written tunes to both animation styles to the original voice actor's, the late Paul Frees' portrayal of Prof. Von Drake, especially towards the end in which the professor takes his cues from the zaniness of the WB/Looney Tunes cartoons. This whole thing is simply well-put together and I can't wait till the Sherman brothers documentary comes to DVD.


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