|Index||4 reviews in total|
There is a lot to see in this old Flip The Frog cartoon. For instance,
right near the beginning we see a farm scene with about a dozen animals
in it, all doing cartoonish-things, along with dancing trees.
Everything is moving to the music. Actually, that's how the things goes
throughout as only a word or two is spoken. Most of it is either
pantomime or singing a song or two.
A horse pulling an attractive female frog throws a shoe. Luckily for them, the village smitty is right there so the horse - the most entertaining character in the cartoon - goes to get re- soled. A few wacky things happen after that, thanks to a pretty funny but brutal horse fly.
Overall, it's dated but it has enough sight gags to make it worth a look. This was the fourth cartoon in a series of old ones in a DVD called "Cartoons That Time Forget: The UB Iwerks Collection Vol. 1."
There seems to have been a penchant for making cartoons featuring blacksmiths, particularly in the 1930s and I'm not sure why. Granted, the concept does work great visually and in the 1930s the automobile wasn't so pervasive as today. Be that as it may, most studios used the concept. Even Iwerks made Flip the Frog work at a forge (try saying that three times fast) in this rather fun little short. Be warned: Flip is about as successful here as he is generally. Flip is reasonably lively here. Not too bad for a Flip the Frog, with some very nice visuals ad great animation. Good to have in print. Well worth watching. Recommended.
Ub Iwerks was an invaluable employee for Walt Disney and helped to create Mickey Mouse. However, the key word is 'employee' and Ub naturally wanted more power and credit for his work, so he began a production company that released cartoons through MGM in the early 1930s. The company eventually folded...mostly because Disney and Fleischer Brothers cartoons were better...better animated, better stories and with better characters. This Flip the Frog cartoon demonstrates some of this, as Flip was a bland and unappealing character. The animation quality is quite nice and the story (thankfully) is not full of singing...but still, there aren't a whole lot of laughs either. Not a bad cartoon...about average for 1931...but average just wouldn't be good enough long term for Iwerks and his studio.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Watching Flip do his work reminds me of my past. Our culture was much
more rural and most of the 'toons of the day reflected that. It's why I
consider cartoons more a statement of our cultural history than
anything else. It's why I get messed up when some young whipper-snapper
makes a judgment about the content of a 'toon and they know nothing of
the time. I live in a city now, but most of my life looked just like
Flip The Frog's when he was the Village Smitty. I can relate to most of
the cartoons directly. I had to hitch up a team just to go to town.
Study your history. You will be able to connect the dots much more
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