The screen song has a long history. Take a look at photos of the earliest purpose-built movie theaters and you see that they are advertising sing-alongs inside. The earliest regular series of talkie cartoons were the Fleischer follow-the-bouncing-ball sing-alongs from 1924 -- four years before Disney supposedly invented the sound cartoon with STEAMBOAT WILLIE. And the studio -- which became FAMOUS in the 1940s -- continued to chunk them out.
This is a fairly typical one: a series of blackout gags, followed by an exhortation to sing along with the bouncing ball -- the song being "I'm an Old Cow Hand". The song is sung straight, then they begin to ornament the words with further animation.
A clear reminder of the days when movie going was a group experience and you were part of an audience.
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