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Doctor Bluebird (1936)

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Rx To Chase Your Blues Away!


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5 February 1936 (USA)  »

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Scrappy in Happyland  »

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We've Got Technicolor!
8 January 2012 | by See all my reviews

With the end of the Walt Disney monopoly on three-strip Technicolor, the other cartoon studios rushed to show what they could do with it. This early Mintz cartoon for Columbia shows what: not much. Mostly it's a study in blue, blue birds, blue skies, nice cerulean blues that were impossible under two-strip Technicolor. The lines are simplified, annoyingly so, and the production itself is sometimes awkwardly childish, even for the Scrappy series, which often ran out of steam halfway through each cartoon: great first half, then vamp until the end credits.

It happens here, too. After showing all the pretty flowers and bluebirds, we wind up seeing Scrappy, who can't go fishing because he has a broken leg. Fortunately the bluebirds are there to cheer him up, along with a sort of Boswell Sisters close saccharine-sweet close harmony number. Then by the five-minute mark, they've run out of anything there, so it turns into the backup of every cartoon series in the 1930s: a Hollywood celebrity parade.

Mintz had never been among the best of cartoon producers, but he really wound up losing control in the late 1930s. Occasionally this resulted in the cartoon makers taking control and making great cartoons, but all too often it meant a mess. That's what you have here.


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