6.8/10
34
2 user

The Mad Hatter (1940)

Maisie is a secretary. We watch her dashing to work, then sitting through a typical day, reading novels and eating candy. But that's all prelude, as she lives to shop, particularly for hats... See full summary »

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... Various (voice) (uncredited)
John Wald ... Various (voice) (uncredited)
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Maisie is a secretary. We watch her dashing to work, then sitting through a typical day, reading novels and eating candy. But that's all prelude, as she lives to shop, particularly for hats. She tries on a wide variety of hats, but her heart is set on #36, which she's told must be special ordered. She orders it, and we switch to the hat workshop, where we see the designers, all of them clearly insane. Number 36 is let out long enough to whip one up for Maisie. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

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3 November 1940 (USA)  »

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1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Perils of realism in a mediocre cartoon
19 May 2011 | by See all my reviews

Animation is an art form, perhaps more popular than ever today thanks to the creativity of new styles like the Pixar approach, that thrives on the fantastic. With MAD HATTER this typical theatrical program filler is far too steeped in reality, especially considering that the audience went to movies to escape.

Sid Marcus, an animator whose career evolved into directing Pink Panther cartoons and later forgettable TV episodes, does a prosaic job limning the travails of Maisie, a well-named Ann Sothern type whose daily routine is just that, routine.

Featuring all human characters, normal situations merely exaggerated for effect, and in fact a mean-spirited presentation, this forgotten short emerges as anti-entertainment. Quite frankly, I would have appreciated a (precursor of course back in 1940) noir or even neo-Realist approach to animation if one was interested in a dreary cartoon. In fact, an animated spoof of the great Italian classics of the late '40s like SHOESHINE, BICYCLE THIEF or PATH OF HOPE would be quite amusing.

The nastiest (and most pointless) scene here comes early on when Maisie, late for work, slaps on her makeup and looks more like Emmett Kelly than a normal girl. It's a pure case of making fun of her -wanting the audience to laugh at her as a figure of ridicule. Starting from Betty Boop on through Jessica Rabbit, the fans want and deserve beauty and alluring female characters -Marcus missed the boat.


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