Tuesday, 21 September 2010
I've been looking at a lot of the first Mickey Mouse cartoons recently and trying to see what I can find out about probably the biggest cartoon star in history. Certainly there must be kids who have not seen a Mickey cartoon in their lives, seeing as he's not really a big name on TV or films anymore, but they will all know who he is. His legacy as a pop culture icon is still as strong as ever but it's a shame to forget the wealth of pictures this guy has been in and why he's so popular in the first place. I'll probably post more classic Mickey pics in the future but for know this is 'The Karnival Kid' from 1929 which is the first time he ever spoke, and his first words where 'Hotdogs'. Gotta love that!
This is a great example of just how out there early cartoons where. There's no attempt at realism in the movements of the characters and it's completely free flowing and feels really spontaneous, even though this obviously took an age to put together. In this film there's cows floating on balloons, Minnie being a 'hoochy koochy' dancer, Mickey selling living hotdogs that dance (which he also stabs and spanks), there's a monkey one-man-band, Mickey lifts of the top of his skull like it was a hat and two cats sing in a really bizarre musical number. It's ahead of its time in terms of oddness. Also, the sound is wonderfully raw. Most of the dialogue is hard to understand and the scene where Minnie is smelling hotdogs is so overly loud it sounds like a motorbike starting. It's completely out of place, but this all ads to the magic.
Watch a bit of cartoon history. It's great stuff.