Friday, December 7, 2012
Snow White (Fleischer, 1933) - MOVIES FOR MY HOLIDAYS
So, it may seem somewhat like a cop out to begin once more with a short, but if one's losing steam, better to start slow and work your way up one more time. So, here goes...
Snow White is not, strictly speaking as the fairy tale, a winter tale. But from their originality and really impressive, even for this day and age, animation, the Fleischer Brothers make it work. Instead of trying to make a straight-away adaptation of the tale, they use it instead as a blueprint and from there create a story that works as both a Betty Boop tale and a relation to the fable of Snow White.
Of course the bigger part of appreciation is the work put into it by Roland Crandall, the animator. This was his absolute baby and he took painstaking care into it for a half a year. It was more or less all on him to make such a short piece of entertainment, filling it with joke after joke after joke, without the gags seeming outright asphyxiating to the story being told. Instead, it seems more like the jokes and the gags go and accent certain aspects of the cartoon's story.
That's something when the main plot is not a Looney Tunes standard of causing havoc towards one another.
Being a music enthusiast, however, the single highest point is what I personally believe to be Cab Calloway's greatest performance - His rotoscoping, dancing spotlight in singing 'St. James' Infirmary Blues'. What a powerful chesty tune that he brings out, a catch to the audience amongst the drowsy and downward musical accompaniment.
The short's finale proves to be a huge trip in the final outcome, starting from that particular performance. When the Queen reveals her witchy visage and then turns into a beast that attacks the main trio, before Bimbo just turns the skeleton inside out, I would think that particular scene would be stuck in some children's minds, but that's just me.
Anyway, it's just how I like to start the holidays and the short is available on youtube. So just check out yourself and enjoy, you won't regret it. Feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments section.