(1940s)

Eleventh Hour

Eleventh Hour (1942)

As Buzz Aldrin once noted “second comes right after first” and the Fleischer Brothers, Max and Dave, seem to have been cursed to always be the Buzz Aldrin to Walt Disney’s Neil Armstrong. A mere year after Snow WhiteParamount pictures released Gulliver’s Travels, the second cel-animated feature film ever, directed by Dave and produced by Max. Of course, just because Buzz Aldrin went second, does that mean he was somehow an inferior astronaut to Armstrong? Course not, but while Gulliver’s Travels was a fantastically animated feature, it just didn’t create the same sensation that Snow White did and while it certainly was a success at the box office, the Fleischer’s studio quickly found itself treading water financially. Smarting from the financial strain of Gulliver’s Travels, mired in the production hell of their second feature Mr Bug Goes to Town and with Max and Dave’s relationship having degenerated to Cain and Abel levels and with all parties coming to the realisation that animation is a demon bitch that burns alive all who dare love her, now was really not the time to take on an ambitious new project. So when Paramount approached the Fleischers asking them to make shorts featuring this new Superman character all the kids were going cuckoo over, Max and Dave told them that they could only do it with a budget of $100,000 an episode (or, around four times the cost of the most expensive Disney shorts). In 1940s dollars that was equal to “Holly Hannah! That’s a lotta scratch!” and Max and Dave expected Paramount to tell them to screw off, so they were stunned when the execs made them a counter offer of $50,000 and episode (equal to “Nice little pile. Goddamn, that’s a nice little pile”). Unable to turn down that kind of money, the Flesichers started work on what is still, adjusted for inflation, the biggest budgeted series of animated shorts ever made. And I cannot overstate how amazing these shorts are.
Look.

Look.

Look at this.

Look at this.

Here is some more.

Here is some more.

Do you see?

Do you see?

Do you see?

Do you see?

Look at this.

Look at this.

Do you understand?

Do you understand?

Do you?

Do you?

DO YOU?!

DO YOU?!

This series had it all, the cast of the Superman radio show doing the voices, rotoscoping used to set a new standard for realistic animation of human figures, an epic score, one of THE all-time great Lois Lanes and the art design YE GODS! There’s a reason Bruce Timm cites this as one of the major influences on Batman the Animated Series.  This series is the reason that Superman flies instead of just jumping everywhere like a grasshopper.

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Make Mine Music Video Review

The Make Mine Music video review is now up and here and waiting and let’s go party YAY! Erik’s really done a fantastic job with this one so be sure to check it out.

 

Check this guy out!

The audio review of Make Mine Music is now ready for your eager ear holes and can be listened to HERE. Video review soon to follow. Also, we got any Doctor Who fans in the house? ‘Cos Erik’s got a new blog called The Doctor Dies at the End, looking at how each episode of modern Who would play out if the Doctor died, with the exception of “Turn Left”, where he will be looking at what would happen if the Doctor livedAnd if you get that joke, then it’s the blog for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video Reviews #1: Snow White

So now, not only do we have Erik Copper doing the audio versions of my reviews, Mauricio Guarua is doing video versions of Erik’s audio versions of my reviews. At this rate by next week we’ll have turned this thing into an all singing, all dancing musical and will be coming soon to a theatre near you. In the meantime though, please enjoy Mauricio’s/Erik’s/My review of Snow White:

 

Ichabodposter

Disney Reviews by the Unshaved Mouse #11: The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.

DISCLAIMER: This blog is not for profit. All images used below are property of their respective companies unless stated otherwise. I do not claim ownership of this material.

There is an audio version of this review HERE

***

And so it is that the Unshaved Mouse comes to the last of the package films. 

Really internet? You couldn’t find me a picture of a happier mouse? This is not doing my joy justice.

Okay, that’s not exactly fair. Believe it or not, I don’t hate the Never Heard of ‘Ems. In fact, I really enjoyed most of them. It was just a nightmare to review these things.

Yes. Nightmare is the correct word.

Anyway, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad. This is pretty much identical in nature to Fun and Fancy Free, two ideas for full length animated movies that ended up being condensed and released as a single feature. This would close out the forties for Disney, a decade marked by incredible achievements (Bambi, Pinocchio, Fantasia) and a desperate and sometimes ugly struggle to keep the studio from going under (pretty much everything else). The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad begins with the opening credits…and…is he there?…could it be?…YES!

THOR PUTNAM!

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