Walt shows us he knew what he was doing!
Posted: February 21, 2009
Walt took great advantage of the new sound medium with this cartoon. Synchronization of speech still wasn't a sure thing, so he highlights sound effects and music for the gags, all the while showing his confidence in Ub to carry it off. From the opening sequence which must have seemed wonderous to the general audience, he allows the playing of the music to draw them (us) in and the sheer novelty of the stemaboat sounds (complete with anthropomorphic whistles) and just Mickey whistling to catch the eye and ear. He's not content with the novelty of sound to carry the picture though...not enough subastance for Walt...almost right away, he shows there has to be a need for it. Pete's setting off the bell with his tobacco spit shows he knows that the sound and picture weren't the entertaining part, the sounds had to be funny. Then his understanding of emotional flow through music shows through, as the raucous "Turkey in the Straw" begins and the energy builds. Sound gag after sound gag of playing music by using inanimate objects and farm animals (it even sounds funny saying it) propel the rest of the cartoon. Cranking a goat's tail, yankiing a cat's tail, yanking suckling piglets tails, hammering a cows teeth and even using a sows nipples as keys - all the while using sound effects on top of the musical notes instead of just one or the other - show experimentation on what would "read" to the audience, and show his care in making sure that whatever "read" was present so he could refine it later. Any character could have worked in this (Mickey, Oswald, Koko, Felix, etc.) but only Walt could have made it work and use it to see what would work in years to come. A seminal and important film. Highly recommended for both it's entertainment AND it's historical value.
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Posted: October 17, 2004
a brilliant start by the disny crew
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Posted: December 01, 2003
Mickey should have stayed in this haul-ass persona. I hate the sucky, cloying wuss he became.
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