Director: Wilfred Jackson
Release Date: August 19, 1931
Nevertheless, the introduction of the cartoon is well worth watching: when we follow a six-legged spider into the pyramid, we experience some astonishing 3D-effect animation, creating the feeling that the camera wanders through corridors and staircases.
This unique exercise in perspective would not be repeated in animation until labyrinth computer games were introduced in the nineteen-eighties. The Disney Studio itself must have been impressed by this stunning piece of animation, for they reused it two years later in the Mickey Mouse cartoon ‘The Mad Doctor‘ (1933).
Besides this great introduction this cartoon also offers a great finale: it is one of the earliest nightmare-sequences, in which the montage of images is diffuse and increasingly sped up, in order to suggest the feeling of getting insane. This predates similar sequences in films like ‘Der Fuehrer’s Face‘ (1943) by many years. In between we see dancing mummies (notice that the classic horror film ‘The mummy’ (1932) hadn’t been released, yet, at the time!) and paintings on the wall moving to music.
Watch ‘Egyptian Melodies’ yourself and tell me what you think:
This is Silly Symphony No. 21
To the previous Silly Symphony: The Cat’s Out
To the next Silly Symphony: The Clock Store