Directors: Mannie Davis & John Foster
Release Date: November 9, 1930
Stars: Waffles and Don
‘Gypped in Egypt’ is a cartoon set in Egypt. It predates Disney’s ‘Egyptian Melodies‘, which covers similar grounds, by nine months.
This cartoon was the last of four to feature Waffles and Don. The duo had finally reached distinct personalities in this short: Waffles, the tall cat, is constantly afraid, while Don, the small dog, keeps calm and unimpressed.
In the opening shot we watch the duo traveling through the desert on a camel. When the camel dies, a nightmarish scene starts, featuring a sphinx, pyramids and more camels. This brings our heroes inside an Egyptian tomb, where they encounter dancing skeletons and hieroglyphs. Suddenly, there are skeletons everywhere, and Don plays the piano with one of them. The cartoon ends abruptly with Waffles and Don running from a giant hypnotizing sphinx face.
‘Gypped in Egypt’ features several elements that were reused in Disney’s ‘Egyptian Melodies’: dancing hieroglyphs, nightmarish scenes, and even a corridor scene. However, Van Beuren’s cartoon is much cruder and more disjointed than Disney’s latter cartoon. Its greatest feature is it hallucinating character. Unfortunately, it is not retained throughout the picture, and the whole cartoon suffers from all too sloppy storytelling and ditto timing.
Watch ‘Gypped in Egypt’ yourself and tell me what you think:
‘Gypped in Egypt’ is available on the DVD ‘Aesop’s Fables – Cartoon Classics from the Van Beuren Studio’