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Director: Dave Fleischer
Release Date: January 21, 1938
Stars: Popeye, Olive Oyl, Bluto, Wimpy
Rating: ★★★★½
Review:

Let's Celebrake © Max FleischerIt’s New Year’s Eve, and Popeye and Bluto ride a sleigh to Olive’s house to take her to a New Year’s party at the Happy Hour Club.

However, Popeye hates to see Olive’s granny sitting alone at Olive’s home at New Year’s Eve, and takes her with them. At the club Bluto dances with Olive, while Popeye dances with grandma. When Wimpy, dressed like Santa, announces a dancing contest, Popeye has to enter with the deaf old lady. But with the help of some spinach, the duo clears the floor, literally, in a very long and enjoyable dance scene on some nice swing music, which features an excerpt from ‘Happy Days Are Here Again’.

‘Let’s Celebrake’ is very joyous cartoon, in tune with the New Year’s spirit, and it’s one of those rarer Popeye cartoons in which there’s no conflict between Bluto and Popeye, at all. Even more interesting, Popeye doesn’t eat the spinach himself here, leaving that to grandma.

Watch ‘Let’s Celebrake’ yourself and tell me what you think:

‘Let’s Celebrake’ is available on the French DVD Box Set ‘Popeye the Sailor 1933-1938’

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Director: Erica Russell
Release Date: 1989
Rating: ★★★★★
Review:

Feet of Song © Erica Russell‘Feet of song’ is a non-narrative film about dance and Russell’s solo debut film.

It uses semi-abstract human forms, akin to those by painter Kazimir Malevich. The human forms feel both futuristic and African at the same time, and have a timeless appeal. The images get more and more abstract as the film progresses, but the sense of dance is never lost.

‘Feet of Song’ features African-sounding world music by Charlie Hart, but the music is in service to the beautiful images, not the other way round. Made for Channel 4, ‘Feet of Song’ is a prime testimony of Erica Russel’s unique style, clearly influenced by Oskar Fischinger, but firmly rooted in her South African and dancer background.

Unfortunately, Russell made only two other independent films, ‘Triangle’ in 1994, and ‘Soma’ in 2001, devoting most of her time to commissioned work (her images for example appear in the Madonna video-clip ‘Dear Jessie’ from 1989).

Watch ‘Feet of Song’ yourself and tell me what you think:

‘Feet of Song’ is available on the DVD inside the book ‘Animation Now!’

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