You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Gene Krupa’ tag.

Director: Bob Clampett
Release Date: January 5, 1946
Stars: Daffy Duck
Rating:
 ★★★★
Review:

Book Revue © Warner Brothers.‘Book Revue’ is the last of the book-covers-come-to life cartoons, a series started by Harman and Ising in 1932, with ‘Three’s a Crowd’.

These cartoons, in which the book titles provide the gags, were mostly plotless, relying on puns and sight gags. ‘Book Revue’ is no exception, but it has the most swinging take on the formula one can wish for.

Set in ‘ye olden book shoppe’, ‘Book Revue’ contains caricatures of some famous (white) jazzmen of the era: Harry James, Frank Sinatra, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa. There’s a scene resembling ‘The Swooner Crooner’ (1944), and foreshadowing ‘Little ‘Tinker’ (1948), in which several female characters swoon as soon as Sinatra starts singing. There’s a strong sense of sex here, as in an earlier scene involving ‘Indian strip’, affecting male characters. This places ‘Book Revue’ at the end of the World War II cartoon trends, for these allusions to sex would soon be discarded.

At a certain point Daffy Duck (jumping from a Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes magazine cover) dresses himself as Danny Kaye (with a blonde wig). He interrupts the swing music to tell about a nonsensical tale of some Russian youth and a girl called Cucaracha. In this sequence Daffy imitates the Russian accent Kaye sometimes would explore. When ‘singing’ cucaracha the background suddenly changes into a startling monochrome red.

This absurd sequence is followed by Daffy singing ‘Carolina in the Morning’. Daffy immediately exchanges the song for some superb scat singing to warn Red Riding Hood for the Wolf. These two sequences form a highlight in Daffy’s career, and a real tour de force from voice actor Mel Blanc. The ‘story’, if there is any, involves Daffy being followed by the wolf from Red Riding Hood. In line with the book-covers-come-to-life tradition several personas from book covers come to help to get rid of the villain, sending the wolf to Dante’s inferno.

The animation of Daffy is extremely flexible in this cartoon, especially when animated by Rod Scribner and Manny Gould, who really push the limits here. At one point Daffy even converts into one big eye – probably the most extreme deformation of a major cartoon star ever put to screen.

‘Book Revue’ makes no sense at all, but it is a cartoon full of sheer joy, and a crowning achievement of the book series.

Watch an excerpt from ‘Book Revue’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Daffy Duck cartoon No. 31
To the previous Daffy Duck cartoon: Nasty Quacks
To the next Daffy Duck cartoon: Baby Bottleneck

‘Book Revue’ is available on the DVD-set ‘Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume Two’ and on the Blu-Ray-set ‘Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume 2’

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 969 other followers

Bookmark and Share

Follow TheGrob on Twitter

Categories