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Director: Ub Iwerks
Release Date:
 August 29, 1931
Stars: Flip the Frog
Rating: ★★★
Review:

Movie Mad © Ub Iwerks‘Movie Mad’ starts with Flip the Frog reading a book titled ‘How to be a Movie Actor’ and imitating Charlie Chaplin.

With his newfound talent he tries to enter a film studio, but he’s thrown out again and again by the guard. Flip even reuses an Oswald trick from ‘Bright Lights‘ (1928), trying to sneak in under a man’s shadow. When he finally’s inside, the cartoon actually fails to deliver its premise. Flip gets caught in a Western, in some 1001 Arabian Nights setting, and in a Russian drama, but that’s pretty much it. The Russian drama scene is undoubtedly inspired by the 1915 Charlie Chaplin comedy ‘His New Job’.

Although the cartoon fails to make full use of its Hollywood setting, it contains a great corridor scene. This scene expands on the one in the Mickey Mouse cartoon ‘The Gorilla Mystery‘ (1930), adding more zaniness to it. It is a direct ancestor to the marvelous corridor scene in Tex Avery’s ‘Lonesome Lenny’ (1946). Besides this there are some great caricatures of Laurel and Hardy, depicted as dogs. These may very well be the first animated caricatures of Laurel and Hardy ever put on screen. They would return in the very last Flip the Frog cartoon, ‘Soda Squirt‘ (1933), along with several other Hollywood caricatures.

‘Movie Mad’ may turn out to be rather disappointing, it does feature great music by Carl Stalling, and it lays out the story plan for both the Donald Duck cartoon ‘The Autograph Hound‘ (1939) and the Looney Tune ‘You Ought To Be in Pictures‘ (1940).

Watch ‘Movie Mad’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Flip the Frog cartoon No. 12
To the previous Flip the Frog cartoon: The New Car
To the next Flip the Frog cartoon: The Village Specialist

‘Movie Mad’ is available on the DVD ‘Cartoons That Time Forgot – The Ub Iwerks Collection Vol. 2’

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Director: Burt Gillett
Release Date: September 30, 1931
Stars: Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto
Rating: ★★★
Review:

Still from 'The Barnyard Broadcast' featuring Horace Horsecollar playing sawMickey’s got his own radio station at the barn. There, Minnie, Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow perform some music to broadcast.

All goes well, until a cat and her little kittens cause havoc in the studio. Mickey has a hard time chasing them away, and during his efforts all instruments are destroyed.

‘The Barnyard Broadcast’ reuses the cat from ‘Mickey Steps Out‘ from two months earlier, and it introduces the numerous kittens that would cause Mickey lots of trouble in the subsequent films ‘Mickey’s Orphans‘ (1931) and ‘Mickey’s Revue‘ (1932). After that their role would be taken over by the orphan mice, introduced in ‘Mickey’s Nightmare‘ (1932).

After ‘Mickey Steps Out’, ‘The Barnyard Broadcast’ is another attempt in building a finale in a string of gags. The film is not entirely successful in this and only gains momentum when Mickey chases the cat away with a broom. The technique would be perfected in the subsequent films, ‘The Beach Party‘ and ‘Mickey Cuts Up‘.

Watch ‘The Barnyard Broadcast’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Mickey Mouse cartoon No. 33
To the previous Mickey Mouse cartoon: Fishin’ Around
To the next Mickey Mouse cartoon: The Beach Party

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