Amph The 50 Greatest Cartoons:Selected by 1,000 Animation Professionals: 47. "A Corny Concerto"

Discussion in 'Community' started by Katana_Geldar, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Jones later does this with the hunter's trilogy. Rabbit season-duck season takes this up to 11.
  2. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    She doesn't even pause in her shouting for help when she twirls her 'attacker' over her head and flings him so high into the air it takes him about twenty seconds to come down again. She's kind of a compelling character.
  3. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Now for the 1953 adaptation of the 1939 short story, The Unicorn in the Garden, directed by William T Hurtz and distributed by UPN.

    Summary

    A henpecked husband makes breakfast, as he does so he noticed the unicorn outside in the garden. He goes outside and watches the unicorn eating the roses and touches it to make sure it is real. He then runs inside to tell his wife, who is still in bed. He tells her that there is a unicorn in the garden, eating roses. She says "the unicorn is a mythical beast" and then turns over and goes back to sleep.
    He goes back outside and looks at the unicorn, pleased that it is still there. The unicorn eats the roses contentedly, the man gives it a lily which it smells and then eats. He then runs back into the house and tells his wife this, his wife tells him that he is a booby and that she's going to have him put in the booby hatch. He stomps out angrily saying "We'll see about that", then pokes his head back in saying that the unicorn has a golden horn.
    His wife sneaks downstairs and sees that her husband is outside calling for the unicorn, who seems to have vanished, with a self-satisfied grin she calls the police to take her husband away and to bring a straitjacket. The man continues to call for the unicorn, but the trail of petals and leaves going out the gate suggests he has gone away. The man sits sadly beneath a tree while his wife calls the Dr I Ego, a psychatrist. Later him and the police are at the house and she explains the whole story to them rather delightedly. Ego and the police looks very puzzled when she tells them about the unicorn, then Ego gestured to the police, but they drag away the wife.
    The man comes in, looking very sad and sees his wife in the straitjacket. Ego asks the man if he told his wife if he saw a unicorn in the garden, he answers "Of course not, a unicorn is a mythical beast". The police take the wife away and Ego leaves. The man smiles and a title comes onto the screen. "Moral: Don't count your boobies until they are hatched" and the short ends.

    Commentary

    Much of what I like actually stems from the story and the delicious irony in it. So instead I have to look at how the story is told through the animation, which is rather well. The slow pace and minimal amount of dialogue suit the subtle nature of the content. There are so little lines of animation drawn, yet what little is there conveys so much character. Particularly with the two main characters. The wife's shrewishness and maliciousness; the husband's seeming innocence and his quiet revenge against her.
    The animation itself sticks closely to the style of Thurber's original short story.

    Why is this short significant?

    I think where this short is significant is where it adapts Thurber's original drawings, and does so flawlessly to stick to the true intentions and spirit of the story.

    About the Animation

    Like I said, it adopts Thurber's minimalist style quite well. We get all the emotion and character we need from it, showing all the subtlties and complexeties of the main characters in the few lines.

    About the People

    Unfortunately I couldn't find out that much about Kurts, but Thurber wrote a number of these short stories that were eventually published into a book. And this wasn't the only animated adaptation of his story.

    Sorry there's so little, but there really isn't much written about this short, but I will have much more to say about the next one, Warner Bros take that to Disney's Fantasia with A Corny Concerto.

    Just a note, some of these shorts, and others I am planning to look at alongside these, are hard to find in a completed form. One in particular is Rabbit Rhapsody, which I'd like to look at alongside A Cat Concerto (which I have found). Any help in locating them and others (like the classics Rabbit Seasoning and Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2 Century) is much appr
  4. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    In a very shorthand style, the characters of the husband and wife are established. We see him take the makings of his breakfast out of the fridge, smash an egg, and his wife chimes in from upstairs asking shrewishly what's going on. "Nothing, dear," he says, wiping up the egg furtively, and we know all we need to about *that* relationship. In a later scene, when he tries to share his wonder at the unicorn with her, she's completely dismissive. (Love his 'plastic man' arms in this sequence). Of course, all the females in Thurber's work seem to be Lucy Van Pelt on steroids, and the wife's no exception.

    However...consider "Encounters of the Third Kind" when we get another version of the practical bully vs. the impractical dreamer. It's not that easy to be married to the latter, and both spouses want to be rid of the other. The husband gets lucky, in this case, and since he's the more superficially attractive, we go with it. But she's what he's made her, and vice versa.

  5. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    That's a good comparison.
    But where in Third Encounters we were disturbed by his delusions and choice, here we're amused and satisfied.
  6. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    Yeah, but Thurber does rather rig it in his favour. But you might be a shrew, too, if you had to live with him.
  7. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    You talking about Encounters or Unicorn there? I'd agree with you on the first, but not the second.
    Something else I wanted to mention is that it's interesting the man sees the unicorn, when legend has it it's as virgin girls who see it.
  8. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    I won't touch that one with a ten-foot barge pole. [face_laugh]
  9. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    Well, they do have separate beds!

    This is a somewhat amusing cartoon; it captures Thurber's style very well - it could be a very wry episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. I love the way the wife tiptoes to the window and back while talking to the Dr. And how could you not love the exchange: "The unicorn ate a lily." "You are a boobie."
  10. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    Need a new cartoon to discuss here...GIANT NOT-EVEN-SUBTLE HINT.
  11. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    You know, I was posting it the other night but my Internet cut out halfway through so I had to save the post.

    But let me finish it and I'll put it up. I didn't really enjoy this cartoon, so there was no rush to put it up.
  12. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Here we are the first Merry Melodies cartoon and the first one with the "man of a thousand voices" Mel Blanc.

    Summary

    The titles roll, and these are part of the short itself. showing "Corny-Gie Hall" in lights (a parody of Carnegie Hall with the animation credits represented as a poster.
    From the orchestra pit, we can see a silhouette of what looks likje a famout contactor, similar to the one in Fantasia perhaps, but it is revealed to just be Elmer Fudd who's tuxedo plays up just as he introduces the first pieceTales from the Vienna Woods by Johann Strauss.
    Tales from the Vienna Woods has it's own title and opens with a scene of a forest remiscent of Fantasia to some extent, but then there's an iris transition to an almost completely different scene with Porky Pig as a hunter (garbed similiarly to Elmer Fudd). He Mickey Mouses (more on that later) along woth the great big bunderbus with a dog behind him, then with a cue card says he is "Hunting that @!!*@ rabbit!!!" and the dog shows a cue card that says "Ditto".
    There seems to be a rabbit in a rabbit hole, putting carrot tops into a bin with some more Mickey Mousing. The dog sees the rabbit hole and points his nose right towards it. The rabbit gets out a book on etiquete, opening it to a page that says it is not polite to point and closes the book on his nose. Bugs Bunny appears and starts to torment the dog in a very balletic fashion by kicking him in the face and tying his tail to a tree.
    The dog is once again behind Porky (and we aren't told how he "gets better") and the two of them get inside a bush, walking along inside it and poking their heads out to look for Bugs when Bugs is right between them. They see bugs, and he manages to switch places with the dog and points towards the bush in a manner very similar to the dog, the dog springs out of the bush with his hands up. Bugs picks up the gun and throws it inside a hollow tree, but an angry squirrel starts complaining and shoots at them. The three get into a tower to avoid the shot and then collapse inside the bush.
    Porky then jumps out of the bush in a great melodramatic pose of being shot, the dog and then Bugs follow him out in a similar fashion. Porky then parts his hands from his chest to reveal he hasn't beem shot, the dog does the same but Bugs collapses to the ground with a green face. Porky and the dog cry over them, the dog getting out a first aid kit and Porky parting Bugs' hgands over his chest to reveal a blue bra! Bugs is now wearing a frilly blue skirt, blue ballet slippers and lipstick! He screams in a very feminine fashion, slaps Porky, ties the bra around Pork and the dog's head and dances away.
    Elmer Fudd then presents the second piece The Blue Danube.
    , which like Tales from the Vienna Woods has it's own title. On a beautiful lake we see a white swan swimming towards the camera, turning and then swimming (and quacking!) across the water to the music with three cygnets trailing behind her.
    We then see a small black duck (who could be a very young Daffy Duck) who sees the swans and starts swimming after them. He gives away his presence with a very loud QUACK! QUACK! and stops all the rhythm, sending the cygnets crashing into the swan. The swan eyes the duck off and the duck swims away, with a red mark of a hand on his backside givcen to him by the swan. The swans continue and the duck keeps attempting to follow them underwater, but the bubbles he blows are noticed by the mother swan and knocks him down when she sees him rise towards her inside a bubble. The swans go on their way but high on a cliff a buzzard sees the cygnets and dives down into the lake, gliding behind the swans like the duck did. He sprinkles salt and pepper onto one of the cygnets and takes them away one by one, lastly the duck who he r
  13. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    I don't mean to heckle, especially as you have given us so much information, but:

    The short's name and year?

    Is there a video clip?
  14. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    Well, it's interesting that you say you didn't like it. I think it's absolutely stupendous; I love it when anyone takes the piss out of Fantasia, a movie I absolutely loathe and when you do it with this manic energy, it's great. The first sequence is interesting, having Porky in the part we associate with Elmer Fudd. I love this section a lot; the bit with the chipmunk firing into the bush and then each of the main characters leaping out of the bush in slow motion, dying, puts me on the floor. The bit with the bra comes out of nowhere and I just about cried laughing at that one; and check out Bugs in the background as this section ends: he's still posing majestically and pirouetting back there even though you can hardly see him.

    But the ugly duckling, which seems to feature a prototypical Daffy, is even better. The jokes just come so fast and furious that you can hardly keep up. I think my favorite joke is when the buzzard scoops each of the swans out of the water in sequence; just before he yanks them out of sight, you can see how each of them was paddling under the water . . . except for the third one who has an outboard motor attached to his rump. My jaw literally dropped at that bit of absurdity; it's the black duckling's personality that really puts this one across, though the jokes are funny - his absolutely unflappable (pun intended) desire to be accepted simply brooks no refusal.

    In short, this one? Fantastically funny.

    Now, this next one . . . Quasi? I remember from the previous thread finding that one nearly unwatchable. But I'm going to go ahead and watch it again just in case.

    EDIT: It's "A Corny Concerto" (1943)
  15. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Zaz, you can add Rogue's link to my post, since I can't do anything.

    It may be because I like Fantasia, particularly the pastoral symphony.
  16. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    I would imagine that has a lot to do with it. I find Fantasia twee and pretentious, so I love seeing it mocked in this feverish way; for someone who finds it legitimately beautiful and moving, A Corny Concerto probably plays like fart jokes at your favorite opera.
  17. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    I'll take the middle position: some parts of "Fantasia" are tremendously witty, especially the Tchiakovsky bits. And some parts *are* twee.

    The person in the credits that interested me was the writer, Frank Tashlin, who later became a famous (live-action) comedy director, though his films contained numerous animation elements.

    I liked the second part better, but they were both very funny, if not up to "The Rabbit of Seville" or "What's Opera, Doc." Probably the best example of WB's early house style, which is a lot more frenetic than its middle period.

  18. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    That's the thing, when you compare it to WB other shorts it just pales in comparison.
  19. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    Actually early WB shorts are quite variable, and I think it compares very well to most of them.
  20. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    I think so too. Particularly the Ugly Duckling segment which, for me, actually creates a little emotional investment; I mean, the Ugly Duckling is a great character and by the end you're really pulling for him. It has a little more going for it than just the Fantasia spoofing, so it works better than the Bugs Bunny opener, which isn't as sophisticated as later similar Bugs Bunny shorts. But the Duckling thing is solid and brilliant, in my opinion.
  21. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    Definitely an embryonic Daffy.
  22. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Finally watching Quasi, I'll try to have something up after the weekend.
  23. TurboExtremist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 24, 2004
    star 2
    Glanced over the list, didn't notice any Roadrunner cartoons... -_-
  24. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
  25. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Yeah, sorry, had a busy few weeks.

    You're right about Quasi being unwatchable though. It's very odd.