Saturday, October 8, 2011

Countdown To Halloween--Day 8 (Minnie the Moocher!)

Not exactly about Halloween, but it fits the mood...

Ages ago I wrote about the things that scared me as a kid in "Can't Sleep; Clown Will Eat Me." I left out one particular item, a Betty Boop cartoon so damn... surreal... so outright... spooky... it haunts me to this day.

It starts out simply enough: Betty take a pro-ana stance with her parents, infuriating them, and so, after calling her friend Bimbo (ahem!), she runs away from home. Night descends, things get spooky, and the two of them seek refuge in a convenient cave (yeah, that's a good place to hide), whereupon a ghostly walrus strutting in the style of Cab Calloway sings (with the help of Cab's voice and band) "Minnie the Moocher." Weirdness ensues.

Scat-singing skeletons drink themselves to death...

...And reappear as ghosts.

The backgrounds are particularly disturbing when you're 5.
So is the idea of a dancing, singing, ghostly walrus.

My little brain, conditioned to funny cartoons, had
a bit of difficulty assimilating all this.

Three ghostly prisoners are politely escorted to electric chairs...

...take their seats willingly, scatting all the way...

...And are executed, only to pop up for one more chorus.

Another disturbing image for a 5-yr.-old.

And wtf is going on with Momma cat and her kittens?

Here's the all-singing, all-dancing portion of the cartoon:

Nor is this an anomaly for the Fleischers; check out the musical portion of their version of Snow White (doubly disturbing backgrounds here, by the way):

A far cry from, oh, say, Hugh Laurie:

1 comment:

Cathy VanPatten said...

The Fleischers RULE! (or, rather, RULED)

Crazy stuff.

As a little kid, I was terrified of grates in the sidewalk and refused to walk over them. I never really understood where that fear came from, until, at around age 30, I once again watched "Bimbo's Initiation." Of COURSE that was the source of the sidewalk grate phobia!