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The most beautiful musical cartoons

Jean-Baptiste, 15 November 2019.

We are very lucky because, in the cartoons of the 30s, their period of glory, that of the beginnings of the talking (and singing) cinema, the music was taken very seriously, was omnipresent and written by excellent musicians. Thus, with the help of directors of genius, we find ourselves today with little jewels that we must especially not let die. Luckily, a lot of them (hard to know the percentage) are available on Youtube, which is free (not always legally but from here some years it will be free of rights). There are the famous Silly Symphonies of Walt Disney, which have won many Oscars but also the Betty Boops and many others here big studios and also independent studios.

Here is a selection of the best cartoons that you can pass cheerfully to your children, your grandchildren, your students and you will enjoy too. The name musicians, often forgotten today, are almost always present in the credits.

Silly Symphony, The Cookie Carnival, 1935

A parade, a carnival parade led by the Brass Band. Ah ... but we also hear flutes and clarinets. No importance ... what we see is not always what you hear, it's a detail. But this parade has something special, it is the parade of gluttony. Then parade breadmen, Barley sugars, cakes, Eskimos, chocolate eggs, waffles and just about anything that can be eaten at the end of a festive meal. All under the eyes of judges, pens in hand, ready to note the performance of each tank. Music is a light walk. How difficult it would be for our ears to hear a march during the eight minutes of the short film, we are entitled to a love story that takes place in parallel, as well as performances, like Vaudeville. A little masterpiece!

Pastry Town Wedding, 1934

The cartoon narrates, exclusively, the story of the creation of the wedding cake of a small male character and a small female character, who will finish at the top of the pastry. So to make the different layers of the cake, you have to cut apples, roll the dough, separate the egg yolks, add different ingredients then go to cooking. It remains to assemble everything. Each stage, sung or not, takes place on a very lively music and inspired by jazz.

Betty Boop - Snow White, 1933

In this cartoon, the famous American Pin-Up, which is never where we expect it, embodies the role of Snow White, for a modern version of the tale made famous by the Grimm brothers. Everything is there in time: the evil queen, the hunters, the dwarves, not the apple (Snow White passes directly from the forest to the house of the dwarves, in a coffin of ice ...) all traits are exaggerated, everything is to take on the tone of humor. At 4'20, begins a jazz sung by Cab Calloway, of certain quality, in honor of the princess, that one believe dead. The parade and dance are also of very high quality. You will easily find other Betty Boop equally enjoyable.

Looney Toons, It's got me again, 1932

Then there must be an explanation; we are at Warner Bros and the main character is a very, very, very inspired mouse of the ancestor of Mickey Mouse. It is normal, that? In any case it's curious. Beyond this detail, the movements of the mouse and its congeners, in the middle of musical instruments, is worth its weight in gold. We will hear in turn the xylophone, the drum, the guitar, the piano. Ah, here! A piano without black keys. For a cartoon that wants to be musical, I find it curious and questionable.

Educated Fish, 1937

Rendezvous under the ocean. We follow the tribulations of a bad student, who chooses to skip school. Ignoring the singer's lessons, he does not know (unlike other small fish) the dangers of hook fishing, which has failed to cost him his life but it will not be taken over; he is determined to join school benches. A lot of quality and a morality full of judgments as we loved them at the time! Be well behaved, obey your parents well, listen well to adults and what you think and what which you want is very secondary!

All 'fair at the fair, 1938

And we end with a great rarity, yet extremely interesting. Let's look at the title, for example. What is it about? Of a fair, a exhibition. Yes, here is a national exhibition (in comparison with the famous international exhibitions), as there were until the 50s, which was intended to show the public all the new inventions that would revolutionize their future; we could almost speak of futuristic exhibitions. Mr. and Mrs. Everybody circulate there and can marvel at it in front of robots-valets, robot-workers, barber-robots, hairdressing robots, robot-musicians and robot-dancers. I asked myself the question: Is it second degree? Is he hiding a criticism behind this cartoon? I'm afraid not ; I would see more propaganda there. The couple, arrived in a carriage, spend a wonderful time in the world of the future where everything takes place wonderfully, and will be very happy to start racing again on four wheels. So I see it as a tribute to a system whose limits we know today but if some people think still that science will solve all our worries!