It’s an Oswald cartoon this week with lots of Bill Nolan animation- but that’s not unusual for a 1931 Oswald at all – in fact, it would be unusual if there wasn’t.
I’m looking forward to next week since this one has been busier than usual as the first week of school – and lots of other things too. I need a big recliner to turn into butter on. Lots to report soon, but I’ll wait until I manage to get out of that recliner.
These first few days a the school always end up turning into mini-history lessons, from information about the evolution of character animation to some conversation about the hostile takeover attempt of Walt Disney productions in 1984. I really enjoy seeing the next generation of students dive deeper into the things they’re most interested in. This next group has a lot of students that draw beautifully and I also enjoyed seeing some of the quick sketches of various characters as things were shown. I especially love seeing their reaction to animation that we all know like the back of our hand but they’ve never seen. Having 18 students that had never seen a Koko the Clown or Bimbo’s Initiation seemed unlikely to me since they’re interested in animation, but no one had… but now they have!
If you’re a fan of Bill Nolan’s work, this Oswald is for you. I always feel like Nolan doesn’t ever get as much recognition as he should- but I’ve said that recently enough. The Bandmaster (1931) is primitive is many ways, but it’s a tight 6 minutes of enjoyable animation action and music. That is definitely what it is meant to be, so it’s successful. The lot basically doesn’t exist, except for an ongoing story of an unhappy hippo-boy. Nolan’s enjoyable shots throughout make it one of my favorites of the early Oswalds. The credits also include Clyde Geronimi, Ray Abrams, Les Kline, Manuel Moreno and Fred (Tex) Avery.
It’s easy to dismiss the Oswalds from this period since they’re not-so fancy, but maybe the best thing about these films is that they remain really entertaining. This one is now 91 years old. I can’t recall if this print was mine, Mark Kaulser’s or Mark Mayfield’s since I didn’t write it down- but if it wasn’t mine thanks!
Have a good week all- I’m off to sleep!