Best Animation Movies of 1930
King of Jazz
Made during the early years of the movie musical, this exuberant revue was one of the most extravagant, eclectic, and technically ambitious Hollywood productions of its day. Starring the bandleader Paul Whiteman, then widely celebrated as the King of Jazz, the film drew from Broadway variety shows to present a spectacular array of sketches, performances by such acts as the Rhythm Boys (featuring a young Bing Crosby), and orchestral numbers—all lavishly staged by veteran theater director John Murray Anderson.
Bimbo sings a funny take-off of "Gay Caballero" and the comedy construction is adequate to the situation.
A Dave Fleischer's Talkartoon Sound Cartoon Featuring Bimbo.
The first Terrytoons animated short
Swing You Sinners!
Bimbo is seen late at night trying to steal a chicken. He runs away from a policeman and enters a haunted cemetery. Various ghosts and monsters harass him and tell him that he will be punished for his sin before he is chased into a cave
The farm animals sing, dance and flirt in this Van Beuren cartoon.
Betty Boop (with dog's ears) can't sleep on a scary night, so she sings the title song and meets the gentleman in question...a surreal version of Bimbo.
The Fire Fighters
Mickey and others are firemen; they slide down an ostrich's neck when the alarm sounds. A squealing cat whose tail Mickey pulls acts as the siren. The nearest hydrant isn't working too well, so Horace Horsecollar takes drinks from a pond and uses that water to put out the fire. Minnie is trapped on an upper floor; Mickey climbs the neighboring building fire escape and uses a clothesline to cross to Minnie's building.
Up To Mars
In this one, Bimbo is playing fireworks in an abandoned yard except for a mouse (who suspiciously looks like Mickey in one close-up scene) who laughs derisively at him.
A hillbilly sleeps; atop his bald head, flies have constructed a playground. Other flies ski-jump off his nose...
Hearts and Flowers
Two men compete over winning the heart of their common love interest.
The mythological satyr plays some tunes on his pipes and gets various flora and fauna dancing to them. Two clouds also dance; they bump into each other, causing lightning strikes that start a forest fire. The animals rush to escape the fire. Finally, an animal comes to tell Pan of the fire; he rushes to it, and gets it to dance to his tune, right into the lake.
The season series of Silly Symphonies continues, with squirrels storing nuts and corn, crows stealing it, beavers building a dam, ducks migrating, and the like, as the first snows fall.
Three desperadoes come to Heela City to rob a bank. One of them is the tough-acting, but ultimately cowardly, Oswald the Rabbit. His two fellow bad men - a dog with an eye patch and another with a peg-leg - force him to blow up the town bank with dynamite. Oswald ends up surviving the explosion that turns the other two villains into animate skeletons. The bank is destroyed, but the safe remains. Oswald tries to open it, but turning the dial only gives him a radio broadcast. And then out of the safe pops the bulldog sheriff. The sheriff runs him out of town. Unluckily for the supposedly lucky rabbit, he comes across a wailing baby out in the desert. The baby, in a gruff voice, reveals that his father is the sheriff Oswald just escaped. Oswald is forced to return to town, not so much by his conscience as by the baby's force of will.
The Fleischer's Talkartoon short that debuted the now infamous Betty Boop.
Late in the evening, just as a skeleton puts out its cat for the night, the masked Phantom stalks the graveyard, pausing only to insult an overly inquisitive owl. The Phantom enters the local opera house and falls in love with Kitty, a feline singer who is terribly jealous of the star of the show, a husky-voiced hippo. The Phantom falls in love with Kitty at first sight. For her sake, he sabotages the hippo (by popping and deflating her). Then he puts a phonograph player down Kitty's skirt. She walks out and pretends the recording is her own voice. Even though the record skips and, moments later, slows down to a stop (forcing the Phantom to crank the machine for her), Kitty is a hit. But does she appreciate the Phantom? No. Backstage, she jumps into the arms of Oswald the Rabbit. Enraged, the Phantom grabs Kitty and takes her down with him to the catacombs underneath the stage. Oswald goes on a rescue mission.
The Gorilla Mystery
A gorilla has escaped; Mickey, panicked, calls Minnie, but she plays a song to show she is not afraid. That is, until the gorilla comes up behind her and grabs her. Mickey rushes right over to save her.
Sinkin' in the Bathtub
The film opens with Bosko taking a bath while whistling "Singin' in the Bathtub". A series of gags allows him to play the shower spray like a harp, pull up his pants by tugging his hair, and give the limelight to the bathtub itself which stands on its hind feet to perform a dance.
The title pretty much says it: fish and other marine life dance and frolic to various tunes. An octopus keeps spoiling the fun in various ways.
Midnight in a Toy Shop
A spider seeks shelter inside an old toy store, where he soon discovers that the merchandise comes to life after dark.
The Chain Gang
Mickey Mouse and several other characters are on a prison chain gang, guarded by Pegleg Pete. They break rocks for a while, then Mickey breaks out a harmonica and everyone starts making music and/or dancing. Soon there's a jail-break, and Mickey's on the run, tracked by bloodhounds (including his future pet, Pluto, in his first appearance). He falls off a cliff and right into a jail cell.
The Cactus Kid
Mickey walks into the tavern where Minnie is dancing, and begins to dance and play piano himself. Pegleg Pete comes in and treats Minnie badly. Mickey tries to defend her, but Pete steals her away. Mickey, riding Horace Horsecollar, gives chase. He manages to throw Pete off a cliff.
Ten Minute Mozart
Stone Age Stunts
A cave man gets up in the morning to walk around hitting things with his club. After knocking a huge dinosaur out cold, he uses the stiff dino's body as a saw, using the spiny back bones as the saw's teeth. He battles another Neanderthal for the prize of a pretty cave girl, but she uses a club on him after he wins.
A collection of arctic animals (seals, walruses, polar bears, penguins) float by on ice floes and on shore, performing various musical numbers.
Gypped in Egypt
Waffles the Cat and Don Dog find themselves at the mercy of animate skeletons inside an Egyptian tomb.
The Barnyard Concert
Mickey leads an 8-piece orchestra (that's counting the bass played by three birds as one) through the most recognizable parts of the Poet and Peasant Overture. The setting, as the title implies, is a barnyard, and some of the instrumentation reflects that (including various animals used as instruments, like a tuned group of piglets whose tails Mickey pulls).
The monkeys are swinging; their song and dance routine has other jungle creatures joining in. And two monkeys in love chase and kiss. But the hungry crocodiles lie in wait (and dance the soft shoe).
The Cuckoo Murder Case
The Cuckoo Bird residing in an old clock in a creepy old mansion is shot dead by an unknown assailant; Flip the Frog is called in to investigate (and finds more than he bargained for). |
Summertime, and Mickey takes Minnie on a picnic. While Pluto is chasing a rabbit, and Mickey and Minnie are doing a courtship dance, every animal in the woods is busy making off with their picnic food. And then the rain comes.
In the last of the Silly Symphonies season cycle, bears hibernate (or try to), raccoons sneeze, moose swim, and pretty much everyone ice skates. Everyone gathers around the groundhog to see what happens.
Sailor Bimbo (as Barnacle Bill) jumps ship with his little black book and visits his lady friend, Betty Boop (with dog's ears).
The Office Boy
This blatant rip-off of Disney's Mickey Mouse is indeed a fascinating effort. Not only is it most agreeably quaint, but it's remarkably fast-paced. And even better still, it's visually well-stocked with a host of neat gags. The superbly integrated music score rates as an outstandingly entertaining bonus.
Mickey and Minnie are on a wagon train; they camp for the night, unaware that Indians have spotted them and are doing a war dance. The attack comes, and Minnie is captured.
In the logical sequel to Springtime, a new set of insects (mostly) dances to a new set of tunes, while doing summer activities. The insects include dung beetles, dragonflies, butterflies, a walking stick, bees, and various other beetles and flies.
The King of Bugs
Early sound cartoon with an all-insect cast. An eager-to-please young bugler inadvertently annoys the king during a parade and tournament, but redeems himself by rescuing the king's daughter, who's been abducted by a really horrid-looking spider.
Various anthropomorphic animals flock to the stadium to watch a horse race. Released November 16, 1930
Box Car Blues
Bosko and his porcine friend are hobos in a runaway boxcar.
Come Take a Trip in My Airship
Kitty, a girl black cat, gets a piano delivered to her rooftop apartment by two Bimbo-like piano movers, using a pulley to hoist it up the outside.
The moon and two owls sing to the Blue Danube Waltz, celebrating the night. Moths dance around a candle flame, fireflies glow, frogs chorus, and so forth.
A group of cannibals gather together for a tribal dance. In the middle of their gala, they are interrupted by a ferocious lion!
Another barn dance. Minnie plays piano; Mickey plays fiddle, then percussion, then harmonica. Mickey dances with the huge Patricia Pig.
The Haunted Ship
Waffles and Don explore a sunken ship where they meet drunk turtles singing "Sweet Adeline" and a skeletal Davy Jones.
The animated short starts with the circus parade, then goes to the circus master, who blows his whistle and points to a horse rider who looks a lot like Minnie Mouse.
Bosko is a construction worker who impresses Honey by making music from everything in sight, including a decapitated mouse, a typewriter and a goat filled with hot air.
Crying for the Carolines
Spooney Melodies were a series of live-action musical shorts produced by the Leon Schlesinger Studios during the 1930s that capitalized on the popularity of organ music played in Palace-style movie theaters and were intended to be played as the short before the main feature. This short film is the only surviving example of the series, which was something of a precursor to the animated "Merrie Melodies" cartoons that followed later.
Bosko hunts in the jungle, but ends up playing music with the animals.
A Romeo Robin
A happy-go-lucky musical where various characters, mostly birds I guess (tough to tell with all dressed up in hats and clothes), play instruments, sing or dance.
The Village Barber
Flip the Frog works the town barbershop.
Flip the Frog was Iwerks' first creation. He made his debut appearance in "Fiddlesticks." In this cartoon, Iwerks supplied Flip with a bow tie and buttons, but there is no mistaking that Flip is a frog. When he first appears in "Fiddlesticks," Flip hops on all fours from one lily pad to the next as he crosses a pond. And he doesn't talk. He croaks...