Cinema History: 3 More Shorts from 1930

Hot Dog (1930) – 1.5 Stars

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I am mighty confused what the plot of this was. A dog is driving along in his car, and sees a pretty lady who ignores his advancements, so he pretty much abducts her. The he is arrested by the police for speeding (I think) and gets away with it because he sings a jazz tune in court that distracts everyone while he runs out the front door.

The plot makes literally no sense, at all. The animation is pretty spotty and while the music is pretty great (I love a bit of Jazz and Blues), that was for me one of the only redeeming features. The version I watched didn’t even have the sound synched up with the animation, so that got a little frustrating after a while. Apparently this is an Early Betty Boop and Bimbo cartoon, I’m glad they step it up later on.

Dixie Days (1930) – 1.5 Stars

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A very loose spoof of Uncle Tom’s cabin, so much of this has aged terribly, that literally the whole thing is offensive, and a little uncomfortable to watch. The cartoon features several characters with horrifying, stereotypically racial features, a actual slave auction (seen above) that they try to make light of by turning it into a dance audition, but it doesn’t pull the wool over anyone’s eyes. And scenes of slaves working on a cotton plantation.

Some of the Aesop’s fables cartoon I have seen previously have been pretty good really for the time, but the animation and backgrounds here are rudimentary at best, there were people doing much better with the same equipment at the time.

Our Baseball Match (Oira no yakyû) (1930) – 3 Stars

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A team of Raccoon and a team of Rabbits are having a baseball match, and they hit one of their balls out the park, where it is found by some forest creatures.

When I previously said that there were people doing far better than ‘Dixie Days’ with the same equipment, it’s cartoon like this one that I was talking about. Sure the animations are still pretty basic, but they have some life and some personality to them. There were some good laughs in this one, and overall it felt utterly charming.

Sure all the title cards were in Kanji symbols, that I couldn’t read, and the scenes of the actual baseball game did get a little tedious, but it was head and shoulders above the other two animations shown in this post.

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