Author Topic: Cartoon Discussion of the Week - 9-15-2013 - "My Pal Paul"  (Read 2239 times)

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Cartoon Discussion of the Week - 9-15-2013 - "My Pal Paul"
« on: September 15, 2013, 08:31:33 am »
My Pal Paul
Director : Walter Lantz
Synopsis : Oswald likes to pretend that he is jazz band leader Paul Whiteman. But when he tries to hang himself because no one else likes his music, who should he meet but Whiteman himself.

Released to coincide with the 1930's Universal picture "The King of Jazz" (for which Lantz also did a short animated sequence) this short serves as both a companion piece and a promotional cartoon for that movie. Whiteman would also go on to be characterized as the king of the Isle of Jazz in Disney's 1935 short "Music Land."

I've always had a soft soft in my heart for musical cartoons, at least the ones where the action is subservient to the musical score. This one works okay; better than most but still not a good as others. I got a good kick out of the part where the tools come out of Oswald's car trunk to dance along to the music. But the parts where Oswald tries to hang himself and then Whiteman tries hang him later were too jarring to make this one completely enjoyable.

Watch on YouTube:
IAD Entry:

Please note: any comments posted here may also be used on the main entry at the Internet Animation Database

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Re: Cartoon Discussion of the Week - 9-15-2013 - "My Pal Paul"
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2013, 11:29:10 am »
Good time to make my announcement: Yes, I have stepped down and eutychus has taken over the business. I just kept being lazy most of the time, and now I need to get it off my chest. Thanks again eutychus for continuing it, and I wish you good luck.

I love classic cartoons!
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Re: Cartoon Discussion of the Week - 9-15-2013 - "My Pal Paul"
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2013, 06:21:33 pm »
Oswald isn't trying to hang himself because no one likes his music, he does so because he has alienated his audience, which has found out Oswald's concert was actually played on a record and that he essentially simulated his role as a band leader.

Also, check out our pal Steve Stanchfield's post on Cartoon Research about Bill Nolan and his legacy on animation, which due to lack of exposure is not as heralded as should be.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2013, 07:08:28 pm by Barbezinc »
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Re: Cartoon Discussion of the Week - 9-15-2013 - "My Pal Paul"
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2013, 12:19:31 pm »
Here's another 30s cartoon that's enjoyable for its music and delightfully weird gags. I myself particularly enjoy the hanging scenes – it's so dark, but at the same time ridiculously silly – I've never heard of anyone but Oswald survive and escape a hanging by being temporarily decapitated. As you point out, 'My Pal Paul' is a companion and promotional piece for the Universal Feature 'The King of Jazz'. The animated sequence in that film (in colour no less) actually features a brief cameo by Oswald.

For more info on the King of Jazz animated sequence, see this post by Jerry Beck:

And you can see the clip in action here: