The Headless Horseman (1934)

Article 2104 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-19-2006
Posting Date: 5-17-2007
Directed by Ub Iwerks
Animated Short – No Cast

Ichabod Crane and Brom Bones compete for the affections of Katrina. On the way home, Ichabod encounters the headless horseman.

Ub Iwerks was one of the early rivals to Disney in the animation business, but he is largely forgotten nowadays. As tempting as it is to compare this with Disney’s take on the Washington Irving tale, it really wouldn’t be fair – this version was designed to be little more than a standard issue cartoon, without any of the ambitions of the Disney version, and it should be judged as such. As a cartoon, it is played largely for laughs, and the laughs are pretty tepid; my favorite joke was discovering Katrina’s nickname for Ichabod (she uses it in a letter, as there is no dialogue in the movie). The music by Carl Stalling is quite nice, though it predates the innovations he developed at Warner Brothers in using music to underline the action at all moments. It’s a pretty ordinary thirties cartoon and pretty forgettable.



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