Article 2727 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-24-2008
Posting Date: 1-30-2009
Directed by Walter Lantz
Featuring the voice of Pinto Colvig
A phantom terrorizes entertainers in a music hall.
I remember Walter Lantz hosting “The Woody Woodpecker Show” from my childhood, and though I have a fond memory of him because of it, the truth is that I barely remember the cartoons themselves. This is from his pre-Woody Woodpecker days. It’s something of a parody of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. On the plus side, the animation is quite good. On the minus side, the writing is very weak. Now, I don’t really expect anything more from the writing than an assortment of funny gags, but this one only manages a couple of decent ones; one involves a skeleton living in a tombstone, and another involves a songstress performing to the music of a phonograph strapped to her back. The rest of the gags are either lame, impenetrable, or missing in action. Still, since Lantz’s shorts from this era were made for Universal, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these were actually shown at the original screenings for the early horror classics, and it might be appropriate to watch this one before one of them. Incidentally, I also had to take a quick peak at KING KLUNK (another cartoon in the collection in which I found this one), another Lantz short that took on KING KONG; I liked that one much better.