Beauty on the Beach (1950)

BEAUTY ON THE BEACH (1950)
Animated Short
Article 2762 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-29-2008
Posting Date: 3-6-2009
Directed by Connie Rasinski
Voice cast unknown
Country: USA

At a seaside amusement park, Mighty Mouse must save Pearl Pureheart from the evil machinations of Oilcan Harry.

Sometimes I find some of the choices in my various movie source books to be rather curious. In the shorts section of the first volume of Don Willis’s “Horror and Science Fiction Films”, the Fleischer “Superman” series is listed, but only two individual titles specified (a requisite for me to include a cartoon on my hunt list). On the other hand, he also lists the Terrytoon’s “Mighty Mouse” series, and list around twenty titles or so, which seems a little bit odd to me, as I would consider the Superman series in to be more authentically science fiction than the Mighty Mouse series. At any rate, that may explain why I’m covering Mighty Mouse cartoons before I’ve started any of the Superman ones.

Now, the idea of an opera-singing supermouse sounds to me like more of a horror concept (that is, with my aversion to opera), but, strictly speaking, Mighty Mouse isn’t singing opera – he’s singing operetta, which is a slightly different form (think Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald instead of Wagner). In this particular cartoon, the Eddy/MacDonald comparison is apt, as Pearl Pureheart is obviously modeled off of the latter. It’s also a parody of serials, as it sets itself up like the last episode of one, opening with a cliffhanger in which the heroine is tied to the tracks of a roller-coaster (she doesn’t seem too concerned, as she’s doing her needlepoint). The cross between serial and operetta ends up working quite well, and the cartoon makes good use of music as well as containing some good gags; one of my favorites does a nice twist on the old gag of two characters trying to get rid of a bomb by passing it back and forth to each other, with the variation consisting of the fact that they are also passing one character’s hat back and forth as well, with a logical bit of confusion as a result. All in all, I found this one quite enjoyable, which is good, as I have a few others to get through in the next few days.

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