Rocketeers (1932)

Article 4256 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 6-25-2013
Directed by John Foster and George Rufle
Voice cast unknown
Country: USA
What it is: Cartoon

Tom and Jerry plan to take a rocket into outer space, but the rocket fizzles and they end up on the bottom of the ocean.

When it comes to cartoons, everyone remembers “Tom and Jerry”, but only completists remember “Tom and Jerry”. What I mean by this is that there were two cartoon groupings called “Tom and Jerry”; the latter (and more famous) one was the cat and mouse duo at MGM, while the earlier (and more obscure) one was a pair of men, one tall and thin and the other short and fat. Come to think of it, that description may also serve as complete character descriptions of them as well; if there are any differences in personality between the two characters, they are well hidden here, and it’s somehow fitting that one of the most surrealistic moments here has the two characters’ mouths melding together into a single one. Come to think of it, I’m not sure if there’s enough personality between them to make for even one character; they are animated ciphers. Despite the title, there is no outer space adventure here; almost all of its action is at the bottom of the sea, with various sea monsters, anthropomorphic fish, shipwrecked skeletons, mermaids, and Neptune all making appearances. This one manages to get by by virtue of its weirdness at times, but even taking that into account, it’s still pretty weak, and serves as another example why, with certain notable exceptions (from Disney or the Fleischers), the early thirties was one of the weakest eras for theatrical cartoons.


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