Abou Ben Boogie (1944)

Article 4601 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 8-7-2014
Directed by Shamus Culhane
Voice cast unknown
Country: USA
What it is: Swing Symphony cartoon

A dancing girl sings the title song in an Arabian nighclub.

I’ve now returned to the Walt Lee book in my compilation of my movie hunt lists, and this increases the number of cartoons I’ll be watching in the near future, as that is one of the only sources I have that lists many of these. Most cartoons have a certain amount of fantastic content to them simply due to the fact that they defy so many physical laws; in this cartoon, a pianist plays his tunes on a roll of paper, which is then cut up into paper men that dance. There’s also a lot of exaggerated reactions to the sexy dancer (eyes getting impossibly big, etc.). The cartoon has the usual structure for these song-oriented ones; the first half is an assortment of gags involving Arab stereotypes, and the second half is the song itself. The most striking thing about this cartoon is the design of the title character, who appears halfway through the song; the outline of the character resembles the style that was used by UPA during the fifties, and that makes this cartoon a little ahead of its time. All in all, this cartoon is fairly decent, though it does overuse a running gag involving the accidental kissing of camels.


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