The King’s Daughter (1934)
Directed by Frank Moser and Paul Terry
Voice cast unknown
What it is: Damsel in operatic distress
A knight in the king’s service sets out to rescue the princess from the clutches of a dragon and a giant, and then they can all sing.
My first thought upon watching this one is that maybe it isn’t surprising the Mighty Mouse cartoons went operatic; it seems as if Paul Terry had a yen for the form long before that. My second thought was that if you take this cartoon in reference to the time it was made, most of the other cartoon companies were also emphasizing music in their output, but whereas most of them were were working in pop/jazz/swing modes, Terrytoons was doing operettas. And, you know, I can admire this; he was marching to the beat of his own drummer, and even if there is an air of crankiness about it, it avoids being trendy. At any rate, I feel the need to give Paul Terry his due; he’d been making cartoons for longer than Disney or any of his competitors by this point, and he deserves to be recognized as a true pioneer in the industry. And if many of those cartoons seem subpar, so be it. As for this one, as corny as it is, I think both the dragon and the giant look pretty good to these eyes.