Animation Artifacts &Bill Peckmann &Disney &Models 13 Aug 2009 07:50 am

Mother Goose Models

- Here are more of the models from Bill Peckmann‘s collection. I’ve chosen to just focus on the one Silly Symphony, Mother Goose Goes Hollywood. The film showcases the genius of caricature that was possible in animation. (The closest we have today is the flash photo montages of JibJab. No beautiful drawing is involved.)

Joe Morgan was a major part of the models and design for these characters. The model sheets were signed by director Wilfred Jackson, storyman T. Hee, Animation Director Bob Stokes, and layout director Terrell Stapp. Other anmators include: Izzy Klein, Ward Kimball, Grim Natwick, Jack Campbell, and Don Patterson. Actual credit for story direction went to George Stallings,with T. Hee, Dick RIckard, Leo Ellis, Peeter O’Crotty, Ed Penner, Webb Smith, and Izzy Klein working under him.

(Click any image to enlarge.)

(This one’s from my own collection.)

To give an idea of the color in this film, here are some frame grabs:

Katherine Hepburn

Hugh Herbert and the Marx Brothers

Hugh Herbert, Donald Duck and Charles Laughton, Spencer Tracy & Freddie Bartholomew

Spencer Tracy & Freddie Bartholomew and Katherine Hepburn

Katherine Hepburn

W.C.Fields and Charlie McCarthy

Oliver Hardy & Stan Laurel

Edward G. Robinson, Greta Garbo and Eddie Cantor

Wallace Beery, Fats Waller and Cab Calloway

Edna Mae Olvier, Mae West, and Zasu Pitts

Edna Mae Olvier, Joan Blondell, & Zasu Pitts and Clark Gable & George Arliss

Chico Marx, Fats Waller & Groucho Marx and Fred Astaire

Joe E. Brown and Martha Raye

For other caricature ID’s you can look at the blog, Random Semiconscious Musings.

11 Responses to “Mother Goose Models”

  1. on 13 Aug 2009 at 11:17 am 1.Eddie Fitzgerald said …

    Wow and Double Wow!!!!!!! I can’t thank you enough for putting these up! Disney should have done a whole series of these celebrity caricature cartoons!

  2. on 13 Aug 2009 at 12:21 pm 2.David Nethery said …

    Wonderful. Thanks to Bill Peckmann for sharing and thanks to you for posting them. I like this cartoon (but not as much as Avery’s “Hollywood Steps Out” ) however it always disappoints me how they chose to represent Fats Waller (one of my favorite musicians) . The “Fats Waller” caricature in this film is a poor representation of the real Fats Waller who had very fine, expressive facial features, particularly his eyes. (and not particularly big lips, either) They put so much good observation into most of the star caricatures, but totally dropped the ball with Waller. ( Sorry for the *rant* )

  3. on 13 Aug 2009 at 12:30 pm 3.Michael said …

    Fats Waller does seem to be caricatured identically from studio to studio. The guy in this short looks not much different from the frog in Swing Wedding at MGM/Harman-Ising or the guy in Merrie Melodie Clean Pastures and Have You Got Any Castles?
    They’re all obviousl racist caricatures as well.

  4. on 13 Aug 2009 at 4:59 pm 4.Pete Emslie said …

    Thanks for posting these, Michael. I only had seen a couple of them before. Just a small correction: Though you have Mae West correctly identified in the trio in the first shot, you’ve got her inexplicably listed as Joan Blondell in the close-up. There’s no doubt that it’s definitely Mae West, not Blondell. Also, a typo on the name of Edna Mae Oliver in both pics.

    I agree with David regarding the caricature of Fats Waller and also Cab Calloway. I believe both of these became too much of the standardized approach to caricaturing blacks without really looking at the individuality of the features. Don’t misunderstand, as I’m not suggesting a politically correct makeover in the least. But rather, that both performers should be as unique and as humourously exaggerated as all of the white performers. I do think they did well with Stepin Fetchit, though unfortunately that one seems to get the biggest howls of disapproval from my college classes until I explain to them who he was and how that was his particular shtick.

  5. on 13 Aug 2009 at 9:20 pm 5.David Nethery said …

    Yeah, in “Mother Goose Goes Hollywood” at least the caricature of Cab Calloway sort of moves like Calloway, so it gives a better overall impression of Calloway , whereas the so-called “Fats Waller” caricature doesn’t really give one an accurate impression of the man as a performer. (the public personas of these men were almost “self-caricatures” to begin with, but entertainingly so …)

    And I agree with you, Pete , there’s no way that character in this scene is Joan Blondell –

    I’ve always thought that was supposed to be Mae West , but I’ve seen that caricature identified as “Joan Blondell” on a couple of other sites, too , but I just don’t see it.

  6. on 13 Aug 2009 at 11:46 pm 6.Thad said …

    I LOVE this cartoon. I agree with all of the commentary from Pete and David too. The Cantor caricature is pretty weak too. Why did movie star caricatures die out in the late 40s? I would have liked to have seen Droopy and Spike compete to star with Marilyn Monroe or Yosemite Sam gun down John Wayne before Bugs steps into the picture.

  7. on 18 Aug 2009 at 5:08 pm 7.bob kurtz said …

    the great caricatures were done by the great T.HEE.
    it was his first job at disney after coming over from warner bros. TEE was my teacher and mentor and writing partner.he use to draw some of these characters for me. i don’t think fats waller or cab calloway were his. oh,TEE was so good at knocking out those drawings.he was fast and right on. TEE was an amazing of the great ones.

  8. on 08 Oct 2009 at 2:23 pm 8.Don Coker said …

    Being a caricaturist I’ve always loved and appreciated the caricatures of animation, especially Disney! Thank you for posting these and thanks for a great and informative blog!

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