Meet the Artist: Henri Rousseau. The Merry-Go-Round In The Jungle.
The film is obviously a fiction, and a most peculiar one at that.
In the film’s story, Rousseau was in love with . . .
. . . the wild animals to ride on a local Carousel.
As he grew older, those wild creatures . . .
. . . which he used to ride as a child, remained . . .
. . . repressed in his consciousness.
Once he goes into the military, he worked closely . . .
. . . with the Emperor Maximilian.
The ship pulls into the harbor . . .
The troops move right to left through the frame leading the Emperor forward.
(Click on the image to enlarge it.)
The tardy Rousseau walks behind the Emperor’s carriage . . .
. . . playing the flute.
The Emperor’s carriage pulls into the palace,
and the soldier, Rousseau, goes into the forest.
His prescription was to take up a hobby, painting.
Once, on guard in the forest . . .
. . . Rousseau grew very ill.
He took himself to a doctor.
The prescription was for him to take up painting.
Everyone else in the military was doing it.
He did painting after painting . . .
. . . after painting.
He wasn’t happy with the results.
The doctor then became his number 1 critic
telling him to paint with brighter colors . . .
. . . and to paint the things he knew.
So Rousseau painted the forest and . . .
. . . began adding those carousel animals.
While in the military, there was a shortage of paint.
He had to wait until he was home to take up painting again.
He served as a music teacher to locals, offering voice . . .
. . . piano, violin and flute lessons.
Meanwhile he painted. The paintings became famous.
That’s not quite the true story.
He did serve in the military under the Emperor Maximilian . . .
and he did work out of a lowly garret in Paris.
Working as a customs officer, he did his painting on the side.
The art did achieve fame but not during Rousseau’s lifetime.
Just the same, the art is stunning as is the art from the film.
My copy of the film has no credits though no doubt Shirley Silvey
was the designer and my guess is that
Ted Parmalee was probably the director.
The video credits three animators for the three films on the video:
Fred Crippen, Frank Smith and Phil Duncan.
The animation is so limited that it might have been anyone.
I’d have guessed that Phil Duncan would have done more movement
as an older animator in the group.