Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Milt Gross- Jitterbug Follies


This is one of my all-time favorites, Milt Gross' "Jitterbug Follies". This is one of two cartoons he directed for MGM, the other being "Wanted: No Master". Both were released in 1939, along with Milt himself as producer Fred Quimby felt that the cartoons weren't of high enough quality for a studio like MGM. Quimby is not a man who was known for his sense of humor so he must've really hated this one, it's funny from start to finish. It's really well timed to music too.

14 comments:

Charlie J. said...

i cant understand why this one is so unpopular. Is anyone going to post "Wanted: no master"?

Kevin Langley said...

I don't understand it either. I think it's one of the funniest cartoons. If I had a copy to post of "Wanted: No Master" I would. I'm trying to get a hold of it. I actually found it on peer to peer but about a 1/4 of the way through it disappeared never to be seen again.

lotusgreen said...

bravo! that was incredible! almost surreal! i love music cartoons. a movie theater that used to be here in berkeley used to have all music cartoon nights. i loved it. (wasn't there a swing 3 bears one?)

anyway--it made me think of popeye's "the dance contest" which i haven't found posted anywhere. it was so great. they used to show old popeye cartoons every afternoon--also in the 70s.

the line waiting to get in reminded me of american idol.

Mcnuggetinator said...

Ha Ha! This cartoon is so cool! Its a shame that Milt Gross only got to direct 2 cartoons. I also really like the character design. Do any model sheets from this cartoon still exist?

ChipButty said...

Wow, Milt got to use his Screwloose and Wonder Dog characters in cartoons! I just found out about this guy and his work through the reprint of an comic book he did starring those two in an anthology called "Art Out Of Time". Thanks for posting this!

David Gerstein said...

One odd thing about the cartoon... it's really about a talent show, not a jitterbug contest. One wonders whether the title, and the opening announcement, were imposed on the cartoon without Gross' permission.

Wow, there sure is a lot of similarity between Count Screwloose and his two penguin interlopers and Danish Storm Pedersen's Peter and Ping. Earlier on, Pedersen also created Rube Goldberg-style inventions before Goldberg. A not-so-surprising example of a classic and influential cartoonist now forgotten outside his home country... but I digress.

Mike Smith said...

Frickin amazing. Clampett wouldn't get this crazy until the '40s. Breakneck timing, and from a newspaper cartoonist! Wonder if Gross broke his budget here (could explain why he got booted)-- the screen is PACKED with characters. And did Avery cop Red from this?

Had no idea this existed. Wish there were more.

Darryl Young said...

Thanks for posting this amazing gem, never knew it existed!

ryan said...

HOLY FUCKING SHIT!!!! WHOA!!!!!!!! MAN!!!! I never knew Milt Gross had made any actual CARTOONS!?? DAMN! Dude, seriously i'm like spazzing out over here. That was one of the COOLEST cartoons I have EVER SEEN, EVER! This actually rivals Bob Clampett. talk about being WAY ahead of your time, you know?? this is like WAY ahead of its time, I mean its cartoony to the mother fucking MAX

i have to admit that I didn't like Milt Gross that much. Yes, he pioneered a lot of things (at least that's what I hear). but i just didnt care for his comic strip drawings because as goofy as they were, they just looked so sloppy & awkward to me. with like unappealing poses & stuff (just my opinion, please dont kill me guys!)

but WOW, this cartoon TOTALY CHANGED my opinion of him

what a CRIME he didnt make more.. he only made two cartoons?! why?? did people not have eyeballs & see that he was a fucking cartoon making mastermind genius???

are you going to post his other cartoon? can i buy this on DVD?

thank you for posting this!!!!

Thad K said...

Gross also did an anti-Hitler picture for Columbia, He Can't Make it Stick. The video footage that still survives looks nothing like his style though... More like an early John Hubley UPA cartoon!

THAD

Kevin Langley said...

Gross also did an anti-Hitler picture for Columbia, He Can't Make it Stick.

Thad, I've knew he made another but I've never really heard much about it. Is what survives any good and it was made earlier than his MGM cartoons right?

Kevin Langley said...

Hi Ryan, I'm still blown away by this cartoon. It's one of the loudest, wildest things I've seen. I love the part when JR is kicking the money into the bag like he was covering his own shit. Hilarious stuff.

Unfortunately I don't have a copy of "Wanted:No Master". I might be wrong but I don't think that one's been released on DVD. This one is on this Marx Brothers DVD Room Service/At The Circus

ryan said...

This one is on this Marx Brothers DVD Room Service/At The Circus

thanks kevin!

David Holm said...

I love this cartoon. Had no idea Milt made any animated cartoons.
I decided to post it on my blog cause loved it so much. Very interesting blog you've got by the way. I will definately be checking it out regularly. Thanks