It’s Time To “Follow The Bouncing Ball”
Here’s a fascinating piece of Americana.
There was a time in America when audiences would savor hand-drawn, supremely-smooth- moving animated cartoons — and even sing in the theater as they “followed the bouncing ball” that gave them the lyrics to a then-popular song.
Now, step back into the time machine (way before I was born) to see Disney-rival Max Fleischer’s short cartoon/live action “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” from 1930. It’ll be fascinating viewing for people of all ages because:
(1) It highlights the super-smooth and surrealistic animation of Fleischer who was Disney’s closest rival until his studio went under.
(2) It features Betty Boop, a cartoon character who was actually censored in the early ’30s.
(3) The musical portions feature a 22-year-old Ethel Merman. This stage legend is perhaps best known to Baby Boomers as an elderly lady belting out a song with a killer vibrato. But in this clip, you see how charming her vocals were before her voice (and style) changed.
(4) It has an ending that’s a bit shocking for a cartoon.
Just click on the You Tube arrow…and follow the bouncing ball:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3Zns8wCtP0