Saturday, June 21, 2008
DESTINATION MEATBALL (Universal, 1952)
This Woody Woodpecker cartoon produced by Walter Lantz just screams 1950s, and induces some irresistible nostalgia for baby boomers. I remember watching Woody on TV, even at the local "Starlite" drive-in movie theatre. Furthermore, the cartoon exactly captures the look of the era's supermarkets. Just like the "Piggly Wiggly" back home!
The style of the title card alludes to the to the Sci-Fi films of the era, but that's misleading. Woody is simply hungry, and Buzz Buzzard (supermarket owner) has his hands full dealing with Woody's appetite for mischief.
No mere backgrounds for this cartoon - the painted "sets" (!) are attributed to artist Fred Brunish.
The opening pan background is digitally re-created here.
This very clever B/G of Woody;'s wristwatch reveals the day not in hours but by a timetable of meals! 9 am is a stack of pancakes swimming in butter. Noon is a salad with olives and toast (more butter). 3 pm is tea time (how utterly civilized). 6 pm is dinner: a huge slab of steak, with french fries, peas, two dinner rolls (even more butter) and a big piece of pie for dessert. Now THAT'S nostalgic!
Next, a vast array of artery-clogging red meat in the butcher section:
An undressed chicken:
The sleek lines of the checkout counter, complete with turnstile and scale...
This loooong pan B/G looks exactly as I remember my childhood grocery stores, except for the trap door in the middle of the aisle...
Next, the bakery, complete with wedding cake cel overlay.
And the bakery B/G without without the wedding cake cel overlay. Note the paper doily!!!
And finally, the meat locker...
This artwork doesn't take itself too seriously, but is still stylish in a lean way. Great fun!