Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
The Enchanted Square (1947)
Well, lot of people are having a real fetish for Famous Studios/Paramount cartoons. :) Many posts on this blog have been dedicated to these cartoons, and we presented them often from rare and beautiful restored prints, with original credits and title cards intact.
Prepare your handkerchiefs folks, because this one's a real tearjerker. "The Enchanted Square" is a Noveltoon released on 5/9/1947, with Raggedy Ann, a character created in 1915 by the writer/illustrator Johnny Gruelle. This is the third appearance of Raggedy Ann in Paramount cartoons (the previous two were in Fleischer's two reel special "Raggedy Ann and Andy", and in "Suddenly It's Spring", a Famous cartoon from 1944).
The plot of this cartoon is simple: Police Officer Flanagan gives a Rageddy Ann doll to a little blind girl, and she is told she can see it if she uses her imagination. Soon, the whole slum neighbourhood where the little girl lives is transformed into an enchanted fairyland, and the rest of the cartoon is one big fantasy sequence, not unlike the similar ones from various Little Audrey cartoons. The motto of this cartoon is "with your imagination, anything is possible."
OK, it's somewhat sappy and sentimental cartoon, yet it doesn't step into the complete cornyness, and the lavish artwork makes it still quite effective and touching. It's the Famous Studios at the most Disneyesque level, and it's unusual that this cartoon haven't been supervised/directed by legendary Disney animator Bill Tytla, who worked for the studio during the second half of '40s.
You can watch the whole cartoon here (it's an unrestored, but decent quality print):
And here are the screenshots from a superb restored print shown 9 years ago on French TV. Enjoy!