Monday, January 26, 2009

Cartoon a Day: Oh What a Knight

Oh What a Knight
Directed by Walt Disney
Available on: Walt Disney Treasures - The Adventures of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

This week I am busily putting the finishing touches on our theme program for this year's puppet festivals. The program this year deals with a knight on a quest, so when I spotted the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit short "Oh What a Knight," it seemed like a good choice for tonight.

This silent cartoon features Oswald courting a maiden who is trapped in a castle. Oswald makes his way up to her tower and seems to be obsessed with just one thing, smooching. He spends a lot of time kissing the damsel in distress before the thought of trying to free her ever seems to enter his mind. This gives the villain plenty of time to come in and mess everything up for Oswald.

This cartoon is crude in parts but also features some really creative stuff. The sequence in which Oswald and the evil knight duel features some great animation featuring shadows behind the two main characters. You've also got to love the running gag that whenever Oswald gets a free moment, he runs away from the battle to plant a wet one on his girl. I think even the animators began to recognize the silliness of the gag by having Oswald walk on the walls and kiss the maiden as he runs by without even stopping. This cartoon shows advances being made not just in animation, but also in the comic timing of the animation.

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