Monday, May 04, 2009

Cartoon a Day: Stratos Fear

Stratos Fear
Directed by Ub Iwerks
Available on: Cartoons that Time Forgot: The Ub Iwerks Collection Vol. 2

Ub Iwerks was Walt Disney's top animator and co-creator of Mickey Mouse. After several years with Disney, he ventured out on his own, but most of the films he made have pretty much faded into obscurity. One of the characters he created during this time was a portly kid who told unbelievable stories named Willie Whopper. Today's cartoon, "Stratos Fear," is a part of the Willie Whopper series.

In this adventure, Willie is visiting the dentist. He's given some gas which blows him up like a balloon and causes him to float off to space. While in space he encounters a wide variety of strange space creatures.

This cartoon reminded me a lot of Bob Clampett's classic short "Porky in Wackyland." Although, it should probably be the other way around, since this cartoon came five years earlier. This cartoon doesn't have the comic moments that "Wackyland" does, but the odd creatures give us a lot to enjoy. Made at a time when many cartoons were populated primarily by rubber limbed animals, this cartoon is quite surrealistic and combines many of the best qualities of Iwerks' more popular competitors at the Disney and Fleischer studios.

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