Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cartoon a Day: El Terrible Toreador

El Terrible Toreador
Directed by Walt Disney
Available on: Walt Disney Treasures - More Silly Symphonies

Many of the early Silly Symphonies cartoons used different cultures as the inspiration for many of the visuals. Not all of these depictions are what we would now consider politically correct, so they are often regulated to the "from the vault" sections of the Walt Disney Treasures releases. "El Terrible Toreador," however, I think was sent to the vault section because the characters drink beer.

Like most Silly Symphonies, there is not much story here. The gags are pretty simple, though you can see a progression taking place here as the sight gags are not repeated over and over as they are in many early cartoons. A few gags seem quite imaginative for this time period, especially when we think the bull and the toreador are fighting but when the smoke clears we see that they are playing patty cake.

The bullfight arena is a classic setting for golden age cartoons. Almost every major character has been a toreador at some point, so it is interesting to see what is probably one of the earliest examples of a bullfight cartoon.

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