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arts / rec.arts.sf.movies / Fantastic Classic - "Little Buck Cheeser" (1937)

o Fantastic Classic - "Little Buck Cheeser" (1937)Jack Bohn

Fantastic Classic - "Little Buck Cheeser" (1937)


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Subject: Fantastic Classic - "Little Buck Cheeser" (1937)
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 by: Jack Bohn - Thu, 14 Jul 2022 17:00 UTC

Little Buck Cheeser (1937)

This is a cartoon short subject that will be on the Turner Classic Movies channel this Saturday during its Saturday matinee at the bijou.

A sequel and possibly an attempt to create a series character for MGM out of "Little Cheeser"(1936) wordplay on 1931's "Little Ceasar", a gangster movie starring Edward G. Robinson as an ambitious ruler of a not-yet-worldwide criminal empire. As in most cartoons, the wordplay title is for its own sake; the cartoon is in no way a pastiche or parody of that movie -- at most you could say the young mouse who is the Cheeser of the title wants to be a tough guy and not "mama's little man," a phrase used multiple times in that cartoon. The "Buck" of his current name refers to Buck Rogers. (I could see a series spun along these lines with Little Cheeser getting additional names -- alternate, not cumulative.) At least in this cartoon we get science fiction, although not more than a Vernian trip to the Moon (for the green cheese, y'know). The rocket at least takes its visual design inspiration from the comic, with a made-up sample of the comic by name shown.

Humor comes from the standard space jokes. They will also be seen an the cats' balloon trip in "The Milky Way", which in 1940, will win MGM the first cartoon short Oscar not given to Disney. There's also the putting of man-made objects to other uses scaled against the size of mice, such as a metal funnel used for the nose cone of the rocket. Hmm... I was going to write that I suspect the use of a suction cup on the Moon is naive, not intentionally funny, now that I think about it, they used a plumber's plunger for the suction dart. Really, it should have been a mouse plumber's plunger, and he would probably use a suction cup tipped dart for that!

In all, this subject is more interesting as a window into its time than for itself. Without videotape or reruns on TV, hit movies were still remembered years later. Newspapers and their comic strips were a big part of mass media. Buck Rogers had had a radio series from '32 to '36, but not yet his movie serial.

Hey! IMDb lists a "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century"(1934) short subject by the newspaper creators shown at the 1933 World's Fair. It's on Youtube:

That's a very close model of the ships in the strip held by director/ Dr. Huer, Harlan Tarbell, and a remarkable model ship fleet of other strip designs later!

"Little Buck Cheeser" also shows up from several posters, suggesting it may be in the public domain. I'd started this series of posts with the idea of alerting folks to obscure sf on cable, but maybe I should expand it to Youtube?


arts / rec.arts.sf.movies / Fantastic Classic - "Little Buck Cheeser" (1937)


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