Monday, March 26, 2018

Circus Today: Okay, okay! (with guest commentator Devon Baxter)

Release date: 6/22/1940 (according to BCDb)
DVD-Blu-Ray Availability: NONE

You may view the complete version of this cartoon HERE. It has some audio garbage at the start; apologies for the watermarks.

Dailymotion has been acting up lately, but this is the only extant online version I could find (that didn't seem suspicious)...


It may come as a shock to some of you to see a new post here. People have been inquiring about about when I'll be doing the next post on this blog. I'm flattered to know there are folks out there who anticipate reading my two cents on the early works of Tex Avery. Thank you.

Well, since I have a reward in the next cartoon after this, and since my old chum Devon Baxter (whose weekly column on the Cartoon Research website you are reading, aren't you? Hmmm?) offered some guest-commentator notes, I'll saddle up the old bronc and get through yet another Avery unit spot-gag cartoon.

Circus Today is one of the better efforts in this vein--there aren't many spots where I gag--and has some compelling in-jokes. Well, leave us get started...    

No narrator! This cartoon opens with an effective use of sound and visuals to convey the setting and mood. Don Brodie* gets us in the proper festive spirit as a carnival barker, spiels over this lovely circus artwork...
...and dissolves to the barker drawing a crowd. This is a significant step up from the prior spot-gag cartoons. Though Robert C. Bruce's tolerant, bemused narrative voice works well in the earlier cartoons, it's refreshing to see Avery and his writers having enough confidence to let go of that crutch.