Sunday, May 3, 2020

The Bug Parade: Trusting One's Comedic Insects

Release date: 10/11/41

The version we see is the Blue Ribbon re-issue of 7/12/52

Availability: NONE

You can watch a better-than-average TV version HERE.


The original credits for this cartoon may or may not have had Fred Avery listed as supervisor. Like many Warner Brothers cartoons, this one lost its original credits when reissued 11 years after its first run, at which time Avery was winding down his time at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Bug Parade was the last thing on his mind then, unless he happened to go see a movie in mid-July 1952 and saw it as part of the program.

Bug Parade was probably titled The Bug Parade in its 1941 release, in a reference to the 1925 silent war film The Big Parade, King Vidor's epic drama of the First World War. The punny title hung on a cartoon with no connection to that cast-of-bazillions film. It would have gotten a laugh from older theatergoers who might have seen the original run, or the film's 1931 reissue with a musical score. 

We open with a complex display of insect transit, as our narrator, who sounds like Robert C. Bruce but may not be him, comments in that sunny, condescending tone we've come to expect.
"The Garden of the Moon," a winsome tune by Harry Warren, Al Dubin and Johnny Mercer (and from the 1938 picture of the same name) underscores this ground-level pageant. Narrator promises us of "little-known facts in the lives of these tiny creatures."