Tag Archives: Harry Bailey

The Iron Man (1931, Harry Bailey and John Foster)

The Iron Man‘s protagonist is not the Iron Man itself (himself?), which shows up after the halfway point. The protagonist is a cantankerous old man with some magic powers. He lives amongst all the adorable cartoon animals who sing and dance happily and he does what he can to ruin their days.

He’s a bad guy. He also doesn’t show up for the first two minutes, which seems long in a seven minute cartoon, but the unlikable aspect is more interesting. He’s not a lovable jerk, he’s not even funny. He probably would kick a kitten.

The cartoon is beautifully animated. Even in black and white, the backgrounds are lush with feeling. Not a lot of detail, but directors Bailey and Foster know what’s important to include.

It could go on longer. The final gag is way too brief.

Man‘s oddly thought provoking, especially how it handles narrative structure.

2/3Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Harry Bailey and John Foster; produced by Paul Terry and Amadee J. Van Beuren; released by RKO-Pathé Distributing Corp.


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A Close Call (1929, Harry Bailey and John Foster)

A Close Call is a very strange little cartoon.

First, it’s an early talkie, so everyone’s very excited about synchronized sound. So much so, in fact, a church choir breaks out into “You’re In The Army Now.” It’s a very odd song choice.

But not as odd as the rest of Call.

The cartoon concerns two mice in love. The boy gets into some trouble when he pulls off his sweetie’s skirt to use it as an accordion. In nothing but her bloomers, she’s not happy with him and neither notice the big evil cat arrive and kidnap her.

Now, the cat’s not trying to eat her. Oh, no, not at all. He’s an amorous vicious psychopath. While making goo goo eyes at the girl mouse, he’s trying to torture the male one.

The drawing is often rough and the animation’s bad, but the strangeness makes the cartoon undeniably compelling.

2/3Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Harry Bailey and John Foster; produced by Paul Terry and Amadee J. Van Beuren; released by Pathé.


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