Cartoons, those short, animated sequences of pure entertainment, hold a special place in classic movie history. In the Golden Age of Hollywood, going to the movies was a much longer affair than it is nowadays (though technically modern films are much longer in length than the majority of older films). You would buy your ticket and for a mere 20 cents or so be treated to a trailer for an upcoming film featuring your favorite stars, a newsreel, a short, and a cartoon.
Mickey Mouse debuted in 1928 in the short Steamboat Willy (incidentally, Mickey turns 87 on the 17th this month). It was "named after Buster Keaton’s Steamboat Bill, Jr. and inspired by the very first “talkie” The Jazz Singer, it was the first cartoon with synchronized sound, and became an instant hit" (biography.com). In fact, Mickey became so popular that movie goers would "would often sit through a movie twice to see him again, or would check before buying their tickets to make sure that 'a Mickey' was going to play at the beginning" (biography.com). In 1932, Walt Disney was awarded an Honorary Oscar for his creation of Mickey. Therefore, it is no surprise that in 1933, all of the biggest movie stars of the time turned out for Mickey's Gala Premiere.
This particular clip has each star identified. If you want to try and guess them for yourself, click here.
The cartoon opens with everyone arriving at Grauman's Chinese Theatre to see the premiere of "Galloping Romance," a cartoon made exclusively for Mickey's Gala Premiere. All of the biggest stars are in attendance.
As you can see, it's a packed house.
The fun part about this cartoon, and the reason it is "one" of my favorites, is trying to see how many stars you can recognize. With nearly 50 Stars caricatured, you are bound to spot some of your favorites. Another fun aspect of this cartoon, is the opportunity to see what the premiere of a film at that time would have been like. You can also see what characters the stars were most identified with, as some stars arrive dressed as one of their characters (Frankenstein, Rasputin, etc.). Also, don't miss Walt Disney's cameo near the end (right before Garbo comes on stage). Learn more about the Garbo caricature and the man who drew her here.
Want to see more cartoons featuring Hollywood stars? Click here to see a list.
I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing - that it was all started by a mouse.
- Walt Disney
This post is part of the 'One' of my All-Time Favorite Cartoons Blogathon hosted by Steve over at Movie Movie Blog Blog. Be sure and read all of the other great entries!