At the 99 cent store not too long ago, I noticed a bunch of DVDs of old cartoons. I love cartoons and I love bargains, so I grabbed a few of them; even if they were terrible, they were only 99 cents each. I picked up Popeye, Superman, and Tom & Jerry. I was particularly excited about the Tom & Jerry because I had been looking on YouTube for my favorite Tom & Jerry cartoon where Tom and Jerry are fighting over a fancy New York penthouse, and Jerry winds up convincing Tom that he’s a ghost by dipping himself in flour, and so far I had been unsuccessful. It’s one of the Tom & Jerry cartoons made by Chuck Jones, and it’s really great. I don’t know why, but I had some vague hope that this cartoon might be on the DVD.
It wasn’t, but I was in for an even better surprise. The Tom & Jerry cartoons that were on the DVD did not feature a cat and mouse, but a human duo. These guys were from the Van Beuren Studios in the ’30s and they were… well, they were pretty fantastic. Rubbery and surreal, and in short, everything a cartoon should be. This is why I love the 99 cent store. It can always be counted on for melamine-laced candy and Wyler’s Lemonade, but once in a while it offers this kind of magic.
In honor of Halloween, here is their first cartoon Wot A Night. Please be aware there are some politically incorrect skeletons around six minutes into the cartoon. This was the ’30s and they just didn’t get some stuff like we do now. Of course, in the grand scheme of things it’s not the worst thing I’ve ever seen; it’s not a big black guy with shiny shoes carving a backwards B into a white girl’s face or anything: