Saturday, July 17, 2010

R and R

This is a scene cut from the original Fantasia.

David Kramer posted it over at with no explanation except for a title: "American Popular Entertainment, 1940."

Yes, vast, profound changes have come since then, changes in popular taste and in the practices of artists. The latter changes of course had a lot to do with the triumph of artistic modernism.

Anyway, enjoy this little key-hole view of what popular culture used to be like.

BTW, for you non-birders out there, the bird depicted above is the great white heron, which is actuallly the same species as the great blue (Ardea herodias). Great whites are only found in extreme south Florida, but we have plenty of great blues here in Wisconsin, including a few who do their fishing in a pond a half a block from my house.


Anonymous said...

Given that the movie lost money for Disney and wasn't a success until almost 30 years after it was released, I don't think that it can be considered emblematic of of popular culture in the 1940s.
On the other hand, 1940 did give us "Rebecca", "The Philadelphia Story" and Glen Miller doing "In the Mood" and "Blueberry Hill".

Lester Hunt said...

Yes, I wouldn't to overplay this one example. That's why I called it a keyhole view: what you see through a keyhole may be untypical of what is in the room, but on the other hand you may rightly be surprised to see it in the room at all.

Walt's original plan was to reissue the film annually, inserting new musical segments and taking old ones out. He intended to use Clare soon, but when the film failed on its initial release plans changed and it was never used for half a century afterward. What I find amazing though is that at the time a brilliant entreprenuer like Disney would even think this would work.

Lester Hunt said...

In an email I just opened, Ann tells me Blogger would not permit her to post a comment. I'm sorry if others have had this problem. Here is the comment she was trying to post:

Beautiful stuff! What amazes me is how effective the reflections on the water are, the ripples and breaking-u of images. ALl this long before server farms and computer graphics and ray-tracing algorithms. The composition, including their approach to animation, given state-of-the-art then, and color is simply astounding. Thanks for posting this.