Sunday, July 19, 2015

Original Production Drawing of Goofy from "Mickey's Amateurs," 1937

Original production drawing of Goofy from "Mickey's Amateurs," 1937; Red, blue, and graphite pencil on peg hole paper; Numbered 68 lower right with animation ladder upper right; Size - Goofy: 7 x 7 3/4", Sheet 10 x 12"; Unframed.

"Mickey's Amateurs," 1937 was an animated short film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by United Artists. It was initially entitled "Mickey's Amateur Concert" and depicts an amateur talent show hosted by Mickey Mouse. It was co-directed by Pinto Colvig, Erdman Penner, and Walt Pfeiffer; and featured original and adapted music by Oliver Wallace. The voice cast included Walt Disney as Mickey Mouse, Clarence Nash as Donald Duck, Florence Gill as Clara Cluck, and Pinto Colvig as both Pete and Goofy.

Close up of the Goofy production drawing.

The story is that Mickey Mouse is hosting an amateur talent show in front of a live audience for radio, in which he eliminates bad performances by ringing a gong. In the first scene, Mickey rings the gong and ends Pete's rendition of "Asleep in the Deep". Next Mickey introduces Donald Duck who recites "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," but he forgets the words and Mickey gongs him. Mickey then introduces "the two Claras: Cluck and Belle." Clara Cluck sings a clucking version of "Il Bacio", a waltz by Luigi Arditi, accompanied by Clarabelle Cow on piano. This is the first performance that was not gonged by Mickey. Donald returns to the stage and attempts to finish his poem by holding Mickey and the audience hostage at gunpoint; but he forgets the words again and is quickly removed from the stage.

For the show's finale, Mickey introduces Goofy and his "50-piece band" which is a multi-instrumental device on wheels. Goofy begins with "In the Good Old Summer Time" and then performs "There'll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight". However, the fast tempo and the power of the song destroys the machine in a huge explosion. Goofy is not injured and escapes the wreckage by saying, "It busted!" Donald, having been caught up in the chaos, breaks out of Goofy's bandmaster hat and quickly is able to successful recite "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." He then delivers a "Nya!" at the audience just as the "iris out" effect, which ends the cartoon, closes on his neck. He fights to keep it open but it finally closes; and this is a rare instance of a Disney cartoon actually breaking the theatrical fourth wall.

Close up of the production number.

"Mickey's Amateurs" pokes fun at the "amateur hour" radio shows which were very popular in the 1930s and '40s. The most well known example of the time was the "Major Bowes Amateur Hour" in which the host, Edward Bowes, was known to strike a gong to stop an amateur performance. The gong reference, as well as Mickey Mouse's repeating of the words "Okay, okay" in the film, was recognized by audiences at the time as a parody of Bowes.

This is a wonderful large original production drawing of Goofy, he is full figure in his band costume, and he is blowing a trumpet that was part of his 50 piece band. There are a large number of production notes, as well as the use of multiple colored pencils, on the drawing which makes it quite collectible. The drawing's complexity signifies that this was one of the key drawings used in making the sequence.