Scary Shorties: Mickey’s Mechanical Man (1933)

Before Richard Matheson brought a robot into the ring and Toho had one rough up an ape, Disney gave us both of those wonderful things in 1933’s Mickey’s Mechanical Man, a knockabout cartoon caper that pits machine against beast. The short is about Mickey Mouse training a robot to fight an ape in a boxing match and… do I need to say anything else!? I mean, that’s pure monster movie magic as it is! Disney has produced more sophisticated shorts, but who needs sophistication when you have beastly brutes monster-mashing each other in glorious black-and-white?!

Mickey’s Mechanical Man is a fairly one-note short, but it plays that note so magnificently! There are gags aplenty and enough machine-on-monster action to satisfy  all you creature-craving crazies out there. Mickey and Minnie are always welcome, and the ape is as perfectly monstrous as one could hope for. As for the animation, it’s fluid, lively, and… well, Disney!
While there’s much to love about this ‘toon, the highlight is the tit-ular Mechanical Man. I’m a sucker for vintage/retro robots, and this affable automaton certainly fits the bill. Every bit of animation for the ro-boxer is brilliantly herky-jerky. The spasmodic, robotic pugilist moves like a wind-up toy with very little use for physics. It’s this kind of character and animation that make these cartoons such a blast to watch! Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto!

Check out the Battle of the Century below:


Scary Shorties: Spooks (1930)

For a creature who seldom ventures away from the Paris Opera, The Phantom of the Opera certainly gets around! While not quite as popular as Dracula or Frankenstein, The Phantom does have a highly respectable number of adaptations and spoofs to his name. The Phantom has haunted slasher films, monster movie crossovers, Mexican parody films, and even cartoons! In fact, The Phantom has starred in a great number of cartoons over the years! Some are scary, some are silly, but all are a testament to the hypnotic hold The Phantom has had on audiences for decades.

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In 1930, Universal had made a killing off of a re-release of 1925’s The Phantom of the Opera with a brand-new score and dialogue recorded for the film. Once again, the Opera Ghost scared up a lot of money for Universal, proving that the Old Ghoul could delight audiences in the sound era. With The Phantom’s “phantastic” success, it made a great deal to capitalize on this with a crossover with another universal property: Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

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The result of this pairing was Spooks, a creepy cartoon caper and an absolute gem. There are few things I love more than a spooky old cartoon, and this short is just rich with the kind of imagery that reminds one of the glory of Halloween. The animation on display is a bit on the sketchy side, but that only adds to its charm. Our Phantom is very Chaney-like in appearance, complete with a surprisingly gruesome deformity. At the very least, he’s creepier than Gerard Butler.

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For your viewing pleasure, here is Spooks:

#MammaryLaneMonday: The Live-Action / Animation Edition

(Big hugs and thanks to Eric for this very welcum stroll down #MammaryLane… 😉 xoxo)

Evil Toons (1992)

eviltoonsBurt has a cleaning company and hires four women to clean an isolated house. They find an old book, a dagger and a soul shred and when one of them, Megan, reads an incantation, she unleashes an evil beast in our world.

Featuring: Madison Stone, Michelle Bauer, Cartoon Monster, Suzanne Ager & Barbara Dare.

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I Married a Strange Person! (1997)

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Newlywed Grant Boyer develops a strange lump on his neck that gives him the ability to transform people or objects at will. His wife Keri is very upset.

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Beowulf (2007)

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The warrior Beowulf must fight and defeat the monster Grendel who is terrorizing Denmark, and later, Grendel’s mother, who begins killing out of revenge.

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Ho-stess’s PS– More Grendel, bc Crispin Glover. <3

and, of course, Mrs. Rabbit, bc…duh. 😉 xoxo

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