22 April 2018 | Vimacone
Russian Revolution Retold
To those who know their history, there were many factors that led to the downfall of the Czar monarchy in Russia. A monk, known as Rasputin, played a role in influencing the Czar in a harmful way. (He was murdered shortly before the February Revolution). This short is somewhat of a parody of those series of events, which was still fairly recent history at the time of release.
Rasputin, or Rice Puddin', is portrayed as a Simon Legree type villain who has a young gypsy kidnapped and tries to have his way with her. This prompts angry villagers to run him out of town by declaring revolution. Not having seen many Harman-Ising WB shorts on television, I'm unsure if this one aired or was pulled, but I can't imagine the Turner Networks wanting to show this one for the reasons listed above.
Coincidentally, I first saw this short at the time I was studying the Russian Revolution in school some years ago. I found the melody of the title song somewhat unnerving. Especially, considering that the time and place was when the Russians were about to overthrow an oppressive government only to replace it with an arguably more oppressive government. And the fact that this short was released during Stalin's second five year plan; A time when he killed millions of his own people.
I do wonder what the origin of the title song "Wake Up The Gypsy In Me" is.
This short does predate Bluth's ANASTASIA by 50 years by depicting Rasputin as a cartoon villain.