3 November 2008 | phantom_tollbooth
A fascinating glimpse of the 30s cinema experience
Friz Freleng's 'She Was an Acrobat's Daughter' is one of several cartoons set in a cinema, which would directly reflect the experience of those viewing the cartoon at the time of its release. Although the gags are hit and miss, mostly due to dated references that are now beyond the comprehension of most audiences, 'She Was an Acrobat's Daughter' beautifully captures the experience of a 1930s cinema goer and offers many great gags which ring true today. The hippo who keeps getting out of his seat and the guy who can't find a decent view of the screen hilariously reflect problems that continue to dog cinema goers to this day. The best skit of the whole cartoon is the titular musical number in which the audience sing along prompted by slides. At one point, the wrong slide is flashed up and the audience duly sing the instruction "Please do not spit on the floor"! The cartoon culminates in an inspired segment in which a baby duck bothers his father and then proceeds to destroy the film projector. In between these great bits, the cartoon is laboured a little by the action that occurs on the cinema screen which is by turns dated and unfunny but what remains in the viewer's head at the end of the short is the excellent action involving the cinema patrons and the great sense of actually being in a 30s cinema that Freleng expertly evokes. 'She Was an Acrobat's Daughter' comes highly recommended as both a fascinating historical representation of the old-time cinema experience and as a very funny cartoon.