- Jim Korkis on Bob Clampett’s “Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs” (1943)
- Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs
- Banned cartoon : Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs (1943)
Jim Korkis on Bob Clampett’s “Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs” (1943)
Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs Reviewand the you how to keep palmetto bugs out of your home
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What you have to remember before you tear this short apart for being racist is the fact that it was made during a time where segregation was on the rise in America. African Americans often had to degrade themselves in order to make an honest living; essentially, they were still slaves, but they were getting paid minimum wage for their work and in some case were taught to read and write, though not all were very lucky. I don't have time to go into the major specifics of African American history since the end of the Civil War, but many performers from the 's to the 's used a form of entertainment called blackface, wherein they would mock African Americans in many different ways. Be it the wandering minstrel, or just making them into clowns. Standards are constantly evolving in human society, and what is acceptable and what is unacceptable are constantly changing. Back in the 40's, this might've been the funniest thing ever due to their views on race and such.
In this version of the story, all of the characters are African American, and speak all of their dialogue in rhyme. The story is set during WWII in the United States, and the original tale's fairy tale wholesomeness is replaced in this film by a hot jazz mentality and sexual overtones. Several scenes unique to Disney's film version of Snow White , such as the wishing-well sequence, the forest full of staring eyes, and the awakening kiss, are directly parodied in this film. The film was intended to have been named So White and de Sebben Dwarfs , which producer Leon Schlesinger thought was too close to the original film's actual title, and had changed to Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarfs. Clampett intended Coal Black as both a parody of Snow White and a dedication to the all-black jazz musical films popular in the early s. In fact, the idea to produce Coal Black came to Clampett after he saw Duke Ellington's musical revue Jump for Joy , and Ellington and the cast suggested Clampett make a black musical cartoon. The Clampett unit made a couple of field trips to Club Alabam, a Los Angeles area black club, to get a feel for the music and the dancing, and Clampett cast popular radio actors as the voices of his main three characters.
A character style sheet for Coal Black an de Sebben Dwarfs. Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarfs is often praised and defended by film scholars and animation historians, and has often been included on lists of the greatest animated films ever made. One such list, the subject of Jerry Beck's book The 50 Greatest Cartoons, placed Coal Black at number twenty-one, based upon votes from over members of the American animation industry. Clampett traced his conception of the cartoon to a Duke Ellington revue, Jump for Joy, that enjoyed great success in Los Angeles after it opened in Clampett went to an all black nightclub, the Club Alabam, and later took his animator there so they could study the dancing.
Parodying Disney films is nothing new. Three Little Pigs was so popular that it was often the subject of parody in a number of animated shorts from other studios especially Warner Brothers. Director Bob Clampett replaced noted musicologist Deems Taylor from the original film with an unshaven Elmer Fudd wearing an ill fitting tuxedo, who introduced two segments. He is rejected by the mother swan until Daffy rescues her babies from a vulture. Clampett was also responsible for the very much still-controversial cartoon short, Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarfs It is a modern parody retelling of the Disney version of the timeless classic of Snow White but with black caricatures. So White and the Prince Chawming see their reflection together in the water the same as the Prince and Snow White in the original.
Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs
Banned cartoon : Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs (1943)
The stylistic portrayal of the characters is an example of "darky" iconography , which was widely accepted in American society at the time. As such, it is one of the most controversial cartoons in the classic Warner Brothers library, being one of the Censored Eleven. The cartoon has been rarely seen on television, and has never been officially released on home video. In this version of the story, all of the characters are black, and speak all of their dialogue in rhyme. The story is set during World War II in the United States , and the original tale's fairy tale wholesomeness is replaced in this film by a hot jazz mentality and sexual overtones.
Very few books on the history of American animation leave out the film Coal Black an de Sebben Dwarfs. The film displays energetic, elastic animation of its characters. It engages in a mixture of verbal and visual humor. The prince drives around in a limousine, and the heroine is a laundress who cooks for the seven soldiers. Although she is resurrected by a kiss, it is from one of the dwarfs instead of the prince. Also, there is no reference to her having a father. When issuing its statement of opposition in , the organization claimed that the film hurt the Allied war effort by depicting US soldiers as dwarfs.