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Monkey Melodies

A Silly Symphony

Release Date : September 26, 1930

Running Time : 6:56

Synopsis

Monkeys and apes swing through the trees to the usual mix of classical tunes and standards; including this time the recent vaudeville hit "Abba Dabba Dabba."

Credits

Director
Bert Gillett
Animation
Johnny Cannon
Dave Hand
Jack King
Norm Ferguson
Dick Lundy
Ben Sharpsteen
Les Clark
Wilfred Jackson
Tom Palmer
Backgrounds
Carlos Manriquez
Emil Flohri
Music
Bert Lewis

Video

United States
Cartoon Classics : First Series : Volume 14 : Animal Tales

Laserdiscs

Cartoon Classics : Animal Tales

DVD

Disney Treasures : More Silly Symphonies

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 24: Symphonic Silly Symphonies
The Mickey Mouse Club : February 2, 1956

Technical Specification

Color Type: Black & White
Animation Type: Standard animation
Sound Mix: Mono : Cinephone
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Negative Format: 35mm
Print Format: 35mm
Cinematographic Process: Spherical
Original Language: English

Released by Columbia Pictures, Inc.

Comments

From Jerry Edwards : Monkees and birds dance, sing, and swing through the jungle. Romantic boy and girl monkeys have to escape snakes and crocodiles before the monkeys finally have time to themselves. One silly scene I enjoyed were two crocodiles doing a "Bob Hope/Bing Crosby" straw hat and cane dancing routine. A couple of interesting animation goofs - one leg of a monkey just disappears and a banana keeps reappearing (3 times) on a bunch of bananas after it is shown that the spot is empty after the monkey picked it.
From Jengel : Monkey Melodies is one of the better, but more obscure, of the early silly symphonies. Compared to The Skeleton Dance and others of the same era, this cartoon stands out for its use of lavish watercolor backgrounds of the jungle. (I have a matching key background and production cell from this short and the background detail is extraordinary.) The main characters are two monkeys and the cartoon traces their adventure in the jungle from the treetops to the river, dodging predators with every step. The monkeys are not by themselves exceptional except through their interaction with the other animals, with their environment, and with the soundtrack make this short particularly successful. This cartoon moves along quickly and the characters are sympathetic (cute). The rich tapestry of the jungle is what makes this a groundbreaking work.
From Ryan : I got to see this cartoon for the first time on DVD last December. The animation is pretty well done, but as mentioned in the commentary for the cartoon, the characters seem to change form from time to time. This was in the days before Walt gave his animators model sheets so that the characters would remain constant. Some parts of the cartoon I enjoy include the alligators dancing to the tune of "Georgia Camp Meeting" and when the male monkey uses his tail as a propeller on a log (much like Pluto did in the Mickey cartoon Fishin' Around.) I also enjoy the backgrounds.

Referenced Comments