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Egyptian Melodies

A Silly Symphony

Release Date : August 27, 1931

Running Time : 6:20

Synopsis

An inquisitive spider explores the creepy interior of an Egyptian tomb, causing mummies and strange wall paintings to spring to life.

Credits

Director
Wilfred Jackson
Animation
Johnny Cannon
Rodolfo "Rudy" Zamora
Frenchy de Tremaudan
Joe D'Igalo
Charlie Byrne
Dave Hand
Albert Hurter
Ben Sharpsteen
Daniel Tattingham
Cecil Surrey
Harry Reeves
Asst. Animator
Charles Couch
Backgrounds
Carlos Manriquez
Emil Flohri
Mique Nelson
Layout
Charles Philippi
Music
Frank Churchill

DVD

United States
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Germany
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
France
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Italy
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Sweden
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
United Kingdom
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 38: Infested Silly Symphonies
The Mickey Mouse Club : February 21, 1956

Technical Specification

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

Released by Columbia Pictures, Inc.

Comments

From Rod Bennett : This atypical Silly Symphony plays more like a Fleischer short of the same period; filled with technical gimmicks and inanimate objects rising up to join the fun. Very odd.
From Jerry Edwards : A spider's misadventures with mummies and moving hieroglyphics in a pyramid tomb frighten him away. The spider is shown playing a web like a harp. When the spider is surprised by some mummies, he does an Al Jolson-like routine "Mummy!" The spider then hides in an Egyptian urn as the hieroglyphics come to life. When the hieroglyphics figures start fighting and snakes appear on the hieroglyphics, the spider is frightened away, running into the desert. As with most animated spiders (Disney or non-Disney), this is a "handicapped" spider - only 6 legs instead of a spider's 8 legs. Of course, this is to give the animators less work to animate. This spider had shoes on 4 feet and gloves on 2 "hands." Backgrounds of tunnels in the tomb that the spider tumbles through were reused as backgrounds in the 1933 Mickey short The Mad Doctor.
From Brian : The same spider from Midnite in a Toy Shop returns in this crazy black-and-white short where Egyptian hieroglyphics that come to life and get into a fight cause the terrified spider to quickly run away from the tomb. Be cautious; this short is too intense for the RUGRAT crowd.
From Ryan : I find this to be a very nicely animated cartoon. I enjoy the scenes where the hieroglyphics come to life and start dancing to music. As mentioned before, the scene where the spider goes through the pyramid tunnel was reused in the 1933 Mickey Mouse cartoon The Mad Doctor.
From Gijs Grob : This is one of those silly symphonies that offers quite a dull dance routine only (and no story). Nevertheless, the introduction of the cartoon is well worth seeing: when we follow a six-legged spider into the pyramid, we experience some astonishing 3D-effect animation, creating the feeling that the camera wanders through corridors and staircases. This unique exercise in perspective would not be repeated in animation until labyrinth computer games were introduced in the nineteen-eighties.

Besides this great introduction this cartoon also offers a great finale: it is one of the earliest nightmare-sequences, in which the montage of images is diffuse and increasingly sped up, in order to suggest the feeling of getting insane.

This predates similar sequences in films like Der Fuehrer's Face by many years.


Referenced Comments