And as far as Mod goes…vibrant colors, a singing whale, and jazz combo let by a dancing clarinet through a surreal dream…done up years before LSD was invented.
The “Movie” features music by Nelson Eddie, Dinah Shore, Benny Goodman, The Andrews Sisters and more, and tells musical tale from Peter and the Wolf to an Operatic Whale named Willie.
But there are two main reasons I dig this flick…and they’re both by Benny Goodman. “All the Cats Join In” is as hep as it gets, swinging the long version of Goodman’s tune with crazy bobby-soxers cartooning it around the house, malt shop and streets. It’s very clever, with the characters and backdrops being drawn as the action progresses. The music is hot and swings perfectly with the comedy of the animation.
“After You’ve Gone” features the Benny Goodman Quartet, with Teddy Wilson, Cozy Cole, and Sid Wiess. This has a special place in my heart…The first time I saw this cartoon was when it was played during a 1985 PBS salute to Goodman…which happened to be his last televised performance before his death. I video taped the show and watched the cartoon over and over, not just for the incredible and surrealistic animation (who wouldn’t love a clarinet dancing around in the clouds with disembodied fingers dancing like legs on a piano keyboard), but for the absolutely unbelievable facility of Goodman’s playing on this number. I asked everyone I knew, young and old, and in 1985 no one could remember where this toon came from. 16 years later, the internet finally gave up the secrets. Here it is, “After You’ve Gone” by Benny Goodman from “Make Mine Music”
and “All the Cats Join In”…a caracature