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Circus Capers

Aaah, here's another of those ugly black & white cartoons that all of you love so much ;-)
This is a Van Beuren cartoon called "Circus Capers" (09/28/1930), and it's quite entertaining one, despite some crudeness in drawings and animation. The main characters are Mickey and Minnie... I beg your pardon, Milton and Rita Mouse, the heroes of many Van Beuren cartoons from the early 1930s. Their resemblance to the more famous mouse couple was so strong that Walt Disney sued Van Beuren studios. Van Beuren was not allowed to use the blatant Mickey Mouse rip-offs anymore, after the court settlement in 1932. so Milton and Rita were sent into the early retirement. Still, in their short career they appeared in some funny pre-code cartoons, and behaved in a way that probably wouldn't be approved by the old Uncle Walt. In fact, I'm using this cartoon to illustrate what kind of outrageous gags and innuendos were allowed in cartoons before the introduction of Hays Code in 1934. It's interesting to note that the strict censorship mellowed again during the World War II years, to the delight of the great directors like Tex Avery, Bob Clampett and
Frank Tashlin. Cartoons from 1943 like "Red Hot Riding Hood" or "Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs" couldn't have been made two or three years earlier. Also, a cartoon like "Circus Capers" would be unthinkable after 1934.

The typical freaky Van Beuren close-up at the end. I love it!

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