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Birth of An Industry: Blackface Minstrelsy and the Rise of American Animation

Nicholas Sammond, Author
Race, page 11 of 25


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Race, Page 231

Like the ghoulish figures in many contemporary Fleischer jazz cartoons, the capering natives in Trader Mickey (1932) link jazz to animality, death, and sexuality. Wearing shackle-like bracelets on their wrists and ankles, the natives in Trader Mickey evoke bondage as they dance the dirty blues.

In Minnie the Moocher (1932), a rotoscoped Cab Calloway dances as a ghostly, animated walrus, alternately terrifying and entertaining Betty Boop and Bimbo. The Fleischers often depicted jazz music through a terrifying yet desirable underworld populated by rhythmic "spooks."

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