Sign in or register
for additional privileges

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

Nicholas Sammond, Author
Space, page 20 of 36


You appear to be using an older verion of Internet Explorer. For the best experience please upgrade your IE version or switch to a another web browser.

Space, Page 175

As sound films became popular in the late 1920s and 30s, cartoons were increasingly presented as containing sound, rather than merely accompanied by music and sound effects.

Both Amateur Nite (1929) and The Opry House (1929) use the theatre as a narrative frame for non-diegetic music, a background of sound. This framing technique for  sound soon gave way to the use of diegetic sound in cartoons. That is, sound and music changed from being a background to the action of the cartoon, to become something that the characters could hear and contribute to. 

In Amateur Nite, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit goes to a stage show and sees acts performed by animal characters with distinctly black bodies and white lips, a visual reminder of the role of blackface minstrelsy in vaudeville and in animation. Similarly, The Opry House depicts Mickey Mouse going to a show and performing three acts: snake-charming, an impression of a Hasidic Jew, and a piano solo. 

Bimbo's Initiation (1931) differed from past Fleischer cartoons that often played with the relationship between flat, 2-D drawn space and "real" cinematic space. In this cartoon Bimbo gets sucked into a manhole and ends up in a fantastic unified cinematic space that is shifting and unstable. 

Comment on this page

Discussion of "Space, Page 175"

Add your voice to this discussion.

Checking your signed in status ...

Previous page on path Space, page 20 of 36 Next page on path

Related:  Labor, Page 113Space, Page 177Labor, Page 119Race, Page 221Space, Page 138Space, Page 193Space, Page 163Space, Page 137Conclusion, Page 291Labor, Page 96Race, Page 204Performance, Page 50Conclusion, Page 286Introduction, Page 14Performance, Page 54Space, Page 181Labor, Page 112Space, Page 146Space, Page 178Space, Page 190Conclusion, Page 289Conclusion, Page 290Performance, Page 47Performance, Page 72Conclusion, Page 292Labor, Page 88Space, Page 189Space, Page 182Race, Page 224Space, Page 187Performance, Page 84Space, Page 165Labor, Page 110Conclusion, Page 302Space, Page 148Space, Page 195Space, Page 162Performance, Page 41Space, Page 188Conclusion, Page 273Conclusion, Page 275Race, Page 213Performance, Page 44Labor, Page 101Performance, Page 46Labor, Page 98Performance, Page 35Race, Page 230Space, Page 194Space, Page 197Race, Page 231Introduction, Page 6Race, Page 225Labor, Page 128Introduction, Page 21Race, Page 239Labor, Page 132Race, Page 248Race, Page 251Conclusion, Page 304Space, Page 143Performance, Page 52Race, Page 252Introduction, Page 29Labor, Page 133Space, Page 150Race, Page 206Race, Page 254Labor, Page 122Conclusion, Page 296Introduction, Page 4Race, Page 232Performance, Page 76Performance, Page 42Space, Page 191Performance, Page 77Race, Page 242Space, Page 172Space, Page 152Conclusion, Page 298Space, Page 155Performance, Page 60Introduction, Page 2Race, Page 247Space, Page 184Performance, Page 70Introduction, Page 23Conclusion, Page 303Labor, Page 102Performance, Page 74Space, Page 183Labor, Page 123Conclusion, Page 300Space, Page 170Race, Page 253Conclusion, Page 268Labor, Page 115Race, Page 261Race, Page 235Race, Page 258Introduction, Page 1Labor, Page 109Race, Page 229Race, Page 220Introduction, Page 30Labor, Page 129Performance, Page 43Labor, Page 131Performance, Page 45Space, Page 156Performance, Page 34Space, Page 171Space, Page 141Labor, Page 93Space, Page 169Labor, Page 97Conclusion, Page 284Space, Page 159Performance, Page 82Space, Page 166Conclusion, Page 278Race, Page 219