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

Nicholas Sammond, Author
Space, page 33 of 36


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Space, Page 194

In Tin Pan Alley Cats (1943), Warner Bros repurposed material from Porky in Wackyland (1939), replacing Porky with a racist caricature of Fats Waller, and transposing the landscape of "Africa" into a waterfront ghetto. 

Fats Waller, a wayward alley cat, passes a mission band in favor of the raptures of a jazz club, in which he is transported to a surreal realm populated by strange creatures (including a rubbery Hitler, Hirohito, and Stalin) who frighten him with their excessive joy. This segment is repurposed from the 1939 short Porky in Wackyland, in which Porky Pig travels to "darkest Africa" in search of the Dodo bird. Both shorts imagine a fantastic geography in which the ghetto and Africa are linked through jazz.
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