I interrupt the storyline of 1903 to share news of 1933 from the vantage point of 2013.
I don’t remember when I first learned that my great grandfather, Paul Eisler, had worked in Hollywood on movie soundtracks “sometime in the ’40’s”. It was one of the snippets that I had heard over time thrown about in conversation accompanied by not a speck of detail and for sure no full story.
When I finally went looking for anything to corroborate the casual statement I found something not from the 1940’s but from 1933. One credit listed in the Internet Movie Database (imdb) giving details that he had worked on the seven minute cartoon short “The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon“.
I had the distinct and sudden feeling I had actually seen fragments of this cartoon but I couldn’t be completely sure. It was a funny thing to remember fragments of something visual that I had enjoyed as a child, only to find out later my great grandfather had worked on it. Did he ever think his grandchild would like what he done there on film? Did he ever wonder if one of us might even see it a hundred years later? What are the the things that we leave behind that our descendants bump into and never know the family connection to it?
The imdb provides this detailed summary of the action: “Storyline: Dishes and utensils wash, dry, and stack themselves. A duster plays a silverware box like a piano while a salt-pepper-and-sugar set sings. The spoon proposes to the dish (interrupted by a cry from a baby spoon), then plays percussion on some pans and jam jars. Some teacups do a can-can, then a centipede-like conga line. The Swiss cheese yodels. The blueing sings “Am I Blue?,” joined by a potato crying from all its eyes. An egg dances, slips on some lard, hatches, and sings “Young and Healthy.” A lump of dough rises like a ghost and dances over to a packet of yeast, which it mixes into water and drinks, then grows, a la Jekyll and Hyde. It threatens the dish; some utensils fight back, lobbing canned goods from a spatula catapult. More attacks with cheese graters, popcorn, a rolling pin, and an electric fan, turn the dough into muffins, a bundt cake, a pie, and waffles.Written by Jon Reeves” http://www.imdb.com/
I want to see this cartoon! (Again I guess) hear the music and see the poster too, which I have only seen by digital copy. Well, no leads yet on just how to do that, but I’d love to hear of anyone’s thoughts on how to make that possible.
I know that this cartoon cannot be not the only item he worked on, but I haven’t found any other credits yet. It just couldn’t be possible that he swooped in to California with a gig for the music of one singular cartoon and then left. Plenty of musicians worked the film industry studios then without any specific credit, so maybe I won’t be able to find much more, but I am looking.