August 11, 2022

For individuals who do not know, Netflix just lately launched their newest animated sequence The Cuphead Present! Based mostly on the favored indie online game Cuphead from 2017, the sequence follows the ever-impulsive Cuphead and his a lot warier brother Mugman as they go on a sequence of high-flying misadventures that put them face-to-face with a number of colourful characters together with boxing frogs, troublemaking child bottles, and even the Satan himself!

Very similar to the sport it is based mostly on, the artwork type and general aesthetic of The Cuphead Present! takes loads of affect from the rubber hose type of animation that was prevalent in lots of basic cartoons from the Thirties, particularly the works of Walt Disney and Max Fleischer. In case you’ve already seen The Cuphead Present! and need to study extra about its potential inspirations, then listed here are some collections of basic animated shorts that you need to take a look at.


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Mickey Mouse Cartoons

Picture through Disney

Though Walt Disney had loads of animation credit to his title previous to 1928, it was the creation of 1 anthropomorphic mouse that will cement his legacy as one of many best minds within the leisure business.

Directed by Disney and animated by Ub Iwerks and Wilfred Jackson, 1928’s Steamboat Willy is just not solely the primary official look of the corporate’s future mascot Mickey Mouse, but additionally one of many first animated brief to be produced with synchronized sound. Seeing Mickey fortunately whistle “Steamboat Invoice” was sufficient to place him on the map and was probably an enormous inspiration for the creators of Cuphead.

Disney made much more Mickey Mouse shorts within the Thirties, and the character’s reputation continued to skyrocket. One such brief, 1935’s Mickey’s Backyard, could have additionally been influenced the creators of Cuphead because it options loads of trippy, Technicolor imagery similar to regular-sized bugs that get drunk on insecticide. Contemplating that Disney remains to be releasing Mickey Mouse shorts to at the present time, it is no surprise why he is nonetheless the face of the corporate.

Foolish Symphony

Picture through Disney

One other common sequence of brief movies that Disney launched on the time was Foolish Symphony. Because the title suggests, these shorts usually featured music and weren’t meant to be taken critically. Additionally they predate the Mickey Mouse shorts of their use of Technicolor.

This sequence even embraced the supernatural as early as its first sketch. Aptly titled The Skeleton Dance, the brief, which launched in 1929, takes place in a ghostly graveyard and revolves round 4 skeletons who dance and make music with their bones–at least till the solar comes up. Not solely was this movie entertaining to observe but additionally obtained some love in each the Cuphead online game and The Cuphead Present!

One other horror-themed Foolish Symphony that probably influenced Cuphead and its Netflix adaptation is Hell’s Bells. Launched three months after The Skeleton Dance, this brief is about in Hell and sees Devil and the opposite devils throw a celebration. Upon watching this movie, it is not laborious to infer that the creators of each the Cuphead online game and The Cuphead Present! took heavy inspiration from this Devil once they had been creating their very own model of the Satan.


Picture through King Options Syndicate

To maintain up with Hollywood’s hasty transition from silent movie to speaking footage, Max and Dave Fleischer developed a sequence of brief movies generally known as Talkartoons. Launched between 1929 and 1932, these shorts initially featured a primary paper-cutout animation type that severely lacked within the grey tones used to make the characters and backgrounds look extra dynamic. Nevertheless, it did not take lengthy earlier than Fleischer Studios determined to animate future Talkartoons on cels, which not solely allowed for extra grey tones but additionally modified animation for the higher.

Hiring Grim Natwick as an animator for Talkartoons was one other step in the correct path for Fleischer Studios as led to the shorts having a surrealist high quality that distinguished them from their contemporaries. Take 1931’s Bimbo’s Initiation, for instance. This brief stars the anthropomorphic canine Bimbo, who was already a outstanding participant in Talkartoons on the time, refusing to affix to a mysterious cult and is thereby compelled to make his means via a big assortment of dying traps that embody falling blades, spiked partitions, and even sticky flooring. As offbeat because it sounds, the movie is so iconic that in his 1980 reference ebook Of Mice and Magic: A Historical past of American Animated Cartoons, high-profile movie critic Leonard Maltin describes it as “the ‘darkest’ of all” Fleischer cartoons. Amongst all the opposite animated works from during the last a number of many years, Natwick’s work probably impressed the inventive groups behind Cuphead and its Netflix adaptation since each may usually get fairly bizarre with their animation.

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Betty Boop

Picture through King Options Syndicate

Though she was initially launched as Bimbo’s human girlfriend, the character of Betty Boop would go on to grow to be Fleischer Studios’ most well-known character. Typically acknowledged for having a big child head on prime of a relatively extra slender physique, what separated Betty Boop from different feminine cartoons characters on the time was that she was usually portrayed as a really sexual girl and thus making her a outstanding intercourse image on this planet of leisure.

Actually, Betty Boop turned so common that she went being a featured character on Talkartoons to having her personal sequence. One of many extra iconic Betty Boop shorts, Minnie the Moocher, options lots of the surrealist qualities that Nawtick was recognized for, proper right down to having a singing, dancing ghost walrus rotoscoped from dwell motion footage of influential scat singer Cab Calloway (the principle inspiration for Cuphead character King Cube). Despite the fact that the Movement Image Manufacturing Code of 1934 precipitated Betty Boop to decorate extra conservatively and cast off her happy-go-lucky angle, the character’s legacy would dwell on due to her merchandising growth within the Eighties.

Popeye the Sailor

Picture through Turner Leisure

Based mostly on the long-lasting sketch character of the identical title, Popeye the Sailor is a sequence of theatrically launched animated shorts developed by Fleischer Studios and launched between 1933 and 1942.

One of many extra notable shorts to return out of this assortment was 1936’s Popeye Meets Sinbad the Sailor. This movie would grow to be Fleischer Studios’ first animated brief to be nominated for an Academy Awards, thanks partially to its vibrant colours and over-the-top character actions.

Popeye Meets Sinbad the Sailor was additionally one of many many shorts with the titular protagonist to make use of a stereoscopic rotary course of through which the movie’s motion cels had been photographed in entrance of round 3D scale-model background. That means, the filmmakers may make audiences assume they had been watching animated characters stroll in entrance of a real-life backdrop. Thankfully, for these filmmakers, The Cuphead Present! would institute an identical course of a number of many years later!

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