The weekend is finally here and while I’m not sure what the weather situation is like in your necks of the woods, where I’m located the wind and temperature drop is perfect for staying indoors and watching some classic animation. Of course since this is October it is only fitting that the animated short we present for this Toon In is something a little creepy or at least borders on the macabre. That is why I have picked The Magic Mummy from 1933 for your viewing pleasure today – it is a theatrical short that was produced by Van Beuren Studios. The Magic Mummy is another prime example of what I love about early animation – as I mentioned with my article on 1929’s The Skeleton Dance – there is a real element of the animators just cutting loose, having fun with what they are able to do through the medium.
The Van Beuren Studios by the way was initially formed in 1920 as Fables Pictures – which produced the Aesop’s Film Fables short which was headed by Paul Terry – who would go on to form Terrytoons in 1929. In 1928, Amadee J. Van Beuren, would buy out Fables Pictures and it would of course become Van Beuren Studios – producing Paul Terry’s Dinner Time short which was one of the very first cartoons shown in theaters with sound. In fact it’s been said that particular animated short was released a month ahead of Walt Disney’s Steamboat Willie – although I should point out that it wasn’t remotely as popular as the Mickey Mouse short.
The Magic Mummy was originally released in theaters on February 7th of 1933 and before today I’ve not had the pleasure of viewing the short – I found it to be quite enjoyable though. It’s about two Police officers named Tom and Jerry, the latter is the shorter in stature, who hear upon their patrol car radio (or gramophone!) that another mummy has been stolen from the museum. Thanks to their patrol car exhibiting qualities similar to 1973’s Speed Buggy the two officers witness a strange sight, a cloaked man carrying a sarcophagus through the cemetery. Following this curious character they are astonished to learn he is bringing his prize to a secret underground lair – upon entering they witness the stranger using his magical abilities to resurrect the mummy. For what purpose? It appears that he is attempting to entertain an opera house full of lively skeletons…
Can Tom and Jerry put a stop to all of this necromancy – let’s find out together as we Toon In to The Magic Mummy!
Video and Article Image Provided by Luke CASH‘s YouTube Channel.