Rooty Toot Toot

Directed by:

John Hubley 

Animated by:

Art Babbitt 

Pat Matthews

Tom McDonald

Grim Natwick

Music by:

Paul Moore 


United Productions of America (UPA) 

Release date:


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This cartoon depicts with transfiguring lines and shapes a courtroom-style musical drama. Characters are called up to the stand, each telling their side of the story, flashing back to each scene punctuated by the musical script. The opening sequence voice-over essentially sings the plot to us, a cime of passion, brilliantly using percussions and instrumentation to convey emotional tone. The scene of the crime is restaged in different colours repeatedly for the audience, the floating issue of race subtly expressed by the rough colour-block style. In the lawyer’s rhetoric fiercely defending Frankie, the accused, the sexualized jealous woman previously dressed in red with brown colouring appears apparently bleached in his depiction as he tries to convince the jury of her innocence and purity. Frankie is saved by her lawyer with an implied romantic interest, but as she sees him leaving with Nelly Bligh, the original ‘other woman’, Frankie shoots the lawyer thrice and is subsequently punished. This transgression of sexual jealousy and passion transforms the character from a malignant, fiery red and brown figure, into a blackened shadow, as she is put into jail, tamed. 

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