Monday, November 12, 2007

Welcome, Joe and Bill

Another Fox musical being released on DVD tomorrow is The Girl Next Door (1953), starring two mid-level Fox contractees near the end of their contracts, Dan Dailey and June Haver. It's actually quite enjoyable, and unusual for a Fox musical in that it is a real musical, with songs and dances that are actually part of the story. (Most Fox musicals, in keeping with a preference that Darryl Zanuck had displayed all the way back to his days at Warner Brothers, confined most of the musical numbers to stage and nightclub performances -- in other words, they weren't really musicals, more like comedies about people who happen to be musical performers.)

The director, Richard Sale, commissioned UPA -- the hottest animation studio at the time the film was made -- to create a couple of animated sequences. This one, with Dailey's son imagining Haver as a troublemaking witch (she and Dailey want to get together but Dailey's son won't accept her), was the longest. It also forced UPA to do talking-animal animation, which they eschewed in their own cartoons.

Does anyone know for certain who did the voices of the dog and the raccoon? The dog sounds like Bill Scott, who was with UPA at the time; I'm not sure about the raccoon.

Update: Jerry Beck writes: "Voice expert Keith Scott (no relation) has confirmed to me that both the animal characters are voiced by Bill Scott."



Also, I don't know if calling the characters "Joe and Bill" was intended as a cartoon reference. I suspect it's a coincidence, though; Hanna and Barbera's work was well-known in 1953, but they themselves were not.

2 comments:

Bill Crider said...

Richard Sale had quite a career, from pulp writer to the big screen.

Jerry Beck said...

Voice expert Keith Scott (no relation) has confirmed to me that both the animal characters are voiced by Bill Scott.