99. Mother Goose Goes Hollywood – Wilfred Jackson


SUMMARY: A spoof of Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes in which the roles are played by caricatures of Hollywood actors.

WHY IT’S HERE: The 73rd Silly Symphony and the last cartoon to officially bear the series name, ‘Mother Goose Goes Hollywood’ is one of the best celebrity caricature cartoons out there, ingeniously mixing Hollywood stars into Nursery Rhymes. W.C. Fields is Humpty Dumpty, Laurel and Hardy are Simple Simon and the Pieman, the Marx Brothers are Old King Cole’s fiddlers and, in the cartoon’s fantastic running gag, Katherine Hepburn is a decidedly stoic Little Bo Peep. Although it features a couple of dodgy racial gags (the one that seems most offensive by today’s standards is actually a caricature of black actor Stepin Fetchit whose trademark stereotype schtik it accurately recreates) and a handful of celebrities that modern audiences may struggle to recognise (making it all the more fun for we film-buffs), ‘Mother Goose Goes Hollywood’ is a fantastic cartoon which works itself up into an unprecedentedly lively crescendo in which the caricatures sing and dance along with Fats Waller and Cab Calloway. It was nominated for the Best Animated Short Oscar in a phenomenal year for Disney that saw the studio nominated for four different cartoons (the others were ‘Brave Little Tailor’, ‘Good Scouts’ and ‘Ferdinand the Bull’, which ultimately won the award).


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