296. The Oompahs – Robert Cannon


SUMMARY: A family of brass instruments come to conflict when their son Orville wants to play hot jazz with his friends instead of classical.

WHY IT’S HERE: In a parody of ‘The Jazz Singer’, Robert Cannon’s ‘The Oompahs’ follows the story of a family of brass instruments. Papa the tuba wants his son Orville to play classical music but Orville wants to express himself his own way and falls ill in his depressed state. The message is an old one but the modernist style sees UPA taking another defiant step further into minimalism. Had ‘The Oompahs’ been made by Disney they would undoubtedly have given the musical instruments human features (as they had done so memorably in 1935’s ‘Music Land’) but UPA opt to make the characters nothing more than floating versions of the instruments they represent, moving cumbersomely around the frame but somehow still capturing the essence of each character.


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