El Terrible Toreador Review

On September 7, 1929 America was recovering from what is known as the “Babson Break,” which was a small decrease in prices that lasted a day. Also on this day Disney’s second Silly Symphony El Terrible Toreador premiered. As always the instrumental music in the background carried most of the comedy, but in the best way possible. The music at some points added extra comedy due to the contrast of content on screen.

The cartoon opens with a waitress in what seems to be a bar somewhere in Spain. Now this waitress is a bit of a stereotype for the time. She is wearing minimal clothing and delivers alcohol to a male patron. During this time period people were beginning to struggle financially, which explains why the waitress did a little song and dance for the patron to earn extra tips. This starts the whole cartoon in motion. The patron now believes that she is attracted to him and starts to act pushy towards her. As this is taking place, a man comes in who is greeted with cheers from the other patrons in the bar. He starts a stand off with the pushy patron and ends up making him look like a fool in front of everyone. This in my opinion is another example of women being sidelined by men during this time period.

The cartoon now has these two men pumped up on their egos and the need to show dominance over one another. The next scene opens with the man in a bull ring. Another show and dance is performed between the man and the bull. It’s very comical and takes advantage of the music in the background. Everyone cheers except for the pushy patron who puts pepper in the flowers that the waitress is about to throw into the ring. One small thing I want to touch on is the fact that the waitress is sitting next to the pushy patron at this event. It was very subtle, but for me it seemed like another example of women not having the choices and decisions they can make today. After the flowers are thrown the bull spits out his teeth and the man takes advantage of the new development. They now get into a stand off, with yet another example of men needing to be in control and have power over those who are in a weak position. The cartoon ends with the bull being pulled inside out by the man who stands victoriously over it’s body.

The struggle between America’s past morals and the corruptness of the stock market of the time is what I think this cartoon is trying to comment on in a subtle way. I agree that the men are bulls, hungry for power and advantage over each other. Success was a contagious disease in the 20’s and still is ruling society today. Overall the cartoon was a little provocative for the time, but executed tastefully. The animation was really impressive for the time period. You can really appreciate the detailed work in each of the main characters and the motion they create. My favorite element so far in the silly symphony cartoons is the clever usage of music to create a comical tone throughout the story.

Thanks for reading and make sure to leave a comment if you have anything to add onto the review. This is just my interpretation and I welcome other points of view!


InLiquid Studio Visit!

Today I had the pleasure of meeting with Rachel Zimmerman and Erica Minutella at the InLiquid Studio in Philadelphia!  As the InLiquid site states “InLiquid is a nonprofit organization committed to creating opportunities and exposure for visual artists while serving as a free, online public hub for arts information in the Philadelphia area. By providing the public with immediate access to view the portfolios and credentials of over 280 artists and designers via the internet; through meaningful partnerships with other cultural organizations; through community-based activities and exhibitions; and through an extensive online body of timely art information, InLiquid brings to light the richness of our region’s art activity, broadens audiences, and heightens appreciation for all forms of visual culture.”(InLiquid.org)  This organization has the desire to connect with artists in Philadelphia and I saw firsthand how they work as a cohesive team.

I am not even a member of the InLiquid organization, but was welcomed from the minute I walked through the door.  The studio itself is large, with friendly faces passing by.  Everyone I saw was happy and smiling!  This is the kind of organization that treats each other like family.  Everyone in the studio seemed genuinely kind and passionate about their work.  Having the opportunity to visit the InLiquid studio was an amazing experience for me and one that I will not forget!

Rachel is the executive director and Erica is the site editor of InLiquid.org.  Rachel and Erica graiously agreed to meet with me and provided first hand advice on how to broaden my work through social media and potential opportunities available to young art students.  The fact that such important members of the organization agreed to meet with me just shows the dedication they have to supporting artists.  They took valuable time out of their schedules to help a young aspiring artist and in my opinion that says a lot about the character of those in the InLiquid organization.  After leaving the studio, I felt so inspired to keep working and networking!  I will always be grateful to Rachel and Erica and continue to update them on my progress because without them I might not know where to go next on my journey to becoming an animator!



“What is InLiquid.” InLiquid. Studio Z Design, n.d. Web. 7 Aug. 2014. <http://inliquid.org/about/ mission/>.