Shrunken Cinema/Termite Terrace/One Froggy Evening

From Eccentric Flower

One Froggy Evening

1955

Summary: A man finds a singing frog, but finds that it will not sing in sight of anyone but him.

Director: Chuck Jones

Writer: Michael Maltese

Featuring: No regulars.

Onreel

0:42 The "J.C. Wilber" building uses the name of one of the production personnel on the film. It has been noted by various pedants that most of the songs the frog sings were written during the time between 1892 and 1955, when he was presumably sealed in the cornerstone. Perhaps he is a quick study?

1:17 "Hello! Ma Baby," written 1899.

2:43 "The Michigan Rag," written 1955 for the cartoon (see Offreel).

3:13 "Gribbroek" on the store window is Robert Gribbroek, background artist (whose signature handprint-on-a-wall was seen in the hallway of the theatrical agent).

3:17 "Come Back to Erin," 1866. Written by an English woman, Charlotte Barnard, who wrote under the pseudonym "Claribel."

3:31 "I'm Just Wild About Harry," 1921. Written by Noble Sissle and ragtime great Eubie Blake for the musical "Shuffle Along."

3:45 "Throw Him Down, McCloskey," written 1890. This song was popularized by a female singer!

4:20 Television airings of this cartoon have often prudishly cut the portion where the "Free Beer" sign is drawn and displayed, making it look like "Free Admission" and not "Free Beer" has attracted the crowds.

4:23 "Won't You Come Over To My House," written 1906.

5:06 "Largo al factotum" from "The Barber of Seville," written 1816. (See Rabbit of Seville.)

5:39 "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone," written 1930. It would be nice if the Leon Redbone album which had Chuck Jones art of Michigan J. Frog on its cover (On the Track) contained his version of this song, but it doesn't - he recorded it for Champagne Charlie.

6:01 "Tregoweth Brown Building." See this page for more on Treg Brown.

Offreel

This cartoon was named one of the "fifty greatest cartoons" in a vote of 1000 animation professionals in 1994. It has been selected for preservation in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.

The cartoon is marked as "no regulars"; although Michigan J. Frog is clearly a well-known character, especially given his later prominence as a television mascot, this is the only cartoon he appears in, and he didn't have a name at the time it was made. Chuck Jones gave the frog its name years later.

"The Michigan Rag" was an original composition written for this cartoon by director Chuck Jones, writer Michael Maltese, and conductor/music director Milt Franklyn. It bears a resemblance to a number of other songs of that general type from the 1920's, for example "Varsity Drag."

The singing voice of the frog was a mystery for years, but as Wikipedia notes, the Golden Collection "unequivocally credits the vocals to baritone Bill Roberts, a Los Angeles nightclub entertainer in the 1950s."

If you want a phenomenal amount of details about each of the frog's songs, try this page. I love to find work by people who are just as insane as I am!

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