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Making 'Em Move (1931)

by Nicholas Sammond

From its inception, American commercial animation self-reflexively performed its own labor. This cartoon brings the fantastic body of the cartoon minstrel together with a fantasy of cartoons produced by cartoons for cartoons. Here, the minstrel as the fantastic embodiment of labor is made literal in the comic performance of what appears to be sweatshop working conditions. Note that the cartoon animators produce degraded versions of themselves, mere stick figures who perform a tired melodrama.

Making 'Em Move

This 1931 cartoon by the Van Beuren Studios creates a fantasy in which cartoon characters create themselves in sweatshop conditions.

from Making 'Em Move (1931)
Creator: Van Beuren Studios
Distributor: Cartoons That Time Forgot
Posted by Nicholas Sammond
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