Posted in WB Cartoon Companion on March 22, 2004
“The Voice” and its ability to cause bobby-soxers to swoon were ripe fodder for cartoonists everywhere. Avery did a wonderful job of capturing this in Little Tinker at MGM in 1948. Gags for Sinatra usually centered around his thinness, quite evident if you look at photos of him from the mid-1940s. He was invariably pictured wearing a bow-tie.
The Swooner Crooner (Tashlin, 1944) uses these attributes in typical fashion, with one shot of the Frankie rooster depicting his body completely hidden by the microphone, only his bow-tie showing. And, of course, the swooning bobby-soxer hens. The cartoon also capitalizes on a rivalry with radio crooner Bing Crosby, which was also used in Hollywood Canine Canteen (McKimson, 1946) singing “Trade Winds”, along with a Dorothy Lamour caricature. Also appears in Catch as Cats Can (Davis, 1947) singing, among other things, “As Time Goes By”. A very sickly Sinatra is seen as “The Voice in the Wilderness” in Book Revue (Clampett, 1946), in which his crooning causes the bobby soxers to swoon, and, eventually, the villain wolf, too.