Western Animation: The Barber of Seville
V'è la risorsa!note "The Barber of Seville"
is a 1944 Walter Lantz
cartoon directed by Shamus Culhane
, starring Woody Woodpecker
, as he stumbles across an abandoned barber shop in which he takes over for the time, much to the mistreatment of his customers, including a Native American and an Italian construction worker, who he shaves to the tune of "Largo Al Factotum". Hilarity Ensues
This was not only the first of several Woody shorts that Culhane would direct, but also the first Woody Woodpecker cartoon to use Woody's beloved streamlined design. The art direction was also substantially altered from lush storybook like watercolor backgrounds to downright minimalist, flat colored layouts.
Not to be confused with Rabbit of Seville
Tropes Used by This Short:
- Art Evolution: Under previous director Alex Lovy, the Lantz studio's cartoons were very haphazardly animated and designed, and had pleasant, but pretty standard looking watercolor backgrounds. With Shamus Culhane's arrival, the animation only improved slightly, but this somewhat mitigated by the fact that the character and background designs were way better than what we saw before.
- Circling Birdies: Er, chirping little birdies chirping and circling around the dazed Native American's head, to the beat of a classic NA tune.
- Comes Great Insanity: Don't give Woody the position of a barber if you value your life. Granted, he actually does a fairly good job on the workman — doesn't get a scratch on the guy — he's just so rough about it.
- Minimalism: The backgrounds in this short are very sparsely and feature flat color styling.
- Poirot Speak: The Italian-American workman tells Woody, "I want you for to give me the whole works, Figaro."
- Screwy Squirrel: Woody, of course. Unfortunately, he does tend to stray from being a simple Screwy Squirrel into an outright Jerkass at times, a problem that would remain throughout the entire Culhane era.
- Shout-Out: When Woody combs his "hair" over his face, he remarks, "Looks like Harmonica Lake" — a reference to actress Veronica◊ Lake◊, famous for her "peekaboo" hairstyle. Later, when Woody calls out, "Figaro! Figaro!" the workman replies, "Coming, Mother!" — a Catch Phrase of the popular radio comedy, The Aldrich Family ("Hen-RY! Henry Aldrich!" "Coming, Mother!").
- Tonto Talk: The Chief talks this way (despite it being the 1940's).
- Toothy Bird: "Maybe I can cut my own hair? I cut my own teeth!"
- Traumatic Haircut: Take a look at the above image... Does it look like the costumer is enjoying his visit at the barber shop? Do you think he'll be able to visit a barber shop ever again without having flashbacks to the time Woody shaved him?
- Visual Pun: Woody puts a steaming hot towel on the chief's headdress, which shrinks it down into a badminton bird. "You give chief the bird, me give you scalp treatment!" How they got that past the radar is a question for the ages.
- Wartime Cartoon: It's implied that the owner of the barber shop has been drafted, and the Victory haircut is clearly inspired by the iconic "V for Victory" slogan of the day.