Tuesday, January 2, 8931
Development of Bollywood Film Industry (c. 1931)
Bollywood, is the informal term popularly used for Bombay (Mumbai)-based Hindi-language film industry in India. Bollywood is often incorrectly used to refer to the whole of Indian cinema; it is only a part of the Indian film industry. Bollywood is one of the largest film producers in the world.
The name is a portmanteau of Bombay and Hollywood, the center of the American film industry. However, unlike Hollywood, Bollywood does not exist as a real physical place. Though some deplore the name, arguing that it makes the industry look like a poor cousin to Hollywood, it seems likely to persist and now has its own entry in the Oxford English Dictionary.
Bollywood is commonly referred to as Hindi cinema, even though Hindustani, understood as the colloquial base common to both Hindi and Urdu, might be more accurate. The use of poetic Urdu words is fairly common. There has been a growing presence of Indian English in dialogue and songs as well. It is not uncommon to see films that feature dialogue with English words and phrases, even whole sentences. There is a growing number of films made entirely in English.
[The first Indian sound film, Ardeshir Irani's Alam Ara (1931)]
Raja Harishchandra (1913) was the first silent feature film made in India. It was made by Dadasaheb Phalke. By the 1930's, the industry was producing over 200 films per year. The first Indian sound film, Ardeshir Irani's Alam Ara (1931), was a major success. There was clearly a huge market for talkies and musicals; Bollywood and all the regional film industries quickly switched to sound filming.
India - Bollywood Film Music
The Bollywood selection apparently quotes the signature laugh of Woody Woodpecker in its bridge section.
Woody Woodpecker is an animated cartoon character, an anthropomorphic woodpecker who appeared in theatrical short films produced by the Walter Lantz animation studio and distributed by Hollywood's Universal Pictures. Though not the first of the "screwball" characters that became popular in the 1940's, Woody is perhaps the most indicative of the type.
Woody was created in 1940 by storyboard artist Ben "Bugs" Hardaway, who had previously laid the groundwork for two other "screwball" characters, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, at the Schlesinger/Warner Bros. studio in the late 1930s. Woody's character and design would evolve over the years, from an insane bird with an unusually garish design to a more refined looking and acting character in the vein of the later Chuck Jones version of Bugs Bunny. Woody was originally voiced by prolific voice actor Mel Blanc, who was succeeded by Ben Hardaway and later by Grace Stafford, wife of Walter Lantz.
Lantz produced theatrical cartoons longer than most of his contemporaries, and Woody Woodpecker remained a staple of Universal's release schedule until 1972, when Lantz finally closed down his studio. The character has only been revived since then for special productions and occasions, save for one new Saturday morning cartoon, The New Woody Woodpecker Show, for the Fox Network in the late 1990s/early 2000s.
Woody Woodpecker cartoons were first broadcast on television in 1957 under the title The Woody Woodpecker Show, which featured Lantz cartoons bookended by new footage of Woody and live-action footage of Lantz. Though less popular today, a repackaged version of The Woody Woodpecker Show is still frequently seen in television syndication. Woody has a motion picture star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on 7000 Hollywood Blvd. He also made a cameo alongside many other famous cartoon characters in the 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
According to Walter Lantz's press agent, the idea for Woody came during the producer's honeymoon with his wife, Gracie, in Sherwood Lake, California. A noisy woodpecker outside their cabin kept the couple awake at night, and when a heavy rain started, they learned that the bird had bored holes in their cabin's roof. Gracie suggested that her husband make a cartoon about the bird, and thus Woody was born. The story is questionable, however, since the Lantzes were not married until after Woody made his screen debut. Their standard story that the bird's cry inspired Woody's trademark "Ha-ha-ha-HAA-ha!" is also questionable, as Mel Blanc had already used a similar laugh in earlier Warner Bros. cartoons such as Elmer's Candid Camera.
Woody Woodpecker first appeared in the film Knock Knock on November 25, 1940. The cartoon ostensibly stars Andy Panda and his father, Papa Panda, but it is Woody who steals the show. The woodpecker constantly pesters the two pandas, apparently just for the fun of it. Andy, meanwhile, tries to sprinkle salt on Woody's tail in the belief that this will somehow capture the bird. To Woody's surprise, Andy's attempts prevail, and Woody is taken away to the funny farm -- but not before his captors prove to be crazier than he is.
The Woody of Knock Knock, designed by animator Alex Lovy, is a truly deranged-looking animal. His buggy eyes look in different directions, and his head is all angles and sharp points. However, the familiar color scheme of red head and blue body is already in place, as is the infamous laugh: "Ha-ha-ha-HAA-ha!". Woody is perhaps the best example of the new type of cartoon character that was becoming popular in the early 1940s -- a brash, violent aggressor who pesters innocents not out of self defense, but simply for the fun of it. Woody's original voice actor, Mel Blanc, would stop performing the character after the first four cartoons to work exclusively for Leon Schlesinger Productions, producer of Warner Brothers' Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies. At Schlesinger's, Blanc had already established the voices of two other famous "screwball" characters who preceded Woody, Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny. Ironically, Blanc's characterization of the Woody Woodpecker laugh had originally been applied to Bugs Bunny's predecessor, "Happy Rabbit", in shorts such as the aforementioned Elmer's Candid Camera, and was later transferred to Woody. Blanc's regular speaking voice for Woody was much like the early Daffy Duck, minus the lisp. Once Warner Bros. signed Blanc up to an exclusive contract, Woody's voice-over work was taken over by Ben Hardaway, who would voice the woodpecker for the rest of the decade.
Wet Blanket Policy (1948), directed by Dick Lundy, introduced Woody's new adversary Buzz Buzzard and featured Woody's Academy Award-nominated theme song, "The Woody Woodpecker Song".
In 1947, Woody got his own theme song when musicians George Tibbles and Ramey Idriess wrote The Woody Woodpecker Song, making ample use of the character's famous laugh. Kay Kyser's 1948 recording of the song, with Harry Babbitt's laugh interrupting vocalist Gloria Wood, became one of the biggest hit singles of 1948. Other artists did covers, including Woody's original voice actor, Mel Blanc. Lantz first used The Woody Woodpecker Song in the 1948 short Wet Blanket Policy, and became the first and only song from an animated short subject to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Song.
The Woody Woodpecker Song and the Woody Woodpecker cartoons made extensive use of Woody's famous laugh, upsetting the man who created it, Mel Blanc. Although Blanc had only recorded four shorts as the voice of Woody, his laugh had been recorded as a stock sound effect, and used in every subsequent Woody Woodpecker short up until this point. Blanc sued Lantz and lost, but Lantz settled out of court when Blanc filed an appeal.
[8931 Tema Harbor / 8931 Bollywood / 8930 Bart]