Mad, Mad, Mad Monsters (1972)
Day 7: An animated special.
This film took some googling to find. I don't think this film has much of a following at all, and I wouldn't be surprised if the only fans of this film are children that grew up in the early ’70s. I don't particularly have an issue with the animation style or the overall story presented. My concerns are more so the blatant sexism and verbal abuse that is baked into the characters in a nonchalant manner.
Igor helped create a monster of sorts,
Followed by a bride for the creature to court.
But Igor swooned,
And wanted some poon
The bride laughed, “you’re much too short!”
Where can you find it?
We found this film for rent on Amazon Prime for $2.99. Other than that, Tubi shows that it is available but can’t actually be watched.
Something amazing about this film is the diversity that Allen Swift is capable of with his voice acting. This man does the voice of not just two or three characters but TEN! When the film only has fourteen characters, that shows how much work this one voice actor put into the film. He does great with the slow, and solemn voice of Frankenstein's monster, and then countering that with the higher and naive voices of the monster's children which still sound different from each other. I wish I could figure out who did the obnoxious voice of Igor but he’s not credited anywhere, and I’m not paying $2.99 again to find out it was most likely Allen Swift. Mr. Swift has been voice acting since the 1950s so I’m sure you’ve heard him somewhere. The same goes for Bradley Bolke and Bob Mcfadden who play Norman the mailman, and Doctor Frankenstein. Many of these voice actors are rolled over from other Rankin and Bass properties as well.
Rankin and Bass are the masterminds behind everyone's favorite Christmas specials, such as Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, and Frosty The Snowman. Most of these other properties utilized stop motion animation, yet Mad, Mad, Mad Monsters was outsourced to a Japanese company and was top-quality animation for the time. The predecessor to this film is a stop motion picture called Mad Monster Party. The reason behind this film not being produced the way that the films that came before it, is probably due to movies like Frosty The Snowman doing well in this format, but also the fact that stop motion costs more, and Mad Monster Party wasn’t a hit. This film was shown during The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie era, along with many Hanna-Barbera films, who are responsible for Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? And The Flintstones.
The plot of this one is really very simple: Doctor Frankenstein comes to the conclusion that his Monster is lonely and needs a mate. The film opens with Igor and the Doc using some contraption to lift a corpse into the trap door in the ceiling of their ominous castle. Lightning strikes and Igor finds himself hopelessly in love with the Monster’s Bride. The Doc has invitations sent out to monsters all across the world, like Dracula, The Invisible Man, and The Swamp Monster. This is when we’re introduced to the Mailman, who ends up also watching over the hotel where the wedding takes place. Before the Wedding can happen the Bride is stolen by a King-Kong-type monster called Modzoola. Ultimately Modzoola is yelled at by his wife, and lets the bride go. Igor accepts that the bride is not meant for him, and the movie wraps up with the two Frankenstein monsters getting married. Some fun humor in between these events, like Dracula reminiscing on their old heydays. The Invisible Husband is rude to his wife, and vice versa, which is funny, but in a Married With Children kind of way. I can’t help feeling that there are some sexist themes here, so if you’re sensitive to that kind of thing, then I would steer clear.
If this is a film that you had seen as a child, does it have the same endearment as the Rankin and Bass Christmas specials?
Am I being overly analytical when it comes to casual sexism, when is it comedy, and when are we stepping on toes?
Do we need Halloween specials like this in our yearly routine, or are horror movies more appropriate for the festivities?