There were 47 Laugh O-Gram Processes; I don't know which one they used for this cartoon. And neither does Leonard Maltin. No, seriously, there weren't 47. There was one, and that was "men at desks draw pictures." But you have to admire the bravado and importance of the line, don't you?

The Laugh-O-Gram studio in Kansas City contracted with a company called "Pictoral Clubs," and got $11,000 to animate six fairy tales. The studio boasted names that would go on to dominate animation: Walt, of course, but Friz Freleng, Rudolph Ising, Ub Iwerks, Hugh Harman. In the end everyone went bankrupt - Pictoral Clubs failed, and Laugh-O-Gram folded.

But not before they created the first running character in Disney history:

Cat.

 

 

The cat's in all these early shorts. He's clever and something of a juggler. Here he's helping poor Cindyrella do the dishes while her step-sisters loll around outside, modern as blue blazes:

 

 

We're introduced to the Prince, who's galloping through the countryside, repeatedly shooting a bear in the arse.

 

 

Little does he know that the bear belongs to a large group of musically-inclined bears, who are dancing along on a fine summer's day:

 

 

You're thinking the Prince has met his match, but after a standard Laugh-O-Gram style fight - a shot of the door, with stuff coming out to indicate conflict - the Prince emerges with all the bears roped together, and dead. Poor bears! If they'd been the subject of the picture, they would all be cute and beloved.

Anyway, the Prince is anxious to hook up, so he sends his dog out to throw invitations to a ball. Everyone gets them. It is a frighteningly regimented neighborhood, and suggests the Prince has absolute control over city planning, perhaps to use the theories of urban design to manipulate the citizenry, and encourage an unconscious acceptance of conformity:

 

 

Or it was easy to draw and looked nifty. The dog hits a rock and falls down a hill, which leads to a nicely-animated sequence of cascading papers - you know they were proud of that moment, and wondered if anyone would notice. Not how hard it was to do, but how hard it was to imagine, and then figure out how to do it. You'll see it below.

Immediately after the accident the dog is bandaged, and has a crutch. A fellow dog inquires after his health, and is beaten with the crutch for his troubles.

 

 

There is a ball, of course.

 

 

There is a hot band, with the usual notes flying around to indicate sound patterns in a familiar tonality.

 

 

There is the moon-a and the spoon-a and the croon-a.

 

 

Afterwards the Prince goes on hands and knees through an Edward Hopper neighborhood to find Cinderella.

 

 

 

Not only does he find her and gather her up in his arms, but the cat and the dog, who danced the previous night, embrace and kiss as well, ignoring the differences in species and social status.

 

 

 

And then? But of course.

 

 

Here it is.