Over at WFMU’s Beware of the Blog, Kliph Nesteroff linked to a cartoon he found at Cartoon Brew (a new gem in the reader) titled “In the Nicotine” from 1961 which is about a man who is checked into a kind of rehab for smokers by his wife to kick the habit. I think the whole thing is wonderful, bad animation and all!
And again from Nesteroff, who artfully culls once again from Cartoon Brew to highlight Chop Suey (1930), animation that brings smoking to a whole different level. Here’s a little bit about this video from the Opium Museum:
This cartoon is supposed to be taking place in San Francisco’s Chinatown as indicated by the famous pagoda roofs and view of the bay and Alcatraz Island seen at 4:33. Many Chinese laundries served as fronts for opium dens, which is the inspiration behind the scene at 00:50 which depicts two rats receiving an opium pipe from the cat in the laundry and then floating away on the clouds.
In fact, this gag is just one of the many examples of overt racism aimed at the Chinese in this cartoon.