Our second film might be my favorite of the series, 1924's Alice's Wild West Show. Despite this being of the series' best outings it does not feature as much animation as the first film did. This is instead a live action short subject with some animated inserts. There is however a reason for this however. After moving to LA, Walt left behind the animators he had worked with earlier. This left Walt to do much of the animation himself. Walt while a talented animator had little confidence in his animation. Walt was also hardly as fast at this as were the animators he worked with earlier making the animation part to take longer to produce. Because of this at this time Alice comedies relied more and more on live action. This would soon change when Walt would get Ub Iwerks to move west with him. Ub was one of the greatest and fastest animators of all time and because of this when he came west animation would play a much more prominent part in the series. This film in many ways feels like one of the silent Our Gang shorts. This was very common for an Alice comedy of this period, as Alice was given a group of friends who resembled the classic comedy team and went on similar adventures. This is an excellent film full of fun and energy. So enjoy.
Our last film for Today is 1925's Alice Solves the Puzzle. One thing you may notice about this short is that Alice is no longer played by Virginia Davis. Virginia Davis had to leave the series and for the rest of the shorts Alice would be played by different little girls. This is the first one not to feature her. Here Alice is played by Margie Gay. Don't worry about Virginia though her film career did not end here, as she would appear in such films as Three on a Match and Weekend in Havana. She would audition for the voice of Snow White in Walt Disney's landmark first feature, though she would not land the part. However she would end up voicing some of the boys in the Pleasure Island scene of Pinocchio. She would also work as a live action reference for the Donald Duck cartoon Mr. Duck Steps Out by doing a Jitterbug dance. This short would also introduce a new cartoon character. This would be Pete who would later become Mickey Mouse's rival. Here he is called Bootleg Pete. So enjoy.
-Michael J. Ruhland
Resources Used Hollywood Cartoons: American Animation in its Golden Age by Michael Barrier