Wednesday, October 24, 2007
A Half-baked Idea
As a little girl growing up in Southern (okay, central) California, I went to Disneyland. A lot. What little knowledge I had about Disney World stemmed from but one sacred treasure: My "Disneyland/WDW Official Album" on cassette tape. I can't tell you how I wore this tape out. The concept that I could be transported to that most magical of places just with the push of a FischerPrice radio play button enthralled me as a child. But as I was saying, what little knowledge I had of Disney World came from my own imaginative machinations when I heard songs that were from Orlando's magic kingdom. One such song that I loved was the "Boogie Woogie Bakery Boy" segment from the Kitchen Kabaret (part of The Land at Epcot, as I later discovered). The concept was brilliant and entirely clever: a reincarnation of the Andrews Sisters Boogie Woogie Bugel Boy but with a new and goofy meaning. The first part of the lyrics are below to give you an idea of the cleverness:
We'd like to sing about a friend who has really gone far
He started with some dough and then he rose to be a star
He's hot when he uses the bread and cereal group
An oven-right trooper he can never be duped
It's known that he's no clown
The boogie woogie bakery boy the bread with the sound -
He's cute, he toots,
Toodle-oodle Toodle-oodle, Noodle-Noodle
He's fast, He's fast
Pasta pasta, pasta pasta
He bakes with so much fun
With a hey bagel bagel and a hot crossed bun.
Readers curious to see what this segment was like can now be transported back in time and experience the Kitchen Kabaret though the craze that is YouTube (In order to get to the Cereal Sisters singing the Boogie Woogie Bakery Boy segment fast forward to 4:40). Sadly for me, I never was able to make the journey to Disney World to see it myself before the show was was yanked like so many other Yesterland memories. But the song stuck with me.
Fast forward - September 2007. There I was soaking in every detail of my Disney Rarities and Celebrated Shorts Disney Treasures DVD when I came upon the Symposium on Popular Songs (1962) hosted by Ludwig Von Drake. Suddenly before me came a familiar and entirely NOT politically correct segment meant to awaken the sounds of the wartime era with yet again, the Andrews Sisters. The segment, like the other songs in the cartoon short, was done in stop-motion animation - a form of animation where otherwise innatimate physical objects and shapes (mostly paper cut outs in this instance) are moved slightly and captured frame by frame.
The Andrews Sisters reference was obvious (see the screen capture above), and there they were again singing in that Boogie Woogie, Beat Me Daddy Eight-to-the-bar style about the "Oriental Bakery Man". The gist of the lyrics (and please I beg you, as hard as it is, try not to be shocked and offended by them and/or the animation which are entirely insulting to persons of Asian descent, bearing in mind that this did come out in the 1960's when people were still ignorant to the concept of political correctness, or were maybe just plain ignorant) are below:
He's my boogie woogie, chattanooga, sentimental, oriental, fortune cookie bakery man
And he bakes a sentimental oriental fortune cookie
in a boogie woogie bakery pan
Look Look Look Looky Looky Looky
Nice fresh hot oriental cookie
No one bakes then better than the sentimental, oriental, fortune cookie bakery man.
Wait - you ask, so that segment is an Andrews Sisters imitation of a boogie woogie sung about a guy who bakes things? Hmmm... where have I heard something like that before?... Well it seems there's not too much of a "which came first, the chicken, or the egg?" quandry here. In my opinion it seems entirely likely that the concept for the Epcot show was totally swiped from the Symposium on Popular Songs, however with the offensive language about "orientals" dumped and replaced with the more generic (and clearly less derogatory) bakery man.
I really wish I was technologically savvy enough (probably my 11 year old brother could do this) to rip that segment from a Symposium on Popular Songs onto my computer so it could be uploaded to YouTube for your viewing pleasure. I might find a way one day, but for now it appears you'll all have to be content to put on (or go buy it if you haven't already because it's a MUST HAVE) your Disney Shorts DVD number 2 and watch the Symposium on Popular Songs segment in order to compare it to the attached YouTube clip from Kitchen Cabaret. Interestingly many people have poo-pooed the Kitchen Cabaret show (I'm sure it was no Captain Eo), saying it was a cheesy attraction that needed to go. This almost always seems to be my reaction to Disney rides/movies that have been completely ripped off from another film or idea that has previously proven successful. In the end it usually ends up being half-baked. (heh. pun intended.)