In Quest of the Whim-Wham Whistling Shark

I’m amazed I found this! It’s one of Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies, vintage 1939: Fresh Fish, it’s called.

This was the kind of harmless stuff that passed for kids’ TV in the 1950s. Although I must admit that for as far back as I can remember, I’ve had a fear of sharks. Could early exposure to this cartoon have caused that?

The diving bell was cutting-edge oceanographic technology back then. Today I doubt there’s anybody under 60 who would know what a diving bell was.

Whim-wham Whistling Shark–don’t laugh! Nobody knew what was down there, in 1939. Coulda been anything! Remember the bathysphere? The bathyscaphe? I think the world half-expected them to find Atlantis.

Keep looking. It’s gotta be somewhere.

5 comments on “In Quest of the Whim-Wham Whistling Shark

  1. Oh, wow!

    Many years and several moves ago, we still had TV. I accidentally discovered that one channel was showing Merry Melodies cartoons at 6am. I made a point of recording them on VHS and almost filled the tape before they stopped showing them. I still have it, though we no longer have a VCR set up to play it on!

    Many of these old cartoons were NOT intended for children. Early animation was made for adults and often have very “adult” themes. The “sexy” frog chorus line in one of them was pretty funny. Many would also be considered quite racist today, though to me, they seemed to be making a point of showing of, in a positive way, black culture and music, while also making fun of stereotypes of all kinds, not just racial ones. Cartoons and comics didn’t really become a kids’ genre until the dark age of comic books, when censorship got really bad. Making them for kids was pretty much the only way to stay in business and not be shut down by the censors.

  2. I really liked this cartoon. About thirty years ago, my uncle Bill, gave me a three hour video filled with cartoons just like this. Remember follow the bouncing ball as you sang along? Little Lu Lu, and a host of other really wonderful cartoons.

    1. The ol’ bouncing ball! “Let me call you sweetheart…” Actually, I didn’t have much patience for the music in cartoons.

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