The Hoffnung Symphony Orchestra

1965, Harold Whitaker

Posted by John Martz, July 11, 2020

I have about a dozen or so of Gerard Hoffnung's little books of music-related cartoons, and this animated short is a pretty faithful adaptation. Many of the gags here are pulled right from their pages. And while I ultimately prefer the original source material, there's no denying that the animated version has one advantage that the original cartoons don't, and that's actual music.

If you have the time and inclination, listen to Hoffnung's 1958 speech at the Oxford Union, if only for the hilarious Bricklayer's Lament and then his closing statements about supporting the arts, and decrying war, racism, and people's inaction to speak up and fight for what is right and just.