Tales from ds106 tweet-along, round one: Crawling hands and gripping snakes

For our first ds106radio listen-along, we heard a couple of ancient episodes of The Witch’s Tale: “Four Fingers and a Thumb” and “The Boa Goddess.” Both of these come from 1937, when people were a bit more primitive.

The primitiveness extended to the production, which featured very little in the way of sound effects – just some knocking, a drum, and horses clopping around. There was some transition music, but no soundtrack music. So the voices had to cary a lot of the story.

All the voices were heavy on the accents, sometimes to the point of being unintelligible, but maybe that’s because that was all they had to create characterization. Still, the stories were effective for their circumstances.

The hour was filled out with some of Disney’s Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House (Youtube), which actually made a nice contrast. The stories here, such as they were, were very light on words and heavy on sound effects.

I think that contrast was instructive, if unintentional. Sounds tell us so much more than descriptions of them. It also made me think of the EC tales, which were so word-heavy even though the pictures told the story. In both situations, they don’t quite have the verbiage/media balance right. in both situations, I imagine the authors were thinking in terms of the written form first and then translating into audio or imagery. EC borrowed tales from other sources sometimes, and then shoehorned them into a graphic format. Perhaps The Witch’s Tale did the same, which would explain why the language of sound was secondary to the spoken word.

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