As if Donald Duck couldn’t get weirder, he’s apparently got the hots for a female elephant in Working for Peanuts. But it’s not actually a Donald cartoon, it’s a Chip and Dale cartoon. The boys are after the peanuts–a delicacy they’ve just discovered–and the zoo has them.
Donald’s the zookeeper, the elephant’s got the peanuts. Chaos ensues.
Director Hannah and his animators must have either been on a tight deadline or completely disinterested, because Peanuts is terrible work. The animation on Donald and the chipmunks is fine, but on the elephant and the other zoo animals it’s awful. There’s one shot of a group of people standing around with the same face and expression. The zoo itself has no personality (or cages).
As for the gags… they’re tepid. The final one’s kind of funny, but the dumb elephant’s in the scene; she ruins it.
These Peanuts are stale.
Directed by Jack Hannah; written by Nick George and Roy Williams; animated by Volus Jones, Bill Justice and George Kreisl; music by Oliver Wallace; produced by Walt Disney; released by RKO Radio Pictures.
Starring Dessie Flynn (Dale), James MacDonald (Chip) and Clarence Nash (Donald Duck).
Posted in 1953, Animation, Color, Comedy, English, Family, RKO Radio Pictures, Short, USA
Tagged Bill Justice, Clarence Nash, Dessie Flynn, George Kreisl, Jack Hannah, James MacDonald, Nick George, Oliver Wallace, Roy Williams, Volus Jones, Walt Disney
Pluto’s Christmas Tree gets off to a somewhat rocky start; it turns out, the animators spend more time on one nut than they do on Mickey Mouse. Besides looking perpetually hung over, Mickey’s also very loosely drawn.
However, Tree soon picks up because Hannah’s direction is inspired and the animators excel on everything (except Mickey). Chip and Dale are hiding in Mickey and Pluto’s Christmas tree, annoying Pluto, but also giving the viewer a look at a Christmas tree from inside out.
Hannah creates, in six minutes or so, a truly lovely little Christmas cartoon. Besides the lovely tree interiors, there are a bunch of great gags for the chipmunks and Pluto.
Even the sappy ending works out well, maybe because Hannah ends Tree with a gag (and starts the sappy ending with one).
I remembered it immediately, once the tree interiors started; the visuals are incredibly striking, incredibly memorable.
Directed by Jack Hannah; written by Bill Berg and Milt Schaffer; animated by Volus Jones, Bill Justice, George Kreisl and Fred Moore; music by Joseph Dubin; produced by Walt Disney; released by RKO Radio Pictures.
Starring Ruth Clifford (Minnie Mouse), Pinto Colvig (Pluto / Goofy), Dessie Flynn (Dale), James MacDonald (Mickey Mouse / Chip) and Clarence Nash (Donald Duck).
Posted in 1952, Animation, Color, Comedy, English, Family, Fantasy, RKO Radio Pictures, Short, USA
Tagged Bill Berg, Bill Justice, Clarence Nash, Dessie Flynn, Fred Moore, George Kreisl, Jack Hannah, James MacDonald, Joseph Dubin, Milt Schaffer, Pinto Colvig, Ruth Clifford, Volus Jones, Walt Disney
The Story of Anyburg U.S.A. is an odd one. A small town decides to sue cars–personified here as cute, the windshields as big eyes–for all the auto accidents.
Sadly, Anyburg opens with a lot more energy–the narrator goes on and on about homicides on the highway and such and it doesn’t seem Disney at all.
A lengthy courtroom sequence, with some really bad rhyming dialogue, takes up the rest of the cartoon. As the prosecutor brings up witless witnesses, Anyburg‘s point is clear–people are responsible, not the cars.
But were Americans in the fifties really willing to take responsibility for themselves? Anyburg makes it seem possible, if not probable.
The animation is fantastic–the courtroom scene’s dynamic, as are the car sequences–but it’s hard to get enthusiastic about the cartoon. Geronimi doesn’t bring any entertainment to the public service announcement.
Directed by Clyde Geronimi; written by Dick Huemer; animated by Bob Carlson, George Kreisl and John Sibley; music by Joseph Dubin; produced by Walt Disney; released by Buena Vista Film Distribution Co.
Starring Hans Conried (Prosecutor), Thurl Ravenscroft (Cyrus P. Sliderule) and Bill Thompson (Defense Attorney).
Posted in 1957, Animation, Buena Vista Film Distribution Co., Color, Comedy, English, Family, Short, USA
Tagged Bill Thompson, Bob Carlson, Clyde Geronimi, Dick Huemer, George Kreisl, Hans Conried, John Sibley, Joseph Dubin, Thurl Ravenscroft, Walt Disney
Two Chips and a Miss is a weak seven minutes. While some of the fault is Hannah’s direction, it’s mostly just his animators. They’re incredibly lazy when it comes to their figures. Hannah’s even lazier when it comes to filling out the cartoon.
Chip and Dale are both romancing a night club singer (a female chipmunk) and the night club is empty besides the three of them. Oh, wait, I forgot–there’s also an implied black waiter. It’s an odd, terrible touch.
The night club’s not supposed to be empty, however, and there’s background applause in the clearly empty club. Chips is just lazy.
I suppose the ending’s a little funny, with the female chipmunk’s closing gag–and wink–suggesting she just wanted to get the boys to make out.
Unfortunately, Hannah doesn’t embrace the humor in that ending, which is no surprise. Hannah rarely does anything right in Chips.
Directed by Jack Hannah; written by Nick George and Bill Berg; animated by Volus Jones, Bill Justice and George Kreisl; music by Joseph Dubin; produced by Walt Disney; released by RKO Radio Pictures.
Starring Dessie Flynn (Dale) and James MacDonald (Chip).
Posted in 1952, Animation, Color, English, Family, RKO Radio Pictures, Short, USA
Tagged Bill Berg, Bill Justice, Dessie Flynn, George Kreisl, Jack Hannah, James MacDonald, Joseph Dubin, Nick George, Volus Jones, Walt Disney
Food for Feudin’ has some really strong animation, but also some weak. There’s a great sequence where Chip and Dale crawl into these gardening gloves and confuse the heck out of Pluto. During that sequence, the animation is spectacular. Earlier, when the chipmunks are gathering nuts… not so spectacular.
The cartoon isn’t particularly charming during that first sequence. Once the gloves come on, however, things get a lot better. It’s too bad Nichols forgets the landscape and moves Pluto’s doghouse from offscreen right to offscreen left. It sends the cartoon out on a technical weak note.
Some of the problem is the reliance on the chipmunks at the beginning. Dale’s dumb but Chip’s a bit of a jerk and a bully. They’re not fun to spend time with in Feudin’. Pluto’s growing presence helps.
So Food for Feudin’ is basically half a good cartoon; that glove sequence is really memorable.
Directed by Charles A. Nichols; written by Milt Schaffer and Dick Kinney; animated by George Kreisl, George Nicholas and Judge Whitaker; music by Paul J. Smith; produced by Walt Disney; released by RKO Radio Pictures.
Starring Pinto Colvig (Pluto), Dessie Flynn (Dale) and James MacDonald (Chip).
Posted in Color, English, USA, Comedy, Family, Animation, 1950, Short
Tagged James MacDonald, Pinto Colvig, Walt Disney, Paul J. Smith, Charles A. Nichols, Milt Schaffer, Dick Kinney, George Kreisl, George Nicholas, Judge Whitaker, Dessie Flynn