Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bright Lights

The latest Oswald short, Bright Lights, actually is from 1928. There are about 8 shorts, between the end of 1927 and the beginning of 1928 that I do not have, and I’m not sure where I might be able to get them, but if anyone has ideas, please let me know.

That said, Bright Lights, in the form presented on the Oswald DVD, is an astoundingly hilarious short. It brings Oswald front and center as a comedic figure, enacting a celebrity fantasy, but puts him in many funny situations. I say in the form on the DVD, because there are definitely some scenes missing from this transfer, that were in the original cartoon but are not presented here.

The set up is a vaudeville stage, where a world famous female performer is appearing, and we see the beginning of her act as the short opens. Multiple dancers on the marquee, appearing in electric lights, fade into the live dancers on stage, in a nice bit.

After we see the dancers do their act for a while, interspersed with shots of the orchestra, we cut to Oswald, outside admiring the poster of his celebrity crush. In a funny gag, he is trying to think of how to get the 50 cent entrance fee, and rests his hand on the poster, strategically placed on the woman’s bottom. The woman in the poster gets offended and moves, causing Oswald to fall.

He schemes many ideas to get in the show through the backstage area, in what is probably the funniest sequence of the Oswalds so far. He tries to run past the guard, flipping and flopping, he jumps over him, he even ties the guard in a knot around a lamppost, only to be stopped by security inside. Finally, he’s able to sneak in under the shadow of a rich fellow headed backstage.

That doesn’t stop the guard, however, who chases Oswald across the stage, flipping the balancing act on stage. Oswald manages to hide in a cage nearby, not realizing that it’s a dangerous tiger cage. He runs out of the cage, back on the stage, and climbs the pole of the balancing act. The tiger comes after him, and Oswald manages to reach the ceiling, hanging on for dear life, with the other member of the balancing team hanging on him.

Finally, he is able to reach a mallet and clobber the tiger, but not before the lions also escape. As Oswald makes his way down, the lions run across the stage, leaping into the crowd and straight at the viewer. It’s a magnificent piece of animation.

The crowd runs out of the theatre, deflating the theatre, but Oswald sneaks out the side. The lions chase him off into the sunset.

I am not doing this justice, as I’m short on time today, but Bright Lights is a magnificent short. The two main things I was struck by were the great gags and humor, and Oswald’s appearance. He looks more like the later Mickey in this short than I have seen in the previous ones. I don’t know if that is an evolution from The Ocean Hop to now in the intervening shorts that I don’t have, but it’s very noticeable. If you are on the fence, go get this DVD now and you won’t be sorry if you watch Bright Lights.
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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Ocean Hop

The Ocean Hop is another Oswald that is a remake of one of the Alice Comedies, this time taking the premise of Alice’s Balloon Race and changing it up a bit, but essentially it’s the same story.

Where Great Guns was able to take Alice’s Little Parade and weave in a romantic plot that tied the story together, there is no such convenience in The Ocean Hop. The main changes made from Alice’s Balloon Race are the destination and the vehicle – Oswald and his compatriots are trying to make it from New York to Paris in “planes” vs. Alice and friends racing in balloons. Otherwise, it’s almost identical.

The short opens the same as Balloon Race, with a poster, this one advertising a reward for the person who makes the trip to Paris. We see all the contestants getting ready, including our buddy Pete, who here has a peg leg, like he would have frequently in the Mickey shorts. He’s cocky and confident as always, until he sees Oswald.

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Oswald’s arrival is a funny bit, as a slate announces him as “The Dark Horse,” and the next shot is of a blanket draped over something with a horse’s head sticking out – a literal dark horse. It turns out to be Oswald’s plane, which he unveils with vigor. Pete comes over to inspect, and chews some “elastic” gum that he sticks to the wheels of the plane, unbeknownst to Oswald.

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Upon takeoff, the other planes shoot into the air, but poor Oswald is stuck. Pete proceeds to pass everyone, while Oswald’s plane disassembles and takes off without him. In Balloon Race, Julius has a similar problem, but it’s Pete destroying his first balloon in the air. Oswald runs across a dachshund and decides to turn it into a balloon/plane, again the exact thing that happens in Balloon Race.

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Oswald gets some mice to help him, blowing up a balloon to tie to the dog while he attaches a fan to the dog’s tail and a board to its upper body to serve as wings. He manages to take off, but the balloon slips to the back end. Oswald’s though balloon provides the balloon for the front end, a gag that Julius used many times. Now in the air, night falls, visualized as dark rain drops after a slate that says “Night Falls.” Cute gag.

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The finale comes as Oswald catches up to Pete, who has misdirected the other racers. Pete shoots Oswald down, but using a parachute, Oswald lands in the middle of Paris, winning the contest.

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The Ocean Hop is a good short, no doubt, but as I said, it doesn’t have the extra story elements from Alice’s Balloon Race to make it a big upgrade. While it’s disappointing to see the story material recycled, there is improvement in the animation quality and the gags that make this a better short than its predecessor. I do think, though, that you continue to see the pressures of trying to turn out product continuously, as the Disney Studio had to do at this time. Eventually, you’ll have to reuse ideas or gags, because there’s no time to come up with new ones.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

All Wet

Before I get started today, I want to urge anyone reading this site to go check out David Gerstein’s Ramapith blog. David has commented on many of my stories here, and it’s an honor to have him reading the site here. Make sure you go check out what a real animation mind has to say about a variety of subjects at his blog.

Okay, so All Wet is a great short. No doubt about it, it reminds me of a Mickey short, although I can’t place which one, but since this preceded that, it feels like a great step for the Disney animators. At this point, you really get to see the Disney style of storytelling taking shape, and it makes my heart glad to be watching it blossom.

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The key areas that tend to build that reputation here are the personalities of the characters that come through and the way that the character of Oswald is built through the action. I know that you can say that about some of the Alice shorts, but in the first few Oswald shorts, you see a character developing that is hapless yet cocky, who tries to do the right thing for selfish reasons but tends to get things to work out in the end.

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This is the genius of the Disney animators – imbuing character into their drawings. For example, take the hot dogs that Oswald is selling at the beginning of the short. He has issues with the dogs sneaking off the table, and then his first customer can’t eat the hot dog because it screams for help and makes motions to discourage him.

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It’s touches like this that make the Oswalds different than the Alice shorts. While Julius was a somewhat developed character, he mainly was a gag factory. You didn’t feel for him like you do Oswald. In All Wet, Oswald again meets his girl, and tries to impress her, but she’s not falling for it. The look on his face and his dejected, slumping attitude make you feel sympathy for him.

He gets the idea to be a lifeguard, paying off the lifeguard to take his badge. He has to redirect a young boy who needs a bathroom, but other than that, has no real lifeguard duties. The girl is impressed and heads out to sea and fakes her own drowning to draw Oswald in.

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The plan backfires, though, as a fish grabs her and pulls her under. The panicked Oswald manages to reach her and fight to grab her as the waves pull them apart. The nice thing here is you can clearly see the fear and trepidation on Oswald’s face as he rows out to rescue his girl.

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The waves toss them back on the beach, and Oswald rolls the water out of her, earning him a farewell kiss as the short ends.

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Now, this is not the most original or groundbreaking short, but the return to the quality of the first few shorts after the Xerox of Great Guns is a heartening development. If you are following along with me, the Oswalds are really the first time we have seen the style of animation that you would expect in the Mickey Mouse shorts. It’s amazing to watch it develop, and I hope you’ll keep reading and watching along with me.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Great Guns

Alright, so we have the first speed bump in the Oswald series with our fourth short, Great Guns. It’s not that it’s bad, but more that it’s a remake of Alice’s Little Parade, so it’s very unoriginal.

That said, Great Guns improves on Alice’s Little Parade by leaps and bounds. Even though the gags are recycled in some ways, there are some new inclusions that make this a much better effort. In Little Parade, Julius was the main character, and there was not much to his story, other than the gags of defeating the rats in the battle. Great Guns ties all the threads together by giving Oswald a romantic plot that runs throughout.

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The story begins exactly the same as Little Parade, with a newsboy telling the world about an impending war, and the exact same gag of the animals parading into one end of the recruitment tent and then coming out the other side outfitted for war.

The new addition here is Oswald’s enlistment ending with a visit to his sweetie’s house. Ever the schemer, Oswald uses the war to get a little sympathy kissing in, as he gets his girl to wish him a hearty goodbye.

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In fact, from the shot of the two of them kissing, the action fades to the exact same position of Oswald in the battlefield, kissing a picture of his girl. It’s a great effect that adds to the story very effectively. His rapture is short lived, however, as one of the rats he is fighting drops a bomb right through his girl’s picture, and Oswald takes to the air to battle the rat.

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In a neat sequence, the planes become characters themselves, battling like boxers, while Oswald and the rat are thrown out and fight amongst themselves. Eventually the fight spills down to the ground, where Oswald pummels the poor rat. It’s a short lived triumph, though, as a superior officer that resembles Pete shows up to take on Oswald.

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Oswald, in a nice bit of personality animation, pats the little rat on the head, and you can read the sheepishness on his face. It’s a nice step for the animation. After running away, Oswald fights back by loading cannonballs in an elephant and firing them, similar to Julius using a horse to kick the cannonballs in Little Parade.

Again, it’s a short lived success, as the cannonball from the enemy hits Oswald and shatters him to pieces, as we begin the same sequence we saw in Little Parade. A nurse comes on the battlefield, halts an oncoming cannonball and gathers the pieces up to take them to the hospital. Once inside, rather than the spare parts from Little Parade, the nurse puts the pieces in a cocktail shaker to reassemble them.

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Once the nurse spills them out, we see that it’s Oswald, and the nurse turns out to be his best girl. They end the short kissing again as they did at the beginning.

The flowing narrative of Oswald and his girl are the main improvement in this short over Alice’s Little Parade. It gives the story more weight. Other than that, the gags are pretty much the same as Little Parade, so it’s hard to evaluate this short as anything other than a copy. Granted, it’s better than the original, but it’s disappointing to see the animators returning to the same subject only a year later than they tackled it the first time. I assume it’s a time issue, trying to get the stuff out, but it still feels like a letdown.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Mechanical Cow

The Oswald quality remains high in the latest installment, The Mechanical Cow. Although Great Guns is the next short on the DVD, according to our fine friend over at, The Mechanical Cow was released first. So, I watched it today and enjoyed immensely the results.

It’s hard to say what has made the first three Oswalds so much better than the waning days of the Alice shorts. It seems, though, that having the freedom of doing the shorts completely in animation helped the animators to be more fluid and free in their work.

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The Mechanical Cow is a great example of this. The story revolves around Oswald and his amazing mechanical cow. I know, truth in titles, who knew? Oswald has some trouble waking up the cow, but is soon out the door, offering milk to the masses. He provides a gallon to a baby hippo first, then is approached by his sweetheart.

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He provides her with milk in a bucket, then sneaks off with her to a nearby wooded area, trying to snuggle up for a kiss. But, the cow, feeling left out, interrupts, prompting Oswald to banish him.

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While he’s distracted, though, a group of what look like bears come and steal his girl, bringing on the first major chase sequence of the Oswald shorts. Oswald manages to get his cow back, and rides the cow in pursuit. The bad guys fire at him with their guns, and Oswald manages to pull the cow’s neck off, bend it in a “U” shape and force the bullets back at them. They fire a cannon, and the cow explodes, then falls right back into place, piece by piece. It’s a great gag filled sequence.

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Oswald’s use of the mechanical cow is a highlight of the short. He cranks the cow’s tail to extend it’s neck to the bad guys’ car, runs up the neck and grabs his girl, then turns the cow around and heads the other way.

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The end comes when the cow runs into a cliff, stopping shortly before going over, throwing Oswald and his girl off the cliff. They manage to grab a branch to hang on, but the bad guys are not so lucky. They sail off the cliff and are devoured by sharks below, sending a spout of water up that Oswald and his lady can ride up to the top. They hop on the cow and ride off into the sunset together.

What’s very interesting through the first three Oswalds is how little is recycled from the Alices. Sure, there are gags here and there, and some of the characters have a similar design, but the plotlines are fairly new, and the animation is very new. The side scrolling movement is still the core of the shorts, but there is more change of perspective in these three shorts than in all of the Alices. It shows the animators were learning more and working hard to burst out as the dominant animation studio of the time. At least that’s what I take away from it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Oh Teacher

So, today brings the second of the Oswalds, Oh Teacher. Does it hold up? I’m happy to say that, yes, the second Oswald is just as entertaining as the first, even if it’s a bit simpler.

The big thing that stood out to me on Trolley Troubles was the different direction in the animation, adding more side to side movement, changing perspectives, etc. There is less of that in the second short, but there are more gags, like those you would see in the better Alice Comedies.

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The story is somewhat straightforward, as Oswald is trying to woo a young girl, but has a rival in a cat character that’s kind of a cross between Julius and Pete. The gags begin early, as Oswald’s ears put him in flight, expressing his delight as he goes to pick up his sweetie. It’s a great gag, but it also shows some of his personality, which is a key thing.

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After Oswald picks up his girl, we cut to a young pig who’s being picked up by the school bus. The school bus continues down the lane, followed by the much larger cat character, who tries to hitch a ride but gets knocked off. Undeterred, the cat knocks Oswald off his bike and steals a ride to school.

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Unfortunately, the cat is not a great driver, and he wrecks the bike, sending Oswald’s girl into a nearby pond. Her cries of help reach Oswald, quite literally, and he rides the word as a horse to save her. However, as he extends himself out over the water, the cat runs over top of him, fishes the girl out of the water and wins her temporary affection in the process.

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Of course this does not sit well with our hero, who tries to confront him in a very funny sequence. Oswald draws a line in the sand, which the cat merely picks up and knocks away, then knocks Oswald’s head off his body. It’s a classic underdog matchup, and it really draws the viewer onto Oswald’s side.

As the school day begins, the cat drags Oswald’s girl into school, where they stay until recess. As recess begins, Oswald waits outside the school house with a brick, ready to clobber the cat when he emerges. Unfortunately, the cat goes out the back door.

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Being confronted by the cat, Oswald attempts to explain away the brick as an exercise machine, but the cat is not buying it. He steals the brick and throws it up in the air, but it lands in the storm drain, and flies down the drain and right into the cat’s head, knocking him out. Oswald is as shocked as anyone, but he takes advantage, pretending he knocked the cat out as his girl comes by, and they are reunited.

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Admittedly, the story is simple, but it is also charming. Moreso than I ever did with Julius, I felt for Oswald here. He’s undersized and overmatched, but he’s determined. It’s definitely a precursor to Mickey in his early days, in the interaction with the girl. You could easily replace Oswald and his girl with Mickey and Minnie and have one of the early Mickeys.

So far, I’m loving the Oswald shorts. If you are a Disney fan, and you think that the company started with Steamboat Willie, you owe it to yourself to get this DVD and check out the Oswald shorts.

Get your copy of Walt Disney Treasures: Oswald the Lucky Rabbit on DVD at Amazon or other DVD retailers and follow along with the blog!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in Trolley Troubles

Maybe it’s just the change of pace, or the fact that I’m watching these shorts in DVD quality, but the first Oswald short, Trolley Troubles, was a delight.

Let me back up, though, and give a brief background on Oswald. After our last short, Alice the Whaler, there were a few more Alice Comedies, but Walt and his distributor Charles Mintz, had agreed that the series had run its course. Mintz wanted a new character and to do away with the expensive live action blend. Walt and Ub got to work designing a new lead, and soon Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was born.

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In design, Oswald was similar to Julius, blended with some elements of the mouse character from Alice the Whaler and other films. The first short sent to Mintz was Poor Papa. The reception was, well, not good. Mintz declined to move forward with the series based on Poor Papa. He said Oswald was too mean and unlikeable. The next short, Trolley Troubles was much more to his liking, and Oswald made his public debut in September of 1927.

I have not seen Poor Papa and don’t have a copy of it, but I can definitely see why Trolley Troubles was such a step forward. The storytelling is back to the standards of some of the best Alice shorts – Oswald has a trolley that he is trying to get from one end of the track to the other, safely delivering his passengers. All the action unfolds from that framework.

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The main thing I noticed while watching, however, was the new fluidity and dimension in the animation. Take the sequence after Oswald picks up his passengers, for example. In the Alice shorts, this would have been a side to side shot. But now, it’s animated with the trolley coming straight at the viewer, swaying from side to side, adapting to the track, and squashing and stretching to show a loose, free flowing action.

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There is not much conflict in the short, which is probably its main flaw. The first obstacle Oswald encounters is a cow in the middle of the track, that impedes his progress. In an inspired bit, he simply shrinks the trolley to go underneath the cow.

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The second conflict is a hill that the trolley has trouble getting over. This time, Oswald enlists the aid of a goat, enticing the animal to hit him in the behind, but keeping the goat at the end of a pole to push the trolley up the hill.

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The problem with that is that the downhill run is a little quicker than Oswald had bargained for. Again, the free flow and the depth of the animation are great here. The trolley swerves back and forth from left to right, going diagonal across the screen. It’s a new shot from what we expected in the Alice Comedies.

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The final scene comes as the trolley flies headlong into a river at the bottom of a canyon, and Oswald paddles away, having failed in his mission. The short, though, has succeeded, by giving us a new character to view. Although I don’t have all the Oswald shorts, I’m really looking forward to the rest of them, so long as they are as good as the first. Consistency was the main problem with the Alice series, so we’ll see if that continues or not.

Follow along by purchasing the DVD - Walt Disney Treasures: Oswald the Lucky Rabbit at or other DVD retailers.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Clara Cleans Her Teeth

So, today is a brand new day. The last four months of mainly Alice shorts with Julius and pals are behind us, and we’re ready to meet a new character with new attributes and….(mimics Jon Stewart on the Daily Show)…what’s that? Oh, we’re not moving on? We have another short to review before Oswald? Okay.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s the review that you have all been waiting for – Clara Cleans Her Teeth! Hold your applause, please. Yes, it’s the long awaited sequel to that thrilling Kansas City classic, Tommy Tucker’s Tooth.

In all seriousness, this is a Walt Disney film, so it’s on the site, but it’s relatively minor in the scheme of things. I’ve seen conflicting reports on when it was released, between 1926 and 1927, so I decided to hold it off until we finished the Alice series. But, now it is time for youth indoctrination through dental care. What do I mean? You’ll see.

The story begins as young Clara ventures to a schoolyard or playground, I’m not really sure which. There’s an adult present, so I assume it’s a schoolyard, but it’s referred to as a playground later in the short, so who knows? She is invited inside to play, which she does vigorously, working up an appetite. The children are then forced to sit at a long table, laid out with linens, and consume crackers/cookies and milk.

Clara, as all good little kids do, starts chomping down, shoveling the cookies in and guzzling the milk like crazy. The other kids tell her to slow down, but she ignores them. Then, the teacher/supervisor/Nazi youth instructor lines the kids up side by side, and gives them each a toothbrush, which Clara regards with puzzlement.

Then, in a display that is both humorous and disturbing, the kids start brushing in unison as they sing a song about brushing their teeth. How they can sing while brushing is not addressed, but the logistics boggle the mind. Clara of course, is not participating, and the kids begin harassing her for her filthy teeth, leaving her with only one friend to comfort her as the others leave.

Later that night, at home, her teeth continue to hurt as she’s eating, and her parents sentence her to a dentist visit. She reacts like it’s a death sentence and is sent to bed for the evening. In her dreamlike state, she is visited by the spirits of a toothbrush, cup and some other dental implement, which is the only animated content in the short. It’s also freaky. Clara wakes up scared, as would I.

After several subsequent visits to the dentist, she emerges with a clean bill of health. Clara rejoins the children in the schoolyard and becomes indoctrinated in the brushing cult, to the delight of her schoolmates. She even joins in the singing while brushing.

Alright, so this short isn’t that insightful as to who Walt is or the evolution of the studio’s animation, but it is unintentionally funny. I mean, the mere idea of kids lining up to brush in the playground is quite the sight, not to mention the phantom toothbrush visit. It does demonstrate, however, the way that Walt would continue to produce educational films as he got more and more secure, including the Jiminy Cricket “I’m No Fool” series and classics like Donald in Mathmagic Land.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Alice the Whaler

So today we end the Alice Comedies, at least on this site, but fear not my friends, we will move forward into a new world of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, not with trepidation, but with courage. Or, with a DVD player. Something like that.

Speaking of new, I neglected to mention in my Alice’s Circus Daze review that we have a new Alice. Lois Hardwick took over the role beginning with Circus Daze and lasted the remainder of the series unless I’m mistaken. Of all of them, Hardwick is probably the best actress of the bunch, but she gets very little screen time, because at this point, Walt and his animators had lost interest in the live action parts of the shorts, and were focusing almost exclusively on the animation.

Alice the Whaler starts like all good Alice shorts do, with the patented Alice dance party. The deck of Alice’s whaling ship is alive with her dance as well as the dance of her animal friends. It’s a cross species dance-a-palooza.

The main story of the short, though, is very lacking. The main focus seems to be on a mouse character, who gets orders from a grumpy cook. The mouse fights off some dishes that end up crashing on his head from the bumpy waves. Then, the cook orders him to go and get some eggs.

The mouse decides that in order to get eggs, he needs to lasso a bird from the mast of the ship, so he does so. Finally getting eggs, the cook asks for milk, which the mouse gets from a goat on deck, which moves back and forth with the waves. None of this is really all that appealing visually, and it’s not very entertaining.

What it does do though, is offer a glimpse at what was to come. The mouse is not the Mickey-esque design we saw in the 1926 shorts, but instead has long ears like a rabbit, and is more reminiscent of Oswald than Mickey.

We do see our erstwhile friend Julius, however briefly, as he climbs the lookout and spots a whale in the distance. This is his five seconds of screen time for the short, which is sad for a character that has been so central to the series.

The finale of the series comes when a monkey first mate shoots a harpoon into the whale that Julius spotted, and the whale drags the boat over the waves. As far as story goes, it’s terrible. There’s no real flow to the story, no conflict or resolution of any kind.

The animation is…well, that’s the thing. I’ve seen reviews of this short on, and people there claim that it’s a step up from the earlier shorts. Certainly the backdrops are better, the characters are more fluid. But as far as visual appeal, I do not think the stick and hose animation is very good. It does not portray the full personality the way that I thought some of the earlier shorts did. Just my opinion, but having watched all these films in a row, this stands out as “different,” for better or worse.

So, that brings our Alice viewing to an end, unless I can get the Netherlands to send me copies of some of the missing shorts. Don’t think I’m not trying. Next up is Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, and the evolution of the Disney animation continues.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Alice's Circus Daze

As I mentioned, yesterday’s review of Alice the Fire Fighter brought us to the end of the surviving 1926 Alice shorts. Today, we review one of the two remaining 1927 Alice Comedies. If there are more out there, and you’re aware of them, please let me know, but I think that Alice’s Circus Daze, which we’ll review today, and Alice the Whaler, which will be next, are the only two left.

That said, going back to yesterday’s review, I noted the possible beginning of a trend. In the later Mickey shorts, it seemed as though the main action was always Mickey entering a conflict with a companion (Goofy, Donald, Pluto or a combination) and then the action veered off to see what each character did, before merging again at the end. Anyone who read old Justice League comic books will recognize this technique, and it’s quite common in dramatic cop shows as well.

Today’s short, though, does not show signs of that technique becoming a recurring theme. There really is no conflict in Alice’s Circus Daze, and although there is an overarching story of the circus, the focus is more on random gags than on a coherent story.

The short opens with the circus getting ready, and some random shots of acts on the outside stages with the barkers getting in the crowds. A lion scares the crowd, the rubber man interacts with his barker and even the spots on the giraffe get polished. After this, we see Alice and Julius in their dressing rooms getting ready, and a poster on the wall lets us know that they are the stars of the show.

Back in the big top, various acts are scattered about, including a tiger show where the tamer keeps losing his pants, and a lion act where the lions bite off the tamer’s head and play keep away with it. It’s all done in a humorous manner, and is quite fun if a bit repetitive.

Finally, we see Alice and Julius’ act, which is a high wire show. Alice is precariously balanced on top of stack of chairs, which rest on Julius’ nose.

Getting over confident, Julius lights up a cigar, and tossing the match away, lights the high wire on fire, burning it up. He falls to the ground, but Alice and the chairs stay up in the air. The chairs start falling away one by one from the bottom, and Julius scrambles to find a way to save her. He grabs a ladder and sticks it under her as the ringmaster runs over. The combined weight of Julius and Alice on such a flimsy ladder causes it to fall down, though, crushing the ringmaster.

The short ends with Julius and Alice running out of the big top, chased by the ringmaster. It’s amusing to note that Julius and Alice are hardly the stars of this short, despite what their dressing room poster would have us note. Instead, this seems like a chance for the animators to stretch their wings and have some fun plotting out gags. However, the lack of conflict in the short along with the scattered approach to the storytelling keep this from being one of the better Alice shorts. If the quality is the same in the 1927 shorts, it’s no wonder that the series was soon ended.