Sunday, November 09, 2008

Cartoon a Day: Ferdinand the Bull

Ferdinand the Bull
Directed by Dick Rickard (uncredited)
Available on: Walt Disney Treasures - Disney Rarities

After a long day at the puppet festival in Lancaster, PA yesterday, I had to head back to Philadelphia and ended up at a hotel with no internet connection. So, I was unable to blog about yesterday's entry in bullfight week, "Ferdinand the Bull."

This is a much different short than the others we've looked at so far this week. Though it has it's funny moments, this is not really a comedy. This is a children's story brought to the screen by the Disney artists. There aren't many gags, but it is a beautifully animated short.

Ferdinand is a bull who has no interest in heading off to the bullfights like the other bulls. He'd rather sit and smell the flowers under a cork tree. But he ends up being taken of to the bullfights when his behavior after being stung by a bee convinces some men that he is really ferocious. Ferdinand ends up causing a lot of frustration for a matador when he would rather smell the flowers than fight.

The design of the human characters is one of the really great elements of this short. They don't seem to fit into any one mold. Some are very exaggerated and comical, while others are quite realistic and beautiful (especially the young ladies who toss flowers to the matador). This short does kind of fit into the "cutesy" category that is often associated with Disney, but still, this is really well drawn. It's interesting to note that this is only 1938...only about 10 to 15 years removed from Disney's Alice shorts. It's amazing to see how much the animation advanced in such a short period of time.

1 comment:

Fia said...

Hi! I came in to borrow one of your pics for a blog update. The matador is the perfect image of frustration about which I was writing.

Did you know that 9 million Swedish people watch this comedy on X-mas eve every year? It is part of a Disney show that's been running since forever. It's always got the same short movies. :)