Saturday, January 31, 2009

Is "Wall-E" Overrated?

Jack Black and Dustin Hoffman celebrate the 'Kung Fu Panda' DVD release

Last night the 36th annual Annie Awards took place recognizing achievement in animation. There were a lot of great animated films this year, so choosing the winners was I'm sure was no easy task. Well, to some I suppose. If you had checked with the film critics of the world I think they would've chosen Pixar's "Wall-E" to take the top prize. The film appeared on 162 critics top ten films of the year lists according to Wikipedia. But last night at the Annie Awards the cute little robot got the Color Purple treatment and was completely shut out of awards. Who reigned supreme, you ask? Dreamworks' "Kung Fu Panda."

Now geekdoms king of the nerds Harry Knowles (of says he got several messages crying conspiracy. See Dreamworks Animation is a Gold sponsor of the Annie Awards whereas Disney and Pixar are only Silver sponsors. I don't buy that for a second, not even if Oliver Stone decided to make it the subject of his next film. Knowles theorises that "Wall-E" was not as "traditionally expressive" as the animation in "Kung Fu Panda," and there is something to be said for that. But I think there are some deeper issues with "Wall-E" that I felt from the moment I left the theater.

I was really looking forward to the release of "Wall-E." You can't go wrong with Pixar films, and this film is no exception. It is a wonderful movie, funny and brilliantly animated. I actually saw the film with both of my kids and every one of my nieces and nephews on my side of the family. Eight kids total. While they enjoyed themselves, they weren't bubbling over with excitement over what they had seen. They were much more excited about the big stand up advertisement for "High School Musical 3" we passed on the way out.

So what happened? I actually think that Roger Ebert sums it up pretty well in his brief review for his 20 best of the year list...

"Hugely entertaining, wonderfully well-drawn, and, if you think about it, merciless in its critique of a global consumer culture that obsesses on intake and disregards the consequences of output."

Perhaps the first time that the word "merciless" has been used to describe a Disney film. Is the problem that for the first time in it's illustrious history, Pixar put more effort into making a point than they did simply entertaining people. "Kung Fu Panda," on the other hand was one of the most entertaining films of the year. I was expecting a goofy gimmick of a movie. Jack Black as a portly panda in a film that sounded like it had a title before it had a script. It sounded dumb. But it turned out to be a fantastic surprise. It was funny, it had a message (though that wasn't the primary focus), and it was a creative and respectful salute to the martial arts movie genre. Call me shallow, but when I take my kids to the movies I have zero interest in them bearing witness to a "critique of global consumer culture." I think the makers of "Wall-E" may have forgotten the folks who made them the success story they are...the kids. Kids are smarter than we give them credit for sometimes. Could kids tell that they were being talked down to in "Wall-E?" I sure could, and I didn't like it. But...a Panda in a kung-fu battle with a leopard, now that I liked.

I still enjoyed "Wall-E" a lot. It is a great movie. But if I were an Academy Award voter where would my vote go? While right now I'm still picking "Wall-E" to win the award in the office Oscar contest, were I someone who's vote mattered, I think I'd go with the Panda.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cartoon a Day: The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon

The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon
Directed by Rudolph Ising
Available on: Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 6

If you've been following my "Cartoon a Day" adventures from the beginning, you know that I started this to be sure to do something each day that I know brings me joy. Cartoons bring me joy, and this one did especially. It's not that this is an amazing achievement in animation, but what a wonderful world it creates. My friends, in this cartoon dishes wash themselves! Can you imagine anything more wonderful?

In this short, which no doubt takes it's cues from Disney's Silly Symphonies series, the plates, silverware, pots and pans are having a regular pool party in the kitchen sink. And, just like the title suggests, the spoon has eyes for a cute little dish. Like many early cartoons, this one has some great moments and others that seem very crude.

The last few minutes of the film has some good gags but is also pretty weird. I guess the animators felt they needed a bad guy so a glob of dough that looks kind of like Gollum starts terrorizing the dish. It's pretty unnecessary but does lead to some fun bits, such as a popcorn popper that becomes a cannon.

Now then, I think I'll leave this cartoon playing in the kitchen tonight and see if my dishes can take a hint.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cartoon a Day: Heaven Scent

Heaven Scent
Directed by Chuck Jones
Available on: Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 6

It's about time Pepe Le Pew made an appearance here on "Cartoon a Day." Pepe is a favorite character for many, but if I am reading things correctly, he only appeared in 16 shorts.

The premise of the Pepe films are almost all the same. A cat somehow gets a white stripe down her tail and ends up being pursued by the lovestruck Pepe. In "Heaven Scent," the cat purposely paints the stripe in order to escape the nasty dogs of the neighborhood.

This isn't the greatest of the Pepe films, but it has several elements that work very well. The character of Pepe just seems to exist in his own world. He is completely oblivious to the fact that his advances are not wanted, or that he stinks. The way he walks, or more accurately the way he bounds, has always cracked me up. It's just another element that brings you into his little world where he is the most desired creature on the planet.

I think the backgrounds also help bring you into his world. They are done in a unique style. Lots of thin lines, blobs of color and odd angles. It's similar to what can be seen in some of the later Road Runner shorts, also directed by Chuck Jones. The backgrounds are this sort of romanticised view of Pepe's surroundings. It's like they are not reality, but what he sees in his mind.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cartoon a Day: Musical Moments from Chopin

Musical Moments from Chopin
Directed by Duck Lundy
Available on: Woody Woodpecker and Friends Classic Cartoon Collection.

There is a long and strange tradition of cartoon characters having the hidden talent of being concert pianists. I can think of other shorts in which Bugs Bunny and Tom and Jerry display such skills, but in today's cartoon it's Woody Woodpecker and Andy Panda who tickle the ivories.

he short begins with Andy playing for a barnyard crowd. Soon, Woody comes along with a pail of Piano Polish to clean the piano. However, he soon joins in and eventually pulls another piano over to play along with Andy. These are the sequences of the film that work best. There is some great interaction between the two characters. The abrasive (both in character and design) Woody plays off of the cuddly Andy Panda very well.

As the film progresses, however, it gets too caught up in the antics of the members of the audience. Focusing on the two main characters would've been much more interesting. Luckily, one of the audiences members accidentally causes a fire to break out which gives the short a strong finish as Andy and Woody fight off the flames as they try to play.

Cartoons that are pretty much "choreographed" to music are often some of my favorites. Whether it's "The Skeleton Dance," "Fantasia" or somewhere in between, these type of cartoons are fascinating. This particular short would've been stronger if it had focused more on the two piano players, but is still a strong musical short.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cartoon a Day: Oh What a Knight

Oh What a Knight
Directed by Walt Disney
Available on: Walt Disney Treasures - The Adventures of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

This week I am busily putting the finishing touches on our theme program for this year's puppet festivals. The program this year deals with a knight on a quest, so when I spotted the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit short "Oh What a Knight," it seemed like a good choice for tonight.

This silent cartoon features Oswald courting a maiden who is trapped in a castle. Oswald makes his way up to her tower and seems to be obsessed with just one thing, smooching. He spends a lot of time kissing the damsel in distress before the thought of trying to free her ever seems to enter his mind. This gives the villain plenty of time to come in and mess everything up for Oswald.

This cartoon is crude in parts but also features some really creative stuff. The sequence in which Oswald and the evil knight duel features some great animation featuring shadows behind the two main characters. You've also got to love the running gag that whenever Oswald gets a free moment, he runs away from the battle to plant a wet one on his girl. I think even the animators began to recognize the silliness of the gag by having Oswald walk on the walls and kiss the maiden as he runs by without even stopping. This cartoon shows advances being made not just in animation, but also in the comic timing of the animation.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Cartoon a Day: What's Opera Doc?

What's Opera Doc?
Directed by Chuck Jones
Available on: Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 2

OK, I admit it, I've been behind on my cartoons this weekend. Between small group, birthday parties, and trying to get in some extra's been busy. So, what better way to get back on track than to look at one of the greatest cartoons ever made, "What's Opera Doc?"

Where do you start? The animation is fantastic! From the opening animation of Elmer Fudd's shadow, a possible jab at Disney's "A Night on Bald Mountain" from "Fantasia," you know you're in for something special. The animation of Bugs and Elmer is wonderful, but it's the animation of the fat horse that is the highlight of this short for me.

Being that this is a "opera" the music is very important and may be the best example of the excellent scoring that was so often present in the Looney Tunes shorts. But the real star of this short is the incredible backgrounds. They create a whole other world, completely unlike anything we've seen in any other cartoon.

I think the backgrounds are what really bring out the emotion of this short. The colors and the angles just intensify everything. When Elmer supposedly kills Bugs, it's sad. I can remember watching this as a kid and hating that part. Bugs is dead, Elmer is crying over what he's done, that's the stuff kids' nightmares are made of. But, of course, Bugs has the final say in things, delivering probably the best closing line of any of his cartoons.

If told I could only watch one cartoon for the rest of my life...well, this would probably be the one I would choose.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Some Thoughts on the Oscar Nominations

2009 Oscar Nomination Announcement

Bright and early this morning, the nominees for the 81st Annual Academy Awards were announced. Being a big movie fan, I always enjoy trying to figure out who the winners will be. In fact, the last several years I have held a contest at my office to see who can guess the most winners. The one who gets the most right wins a couple of movie passes.

There are always surprises with the nominations, and of course disappointing snubs. Here are a few of my thoughts after this morning's announcement.

- Academy Voters Belong in Arkham Asylum

"The Dark Knight" did not get a Best Picture nomination this morning. And thus this becomes the biggest crime in the history of the Oscars, replacing the infamous incident of a few years back when "Happy Feet" won for Best Animated Feature. I really don't understand what makes the Academy voters feel that they have to vote for more lofty films. Why can't a film that was a great work of art also be a huge crowd-pleasing summer action movie as well. I mean, who do these people think they are? The Oscars are voted on by industry folks, the same folks that bring you such highbrow pics as "Dude, Where's My Car." Just who are they trying to impress here. I certainly haven't seen every movie of 2008, but of what I have seen "The Dark Knight" is the best movie of the year. The snub of Christopher Nolan in the best director category is almost as bad.

- Danny Elfman finally gets some Academy Love

Danny Elfman is my favorite film composer. Every since I first saw "Pee-wee's Big Adventure," which was his first big score, I have been intrigued by his unique style. Amazingly, his nomination this morning for composing the score for "Milk" is only his 4th nomination in over 20 years of film scoring. His work on films like "Edward Scissorhands," "Beetlejuice," and "The Nightmare Before Christmas" was certainly deserving. But here is another example of a weird Academy quirk...we tend to see more nominations for the scores of dramatic films than for fantasy or action films. This is totally bizarre since, in my opinion, the art of film scoring is at it's best in these genres. When I saw that Elfman was scoring "Milk," a drama about openly gay San Francisco politician Harvey Milk, I had a feeling the Academy might finally take note of him.

- The Whoville Oscar Party has Officially been Cancelled

It was a great year for animated films. "Wall-E" was another great film from Pixar, though I think it's a tad bit overrated, "Kung Fu Panda" was a fantastic surprise, and "Bolt" was a lot better than I expected. These three films earned their nominations, but I was very disappointed to see this year's first great animated feature, "Horton Hears a Who," ignored. I said at the time it was released that I felt it may be the best non-Pixar computer animated feature to date. It's certainly the best film adaptation of Dr. Seuss' work so far. Unfortunately, the number of animated feature nominees is based on the number of eligible films released during the year. On rare occasion, it's only happened once, five films get nominated. But this year there were just three, so Horton got snubbed.

- The Best Picture and Best Director Categories Match!

One of the interesting phenomena of the Oscars is that usually the Best Director nominees are off by one when compared with the Best Picture nominees. This usually leads to people making snide remarks like "Well, I guess 'Driving Miss Daisy' must have directed itself." But for once, the directors of the five best picture nominees were all nominated for Best Director.

Well, the awards are presented Feb 22. Just like last year, I think I will try to live blog the event. Have fun trying to pick the winners.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Cartoon a Day: T-Bone for Two

T-Bone for Two
Directed by Clyde Geronimi
Available on: Walt Disney Treasures - The Complete Pluto Vol. 1

I haven't done a Pluto cartoon in all this time we've been doing "Cartoon a Day." Perhaps I've been avoiding it. I mean, I like Pluto but he's never been one of my favorite characters. However, I think I may be gaining a new appreciation for Disney's favorite canine.

"T-Bone for Two" has Pluto in a battle with a bulldog over a bone. Pluto actually shows himself to be pretty sneaky in his efforts to get the bone for himself. One thing I really noticed in this cartoon is the great range of emotion Pluto has. His features seem to be a lot more versatile than some of Disney's bigger stars like Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck. Check out this collection images showing a bunch of different emotions, all of which occur in just a few seconds.

I suppose the fact that Pluto is pretty much a silent character makes his facial expressions that much more crucial. His style of humor is more playful than many other characters, but he is often an example of skillful animation.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cartoon a Day: Congo Jazz

Congo Jazz
Directedy by Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising
Available on: Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 6

Before Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, or even Porky Pig, the earliest star of Warner Brothers cartoons was a guy named Bosko. He looked kind of like a monkey and was no doubt influenced by Mickey Mouse. His cartoons do resemble a lot of Disney's work from the same time period, helped I'm sure by the fact that former Disney staffers Harman and Ising were at the helm.

"Congo Jazz" has no story, it's just Bosko being chased by a tiger and then clowning around with a gorilla and a bunch of other jungle creatures. The animation is good and even shows some originality in some of the gags. The film is also not quite as repetitious with the visual jokes as some cartoons from this time period are.

However, there is something to be desired in Bosko's range. His surprised expression is pretty much the same no matter what new thing he faces. Now we all know that the folks at Warner Brothers soon figured out the huge range of expressions they could create for their characters, so we can cut them some slack here.

Cartoon a Day: Horton Hatches the Egg

Horton Hatches the Egg
Directed by Bob Clampett
Available on: Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 6

I was extremely tired last night, so I watched my cartoon and went to bed without blogging. So it's time to catch up. Last night I watched one of the earliest adaptations of Dr. Seuss' work, "Horton Hatches the Egg."

Horton is a beautifully animated short, but it's not without it's faults. I'm usually the type that can separate the book version from the movie version. I don't get all offended when something from the book is changed for the movie. Some folks get downright mean about their favorite parts of a book being left out of the know who you are all you Harry Potter fans. With this short, the depiction of Horton is all wrong. In the book he comes across as proud and faithful. Here he comes across as pathetic, usually whimpering about his circumstances.

The other problem is the same one that others have encountered when adapting Seuss for film...they just don't seem to trust the source material. The feature film versions of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "The Cat in the Hat" have had the same problem. It's one thing to add material to make a longer film, but what's added has to be in the spirit of Seuss. So far, only the computer animated version of "Horton Hears a Who" from last year has succeeded in that department. In this film, the bird, Mayzie, acts like Katharine Hepburn...quite annoyingly I might add. It just doesn't fit. The Peter Lorre-esqe fish who shoots himself in the head, while well animated, is most certainly out of place. Other goofy asides just seem to take away from the great source material.

But the thing that got me the most was that it just doesn't look like Seuss. The character designs are similar to his drawings, but the backgrounds, trees, etc don't have that Seuss quality. Animation is the perfect medium for adapting Seuss, they shoul've just left his designs alone.

Now, I sound pretty harsh here, but it's still a great example of animation. From an animation standpoint there is a lot to appreciate. It's trying to fix a story that isn't broken that's the problem. The film is enjoyable, well animated, but ultimately misguided in it's approach.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Cartoon a Day: Confusions of a Nutzy Spy

Confusions of a Nutzy Spy
Directed by Norman McCabe
Available on: Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 6

We finish off a week of World War II themed shorts with "Confusions of a Nutzy Spy." This film features Porky Pig as a police officer who, along with his hound Egbert, is chasing down an enemy spy.

There are only a handful of things in this short that tie it to the war...a Hitler mask that the dog runs across and the spy character's accent and use of a "heil Hitler" are about it. Many of the film's funniest bits come from sight gags at the beginning of the film. Once again you can really see how these films were aimed at adult audiences when the camera pans past two wanted posters featuring ugly crooks and then lands on a poster that says "Wanted" with a poster of a pin up girl.

The animation of the spy, Missing Lynx, is pretty funny. He has some great poses during a sequence where he's trying to blow up a bridge, but the dog keeps fetching the bomb and bringing it back to him.

This is a funny short, it's a shame that a few references to the war have kept it out of the public eye for so long.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cartoon a Day: Spies

Directed by Chuck Jones (uncredited)
Available on: Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 3

Today's cartoon, "Spies," is from Warner Brothers' series of Private Snafu films. These films were produced for the military rather than the general public. It shows in the content of these films. The use of the term "Snafu" alone would not generally have been for public consumption (the "F" doesn't stand for fuzzy if you know what I mean). Not to mention the fact that we see Snafu getting drunk and picking up and going home with a strange woman.

This particular short is directed by Chuck Jones and written by Dr. Seuss. Snafu resembles Elmer Fudd to some degree and is likewise a very expressive character. The scene in which a drunken Snafu spills his guts to a beautiful Nazi spy sitting on his lap features a great range of expressions. It's classic Chuck Jones.

Mel Blanc's voice work is also great. In this short the Snafu voice goes from playful to drunk to panic . It's a great example of Blanc's range.

Ultimately this short is a great example of how a animation, a medium so often associated with children's entertainment, can be effective in providing both humor and a message to an adult audience in a very effective way.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cartoon a Day: Japoteurs

Directed by Seymour Kneitel
Available on: The Complete Superman Cartoons

Today's wartime cartoon is a Fleischer Superman film, "Japoteurs." Now the title alone is enough to make you cringe, but really there isn't much in the way of offensive content here. Lois Lane does use the term "Japs" at one point and Superman refers to the chief Japanese bad guy as "little man," but that's about it. This is much like any of the other Superman shorts, only the bad guys are a team of Japanese agents trying to sabotage a giant new American plane.

Like many of the Superman shorts, "Japoteurs" is visually stunning. The scene of the giant plane, a sort of aircraft carrier for the sky, being rolled out of the hanger has a big 'Wow' effect. Though fictional, it's an impressive display of American military might. I'm sure it boosted morale for audiences to some degree.

The ending of the short is also very creatively animated and is classic Superman. The plane is crashing down toward the city so Superman catches it and lays it neatly down in the city street. Not all that different than a scene from the recent "Superman Returns," in which the boy in blue sets down a plane in the middle of a baseball field.

It's surprising that there weren't more Superman shorts that dealt directly with the war. What better way to boost spirits than with one who fights for "truth, justice, and the American way."

Who hasn't seen "Star Wars"

You've heard "Star Wars" according to a 3 year old...well now, here's "Star Wars" according to someone who hasn't seen it.

Star Wars: Retold (by someone who hasn't seen it) from Joe Nicolosi on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cartoon a Day: The Spirit of '43

The Spirit of '43
Directed by Jack King (uncredited)
Available on: Walt Disney Treasures - On the Front Lines

We continue with out look at the animation studios contribution to the war effort with Disney's "The Spirit of '43." This short begins as a Donald Duck film. It's pay day and Donald has a big wad of cash. Of course, according to cartoon tradition, two alternated versions of our main character come out to tell Donald how what to do with his money. The thrifty version is telling him to save his money so he has enough for taxes, while the "spendthrift" wants him to live it up.

The very vivid imagery you'd expect in a war propaganda short begins when Donald realizes that the swinging doors of the saloon he's being lured to are in the shape of a swastika. From there the film takes on a style more like Disney's animated propaganda feature "Victory Through Air Power."

What follows is very stylized animation of factories producing shells and "guns, guns, guns." The sequence of enemy planes and ships being shot down are very dark and not at all what you would expect from Disney. The large metal Nazi monster is an image that looks more like the animation from "Pink Floyd: The Wall" than something the house of the mouse would produce.

I'm sure this short achieved it's purpose. People probably felt a bit more spirited about paying their taxes..."taxes to sink the axis." It definitely takes an interesting approach, combining a beloved character with horrific and ultimately very patriotic imagery.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cartoon a Day: Herr Meets Hare

Herr Meets Hare
Directed by Friz Freleng (as I. Freleng)
Available on: Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 6

"Herr Meets Hare" is a cartoon that has been rarely seen until it's recent release on DVD. It is essentially a Bugs Bunny / Elmer Fudd hunting picture. But here's the catch, instead of Fudd as Bugs' nemesis we have Hitler's second in command Hermann Goring.

Bugs ends up near Goring's hunting lodge in Germany's black forest having, of course, forgotten to make a left turn at Albuquerque. By the way, this is actually the first film that features that line. The gags that follow are pretty much in line with what you would see if Fudd were in the picture, though customized a bit to make jabs at the Nazis. The sequence in which Bugs impersonates the fuhrer features some great poses for Bugs.

One segment of the film that is particularly interesting is essentially an early version of the classic cartoon "What's Opera Doc?" which was still 12 years away at this point. Just like in that more famous film, you have Bugs in the Brunehilde role and Herman Goring (Fudd) in the Siegfried role. The scene is very funny, particularly the animation of Goring who looks like a giant baby with a viking hat.

I realize some of these wartime cartoons often have some elements that are uncomfortable to watch in this day and age, but it so great to see the studios interested in not just preserving the history of these cartoons but sharing them in a major DVD release. This one is real classic.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Why are there so many starving people?

The other day I started reading a book I got for Christmas, "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. Chan is pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, CA. My neighbors actually went to his church when they lived in California. I enjoy listening to his sermons, though at time his style is a little bit too much like free form jazz for me. Still, he's got to be one of the most upfront and honest preachers I've heard. He tells you what goes through his mind when God speaks and I can sure relate to a lot of the emotions he describes.

I'm only a little ways into the book, but I am enjoying it immensely. So far I think I've highlighted more things in the first two chapters than I have in some entire books. One passage in particular really grabbed me. Chan writes:

"Psalm 115:3 reveals, "Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him." Yet we keep on questioning Him: "Why did You make me with this body, instead of that one?" "Why are so many people dying of starvation?" "Why are there so many planets with nothing living on them?" "Why is my family so messed up?" "Why don't You make Yourself more obvious to people who need You?"

"The answer to each of these questions is simply this: because He's God. He has more of a right to ask us why so many people are starving."

It's that last sentence that got to me. I imagined that scene we all imagine, being in Heaven and asking God all those questions we want to know. "Why did you make mosquitoes?" "Who shot JFK?" Stuff like that. Oh, and while were at it, "why are there so many people dying of starvation." Would He respond with something like, "Shouldn't I be asking you that? I did tell you that you would do even greater things than I did when I was down there. So what happened?" We pray that God would move in mighty ways to do things like feed the hungry and cure diseases. Perhaps we're the ones that are supposed to be moving.

Cartoon a Day: Der Fuehrer's Face

Der Fuehrer's Face
Directed by Jack Kinney (uncredited)
Available on: Walt Disney Treasures - On the Front Lines

Having looked at a cartoon yesterday that was so influenced by the world at war, I decided to continue with another World War II cartoon. Most of the major animation studios contributed to the war effort in some way, both with educational films and films designed to boost the spirits of the war weary public. One of the best cartoons from this time is the Donald Duck short "Der Fuehrer's Face."

This cartoon wasn't shown much after the war. Though it is very funny, it is also somewhat disturbing. After all, Donald is forced to read Mein Kampf in one scene. The film's title comes from the song that is played throughout the film which was made famous by Spike Jones. Having spent many Sunday nights of my youth listening to the Dr. Demento Show, I knew of the song long before I knew of this cartoon.

In the film, Donald is living in Nazi-land. It's actually kind of interesting that it isn't revealed that this is all a dream until the end of the picture (sorry to spoil the ending there folks). It must've been strange for movie audiences to see Donald cast as a Nazi and have no explanation as to why America's favorite duck had gone to the dark side.

The whole Nazi-land environment is played out hilariously with the background designs. We see trees, windmills, even fire hydrants all in the shape of a swastika. Even Donald's house ends up being a caricature of Adolf Hitler.

The film moves at a frantic pace and by the end even becomes somewhat psychedelic in it's style as Donald ends up in a sequence similar to the pink elements on parade scene from "Dumbo."

This Academy Award winner is a brilliant piece of animation and one of the best examples of Disney's contribution to the war effort.