Thursday, April 09, 2009

Cartoon a Day: The Greener Yard

The Greener Yard
Directed by Jack Hannah
Available on: Walt Disney Treasures: The Chronological Donald Vol. 3

"The Greener Yard" is a short which puts Donald Duck against a beetle out to feast on his garden. It's a short that has some great moments of creativity but is not without a few flaws as well.

To start, the background art is amazing. Some of the most detailed and colorful work you will ever see. Donald is a far better gardener than I could ever be, that's for sure. The animation is, of course, top notch. Both Donald and the beetle are extremely well drawn.

Where this short runs into problems is in how it presents the story. It begins with narration from the Beetle..."One day my son was blah blah blah..." and we're let into the story. Or so we think. The younger beetle is eyeballing Donald's beautiful yard next door and wanting to head on over there. It's "grass in greener" scenario. The older beetle then launches into telling about when he was younger and wandered over to Donald's yard. The majority of the film is that flashback. So technically it takes two flashbacks to even get to the story. Both are completely unnecessary when they could've just made it Donald vs. the beetle rather than trying to give it a lesson at the end.

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