Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cartoon a Day: Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom

Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom
Directed by Ward Kimball and Charles A Nichols
Available on: Walt Disney Treasures - Disney Rarities

Today's short is one of my all-time favorite cartoons. I was in either kindergarten or first grade when I saw it for the first timein the library at Clifford Elementary School. "Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom" is an educational short about music, but it is also one of the Disney studio's most creative shorts. Others must've thought so too, since it won an Academy Award. And to top it all off, it's in beautiful widescreen.

The film takes place in a classroom full of birds led by an owl. He takes the class on a history of music, tracing it to four basic elements...the toot, the whistle, the plunk and the boom.

This short is one that really proves Disney wasn't all about cute little woodland creatures. The characters in this short have that great 50's geometric design. I love the character designs in this short and they have influenced the way I design my shadow puppets a great deal.

The film serves it's purpose, it is very educational, in fact it still used in classrooms today. The film is also very funny, though. The "plunk" sequence is my favorite from a comedic standpoint. They demonstrate several different types of string instruments in this sequence...from violins to hammer dulcimers and more...each one of them ends up breaking a string which hits it's player. It's a very funny sequence.

I'll just close by letting a bunch of this film's creative images speak for themselves. This is another one of my desert island cartoons.

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