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Who Killed Cock Robin?
Posted by SNAFU 2012-10-05 20:51:01


Who Killed Cock Robin?
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-10-05 21:21:44

Love the impersonations. I own both sets of Disney's SIlly Symphony limited edition DVDs--I really think they're some of the best animation Disney, or anyone, ever put out. (I'm surprised so many of them seem to be on youtube--I woulda thought Disney would be especially anal about that)

Who Killed Cock Robin?
Posted by SNAFU 2012-10-05 21:41:33

I like that Disney presented thes as not just Children's entertainment! I remember seeing this on TV in the 60's as a part of children's cartoon programing and not on a Disney show!

Who Killed Cock Robin?
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-10-05 22:02:54

I remember a Warner Bros animator said how the other studio animators would all go watch Disney's Silly Symphonies and just gasp like they were pieces of art that they would never be allowed the time and money to make themselves. They initially didn't sell well, but Disney would only allow theatres to show the Mickey Mouse cartoons if they also showed a Silly Symphony (and he added the silly "Mickey Mouse Presents a Silly Symphony" credit). But they picked up once they went to full colour--Disney smartly made a deal with Tehnicolor allowing no other animation studio to use their new, full three strip colour process for three years, around 1932, and then of course titles like 3 Little Pigs created a sensation--theatres would advertise it above their feature film.

He also shrewdly used the myriadof styles and themes from them to train the animators for his goal of doing feature length films (ie working on animating human bodies more realistically, working more with music, or the groundbreaking use of the miltiplane camera for his gorgeous Old Mill short). They really are gems.

And yeah, they were there to appeal to everyone--not just kids. EVen the big 5 pre war animated features (Snow White, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo and Bambi) were marketed towards adults as much as kids--and really showcase a sophiticated film direction style that matches or even exceeds live action films from 1937-1942--the Disney films often feel more modern now. After the war Walt became less interested, the Disney cartoon brand was considered more for kids, and Walt was more personally invested first in live action and then in Disneyland and I'd argue the films were never quite as great--as much as I absolutely love a good deal of them. (Sleeping Beauty was meantto be a return to the pre-war epics, but it was in preproduction for years and years, cost too much, and apparently Walt never got as into it as the animators hoped--though it's a beautiful film).

*ramble ramble*

Who Killed Cock Robin?
Posted by SNAFU 2012-10-05 22:47:22

Silly Symphonies and the pre war animated films are classic works of art, There is no denying it. I have always admired their straight foward look at death, danger and terror!. Bambi's Mom, The kids turning into Donkeys and just the cruelty man can put on man.Once Disney was marketed towards primarily children they did soften their direction. It is a shame.
I know when I was young (and seeing the kids reactions all those years I worked with young children in an institutional setting) being scared during Disney films was fun! Being sad also. We learned that life wasn't always a song and dance. I truly believe that this is why these films remain classics and seem ageless. They approach the topics in an adult manner and do not condescend.

Who Killed Cock Robin?
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-10-06 01:13:30

In total agreement.

Animation still isn't given the respect it deserves, IMHO, but if you look at those films... I mean Pinocchio, or the often impressionistic elements of Bambi, to give two examples (I won't even mention Fantasia) really are not just spectacular animation, but spectacular filmaking. I know some directors give them their due (Hitchcock was a huge fan of the Pink Elephants bit of Dumbo--which actually was a film Disney did slightly on the cheap because they needed money after--due partly to the closure of the foreign market with the war--Pinocchi, Fantasia and then Bambi all lost a lot of money. Hitch said he was inspired by it for the surreal sequences in Spellbound of all places).

I'm in all seriousness when I say that something like Bambi is as smartly directed and made as Citizen Kane, to give an obvious example--if anything it may even hold up better. (It's also amazing to see how quickly animation came of age, comparing Disney's silent output like Oswald the Rabbit from 1927 to ten years later when they did Snow White. I'm a great fan of other studios--mainly Fleischer's surrealistic shorts--but most of that was due to innovations Disney pushed).

Who Killed Cock Robin?
Posted by Jungle Red 2012-10-06 02:45:05

I need to visit the Disney museum here in San Francisco. I find the early years fascinating.

I doubt he knew what success the brand would become with just a little mouse named Steamboat Willy.

Who Killed Cock Robin?
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-10-06 18:16:39

The last time I was in your gorgeous city, I tried my best to go to the Disney museum but just couldn't fit it in. A friend says it's really well put together.

Who Killed Cock Robin?
Posted by Roscoe 2012-10-09 15:48:29

This is one of my favorite animated short films -- such a subversive movie. It undermines all authority and celebrates sex in a way that is just unthinkable in a Disney movie. And if you don't at least smile when Jenny Wren says "Judgy Wudgy" then there's something deeply wrong with you.

Who Killed Cock Robin?
Posted by Reginald Tresilian 2012-10-09 22:20:02

I'd forgotten about the Disney Museum! I'm going to be in San Francisco in a couple of weeks for a wedding. I have a free day and a half; I have to go!