The post about the 1955 Chuck Jones short A Hitch in Time was well received, so let’s complete the story. Jones made at least two more military propaganda films following that one—90 Day Wondering in 1956 and Drafty, Isn’t It? in 1957.
The gem of the bunch may be 90 Day Wondering. I’d seen some of Maurice Noble’s layout concepts for this short when researching the book Cartoon Modern, but regretfully, hadn’t seen the short. It is an absolutely fantastic example of the ‘cartoon modern’ aesthetic, with an astounding level of craft that is far beyond the needs of the plebeian ideas expressed in the film.
The first minute of the film has an expert piece of temporal and spatial compression. We follow the main character’s ecstatic journey out of the military and back to his hometown while he runs around in a whirlwind a la the Tasmanian Devil. It’s also a great use of animated movement to illustrate the inner emotions of a character.