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Ain’t It Cool ‘toons


Harry Knowles (of Ain’t It Cool News) has posted a top ten list (with YouTube links) of his some of his all-time favorite animated films. These include Disney’s Music Land, MGM’s Peace On Earth and Little Buck Cheeser, UPA’s The Tell-Tale Heart, George Pal’s Tulips Shall Grow, Ub Iwerks’ Balloon Land and Skeleton Frolic, Will Vinton’s Closed Mondays and Max Fleischer’s Great Vegatable Mystery and Ants In the Plants.

A fine list with a lot of great films.

  • Harry says that “THE TELL-TALE HEART was conceived for 3D – but their budget got cut”. I always thought it was made in 3D, but the other eye version was lost. This makes sense.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Interesting noting the only one that isn’t part of the “Golden Age” period that takes up most of Knowles’ list is Vinton/Gardiner’s “Closed Mondays”.

  • What? No “Monkeybone”?

  • The list is great. I agree with most of the entries.

  • I have read about many of those in various commentaries over the years, but hadn’t actually seen a few until now.

    It’s disappointing when the reality doesn’t live up to the legend.

    I think film historians have a tendency to exaggerate the substance of their subject sometimes, perhaps to justify their profession. Of course it’s worse in academic circles.

    They are all fine cartoons, however. The hype isn’t their fault.

  • Fidel

    As great an animation fan as I am, I’m still not too familiar with most animated short subjects other than those produced by the Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros. and the Tom & Jerry/Tex Avery cartoons of MGM. Yes, a big slap on my wrist indeed, because of these I was only familiar with barely four of them until I saw the YouTube links. I never cared much for Popeye, Pink Panther, or Woody Woodpecker, even though I saw the cartoons growing up. So just to post something, anything, as a comment, here are my favorite top ten Disney short subjects:

    1. THE BAND CONCERT (1935) – A great musical cartoon (combining two distinctively different pieces of music and making them sound similar: genius) and Mickey’s first color animated short. Plus, I love the fact that Mickey actually gets angry here. Yay, he does have personality beyond being friendly, brave, and lovable!
    2. THE SKELETON DANCE (1929) – Creepy, funny, and completely synchronized…a great first Silly Symphony and a perfect Halloween treat.
    3. THE OLD MILL (1937) – Dramatic music and beautiful animation make this short a classic, which also features the first use of the Multiplane camera that would later be used for Snow White.
    4. STEAMBOAT WILLIE (1928) – The first sound cartoon ever is also Mickey’s grand debut. Crude by today’s standards in most sequences, but still a lot of fun, not to mention iconic.
    5. RUGGED BEAR (1953) – Perhaps one of Disney’s funniest cartoons ever. This Oscar-nominated short has the best surprise ending ever!
    6. THE BRAVE LITTLE TAILOR (1938) – Mickey Mouse stars in a big budget (could have been a) Silly Symphony, complete with some of the best Mickey animation of all time: that sequence in which he talks to the king about slaying the (flies) giants.
    7. THE NIFTY NINETIES (1941) – A guilty pleasure? I just love the cameo appearances and the fact that Mickey and Minnie are dressed up in the get-up of the late 1890’s. My favorite Mickey/Minnie short.
    8. TOOT, WHISTLE, PLUNK & BOOM (1953) – Disney did something different, by sort of copying the UPA style, and it worked in this fun and educational look at musical instruments.
    9. DER FUEHRER’S FACE (1942) – This Oscar winner has Donald facing the Nazis and even thinking he might become Hitler himself. Thank God it all turns out to be a nightmare in this hilarious, yet somewhat politically incorrect Donald cartoon.
    10. EDUCATION FOR DEATH (1943) – So un-Disney…I love it! A highly dramatic short with great scenes depicting brainwashing, child cruelty, and the unfortunate casualties of war. Very dark.

    Honorable Mentions: Basically all the Mickey and the Gang cartoons, including “Lonesome Ghosts,” “Mickey’s Trailer” and the classic “Clock Cleaners.”

  • Chuck R.

    Lists like these usually bore me, but the fact that these are lesser-known and the convenient links to the cartoons on YouTube make it more fun.

    This brings me back to the old days when Whole Toon catalog would feature a list of noteworthy cartoons (Oscar winners, 50-best, etc.), cross-referenced to the video-compilations that featured them, so you could order them right away. The guy who created those lists was awesome. I wonder where he is today.

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