Little Alice and Julius the cat operate an egg factory. The hens are a bit lazy, but Julius cracks the whip. An out-of-town chicken arrives, only she's a labour agitator, Little Red Henski ... See full summary »

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Alice (as Dawn O'Day)
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Little Alice and Julius the cat operate an egg factory. The hens are a bit lazy, but Julius cracks the whip. An out-of-town chicken arrives, only she's a labour agitator, Little Red Henski from Moscow, Russia, who comes courtesy of the I.W.W. Soon she has the hens striking for "shorter hours" and "smaller eggs". Alice and Julius need to fill an urgent egg order. They spot two roosters fighting. They organize a pugilistic event, and charge each hen one egg admission. Alice and Julius fill their order and drive away ... but the load slips off, breaking all the eggs. Written by David Steele

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17 May 1925 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Only appearance of Anne Shirley as Alice. See more »

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Alice defeats the evil Wobblies!
6 July 2009 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Before Walt Disney branched off on his own, he produced shorts for several different companies. One type were his Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons and the other were his Alice films. Alice was an unusual concept. Most of the film was traditional black & white cartoon, but the central character, Alice, was a live action little girl. By today's standards, they're really crude but back in the mid-1920s, they were pretty exciting stuff.

If you watch this film, you might just assume it's another cute little Alice film and you would be wrong! The cartoon is actually very, very political as it's a bit of propaganda against the I.W.W. (Industrial Workers of the World), also known as 'the Wobblies'. No one is sure why they're called this but they were by far the most radical union in America and their principles were very pro-Marxist. They believed that the workers must own the means of production--a prime tenant of Marxism and true Communism. During the early 20th Century, many people were worried about this union and there was a lot of propaganda against them during WWI--especially since they protested against American involvement in it (not a bad idea, actually). Obviously Walt Disney, a political conservative, was against the I.W.W..

The film begins with a scene that actually might tend to validate the I.W.W., as a cat is on the farm behaving rather brutally towards the chickens to get them to lay eggs. However, soon a Bolshevik (Russian Communist) chicken who represents the I.W.W. arrives and stirs up trouble. Now the chickens won't lay eggs and are even hostile to Alice and her nasty cat. So, Alice thinks up a clever way to defeat the dreaded Wobblies.

I can guarantee that most won't understand all this symbolism, but it was meant to be very obvious and very political back in 1925--even though it was supposedly a kids' cartoon! Sometimes being a history teacher does have its advantages!


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