Flowers, insects, and a crow family all dance to a jaunty tune celebrating spring. After a brief storm, grasshoppers, frogs, and spiders cavort to the Dance of the Hours.

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Flowers, insects, and a crow family all dance to a jaunty tune celebrating spring. After a brief storm, grasshoppers, frogs, and spiders cavort to the Dance of the Hours.

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24 October 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I vårens tid  »

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1.33 : 1
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Was released on 24 October 1929, the same day as the stock market crashed. See more »

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Featured in The Mickey Mouse Club: Episode #1.38 (1955) See more »

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Spring is in the air
30 November 2008 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Disney's "Silly Symphony" series was an important training-ground for animators to sharpen their skills and experiment with difficult visual effects, such as rainstorms and water reflections. 'Springtime (1929)' was directed by Walt Disney himself, and, though it is a primitive short films by most standards, one can nonetheless recognise the development of important techniques and ideas that would later be relied upon for subsequent masterpieces, such as Burt Gillet's 'Flowers and Trees (1932),' Wilfred Jackson's 'The Old Mill (1937)' and, most significantly of all, Disney's feature-length magnum opus, 'Fantasia (1940).' Animated in black-and-white, of course, 'Springtime' celebrates the arrival of spring in a secluded wetland, where anthropomorphised insects, frogs and birds commemorate the new season by dancing joyously in time to music, and generally eating their way down the food-chain. Flowers rise from the soil to perform a quick-step on two legs, while trees melodiously wave their arm-like branches.

'Springtime' was the first in a series of four Disney cartoons, each instalment celebrating a particular season. Spring is traditionally all about growth and new life, and the sheer exuberance of the forest creatures is skillfully translated to the screen. Bird chicks are born in their nests, one after the other, and everybody appears to be having a rather entertaining time. I find it interesting how the theme of death is incorporated so lightly into such an upbeat musical cartoon, with almost every character falling victim to a predator almost immediately after we have watched their performance: the caterpillar in sequentially gobbled up by the raven, the grasshoppers are devoured by the frog, the frogs provide a hearty meal for the stork, and, for the finale, the stork is swallowed up by an unexpectedly deep puddle. Though the lightning effects are admittedly rather primitive, the raindrops are animated very well, and Disney would only get better at it.


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