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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Walt Disney Animation Goes Under The Sea

Author: Ron Oliver ( from Forest Ranch, CA
2 September 2000

A Walt Disney SILLY SYMPHONY Cartoon Short.

Huge KING NEPTUNE, Ruler of the Sea, is frolicking with his lissome little mermaids. The arrival of a scurvy band of pirates, and their lustful attack upon the mermaids, begins a terrific battle, in which the ocean creatures join in. Finally, the sea god emerges from the waves & wrecks watery vengeance upon the corsairs.

There's plenty of action in this exceedingly, one might almost say excessively, violent cartoon. The state of the mermaids' dishabille shows that this is a pre-Production Code film.

The SILLY SYMPHONIES, which Walt Disney produced for a ten year period beginning in 1929, are among the most interesting of series in the field of animation. Unlike the Mickey Mouse cartoons in which action was paramount, with the Symphonies the action was made to fit the music. There was little plot in the early Symphonies, which featured lively inanimate objects and anthropomorphic plants & animals, all moving frantically to the soundtrack. Gradually, however, the Symphonies became the school where Walt's animators learned to work with color and began to experiment with plot, characterization & photographic special effects. The pages of Fable & Fairy Tale, Myth & Mother Goose were all mined to provide story lines and even Hollywood's musicals & celebrities were effectively spoofed. It was from this rich soil that Disney's feature-length animation was to spring. In 1939, with SNOW WHITE successfully behind him and PINOCCHIO & FANTASIA on the near horizon, Walt phased out the SILLY SYMPHONIES; they had run their course & served their purpose.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining silly symphony about the god of the sea

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
18 September 2009

King Neptune is a good Silly Symphony, and very entertaining. True some of the animation is dated despite the lovely underwater backgrounds, but there is plenty of action and entertainment for youngsters. I will say, it is one of my least favourite silly symphonies, due to the fact, it isn't quite as memorable as something like Flowers and Trees or Skeleton Dance. However, there is some beautiful music, and King Neptune is a great character, and I loved the mermaids and the pirates. The highlight of the silly symphony is the storm sequence, Neptune's laugh is quite terrifying. I was just thinking, that Neptune does look a lot like Santa Claus in the Silly Symphonies Santa's Workshop and The Night Before Christmas.

Overall, a nice silly symphony, not the most memorable of them all, but worth a look. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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Fun early color Silly Symphonies cartoon

Author: Robert Reynolds ( from Tucson AZ
18 October 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a short in the Silly Symphonies series produced by Disney. There will be spoilers ahead:

This is the second color Silly Symphonies short, after the incredible Flowers and Trees. The color is put to good use and the short is well animated and looks very good. There's also more plot here than is normal for early Disney shorts.

We see King Neptune early one, who looks like Santa Claus under water. There's a playful scene with some topless mermaids (very tame actually) swimming around and tugging Neptune's beard and nose. The mermaids then swim to the surface to sun and groom themselves.

Enter the bad guys, in a pirate ship. They spot the mermaids, trying to capture them, with all but one escaping. The one who is caught more than holds her own against the crew. The other mermaids call out reinforcements because Neptune as become entangled in the anchor chain of the ship. Various sea creatures (octopi, sword fish, whales and so on) do battle with the pirates.

The battle sequences are well animated, but the best animation comes when Neptune gets free and joins the fight. Neptune sinks the ship and the mermaid is freed. There is much rejoicing.

This short is available on the Disney Treasures More Silly Symphonies DVD set and this short as well as the set are worth tracking down. Recommended.

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A defense for this cartoon

Author: MissSimonetta from United States
21 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was heartily amused by user Foreverisacastironmess' reaction to this Silly Symphony. This user bemoaned the violence and sexual aspects of the cartoon, as well as the "poor animation." First off, this cartoon hails from the pre-code era of Hollywood, a time between 1929-1934 when filmmakers (of both live action and animated cinema) could get away with such violence and sexuality in their output before the installment of the Hayes' Code in 1934. This Disney cartoon, with its horny pirates and topless mermaids, is nothing compared to what the Fleischers were putting out with their surreal and much more risqué cartoons (check out The Old Man of the Mountain (1933)). Also, cartoons were not seen as purely kids' stuff back in the early 1930s and Disney certainly did not have the "magical, family friendly" label they would earn in the 1950s, which explains the adult content.

As for the "poor animation," you are talking about the early 1930s after all. Not that I think the animation in this is bad, of course. It's not top-of-the-line for 1932, but the water effects are impressive and I've certainly seen worse animation, even today.

All in all, I can understand the previous user's distaste for the violent ending (though I personally feel no sympathy for the pirates, who were essentially a murderous bunch of would-be rapists), but to give it such a low score for THAT? I cannot help but think that is unfair.

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Pirates "plunder the sea" in this rather brackish Silly Symphony.

Author: Foreverisacastironmess from ukwitchcountry
23 October 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After getting a load of the lame pig Neptune, one of the first things I noticed was something, oh shall we say, "amiss" regarding the wardrobe of the mermaids. Are those actually buppies I see before me in a Disney cartoon? Wow! I mean they don't have distinct shape or nipples or anything, but that's pretty damn outrageous for a cartoon from 1932, or any cartoon for that matter. I think you'll find that one of the more memorable things about King Neptune is the boobies! The pirates featured are definitely not the lovable rogues of Peter Pan. When the mermaid who vaguely looks like Ariel is fending them off, it goes without saying what their intentions are. Something else that I thought was pretty adult and scary for a children's short. The third thing that I felt stood out was when Neptune churns up the ocean and sinks the pirate ship-slaughtering all aboard! You don't see any bodies, which greatly blunts the effect, but jeez, couldn't they have just had a slap on the wrist and sent on their scurvy way? Talk about your disproportionate revenge! For me the grimness of that moment does not at all go with all the big celebration fanfare and jovial singing of the final scene. The animation, which I mostly found pretty poor, I found most impressive during the storm sequence.:::2:::The Neptune portrayed here has got to be the worst ever. King Neptune should be a proud and noble entity, not a chortling bloated creep pawing at his mermaids. They weren't all that worse off with the pirates! His design was so poor and mixed-up. A Santa Claus body and beard, Mickey Mouse hands, and a big red clown nose. He was very similar to the King Triton character from The Little Mermaid. I don't know if they're two different versions of the same character, just with a different name maybe? I got it! At some point Neptune got his act together and started going to the gym and became Triton! There are several precursors to the Little Mermaid here. For instance, near the end, the similarity to that great villain Ursula growing huge and stirring up the ocean with the trident is unmistakable. The more I see of these Silly Symphonies, the more I see what everyone talks about. They truly were a testing and training ground for the early Disney animators in many ways. A part of the fun of this series is noticing and appreciating all that. All in all, I'd have to say this isn't one of my favourites. Although it's got it's moments, I really don't like the more violent aspects of it at all. Thank you very much.

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