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The China Shop (1934)

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The elderly owner of a china shop leaves for the night, and the various figurines and decorated mugs come to life. A demonic figure captures an upper-class lady and does battle with her ... See full summary »

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Storyline

The elderly owner of a china shop leaves for the night, and the various figurines and decorated mugs come to life. A demonic figure captures an upper-class lady and does battle with her lord, damaging much of the shop. But the demon proves to have a glass jaw and, literally, a yellow streak, and the happy couple is soon reunited. No dialogue, but some signs are in English, particularly the final punch-line. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

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Release Date:

13 January 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Porslinsdockorna  »

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(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Fine China and Rare Antiques
2 December 2008 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Many of the early Silly Symphonies were concerned with scenes of nature, but 'The China Shop (1934)' constitutes an interesting change. Directed by Wilfred Jackson, the film unfolds entirely in a china shop, whose ceramic inhabitants come to life the moment the elderly owner leaves for home. The idea of inanimate objects become animate when we're not looking has always been a popular one for audiences: literary characters emerged from their books in MGM's 'The Bookworm (1939),' and the tradition stretches all the way to Pixar's success with 'Toy Story (1995).' It's human nature to want to anthropomorphise machines and toys, to ascribe to them motivations and emotions, and here Disney takes advantage of this fantasy, paradoxically unfolding an epic romantic battle in the confines of a quiet china store. The end result is a pleasant and enjoyable musical cartoon, animated in brilliant Technicolor, with a plot fuelled by romantic tension, and a battle between hero and villain.

As soon as the china shop's old proprietor sluggishly closes up for the night, the wide-eyed wall-clock gives the signal that the coast is clear. Every ceramic figure suddenly comes to life, and the dreary old store is quickly abuzz with festive cheer, and a handsome male dances romantically with his beautiful lady-friend. However, evil is afoot. A devilish, goat-legged satyr comes to life and crashes the party, locking up the beautiful woman in a glass cage to claim ownership over her. The male, of course, does not take kindly to his love being snatched away, and, though he gets battered and bruised along the way, challenges the satyr to an epic battle of strength and will. I don't need to tell you how the cartoon ends, but suffice to say that the china shop winds up a little worse for wear. Fortunately, in the film's humorous conclusion, the old shop-owner thinks up the surest solution to a busted-up china collection, proving that every disaster is simply a blessing in disguise.


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