|Index||4 reviews in total|
This quite charming Disney short depicts a group of discarded and generally damaged toys give spirit and a new lease on-well, not "life", per se-a new found functionality to do what every toy wants-find a child to join in the vital task of playing. One toy decides that the scrap heap is no place for a toy and gets the others to work changing their lot. Most enjoyable, even if you can see the ending a mile away. Typical Disney quality across the board and great fun on several levels. Well worth watching. Recommended.
A Walt Disney SILLY SYMPHONY Cartoon Short.
Landing in a dump, a lively sailor doll finds the place has become the home for a collection of discarded BROKEN TOYS who have all given up hope of finding happiness again. Instilling new enthusiasm & dignity in them, the sailor doll helps get them repaired & cleaned-up. He even replaces the button eyes on a beautiful blind doll, finding romance in the bargain. But now, with Winter coming on, the sailor doll has big plans for the toys' future...
This very charming film was Disney's Christmas cartoon for 1935. Good animation & story are a real plus. A few Hollywood celebrities are caricatured amusingly: Ned Sparks, Zasu Pitts, W. C. Fields & Stepin Fetchit (in unedited versions).
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.
I always enjoy Disney Silly Symphonies, and Broken Toys is no exception. It is beautifully animated with vibrant colours and fluid backgrounds, and I liked the energy and whimsy of the music. The story is a very sweet one, with some clever individual scenes such as the humorous and tense operation scene and the heartwarming ending(without it ever feeling overly-sentimental), while the characters are more individualised than characters with a similar feel like Funny Little Bunnies and Santa's Workshop, with some smartly used caricatures of WC Fields, Zasu Pitts, Ned Sparks and especially Stepin Fetchitt. All in all, truly delightful. 10/10 Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Visually this is a vast improvement over 1930's "Midnight in a Toy Shop", the other Silly Symphony to feature animated toys, and is very richly detailed, but I personally don't really enjoy it any more than that short, I actually find it a little on the weird side, to say it's about walking talking toys, it doesn't have all that much fun and wonder to it! And although I don't normally care either way, I don't like the two(count 'em!) possibly offensive black stereotype doll and marionette. I find them a little heavy-handed and distracting rather than lovable. And it's really not cool when they each get referred to as "My little chocolate drop", and "My Ethiopian." Steriotype character designs are one thing, name dropping is quite another. And I also don't particularly care for the sequence in which the totally eyeless doll is given new baby blues in a kind of mock operation procedure that I found bizarre and vaguely macabre rather than cute. And that goes for the part where the toy soldiers are replacing lost limbs, the way it was done with them marching in and out with makeshift limbs and crutches, it wasn't too hard to make the connection to real life warfare victims getting patched up! Very enjoyable and well animated but not exactly inspiring work in my opinion.. I liked the animation the best, and I did like how much personality was put into each of the toys, and the details of how they were broken in different ways. I'm sure some of them were caricatures of famous celebrities of those days but I couldn't begin to tell you which ones! And it's sweet how the sailor doll rallied all the toys to get out of the dump together to fix themselves and guide them to a new home at an orphanage where they would be loved by children again. It's an interesting idea for a short and a nice message of pulling yourself together and carrying on, in the case of these guys literally! I've seen better, but it's still another good and entertaining Symphony.
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