The Robber Kitten (1935)
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It's a lame cartoon, to be honest, and with quite an obvious moral. Of the dozens of Silly Symphonies that were made this one right at the bottom of the pile. Even as a random cartoon without the Disney brand name there's nothing memorable about The Robber Kitten and I can't see any kids being entertained by it in the modern era.
As a general rule, Disney shorts were beautifully done, visually arresting shorts. A fair percentage of them were a bit shy on plot and some had rather limited characterizations. This cartoon has pretty much everything-excellent animation, character design and development and a nice, interesting plot.
Ambrose is a kitten who fantasizes about being a robber. He's a dead shot with a pop gun. He decides that Ambrose isn't a proper name and christens himself "Butch". When his mom calls him for his bath, he decides to run away, stopping to empty the cookie jar on the way out. Spotted leaving by his none too happy mom, he "gallops" away on a stick pony.
Cut to the villain, Dirty Bill, a real robber. "Butch" introduces himself creatively and Dirty Bill laughingly goes along. They sing a rather catchy song and "Butch" embellishes his exploits to the point that Dirty Bill reveals his greedy mean streak. Butch sprints back home to his mom and his bath, somewhat the wiser, at least for the moment.
This short is available on the Disney Treasures Silly Symphonies DVD set and it and the set are well worth finding. Most highly recommended.
Little Ambrose dreams of becoming Butch, THE ROBBER KITTEN, and runs away from home to live life as a bandit. But an accidental & dangerous meeting with the notorious outlaw dog, Dirty Bill, just might change the young feline's mind...
This is a very well drawn cartoon, with good character development. Strangely, it is almost totally obscure. Ambrose might, under different circumstances, have become a recurring character for Disney, but after this single outing he was forced into very early retirement.
The SILLY SYMPHONIES, which Walt Disney produced for a ten year period beginning in 1929, are among the most fascinating of all animated series. 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.