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A seemingly asexual anthropomorphic kitten called Ambrose dreams of
being a highwayman and skips out on bathtime to loiter by the road and
hold-up carriages with a fat bulldog called Dirty Bill. They appear to
get on at first but when Ambrose pretends to hold-up a carriage and
wins a bag of cookies Dirty Bill turns aggressive.
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.
This is one of Disney's best short cartoons. A young cat named Ambrose wants to be a daring outlaw. He renames himself Butch and doesn't want to take baths. "Robbers don't take baths!" he exclaims. He runs off into the forest, where he runs into a real outlaw, Dirty Bill, a bulldog. This is one of Disney's best villains. His song, explaining why he is called Dirty Bill, is just great. 10/10.
While I am not normally a fan of the SILLY SYMPHONY series, I like some of them. This one happens to be one of my favorites that I watch often. The title character named Ambrose (Butch as he prefers to be called) is about to receive a bath from his mother. He runs away from home to be a robber. This short appears to take place in the 18th century as Butch wears a Three Musketeers-type costume. When he runs into a bulldog named Dirty Bill (who dresses just like Robin Hood), he points his toy guns at him and says "Your money or your life!" Soon Butch and Bill become friends. Butch tells Bill a fictional story of how he held up a stagecoach and forced the people in it to give him all their valuables. Bill's facial expression turns from friendly to greedy as he orders Butch to bring the bag to him. Butch tells him that they're only cookies. Bill pulls a knife on Butch and it literally scares the pants off of him. The ending was good as Butch runs into his home and voluntarily jumps into the tub. There is a Disney reference to this cartoon. AT the beginning of the short, when Butch is playing with his toys in his room, there is a holdup scene similar to that of the movie TOY STORY. Of course this cartoon was released sixty years before TOY STORY.
As a big fan of Disney Silly Symphonies in general, it is hard to single out favourites(though Skeleton Dance, The Old Mill and Flowers and Trees are certainly up there) but The Robber Kitten is definitely one. Once or twice Ambrose/Butch's voice can get a little too cutesy for my tastes especially in the final scene, but that is something so minor because everything that is so good about The Robber Kitten overshadows that one small debit. The animation is smooth and colourful with some good detail in the backgrounds, and the music particularly Dirty Bill's song is very catchy. The story has a quite cute feel with Butch's fabrication about his stagecoach robbery, but also deals with some mature themes also, Dirty Bill turning nasty is quite scary. What is also great about The Robber Kitten is the attention to the characters, Butch is one of those characters that a child can see within them and is cute but not really overly so(apart from a couple of instances), his toughing up act and looking up to Dirty Bill as a hero, who for me is one of the Silly Symphonies' better "villains", is the main reason why Dirty Bill turning nasty is as scary as it is. In conclusion, was one of my favourites and still is. 10/10 Bethany Cox
A Walt Disney SILLY SYMPHONY Cartoon Short.
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.
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