A young boy and girl, dressed in costumes based on Dutch traditional clothes, find their idyllic, windmill-laden countryside is being over-run by unfeeling, unthinking mechanical men that ...
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We see the various birds, mice, and bats that have moved into an old windmill, followed by the frogs, crickets, and fireflies making their music in an adjacent pond. Then a storm comes, ... See full summary »
A young boy and girl, dressed in costumes based on Dutch traditional clothes, find their idyllic, windmill-laden countryside is being over-run by unfeeling, unthinking mechanical men that lay waste to everything in their path. The cartoon (note the title) was a very thinly veiled propaganda film in support of the Netherlands resistance fighters during Nazi occupation in World War 2 (The film was completed when Nazi Germany had completely occupied the Netherlands). Written by
Steven F. Scharff <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Another propaganda film, but this one with a more palatable approach resilience rather than national dominance
For no other reason than curiosity, I have watched all the short animated films nominated for the Oscar in the 15th Academy Awards. Most of them (including the winning film) are propaganda pieces and this includes Tulips Shall Grow which is a very specific one. The film is targeted towards the resistance in Holland during the occupation and, although it is not light in its touch, it is a more engaging message than some of the other propaganda films which are heavy on the criticism of the enemy and the glorification of the home nation. Of course I understand why such films are this way, but it is nice that this is a little different.
The difference is that the message is one of resilience, survival and resistance not one of dominance or mockery and for the time and situation this is more appropriate and also more palatable as a message. The film is simple; done in stop-motion we see Holland attached by machines which destroy the images that we are used to seeing (windmills, clogs and of course tulips). The victory does come of course but I additionally liked that it was a victory that was brought about more or less by the very things that makes Holland be Holland the elements, the nature, the conditions. The symbolism is very obvious but it is effective and it is a nice message from the film and one that I personally prefer to some of the more flag-waving shorts in the same category, even if technically several of the other animated shorts are better than this one.
So it is still another propaganda piece but it is a nice change of pace that it has a message of resistance rather than dominance and it was refreshingly free of flag waving and the like.
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