|Index||5 reviews in total|
This is one of the better short cartoons found in the Disney Rarities
DVD set. Mostly, I think it's because the cartoon's sensibilities are
bizarre and the overall film is quite fun.
Grandpa is trying to explain how old fashioned football compares to modern ball. He turns on the TV and the audience sees a VERY weird game between the Old-Timers and Modern players. In many ways, it's quite similar to the Goofy short about football but this one is stranger because of such odd plot devices as the creepy announcer selling Whirling Dervish Dishwashers. It's also frenetically paced--and the laughs come so fast that even the poorer ones work because there isn't time to do anything but just sit back and enjoy. The ending, also, is amazingly strange...and I like strange!
For the majority of the major studios, sports were a frequent source of fun. Disney did a whole series of sports related shorts featuring Goofy. Baseball and football were the most frequent subjects and offhand I think football was slightly more often the target. There were two or three Disney (of course, there were also the Casey at the Bat shorts), several Popeyes and a fair number of others. While this isn't the best football cartoon or my favorite, I'd call it the most creative one I've seen. A beautifully executed idea, funny and inventive. Jack Kinney was an excellent and far too overlooked director. Hopefully this will make a Disney Treasures DVD collection at some point. Well worth looking for. Recommended.
Speaking as one myself, and it has always been the case. The sport just
doesn't excite me, the atmosphere with the rowdiness and constant
shouting sets my teeth on edge and when attempting it and the couple of
attempts to play it (in primary school) saw me struggling to understand
the rules and the moves.
That didn't stop me from thoroughly enjoying 'Football Now and Then'. While it is not one of Disney's very best (speaking as an enormous fan of them, both films and their cartoon shorts), it is up there with their most entertaining and creative of the early 50s. The only criticism this reviewer has of 'Football Now and Then' is that some of the pacing is on the rushed side. That said, the short does perfectly capture the atmosphere and, for fans, the thrill, danger and excitement of the sport.
'Football Now and Then' does contain some stylised animation, but the good news is that it is not bad-looking stylised animation at all. It is very nicely drawn, the movement is smooth, the backgrounds have a good amount of detail and it's all vibrant in colour. Not to mention some of it is quite inventive. The music score is full of character and energy, displaying also a mastery of orchestration in how it should sound and be used and the ability to not only complement and synchronise with the action but add to it.
It's a very funny short too, often hilarious. The gags are numerous and come by thick and fast and while some fare better than others all of them work regardless. The story diverts and thrills, even enticing non-fans, displaying a great deal of invention and creativity. The ending is indeed wonderfully strange, and the characters add to the fun.
All in all, hugely entertaining even for someone who isn't a fan of football at all. 9/10 Bethany Cox
MOST UNUSUAL AND singularly unique entry in the Disney yearly cartoon
output, this never the less has to be rated right up at the top. When
we first heard this title while working security at the old STATE &
LAKE Theatre here in Chicago, we thought it was one of those GOOFY
everyman/how to entries. It wasn't, but the title sure sounded like
one. (The feature we had playing then was PAPPILLON with Steve Mc Queen
and Dustin Hoffman, which would mean that the year was 1973.)
BY COMBINING SOME seemingly disparate elements and sticking to the successful formula of great artwork, top notch animation and befittingly matching original musical score, the success of the picture is assured as at least being acceptable. Of course we know that it went a great deal further than just being okay.
IN OUR STORY, a Grandfather and his young Grandson get into a difference of opinions about which is better, modern Football or the game as it was long ago. Magically, the TV set bring them a game between two colleges of different times. The contrasts are put right out on the field as one side of the stadium is today, the other is yesteryear.
THE WHOLE PREMISE is sort of like an episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE being played for laughs. And there were plenty of those laughs here with the Walt Disney crew giving us their inside look at the game that is arguably even more popular now than it was yesteryear.
NOW THAT WOULD appear to have started the whole argument all over again! NOTE: We see that the voice characterization of Grandpa was provided by Dennis Day, the long time Irish Tenor singer of THE JACK BENNY PROGRAM.
A Walt Disney Cartoon.
To illustrate the differences between FOOTBALL NOW AND THEN a grandfather imaginatively details a game between the Moderns and the Oldtimers.
Although the usual gang of Disney cartoon characters do not appear in this little film, any fan of gridiron sports should find it very amusing. Both eras of the game are well depicted by the slightly stylized animation. The black & white TV commercials for the Whirling Dervish Dishwasher are hilarious.
Walt Disney (1901-1966) was always intrigued by pictures & drawings. As a lad in Marceline, Missouri, he sketched farm animals on scraps of paper; later, as an ambulance driver in France during the First World War, he drew comic figures on the sides of his vehicle. Back in Kansas City, along with artist Ub Iwerks, Walt developed a primitive animation studio that provided animated commercials and tiny cartoons for the local movie theaters. Always the innovator, his ALICE IN CARTOONLAND series broke ground in placing a live figure in a cartoon universe. Business reversals sent Disney & Iwerks to Hollywood in 1923, where Walt's older brother Roy became his lifelong business manager & counselor. When a mildly successful series with Oswald The Lucky Rabbit was snatched away by the distributor, the character of Mickey Mouse sprung into Walt's imagination, ensuring Disney's immortality. The happy arrival of sound technology made Mickey's screen debut, STEAMBOAT WILLIE (1928), a tremendous audience success with its use of synchronized music. The SILLY SYMPHONIES soon appeared, and Walt's growing crew of marvelously talented animators were quickly conquering new territory with full color, illusions of depth and radical advancements in personality development, an arena in which Walt's genius was unbeatable. Mickey's feisty, naughty behavior had captured millions of fans, but he was soon to be joined by other animated companions: temperamental Donald Duck, intellectually-challenged Goofy and energetic Pluto. All this was in preparation for Walt's grandest dream - feature length animated films. Against a blizzard of doomsayers, Walt persevered and over the next decades delighted children of all ages with the adventures of Snow White, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bambi & Peter Pan. Walt never forgot that his fortunes were all started by a mouse, or that childlike simplicity of message and lots of hard work will always pay off.
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