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The central plot of 'Pigs is Pigs' concerns whether a guinea pig should
be considered to be a pig ... or a pet! The difference to their
Scottish purchaser is 4 cents, and so when rule-obsessed jobsworth
Flannery (a fine Irishmen if ever there was one!) decrees that 'pigs is
pigs', the Scot refuses to cough up and a flurry of telegrams is set in
In the meantime ... Flannery finds himself with something of a multiplication problem! A charming cartoon with excellent animation, especially of the 'pigs', this one will make you laugh out loud. I haven't read the story on which it is based, but I intend to.
While this cartoon, nominated for an Oscar, is a good adaptation of a classic short story with the same title and is very cute and worth seeing, the source material (Butler's story) is simply marvelous and should also be read. Disney did a good job in adaptation, given their track record for adaptations. Worth watching, this runs periodically on The Ink and Paint Club on the Disney Channel.
When station-master Flannery takes possession of a couple
guinea pigs, he decrees that PIGS IS PIGS and they will
charged the collection rate for livestock, 48¢, instead of the
rate of 44¢. But McMorehouse the customer, a parsimonious
old Scot, refuses to pay the extra four cents and abandons
animals to Flannery's care. And then the guinea piglets start
The Disney version of Ellias Parker Butler's humorous little story makes for an enjoyable cartoon. It is presented in the limited-animation style so popular in the 1950's.
As has been noted, it does stick closely to the short story (which, as
much a fan as I am, is unusual for them), but it is a great short on
its own terms.
True, the animation is more limited than previous Disney shorts but, while noticeably simpler- especially in some of the character designs- and not as visually inventive as Disney shorts before, it is hardly unattractive. It is still vibrant and has a charming look to it, with some nicely designed backgrounds and smooth enough movement. The music score is as sumptuously orchestrated, energetic and characterful as ever, not just fitting like a glove but also adding to what's going on.
'Pigs is Pigs' is among Disney's funniest in my opinion, certainly one of the most consistently funny of the 50s decade. The jokes revolving around the reproducing, the handling of the corporations and the executives are incredibly clever and beautifully timed, all of them incredibly funny. But the highlight is the ending, which is a riot.
Flannery is such great fun as a main character and has a very colourful personality, while the voice work is reliably strong.
Overall, excellent short. Despite the animation being in comparison more limited than was seen previously, 'Pigs is Pigs' is among the funniest cartoons Disney made. 9/10 Bethany Cox
"Pigs is Pigs" is an Academy Award-nominated cartoon short from Disney.
While some might be surprised by its origin, Disney did begin using
minimalistic art in the 1950s, as rival UPA had originated this and had
been rewarded with quite a few Oscars--including an Oscar for a Mr.
Magoo film that very same year (Mr. Magoo beating Disney?!?!). Today,
however, many will see this as a major step back from the GREAT art of
the Disney shorts of the 30s and 40s. But, the splashy style of the 50s
was A LOT cheaper to make--and could be made a lot more quickly! And
so, many more such films were to come out of the studio.
"Pigs is Pigs" is a cute cartoon about a train station that is stuck with a pair of VERY frisky guinea pigs. Unfortunately, they soon began breeding like crazy and the station was inundated with the animals--much like the Enterprise was infested with Tribbles! And, while the executives at the railroad debate the issue, things only get worse! While I don't usually love singing cartoons, this one is easy to like. The singing is quite clever and it's pretty clear the Disney folks had a good time making this one. Funny and despite the art being a step backwards, it was a nearly perfect cartoon otherwise.
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