6.8/10
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The Story of Anyburg U.S.A. (1957)

The city of Anyburg decides its traffic situation has gotten out of hand, so it puts the automobile on trial. The trial (conducted in rhyme) starts with a car that was in a hit-and-run ... See full summary »

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
...
Prosecutor (voice) (uncredited)
Thurl Ravenscroft ...
Cyrus P. Sliderule (voice) (uncredited)
Bill Thompson ...
Defense Attorney (voice) (uncredited)
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Storyline

The city of Anyburg decides its traffic situation has gotten out of hand, so it puts the automobile on trial. The trial (conducted in rhyme) starts with a car that was in a hit-and-run accident, followed by a sports car whose sins are peeling rubber and general hot-rodding, followed by a heap, on trial for lack of safety. Next, a number of safety equipment designers testify that, despite their best efforts, the accident rate keeps rising. Through all this, the defense lawyer declines to ask questions. A highway designer bemoans the problems on his beautiful roads. At last, defense. He shows a number of scenarios, pointing out that the real problem isn't the car but the driver. Everyone left the courtroom, declaring the car not guilty, and drove politely again, for a little while. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

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Approved
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19 June 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L'Histoire d'Anybourg  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

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(Technicolor)
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Referenced in Cars (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pretty decent, though Disney have done better educational shorts
21 April 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

'The Story of Anyburg USA' is not a bad short, but at the same time Disney have done a much better job entertaining and teaching in shorts such as 'Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom', 'Melody' and the Goofy 'How to...' series (to name a few).

As ever the animation is very good, the more stylised look not looking cheap at all. The colours are vibrant and there is some good attention to detail in the backgrounds. Some inventive and clever visuals can be seen at especially the beginning, likewise with the characters' expressions and reactions. The music score is lively, beautifully orchestrated and cleverly synced with the action, it adds to everything going on in the animation and action so well, the best parts enhancing them.

It has its fair share of amusing moments, particularly in the first half, one really has to love the energy of the beginning and the pre-courtroom section does contain writing and narration that makes its point but also manages to be funny as well. 'The Story of Anyburg USA' is hardly dull, with a story that intrigues though it is at times odd. The courtroom sections that dominate much of the cartoon do entertain still, though that was mostly down to Hans Conreid's voice work and the animation. The vocal talent is top notch, Bill Thompson and Thurl Ravenscroft have immediately distinctive voices and do their usual fine work but it's Hans Conreid's gleefully delicious scenery chewing that steals the show and helps make 'The Story of Anyburg USA' memorable.

Against all this, the preachy complaint is understandable. The story does intrigue, but while a child are likely to learn a lot from this if they were learning the dangers of driving some older viewers are going to find that 'The Story of Anyburg USA' doesn't teach an awful lot that they don't already know. It was painfully obvious to me but that didn't stop me from finding entertainment value in it. The main point that 'The Story of Anyburg USA' makes (that humans are responsible not the cars) is clear and there is a lot of truth and importance to it. At the same time it is not delivered in the most subtle of ways, in fact particularly towards the end it is laid on too thick.

While most of the writing is fun and entertaining, there is admittedly some rather bad rhyming that induces groans in alternative to chuckles. The start is very energetic, but the latter half of the cartoon lacks that extra bit of zip as a result of more of a focus on educating the viewer.

In conclusion, pretty decent though Disney have done better educational shorts and better shorts overall as well. 7/10 Bethany Cox


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