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Disney's animated short explains through this wonderful adventure of Donald's in how mathematics can be useful in real life. Through this journey Donald shows us how mathematics are not just numbers and charts, but magical living things. Written by
Ibrahim Bloushy <email@example.com>
This interesting failure shows us how Disney, never content with being an entertainer and businessman, had intellectual pretensions--sometimes magnificently realized (as in Fantasia), rather less well here.
I say this as a great fan of this puzzling but lovable attempted documentary in cartoon form. The pool table sequence goes on for far too long, and contains very little actual math (the same could be said of the whole movie). Disney ultimately lacked the courage of his pretensions, and the movie positively drowns in these little pop culture references, possibly included to forestall charges of elitism. The closing sequence lurches into what we would nowadays call "Intelligent Design" territory, and a reference to God's guiding hand is squeezed in at the last minute, perhaps to placate red-state viewers.
So what you are left with is a mishmash of elegant, graceful animation (some of the finest ever committed to screen) combined with a jarringly superficial treatment of the subject. And yet, and yet; the opening segment, with the waterfall of numbers and the jam session with the Ancient Greek mathematicians, has a sense of wonder and hallucinatory magic that has rarely been equaled. And there is always Donald, our favorite everyman, who learns that math isn't just for eggheads, after all.
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