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This cartoon, nominated for an Oscar, continues Disney's tendency in the latter 1950s-early 1960s to do short animation that was longer than the typical 6-8 minute length that had been the norn in the 1930s and 1940s. Although not entirely fresh ground (Warner Brothers explored the same basic concept before), Disney gives this a warm and fuzzy feel and then leavens it with enough humor to make it work splendidly. Sterling Holloway's narration is splendid, as always. As with all too much of the Mouse's older material, this is out of print, but it runs on The Ink and Paint Club on occasion. Recommended.
A very nice animated short in many ways, not one of the best Disney shorts but one of the more underrated ones. The animation style is not going to please everyone, with me it was a case of parts being good and others not so much. The colours are vibrant, mostly though with some flat spots, and the characters are mostly very well drawn, but the backgrounds are rather rough-around-the-edges. The story is a fairly familiar one and can be a touch predictable in places, though that was inevitable really. For all that though, the story still has an immense amount of charm and sweetness without being overly so and it is very touching as well. You can hardly call it dull either. The music has energy and enhances the action and emotions, and it also is beautifully orchestrated, lush and characterful but not syrupy. Kids and adults alike will be taken with the splashes of humour that Goliath II has and will easily be moved and be able to relate to Goliath II and his situation. The narration is well-humoured and sympathetic with little of it explaining too much without need to. Sterling Holloway's voice is immediately recognisable and he delivers the narration perfectly, quirky and sensitive at the same time. Goliath II is adorable and brings poignancy to the story with ease. His situation and conflicts are those that are easy to identify with and in the short done in a way that doesn't talk down to you. Overall, a very charmingly and well done short, the animation has its limits but much of everything else is fine. 8/10 Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
You are immediately struck by two things when this short begins. First,
the animation style (particularly the backgrounds) are very splashy and
1960s-ish---and you can see the influence of the UPA-style of
minimalism (i.e., cheap backgrounds). However, the actual characters
look good--and a lot like the elephants from "The Jungle Book" that was
made seven years later. In fact, a few of the scenes appear to have
been re-used in this feature film--taken from this short and
transferred to the Colonel Hathi's March sequence. Heck , you even see
the Crocodile from "Peter Pan" in a brief scene! Second, you notice
that Winnie the Pooh (really, his voice, Sterling Holloway) is
The story is about a teeny, weeny elephant called 'Goliath II'--who is a big disappointment due to his size. Again and again, the absent-minded little elephant kept getting himself into trouble and his mother had to keep rescuing the dim little thing. However, the viewer knows that eventually the little squirt will prove himself to be invaluable! Overall, it's a decent but not especially remarkable short (other than the connections to the other films). The story is pretty good (if predictable) and the animation okay--but you can see much of the rough pencil work STILL in the final product, so it's a bit rough. Still, compared to other shorts of 1960, it's pretty good.
By the way, elephants are NOT afraid of mice and in real life they'd just as likely step on it or ignore it completely.
A Walt Disney Cartoon.
Tiny GOLIATH II is a disgrace to the rest of the elephant herd - until he encounters a bullying mouse...
This two-reeler was based on a story by the celebrated children's author Bill Peet. Various elements of the animation will invariably remind viewers of DUMBO (1941) and the forthcoming JUNGLE BOOK (1967). The film is helped immeasurably by the narration of Sterling Holloway.
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 always pay off.
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