Let's be blunt. The 1960s and 70s were terrible times for good animation. The excellent artwork of Looney Tunes and MGM were history and Disney was a sleeping giant which wouldn't really come back to life until "The Little Mermaid". In the meantime, third-rate animation studios like Hanna-Barbera churned out crap---cartoons with very low cel-counts (making the characters move like robots) and terrible stories (think "Speed Buggy", "The Harlem Globetrotters" and "Scrappy Do"). As a child and teen during this period, I pretty much watched the old classics in reruns and lost interest in the newer stuff. Thank goodness for the resurgence of animation!! Fortunatley, despite the nadir of the 60s-70s, occasionally a really great cartoon was produced against the odds. In other words, if bad and cheap animation paid, how could you expect anyone to bother with the good? Well, in the case of "Closed Mondays", you do get an exceptional short--even back in 1974.
"Closed Mondays" is an early animation of the Will Vinton Studios--the same folks who wore out their welcome in the 1980s with those annoying dancing raisins. It wasn't that the raisins were badly made--they were GREAT claymation characters. But, they were shown to death--with tons of commercials and even a kids cartoon series!! Talk about overkill....though I can't blame Vinton and the rest, as it did pay handsomely. But, they were capable of far more interesting stuff back in the 70s--such as "Mountain Music" and this short. These were terrifically animated using lumps of various colored clay--and very active imaginations.
The short begins with a wonderfully awful old guy wandering about an art museum. He seems to hate everything--which made me laugh. Even when the artwork comes to life, he seems unimpressed. And, in the end, it all makes a bit more sense. As I said, the quality of the work was very nice, the story was lovely AND it made me happy. Apparently the Academy also was impressed and they awarded the film the Oscar for Best Animated Short in 1975. See this one.
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