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The Small One (1978) More at IMDbPro »

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Release Date:
16 December 1978 (USA) See more »
A young Judean boy tries to sell his beloved old donkey to someone who would care for him as much as he does. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Fascinating, with a somewhat controversial ending. See more (11 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Sean Marshall ... Boy (voice)
William Woodson ... Tanner (voice)
Olan Soule ... Father (voice) (as Olan Soulé)

Hal Smith ... Auctioneer (voice)
Joe Higgins ... Guard (voice)

Gordon Jump ... Joseph (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Small One ... Donkey (voice)
Thurl Ravenscroft ... Potter (voice) (uncredited)

Directed by
Don Bluth 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Vance Gerry  writer
Charles Tazewell  book
Peter Young  (as Pete Young)

Produced by
Don Bluth .... producer
Ron Miller .... executive producer
Original Music by
Robert F. Brunner 
Film Editing by
James Melton 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Richard Rich .... assistant director
Art Department
Peter Young .... storyboard artist
Visual Effects by
Ted Kierscey .... effects animator
Dorse A. Lanpher .... effects animator
Camera and Electrical Department
Joe Jiuliano .... animation camera operator (uncredited)
Brian LeGrady .... animation camera operator (uncredited)
Rob Maine .... animation camera operator (uncredited)
Chuck Warren .... animation camera (uncredited)
Animation Department
Daniela Bielecka .... background artist
Jim Coleman .... background artist
Lorna Cook .... animator (as Lorna Pomeroy)
Gary Goldman .... directing animator
Heidi Guedel .... animator
Bill Hajee .... animator
Dan Hansen .... layout artist
Chuck Harvey .... animator
Ron Husband .... animator
Emily Jiuliano .... animator
Linda Miller .... animator
Cliff Nordberg .... directing animator
John Pomeroy .... directing animator: "The Donkey" and "Saint Joseph"
Jerry Rees .... animator
Sylvia Roemer .... layout artist
Walt Stanchfield .... assistant animation supervisor
David Block .... assistant animator (uncredited)
Don Bluth .... animator (uncredited)
Janet Bruce .... cel painter (uncredited)
Chris Buck .... inbetween artist (uncredited)
Ben Burgess .... assistant animator (uncredited)
Daryl Carstensen .... cel painter (uncredited)
Randy Cartwright .... animator (uncredited)
Michael Cedeno .... assistant animator (uncredited)
Ron Dias .... background artist (uncredited)
Will Finn .... inbetween artist (uncredited)
Ed Gombert .... animator (uncredited)
Leslie Gorin .... assistant animator (uncredited)
Stan Green .... assistant animator (uncredited)
Dan Haskett .... animator (uncredited)
Skip Jones .... inbetween artist (uncredited)
Sarah-Jane King .... cel painter (uncredited)
Dan Kuenster .... inbetween artist (uncredited)
Diann Landau .... inbetween artist (uncredited)
David Molina .... inbetween artist (uncredited)
John Musker .... animator (uncredited)
Carmen Oliver .... cel painter (uncredited)
Vera Pacheco .... assistant animator (uncredited)
Henry Selick .... inbetween artist (uncredited)
Terry Shakespeare .... assistant animator (uncredited)
Dave Spafford .... inbetween artist (uncredited)
Olga Tarin-Craig .... cel painter (uncredited)
Sally Voorheis .... inbetween artist (uncredited)
Chuck Williams .... assistant animator (uncredited)
Kevin Wurzer .... breakdown artist (uncredited)
Music Department
Christalee .... lead singer
John Richards .... music recordist (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:26 min
Color (Technicolor)
Sound Mix:
3 Channel Stereo (RCA Photophone Sound Recording) (5.0) (L-R)
Finland:S | USA:G (No. 25388)

Did You Know?

This short was Bluth's last involvement with Disney.See more »
A Friendly FaceSee more »


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7 out of 61 people found the following review useful.
Fascinating, with a somewhat controversial ending., 20 November 2005
Author: B-rapunSaario from Finland

I guess the outcome of a movie always depends on your expectations. Before seeing this one, I expected an emotional and innocent story told from a child's perspective. The first twenty minutes I was completely satisfied. It was a typical storyline for children; a child must face the realities of everyday life despite of their own needs. Only after that the Christian context was introduced. As I had no reason to expect such content, I was absolutely shocked. All I could think was why this nice little movie had to turn out to be Christian propaganda.

Now please do not judge me just yet, think it over again. In the movie, we see people of different occupation and even ethnic background. From the children's perspective most of these characters are presented either as evil or odd, caricatures from the adults' perspective. Even in the drawing style this can be seen, as those characters contributing to the Christian content are drawn more realistically. If this movie maybe can not be called racist, it is clearly propaganda. Now if you think I'm taking this too seriously, I would like to remind you that although this is not a serious movie, children are the group most vulnerable to this kind of non-subtle propaganda; we adults can see through it.

As an atheist I don't mind being introduced to different religions and religious habits. A little bit of religious touch does not hurt even mainstream movies; it is just realistic. However I find it strongly questionable to glorify one religion with this kind of historical fiction. It is an old trick used by political and religious leaders; make up fantastic stories of their own background, or even the background of their ideology. It just is dishonest, so stories with their roots in mythologies should either be realistic or either point out something important rarely noticed. But a made up story attempting to glorify the figures of Christianity... no good. Then again, the symbols and habits of religions are very deep in our culture, and therefore the attempts to create stories with no religious contexts are often doomed to fail. I do not demand that, I just demand fair play.

Well, it IS a good Christian children's propaganda movie and it WAS done almost thirty years ago. Apart from the ending, it is very fascinating for pretty much everyone. The songs are pretty good, even the Finnish translations I heard. Some scenes are slightly intimidating, so the smallest children should maybe not see it. (Although nothing bad really happens, the atmosphere might be frightening, as the crew of this movie really knew their jobs.) Personally I would only give this for my children to see when they are old enough to see through the method (or small enough not to recognize the intertext), as I would want them to get a realistic idea of different religions.

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