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Oswald in the Disney years saw mostly good to very good cartoons, and while the Winkler years had some duds there were also cartoons as good as the best of the Disney years. The 1929-1930 batches of Walter Lantz-directed Oswald cartoons were a mixed bag, with some good, some forgettable and not much special and a few mediocre. The 1931 batch was mostly underwhelming, with only 6 out of 18 cartoons being above average or more. The 1932 batch had a few not so good, though the cartoons in question were nothing compared to the worst of the previous 3 years, cartoons, but most were decent to good and some even very good.
So far the 1933 Oswald cartoons have been of a good standard with no duds yet, and far more consistent than especially the 1931 batch. The best were 'The Plumber' and 'The Shriek', two of the best Oswald cartoons in a while, and the weakest being the still decent 'Beau Best'. Like the previous cartoon 'Ham and Eggs', 'Confidence' is a pretty good if different Oswald cartoon.
It is disappointing that the gags are few in 'Confidence' and they are more raise a chuckle-worthy than properly funny or hilarious. The theme is an important one that holds much relevance still, and while it is done quite well occasionally what is being shown and said is laid on slightly too thick.
However, the animation is impressive with no recycling or repetition here like in 'Ham and Eggs'. There is the looser and more elaborate look of many of the previous Lantz era Oswald cartoons, but it was surprising and lovely to see parts of the animation reminding one of the animation style of the Disney years in places.
Can't complain about the music either, which is infectious and lushly orchestrated and despite some occasionally muffled moments even the sound quality can't diminish its impact. In fact, most of the funnier moments come from the music and the way it is synchronised (as ever very good and natural by the way).
Oswald is endearing and one relates to him. The support is fun.
In conclusion, pretty good Depression-oriented Oswald cartoon, if different to usual and not as funny as one would have liked. 7/10 Bethany Cox
This is an Oswald short from 1933, done after FDR was elected President. The short starts out with scenes of Oswald's farm, with shots of all the happy go lucky animals singing, playing music and having a grand time. The chickens are happy and productive and all's well.
Then in the night, a specter arises, labeled "Depression" and it circles the globe, shown making a stop at Oswald's farm. The next morning, everyone is dragging and gloomy, with the hens acting pixilated. Oswald runs off, screaming for the doctor. Mixed with shots of Oswald running and screaming are scenes of a run on the bank, panic at the stock market and someone putting his money under his mattress.
Oswald gets to the doctor, who shakes his head, points to a poster of FDR and says, "There's your doctor"! So Oswald makes up his own version of an airplane and flies to Washington, cartwheels into the White House and the president tells him the solution is "Confidence". So they go over to a barrel marked "Confidence" and Oswald fills up a large syringe/sprayer with the stuff, takes another makeshift plane ride back home and injects the town and farm with "Confidence" and the day is saved! This short is available on DVD as part of the Woody Woodpecker and Friends, Volume One set from Universal and is worth watching.
"Confidence" is one of the later Oswald cartoons. In fact, he really looks and acts almost nothing like the Disney version. This Walter Lantz cartoon is really much more like a political propaganda piece and because of that, it's even less entertaining.
The Depression has hit the farm and all the animals are depressed and lethargic. So, Oswald sets out to Washington to meet with lawmakers to find out how to cure the problem. He's told people just need confidence, so he returns with a giant hypo and starts injecting everyone! Years later, they'd make anti-drug cartoons to try to undo the damage done by Oswald!! Overall, an interesting curio but not a very good or funny cartoon.