Three ruthless animals (a vulture, gorilla and hyena) who strongly resemble familiar figures collectively terrorize a forest of peaceful woodland animals, forcing them to submit to their whims and tortures. The rabbits, chipmunks and birds finally must join together in resisting their brutality and driving them from their midst, restoring happiness to the forest. Written by
Although not quite on a level with other war-related cartoons like Der Fuehrer's Face or Russian Rhapsody, etc., this is a very well-done short. It should be noted that it is not a wholly comic cartoon, but a somewhat more somber take on the same theme, with various woodland animals being beaten (offscreen) by the sinister dictator-creatures standing in for Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo. All the violent aspects are shown in shadows, etc; the onscreen interaction is of a more inspirational nature in encouraging free peoples to join in overthrowing dictatorship. The three villains are shown being driven toward a cliff, though their demise is not depicted. I note that there is also, to my mind, a certain level of unspoken tribute to Churchill and Britain.
This was released at about the same time as Disney released Bambi, and the animals created by Screen Gems for this film (especially the rabbits and chipmunks) bear some similarities to the Disney work in style and characterization, though the Fleischer style is also clearly visible in the appearance of the vulture and other of the darker aspects of the short.
A solid 8 of 10
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