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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
While I was exposed to various WWII propaganda cartoons on TV while growing up in the 1970s, I didn't see the Columbia Color Rhapsody SONG OF VICTORY until just recently, having acquired a print from a private collector. Man, what a great cartoon!
SONG OF VICTORY tells the story of cute cuddly little woodland creatures who fall victim to a vulture (caricature of Adolf Hitler), an ape (Benito Mousalini) and a buck-toothed hyena (Hirohito). This triumvirate bully and terrify the forest creatures, forcing them to be their slaves and bring them food. When one of their own is beaten for stealing a walnut, the animals band together to terrorize and taunt the trio with various signs of "V" for victory - the rabbits' ears forms "V"s; a woodpecker pecks the letter "V" on their cave door; the frogs croak the dreaded "DAH DAH DAH DAHHHHH". Needless to say, our furry little friends vanquish their tormentors, ending the film.
This is one of the most beautiful and daring cartoons to ever come out of the COLUMBIA/SCREEN GEMS output! The film carries 2 important names in the history of theatrical animation - Frank Tashlin and Dave Fleischer. As Tashlin's reign as production supervisor for the COLUMBIA cartoons was ending, this film was still in production. When Dave Fleischer assumed studio control, he made sure the film was completed. Fleischer received producer's credit, while Tashlin retained his credit as 'supervisor'. Kudos also to layout artist Zack Schwartz and director Bob Wickersham, 2 more unsung animation heroes whose work remains rich and impressive even today! Final kudos to musical director Eddie Kilfeather for bringing this film to life with an excellent score - the music over the end titles is quite stirring and beautiful!
With any luck, hopefully someday COLUMBIA/SONY will release its cartoon library to DVD for others to discover this wonderful cartoon.
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