Farmer Al Falfa and Puddy's farm is shriveling up under the intense heat. A peddler provides magic explosive pills that cause it to rain, and the crops swell up instantly. Unfortunately, it's all a dream.
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Farmer Al Falfa and Puddy's farm is shriveling up under the intense heat. A peddler provides magic explosive pills that cause it to rain, and the crops swell up instantly. Unfortunately, it's all a dream.

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rain | dust bowl | crop failure | See All (3) »

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Animation | Short

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10 July 1936 (USA)  »

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1.37 : 1
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The Rain Maker
1 February 2014 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

During the 1930s, the Dust Bowl and its ruinous effects was constantly on the public mind. It worked its way into art, from high-brow plays to low-brow songs from Woody Guthrie. Even the cartoons got into the subject, with shorts from Van Beuren, Harman-Ising and this one from Paul Terry.

It follows the usual form: Farmer Al Falfa and Puddy are walking around the farm, frustrated by the drought and the dying crops. In comes a huckster, Joe Pluvius, who sells them a rain-making kit -- which works.

There follows a fairly good series of gags under the helm of old-timer Mannie Davis and up-and-coming George Gordon. A couple of years later, Gordon would be grabbed for MGM's burgeoning cartoon department. He would work into the 1980s, including a lot of Smurf cartoons. Here, though, is where he showed what he could do. Pretty good.


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