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Aesop's Fable: Happy Valley (1952)

Approved | | Animation, Short | September 1952 (USA)
A young boy asks an old man why the valley they live in is such a beautiful utopia and is called Happy Valley, and the old man explains it is because everyone there is contented and happy ... See full summary »

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A young boy asks an old man why the valley they live in is such a beautiful utopia and is called Happy Valley, and the old man explains it is because everyone there is contented and happy but, he adds, it wasn't always that way. In a flashback, he tells the boy that many years ago this paradise was nearly wrecked when greed swept over the land, and this led to poverty and misery before all the farmers came to their senses. Sounds like a film that should have been investigated by the HUAC committee. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Animation | Short

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Approved | See all certifications »
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September 1952 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound System)

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I Was Looking for a Cameo by Farmer Al Falfa
21 August 2013 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Grandpa tells the boy how the harmony of Happy Valley was disrupted by a gold rush in this well-executed Aesop's Fable.

Paul Terry was first associated with Aesop's Fables in the 1920s, when he was producing and directing a cartoon a week for van Beuren. Those were random collections of gags with a fortune-cookie-style moral at the end. Some time after van Beuren went out of business, Terry revived the brand for his own studio. These were stories that tried to teach Important Lessons to their audiences. In this case, it's that money doesn't make you as happy as running a successful farm does.

The art is crisp, the pacing of well-executed gags is fine. If I don't enjoy this one because it is aimed, as all of Paul Terry's cartoons were, at small children, I can acknowledge the undoubted competence of the people who worked on this one.


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