Okay, this is an entry in the "Aesop's Sound Fables" and is a version of the little-black-duck and the wolf-in-sheep's clothing fables about the sibling duck who was shunned because of his ... See full summary »
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Okay, this is an entry in the "Aesop's Sound Fables" and is a version of the little-black-duck and the wolf-in-sheep's clothing fables about the sibling duck who was shunned because of his color, and not because of race---Aesop was not into revisionist racial-sightings. Perhaps those who see Race in this one overlooked the fact that the hero (who is a Mickey Mouse swipe) is 'black' and all of the cats are black (especially the one who is a dead-ringer swipe of 'Felix the Cat.) It is a tad-bit on the adult side, which was not unusual for cartoons made in the pre-code days of 1934. There is a duck-herder (a black mouse ) leading his flock, with a sheepherder's staff, to water. All the ducklings are white except the one who is black, and it is not unusual in the animal-and-barnyard kingdom to find various colors in the litters, broods and egg-hatching departments. The black-hero mouse finally gets all the ducks afloat in the lake and he takes a break. Up on the hill is a cat, wearing an ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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duck | magazine | fable | lake | black cat | See All (49) »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

17 March 1929 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Banned because of racism?!
22 October 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I noticed that one of the reviewers talked about how this cartoon was banned because, in part, it was considered racist. Well, after seeing it, I have absolutely no idea who might have considered this racist--as all the characters were black and white and none looked like white or black folks-- just cartoon animals. I seriously doubt this was banned for this reason, though I could have seen some folks objecting to the violence---though I love cartoon violence and wish cartoons had more!

The cartoon is basically a rip-off of two then famous characters. Two of the characters in "The Black Duck" bear much more than a passing resemblance to Felix the Cat and Mickey Mouse--and I can only assume that the Van Buren Studio knew this. Also, I strongly suspect this was originally a silent cartoon and sound was added later. This is because the cartoon runs too fast--which is what happens when you play many silent films at the speed of a talkie (which is 24 frames per second instead of 16-22 for a silent). This made the characters mouths move VERY fast when they were talking and they weren't even close to being in sync.

As for the story, a shepherd of ducks (the Mickey wannabe) gets mad at the lone black duck in his flock of ducks and tosses him aside. Later, when the baddie arrives and steals the ducks, the black duck comes to the rescue. Racism not apparent throughout.

Overall, this is a cute little cartoon and the violence and adult content (super tame by today's standards) make it enjoyable because you don't expect such nastiness in olde tyme cartoons. Worth seeing.


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