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Play Safe (1936)

A little boy jumps on a real train and learns a lesson about safety.


Dave Fleischer, Dave Tendlar (uncredited)




A little boy jumps on a real train and learns a lesson about safety.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Did You Know?


This is released on 1998 on The Rugrats Movie See more »

Alternate Versions

There's a French version on YouTube. Only the printing is changed, not the sound track. See more »


Featured in American Ultra (2015) See more »


Play Safe
Music by Vee Lawnhurst
Lyrics by Tot Seymour
Sung during the opening credits
Sung when the boy is at the controls of the train
Played at the end
See more »

User Reviews

Doesn't play it safe
6 November 2019 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

1936 was a very solid year, well actually quite a bit more than that, for Fleischer Studios and one of their most consistent. Not perfect mind, with for example a post-code and toned down Betty Boop when her later cartoons became comparitively bland and being nowhere near as daring. It also however boasted some of the best cartoons in the Popeye series, in one of the series' best periods and most consistent years quality-wise.

'Play Safe' is one of the best non-Popeye cartoons from this period, only saying that just in case anybody is wondering because 1936 was a very prolific year for that series. It also is one of the best of the very uneven "Color Classics" series, made before the studio declined badly from around 1940 with most of the "Stone Age" and "Animated Antics" cartoons and then the worst of the Gabby series. It is a great cartoon and doesn't play it safe.

Story-wise, 'Play Safe' is unoriginal but there is very, very little that is wrong with it.

There is so good that is good and even great, its best elements fantastic. Two elements stand out and they are a consistently good asset, even in the mediocre at best cartoons. Can't decide which is even better between the music and animation, with them being equally fantastic. The music is not once discordant or at odds with the action, which as a musician myself is a fear of mine. Instead it adds a lot to it, with the right amount of lushness, whimsy and eeriness matching beautifully the charming, adventurous and suspenseful elements present throughout 'Play Safe', plus it actually sounds appealing and beautifully orchestrated. Loved the three dimensional look of the animation and its best moments are indeed dazzling in a way that is quite imaginative. Of the equally superbly done colours, backgrounds and drawing (all detailed and smooth) the vibrant and atmospheric colours stand out in particular. The dream sequence is just incredible, have not seen a dream sequence this well animated, clever or inventive.

Despite the lack of originality, that doesn't stop the story from never being dull. It is chockfull of charm, while the lesson is never preachy (an oft-danger fallen into a lot), sentimentality and saccharine over-cutesiness is avoided, the suspense is not once too dark or too scary and has genuine tension timed well and the characters are ones in a "Color Classics" cartoons that are actually interesting and likeable, my favourite being the dog. 'Play Safe' is not a comedy-laden cartoon or rich in gags, this is a case of it not mattering because it was not about that.

Altogether, great. 9/10

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Release Date:

16 October 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Geh auf Nummer sicher! See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fleischer Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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