The Brave Engineer (1950)
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Overall, a really fun short with everything I love about Disney evident. 9/10 Bethany Cox
THE BRAVE ENGINEER Casey Jones won't let anything stop him from getting his mail train to Frisco on time.
The American Tall Tale hero comes to comic life in this funny, fast moving little film. Boisterous radio comedian Jerry Colonna is the perfect singing narrator, his special brand of silliness completely in tune with the tone of the cartoon. Look fast early on for the name of Ward Kimball on the engine yard schedule sheet - this zany Disney animator was a tremendous train enthusiast.
Walt Disney (1901-1966) was always intrigued by pictures & drawings. As a lad in Marceline, Missouri, he sketched farm animals on scraps of paper; later, as an ambulance driver in France during the First World War, he drew comic figures on the sides of his vehicle. Back in Kansas City, along with artist Ub Iwerks, Walt developed a primitive animation studio that provided animated commercials and tiny cartoons for the local movie theaters. Always the innovator, his ALICE IN CARTOONLAND series broke ground in placing a live figure in a cartoon universe. Business reversals sent Disney & Iwerks to Hollywood in 1923, where Walt's older brother Roy became his lifelong business manager & counselor. When a mildly successful series with Oswald The Lucky Rabbit was snatched away by the distributor, the character of Mickey Mouse sprung into Walt's imagination, ensuring Disney's immortality. The happy arrival of sound technology made Mickey's screen debut, STEAMBOAT WILLIE (1928), a tremendous audience success with its use of synchronized music. The SILLY SYMPHONIES soon appeared, and Walt's growing crew of marvelously talented animators were quickly conquering new territory with full color, illusions of depth and radical advancements in personality development, an arena in which Walt's genius was unbeatable. Mickey's feisty, naughty behavior had captured millions of fans, but he was soon to be joined by other animated companions: temperamental Donald Duck, intellectually-challenged Goofy and energetic Pluto. All this was in preparation for Walt's grandest dream - feature length animated films. Against a blizzard of doomsayers, Walt persevered and over the next decades delighted children of all ages with the adventures of Snow White, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bambi & Peter Pan. Walt never forgot that his fortunes were all started by a mouse, or that childlike simplicity of message and lots of hard work always pay off.
This cartoon short from Disney is well worth seeing but I must warn you about two major distractions--the singing and, more importantly, the narration by Jerry Colonna. As for the singing, my feeling is many will like it and just as many won't. But the narration--that is something many, many will struggle with, as Colonna's shtick was to deliver his lines in an ear-piercing manner. It's a shame, as other than that it's a cute little cartoon...with VERY annoying narration.
By the way, look carefully at the scene where the conductor jumps off the train. Despite this, in the next scene you can STILL see him standing on top of the train!!