The animals on Oswald the Rabbit's farm couldn't be happier with their work. The hens, in particular, enjoy their jobs as egg producers. True, a hen gets a bit anxious when her egg is too small or when she can't lay anything. But on the whole, times are good. That changes when a specter by the name of Depression rises from the dump and travels the globe spreading fear and panic. The Great Depression has begun and has poisoned the entire country, including Oswald's farm. Now, the roosters are listless and the chickens flop around in a daze. Oswald runs to the doctor for help. But Dr. Pill points to a poster of the President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. "There's your doctor!" he declares. Soon, Oswald is in the White House, knocking down the Vice President in his haste to see FDR. Roosevelt sings "Confidence" and gives the rabbit a generous supply, which he keeps in a barrel in his office. Then, Oswald returns to his farm and uses a hypodermic needle to inject confidence into his farm ...Written by
Four U.S. Presidents and one Vice President are caricatured. The current President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, sings "Confidence." The current Vice President, John Nance Garner, carries a stack of papers and drops them after Oswald the Rabbit accidentally trips him (twice). A fairly realistic portrait of Abraham Lincoln hangs in the President's office next to his desk. A wackier portrait, of Theodore Roosevelt, hangs next to the door. A statue of Thomas Jefferson is shocked when Oswald steals his wig and bow tie. See more »
FDR is seen standing and walking on his own two feet. In reality, by the time he was President, his legs had been crippled by polio, and was confined to a wheelchair. See more »
Come on, girls, get to work.
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Despite Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and his cartoons being popular and well received at the time, they have been vastly overshadowed over time by succeeding animation characters. It is a shame as, while not cartoon masterpieces, they are fascinating for anybody wanting to see what very old animation looked like.
Oswald in the Disney years saw mostly good to very good cartoons, and while the Winkler years had some duds there were also cartoons as good as the best of the Disney years. The 1929-1930 batches of Walter Lantz-directed Oswald cartoons were a mixed bag, with some good, some forgettable and not much special and a few mediocre. The 1931 batch was mostly underwhelming, with only 6 out of 18 cartoons being above average or more. The 1932 batch had a few not so good, though the cartoons in question were nothing compared to the worst of the previous 3 years, cartoons, but most were decent to good and some even very good.
So far the 1933 Oswald cartoons have been of a good standard with no duds yet, and far more consistent than especially the 1931 batch. The best were 'The Plumber' and 'The Shriek', two of the best Oswald cartoons in a while, and the weakest being the still decent 'Beau Best'. Like the previous cartoon 'Ham and Eggs', 'Confidence' is a pretty good if different Oswald cartoon.
It is disappointing that the gags are few in 'Confidence' and they are more raise a chuckle-worthy than properly funny or hilarious. The theme is an important one that holds much relevance still, and while it is done quite well occasionally what is being shown and said is laid on slightly too thick.
However, the animation is impressive with no recycling or repetition here like in 'Ham and Eggs'. There is the looser and more elaborate look of many of the previous Lantz era Oswald cartoons, but it was surprising and lovely to see parts of the animation reminding one of the animation style of the Disney years in places.
Can't complain about the music either, which is infectious and lushly orchestrated and despite some occasionally muffled moments even the sound quality can't diminish its impact. In fact, most of the funnier moments come from the music and the way it is synchronised (as ever very good and natural by the way).
Oswald is endearing and one relates to him. The support is fun.
In conclusion, pretty good Depression-oriented Oswald cartoon, if different to usual and not as funny as one would have liked. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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