In this spoof of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," featuring cartoon animals, a slave auction becomes a musical audition, and the chase over the ice floes is an opportunity for some fancy footwork.
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In this spoof of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," featuring cartoon animals, a slave auction becomes a musical audition, and the chase over the ice floes is an opportunity for some fancy footwork.

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 March 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Uncle Tom and Little Eva See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Van Beuren Studios See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

St. Louis Blues
(uncredited)
Written by W.C. Handy
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User Reviews

 
Slavery and music
5 January 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Van Beuren cartoons are extremely variable, especially in the number of gags and whether the absurdist humour shines through enough (sometimes it does, other times it doesn't), but are strangely interesting. Although they are often poorly animated with barely existent stories and less than compelling lead characters, they are also often outstandingly scored, there can be some fun support characters and some are well-timed and amusing.

'Dixie Days' is among the worst 1930 Van Beuren/Aesop's Fables cartoons. To me, it is also one of Van Beuren's worst. It's not just because it's not for the easily offended, with poorly drawn ugly racial stereotypes, or an uninspired at best spoof of 'Uncle Tom's Cabin', it's also because it's not good in quality at all.

It does contain pretty much all of the faults of Van Beuren's worst, or all the faults of many Van Beuren cartoons, while having a few good points. Van Beuren have actually done quite a number of watchable or more cartoons, a few pretty good even though imperfect. So it's not as if they are all being hated on.

Its best asset is the music score, pretty much the best thing consistently of Van Beuren's output. Sometimes even the only good thing, like here. It is so beautifully and cleverly orchestrated, is great fun to listen to and full of lively energy, doing so well with enhancing the action.

Synchronisation can be sloppy however and the energy just isn't there.

The animation is not good, in fact it is downright bad most of the time with erratically sloppy character designs in particular while the simplistic background detail and lack of fluidity and crispness are just as difficult to ignore.

None of the characters are that interesting or fun, most are over-cutesy and unmemorable and others are pretty annoying. On top of being poorly drawn and stereotypical. Story is very slight to the point of non-existence and suffers from a lack of energy. It feels aimless and also random and disjointed. If you are looking for sense too, look elsewhere.

Basically 'Dixie Days' is a stringing along of gags structured in a way that's disorganised and random. Generally it is very low on laughs, actually none of it is remotely amusing. Nothing is inventive, never rising above the forgettable and there is not much absurdist about them.

In conclusion, very poor in almost every department excepting the music. 2/10 Bethany Cox


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