Escape (1937)

ESCAPE (1937)
Animated short
Article 4095 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 12-1-2012
Directed by Mary Ellen Bute, Bill Nemeth and Ted Nemeth
No cast
Country: USA
What it is: Abstract musical short

While Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” plays, a triangle tries to escape an abstract prison.

The above plot description can be taken very loosely; it’s merely my interpretation of the visual scenes in this abstract musical short. Whether this can strictly be called genre, I’m not sure, but it could be argued that when the action gets this abstract, it falls into the realms of fantasy. At only four minutes long, it’s tight enough that the concept doesn’t wear out its welcome, and I quite enjoyed the short; in fact, it looks somewhat more modern than its 1937 date would indicate. Yet I remembered that I had already seen an abstract interpretation of the musical piece in question; for the record, the first segment of Disney’s FANTASIA was also an abstract visualization of the same piece. Yet this short predates that movie by four years. Is there a chance that Disney may have gotten the idea for that sequence from this little short? I can’t say for sure, but it is food for thought.

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