THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE (1935)
Article 4840 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Wilfred Jackson
Featuring the voices of Eddie Holden and Ned Norton
What it is: Disney Silly Symphony
Max Hare and Toby Tortoise have a footrace. Max has the obvious advantage, but will his cockiness be his undoing?
Here’s another of Disney’s Silly Symphonies, and, like THE THREE LITTLE PIGS, it’s based on a fairy tale with a moral. Actually, I find this one somewhat more amusing than that one; there’s more funny moments and gags here. Granted, part of the reason for that is that the story of the Tortoise and the Hare is extremely short (you could tell the whole story in three sentences), and it was necessary to add quite a bit to fill out a nine-minute cartoon. The cartoon even enhances the moral lesson a bit by making the hare cocky and rude. It’s somewhat fitting that his downfall is not due to taking a nap (which isn’t a visually interesting event in a cartoon), but in getting caught up in trying to impress a gaggle of girl bunnies with his antics. The animation is top-notch as usual, and I can’t really fault the cartoon. However, unlike my favorites from Warner Brothers or the Fleischers, it doesn’t really call me back for a second viewing. Maybe that’s the reason that when it comes to the shorts, I tend to prefer some of the other studios.