Don Quixote (1934)
Article 5799 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Ub Iwerks
Voice cast unknown
What it is: Cervantes cartoonized
Don Quixote escapes from Ye Olde Bughouse and embarks on a campaign of chivalry.
Is “Don Quixote” genre? It depends on through whose eyes you look, doesn’t it? Don Quixote really believes he’s fighting a four-armed giant when he attacks the windmill. And he really believes he’s fighting a fire-breathing dragon when he takes on the steam shovel. Wait a minute… did I say steam shovel? That’s just my way of pointing out that an eight-minute cartoon adaptation of the Cervantes novel is probably not going to be particularly faithful to its source. For all that, I found this take on the story to be rather entertaining, and given that Ub Iwerks began with Disney, his animation is somewhat superior to much of the other animated product of the time. And I should point out that even when the windmill is not being mistaken for a giant, it seems to have an anthropomorphic character all its own.