Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Title: Peace on Earth
Credits: A Hugh Harman Production
Running time (of viewed version): 8:48
Synopsis: Animals find comfort at Christmas now that all the people are dead.
Comments: An Academy Award nominee. It's obviously well timed with the outbreak of WWII, but it's not really all that good. It also apparently received a citation from the Nobel Prize jury ( http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/participant.jsp?spid=353984&apid=0 ), which seems more likely than being "nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize", which has been the rumor. And a Parents Magazine medal. Soldiers animated under the title cel. Should the snow actually look yellow with a blue or green with a purple tail tail above it? Or was that unintentional? (Is that an effect from some live action chamber, by the way, or it it actually hand animated? I assume it's an effect.) Mother squirrel seems to simply disappear from behind grampa squirrel in the butt stabbing scene. Shadow scene. Apparently humanity ends when there's a war between vegetarians and meat eaters. Perhaps that seemed less likely to actually happen at the time. The owl when it reads "Thou Shalt Not Kill" he should say it says "I am going to eat you" to the little squirrel. And then he should eat him. The animals do wisely skip past "thou shalt have no other god before me". Lots of cross dissolves in this. This is frankly an unimpressive cartoon, other than its use of some dark imagery. It did not deserve a nomination for the Oscar (but then neither did the Ugly Duckling, The Pointer or Detouring America).
The below image is of the original art for the end title card, kindly provided by Mike Van Eaton of Van Eaton Galleries, where it is (or at the very least was) available for purchase.