Friday, October 29, 2010

135 The Blue Danube

Title: The Blue Danube
Studio: MGM
Date: 10/28/39
Credits: "A Hugh Harman Production"
Series: -
Running time (of viewed version): 6:52

Synopsis: Wait, I need to watch it again, as, having just watched it, I have no idea what happened in it. OK, I'm back. Tiny naked human babies and animals collect blue things and make the Danube blue. There's even a title about it.

Comments: Stop motion animated sheet music at the beginning (I think), making the title incorporated into the flow of the cartoon's visuals (until it becomes markedly discontinuous after the petal swirl). Followed by a water effect lens, with notes animated as moving with the ripple. Moving water as an inbetween layer of a multiplane shot. Fog and rippling water. It's like the effects are the point. It doesn't look normal until a minute and a half in to the cartoon, when the waterwheel looks more like a normal normal visual for the time. I think the swirling pod is stop motion as well (tho that might be normal time footage). There's a population of what look like naked babies. I suppose they're supposed to be a specific elf or goblin or something, but they just look like humans. No horns, no goat legs, no little blue tail, not even pointed ears, just on a scale that makes them very small. Unleashing the reservoir looks good. One of the natural predecessors to Fantasia, with classical music, non-human fairy tupe things, a silhouetted conductor, etc. This seems like a natural to nominate for the Oscar, but it was not one of the voting on nominees. Perhaps it was too syrupy, ad then there's that nothing happens in it. Tho that's why I think it was a natural to nominate (not that I like that). Lots of naked rears in this; from the translucent fairy to the many naked baby hordes. The flood is somewhat reminiscent of Snuffy Skunk's Party.


  1. My guess is Hugh probably dreamed it up as a way to woo Oscar votes away from Disney, but in the wake of the outbreak of World War II he and/or Fred Quimby decided they'd have a better Oscar shot with "Peace on Earth".

  2. I suspect you're the first person ever to note any similarity between THE BLUE DANUBE and SNUFFY SKUNK'S PARTY.

    Kidding aside, my opinion of Academy criteria isn't far above yours.

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  4. I was wondering if you knew what dvd this was available on? Since it's a short, they sometimes don't list it in the descriptions.

  5. As of 2008, it was not a bonus on a US DVD. The list of bonus shorts on MGM DVDs at GAC hasn't been regularly maintained since 2008, so it's possible it is on a regular release since then, but I don't know what it is. It's on side one of the Happy Harmonies laserdisc set tho.

  6. Thanks for clearing that up :) Just need to search harder then!