Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Flowers and Trees


Directed by Burt Gillet
Walt Disney Production
Academy Award Winner for Best Animated Short 1932

This film was the first commercially produced film to be released in full color, using three-strip film which is technicolor. From the production of this film Disney released all of their films in color. Flowers and Trees is also the winner of the first academy award in short animated films.

Flowers and Trees is a "Silly Symphonies" production which means it's a cute film that substitutes dialogue with and orchestral score of music. The film opens up with an entire forest waking up in their own funny little manner, the mushrooms pop out of the ground, the tulips yawn, etc. Then, being a Disney film, two trees fall in love and the "evil" tree tries to steal the girl. He is thwarted, so on and so forth. In the end the two trees get married. Hooray.

I don't know whether it's just me, but this film struck me as odd for winning an academy award or any award for that matter. The only reasons I could have are that it revolutionized the way we see animations now by introducing full color films. Or that it was a new category and there were no standards of which to base the criteria for. I watched the other two nominations ( Another Disney Mickey's Orphans and Warner Brothers It's Got Me Again), both of which were nothing like this film. They all were very different from one another. The only step-up Flowers and Trees has over them was the technicolor.

What I find interesting from these early shorts is how all of them do not follow the "basic guidelines" of short films. They seem more like poetry, that a film like Flowers and Trees can be broken down into stanzas Within those stanzas there are rhyming schemes which can be found, although it's not verbal rhyming, rather visual. The images all seem to correlate to one another and because they correlate they start to flow. Thus is less film and more poetic. This trend dies down once the films get out of the Silly Symphonies and the Disney productions, in the 60's.

However, this film does not deserve an award.

10 comments:

Derek said...

Cute film...but yes does not deserve the credit it got. I don't you're thinking enough about the timeframe Huw...not enough to base the award on.

Spross said...

I agree with Derek, but I remember these things when I was younger, maybe all of the people judging were really just children...think about it.

-Mark

Geoff said...

The best about this is the grumpy old tree...there's always one of those in these movies. Why is does the antagonist always look really decrepit?

Joe Bocchini said...

Out of all you blog posts Huw, I actually really like this one. Some may call it corny, but I think when animation was first introduced this was ground breaking. A whole orchestral score, along with a story and the most important factor color. This is a really cool short.

Phil said...

Have you seen Day at the zoo..it's far superior to this one.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uow_6qbssCc

Anonymous said...

I can't believe this could win anything

Lucas said...

As simple as the narrative of this film is, I think there is a sense of elegance in the color used and how the flow of the music to the images are. I watched the mickey's orphans cartoon, it just doesn't compare to this one.

Huw Roberts said...

I really like those Mickey Mouse early films too don't get me wrong Luke. I think that they played their role in shaping standardization of animation films today.

Max said...

Huw this film is silly, I don't think you should be analyzing these kinds of things. You said you got to choose an award winning film? You really could have chosen a better one, it probably would have been easier.

Annie said...

Awww cute but disturbing, escpecially the old guy tree. He reminds me of the creepy old man Family guy.