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.