Friday, January 8, 2016

Short Subject: Freewayphobia (1965)



Fifteen years after Motor Mania where we got to see how people can’t drive on public roads now we get to see how they can’t drive on freeways. 

Unlike’ Motor Mania’ we don’t follow one character, but instead have Goofy play the part of three common types of bad drivers on the freeway: timid drivers, impatient drivers, and distracted drivers.  The various hazards these drivers cause allows for good use of slapstick here, with Goofy rear-ending people at every turn, driving off the road constantly, and managing to shave off half his head of hair with a razor. 

I really like the animation for the other cars on the freeway too.  I don’t know if it is just rotoscoping over live footage of cars and then using models for the boxcar pileup effect, but whatever it is it looks good even all these decades later.  The fade out to Goofy as battering-ram is also a great shot.  The voice work is also nice particularly because Goofy, obviously being a comic relief character, doesn’t get angry all that often.  So hearing him yelling “the same to you buster!” and “get a horse!” is hilarious just for the contrast, another thing that makes the Mr. Wheeler character in ‘Motor Mania’ fun to see as well.    

The lessons are good too about keeping your speed up to merge into the flow of traffic, not tailgating, keeping focused on driving and not eating, grooming, or checking maps instead; or in our case no texting or looking at ipads.  The only major change is the drop back several car lengths as speed increases rule being replaced by the four second rule instead.      

I like this short a lot for its fun slapstick and its straight forward lessons even if they are just a bit outdated.  It’s a nice combination of education and entertainment on the same track as the ‘I’m no Fool’ shorts.  This is lacking the catchy theme song, but hey we can’t have everything.

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