Saturday, January 16, 2016

Short Subject: How to Sleep (1953)

Watch this short that will put you to sleep.

No, I’m being unfair this certainly not as boring as ‘How to Fish’ especially since the narrator’s monotone voice is clearly international here given the subject matter.  Though I am left to wonder why there’s a different voice for the opening.  Why did we need a random guy asking if we know we spend a third of our lives in bed?   

The history of sleep that follows is funny though as is the various animal sleeping habits that Goofy mimics.  The antics of Goofy trying to sleep by counting sheep, using an electric blanket, and the sleeping contraption are fun too.  I think the only thing that really bothers me is the lack of backgrounds here.  We spend so much time in Goofy’s bedroom and it’s basically just this dark blue room with bare walls and this almost abstract style bed frame that has no sheets and a too small blanket.  Where’s the detail?  Where’s the shadows, the pictures on the wall, carpet on the floor?  It just feels really lazy to me.  Maybe it was trying to capitalize on the simplistic UPA style that was very popular around this time, but for me it doesn’t work and as a result I find it hard to stay interested in what’s on the screen.   

So for me this short is middle of the road.  The narrator’s tone works, though it is sleep inducing, and the sleeping habits and history are funny.  Still the lack of rich details with the look of the short and that weird other narrator in opening are distracting.  It's certainly not terrible, but it's not memorable either.

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