Friday, January 1, 2016

Short Subject: I’m No Fool (1955-56, 1973)

I’m no fool no sir-ee I want to live to be 93.  I play it safe for you and me cause I’m no fool.

I’m reviewing these shorts all at once as they all follow the same premise.  We open with that catchy song, Jimmy introduces the topic (fire, electricity, having fun, bicycles, pedestrian, and water safety) and educates the audience on the history of the topic and various safety tips related to it.  Then it ends with the competition between You and the ordinary Fool that You always wins while the Fool does stupid things that result in slapstick.  ‘I’m no fool’ is reprised during this and roll the credits.

I love these shorts.  The song is great and marvellously performed by the late great Cliff Edwards.  The way Jimmy narrates about each topic keeps me engaged and I enjoy the slapstick humour with the Fool at the end.  Jimmy works great as the star too because he is Pinocchio’s conscience and thus it makes sense for him to be the one telling kids the right way and the foolish way of doing things.  Since they do all follow the same premise there is a ton of reused animation to keep the budget down, but since it’s Disney it is well done animation and I always found the chalk You character very cute.  The use of a chalkboard does date these shorts, but that never bothered me and in fact seems to appeal to the nostalgia of older Disney fans. 

In fact with the rebirth of animated shorts in recent years I would love to this make a return too.  A few of the shorts were updated in the 80s with some live action footage thrown in and there were a few new titles made in early 90s (Cars, Emergences, and Unsafe Places), but I’d still love to see whole new ones on things like internet safety.  They could update a bunch of them again since safety for schools and bikes especially have vastly changed.  Sure Disney would have to recast Jimmy’s voice again, but it’s been done before and I hope they do.   

 For me these shorts strike the right balance between fun and educational and I know I’m no fool for enjoying them.  

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