Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Short Subject: Modern Inventions (1937)



I think I’ve found the most boring title card in all the classic shorts.



I’ve never liked the one used for the 90s and early 2000’s shorts, but that one at least scaled the title in and out this just has the title static and a greyish background and that it’s.

Thankfully the short itself is a least a bit more interesting.  Similarity to ‘A Good Time for a Dime Donald goes into a modern marvels exhibit and interacts with the machines displayed there, and I can’t feel bad when he gets his ass handed to him since he cheated the place out of money and refuses to stop wearing a hat indoors.  I do actually enjoy this more underhanded character trait, because it’s something that got dropped quite a bit as the decades rolled on and has never really come back, and it just adds dimension to the Donald; when it doesn’t involve murder of course.   

I enjoy the animation of Donald constantly making a new hat appear each time the robot butler takes the other one away.  It reminds of him making a flute reappear constantly in ‘The Band Concert’ and seeing different style on him every time is fun.  It’s interesting listening to Donald talk too, because comparing it to later shorts I can tell that Clarence Nash is still working to get to the point where the audience can clearly understand Donald with the vocal quirk and him just mumbling gibberish.

I like this short quite a bit for the variety of machines Donald’s get trapped in like the wrapper and the barber’s chair that provides variety to the robot butler constantly talking his hat that provides consistency.  Seeing underhanded tactics from Donald is nice just for a change from his modern incarnation, and I think some of the machines are neat, especially the voice for the barber’s chair.  The animation is nice, even if things like the voice work and the design style has the distinct 30’s look and feel to them.    

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