Monday, February 15, 2016

Short Subject: The New Neighbor (1953)

“It has been man’s constant labour to live in peace with his next door neighbor.”  When you’re Donald and the neighbor is Pete you know peace ain’t gonna last.

For a short that takes place in good old suburbia I really enjoyed this.  The feuding neighbors trope is an old story, but it worked here. Probably because Donald does try so hard to be a good neighbor initially and Pete goes the passive aggressive route in being an asshole before going full-blown halfway through the short by blowing leaves on Donald’s lawn, and laughing about it, and the whole thing escalates from there.

Love the use of ‘Whistle While you Work’ when they both go out to do yard work, and Pete’s reveal with flower print shorts.  Also we have reused animation from Bambi with the bird and her nest.  Getting the neighborhood involved in the feud was also fun, with them turning it into a boxing match with red hots for sale people picking sides and chanting higher as Donald and Pete give each other the old spike fence.  Judging by the design I’d say the TV guy announcing it all is a caricature of some anchorman personality, but I don’t know who it is.  The voice work is great though   

I would have to say the only down side I find in this short is that the ending is so abrupt.  It starts off fine with Pete giving up and sitting on the front steps as his house is being moved away ,but then the reveal of Donald in his chair in a moving van too just seems too fast.  In fact the line “no it’s a draw” feels as though it’s being cut off by the iris out.  Maybe if there had been a reveal of the mess both houses had been left in by the feud and another rhyme from the narrator after that it would have more closure, but like with ‘Early to Bed’ this just feels like the short stops rather than getting a real ending.  I do like everything apart from the ending though.  The gags are funny the use of other music is good and I like feud style boxing match with Donald and Pete near the end.  So I’d recommend giving this a watch and judging for yourself.       

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