Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Short Subject: The Plastics Innventor (1944)

Donald makes a plastic airplane and both he and the audience gets a product that is half-baked.

I say half-baked, because I really enjoyed the first part of this short and not the second.  I really liked seeing Donald building his plane.  The music made with just the plastic instruments was upbeat, and the animation perfectly timed to it.  The action was fast paced with Donald making different parts of the plane like the tail, body, and motor at the same time.  Also the voice work of Doctor Butterfield was really good, furthermore he sounded just as excited about explaining how to make the plane as Donald was about building it.

Then we get to the second part where Donald is flying the plane and it’s revealed that the plane melts in water and of course Donald is heading into a rain storm.  How plastic melts in rain I don’t know, but cartoon physics I’ll let it pass.  What follows is basically a repeat of one gag: Donald trying to keep the plane together while Butterfield gives commentary.  The scenario allows for a lot of really nice animation and some things I did enjoy like the helmet melting into braids that Donald cuts off leaving him with a blond hairdo, and when the plane is completely melted at the end and falls onto a garden and crows fly through it, but again since it’s just one gag it becomes repetitive.  Also Butterfield goes from being a guy excited about the plane to giving snarky one liners and I just find it really mean spirited.  I don’t blame Donald at all for melting the radio at the end.

So for me the first part of the short was really fun, enjoyable, and upbeat.  The second half while having very nice animation is far less engaging.

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