Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Short Subject: The Worm Turns (1937)

Or as I like to call it sound effects!  Sound effects everywhere!

Seriously that’s what stands out the most to me about this short.  There are sounds for everything!  From making potions to them been squirted on various animals, and how they react to the courage builder as it’s called.  Although it seems to be a strength enhancer too considering how many animals start getting thrown around.  It also works on inanimate objects like fire hydrants that don’t have courage, but whatever. 

Being a 30’s short Mickey has his more mischievous personality, testing his potion on unsuspecting animals for his own amusement and on the hydrant simply to annoy Pluto.  I think that works here, especially because Mickey still has his old black eyed look as well and that helps separate him from the wide eyed everyman he would become in later decades.  There’s some other obvious 30 influences like the overabundance of colour in the credits and the less realistic design of the animals in general, and of course the use of sound since this was still new then and finding a balance between sound and visuals was still in the works.

Still I really liked this short despite that it shows its age.  The title card was nice with the worm and the bird.  I thought the title worked with each prey animal turning on its predator being what the short is about.  Some of the animation, especially of Pete as the dog catcher, is a bit off putting simply because it is so broad, and yes the heavy reliance on sound is a bit distracting, but at least the animation was timed well to it.  Overall I thought this was a fun story with an interesting premise.

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