Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Short Subject: No Smoking (1951)

An ironic title given that in this short everybody smokes.

Then again irony is basically the entire point of this short.  With Goofy forever in a cloud of smoke as the narrator talks about having just a puff with toast and coffee and the like, and trying him to quit an ultimately failing. It points out clearly the addiction that the smoking habit is, while providing a bit of racist history about it at the same time with Native Americans naturally.

I don’t want to say this is a bad short because the animation is very good as always.  Some of the gags like the cigar turning out to be a fountain pen are funny, but for me the message is muddled.  With it being made at a time when the risks of smoking were barely understood and certainly not advertised, in fact Goofy’s original voice actor Pinto Colvig was an advocate of having warning labels on cigarette packaging they can’t come right out and say don’t smoke.  With the references to different cigarette brands in here I wouldn’t be surprised if there was cigarette sponsorship somewhere in the Disney financial records.  Maybe leaving those out and having some resources mentioned to help quit smoking would have worked better.  
So as I said it’[s not bad it’s just pedestrian.  Not really taking a hard stance on not smoking given the culture of the time and that drags it down in my opinion.  Pick a side and stick to it don’t waffle around with referencing and bad history jokes.  The irony works here I just think it could have been better. 

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