Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Surrealism of Disney

It's hot in the Northwest once more. We're dealing with flaky would-be house-buyers and their hyper-annoying phony-baloney real estate agents. We're moving this June. We need a break from reality. What could be more mind-bending than a series of Disney shorts from the 40s?

I got this Classic Cartoon Favorites: Extreme Sports Fun DVD from Netflix for Jackson last week. I was getting very tired of his love of "Playhouse Disney" which he discovered while we were visiting, where else--Disneyland. "Playhouse Disney" is a computer-generated preschool-type endeavor where Mickey and the gang learn their shapes, colors and counting while all sorts of gadgets and gizmos float around, helping them out with a series of tasks.

I suspect Jackson is attracted to the gizmos and the Hot Dog Dance which ends every episode, but besides including all the classic Disney characters of yore, even Daisy Duck, who is the voice of reason and seems to be a pre-med major, these shows have nothing to do with the anarchic zaniness that was once a Disney staple.

So knowing Jackson's new-found love of Mickey Mouse and his obsession with most all sports, I got him this collection of sports cartoons and watched him crack up for most of our car ride down to California last weekend. Then I watched with him and we were both cracking up. How can we attempt to bust out of our day-to-day life in elastic and insane ways, giving us the freedom to leave the physical plane without losing ourselves completely in the process? Cartoons. Of course, film stills can't convey the lunacy of a surrealist slapstick moment. But here they are anyway. And now:

I know what you're thinking: What ARE the titles of these masterpieces?

"Canine Caddy" in which Pluto proves he's not just a benign sidekick to Mickey, but a frustrated and aggressive would-be murderer of gophers. The golf course is not left in such a pristine state by film's end.

"How to Play Baseball" featuring two teams of Goofies. These Goofy sports films were produced under an "educational" title and we actually watched them in school. We did not however, learn our shapes and numbers from them.

"Double Dribble" - The Goofies have no ears. There might have been a shortage of animators for this one and the ears had to go. That's my theory.

"How to Play Football" - Just like Baseball but more violent. Cartoons used to be very violent and never educational and that's the way we liked it.


mamiel said...

I think there was once blotter acid going around with that same picture of Mickey Mouse pictured on top.

Lisa Mc said...

If so: good call, hippies.