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Director: Ub Iwerks
Release Date: February 15, 1930
Rating: ★★★

Still from 'Autumn' featuring a freezing skunkAutumn is the third entry in the season series, and it shows a small improvement in story development on the first two entries, Springtime and Summer. This time we don’t see animals just dancing, but collecting food for the winter in rhythmical fashion on Carl Stalling’s music.

We watch squirrels, crows, a skunk, a porcupine and some beavers collecting food (Disney would return to the latter species one year later in ‘The Busy Beavers‘). Then a cold winter wind make the ducks fly south and the other animals seek for shelter. At that point the cartoon suddenly ends.

Besides the tiny story element, notice the numerous falling leaves and elaborate reflections in the water, proof of Disney’s efforts to use ‘superfluous’ animation to give the cartoons more atmosphere and quality.

Watch ‘Autumn’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Silly Symphony No. 7
To the previous Silly Symphony: Summer
To the next Silly Symphony: Cannibal Capers

Director: Wilfred Jackson
Release Date: June 22, 1931
Rating: ★★½

This Silly Symphony is a quite uninteresting cartoon about beavers.

The film starts with rather dull gags of beavers building a dam to Frank Churchill’s music. By now the dance routines had vanished from the screen, to make place for rhythmical movement. The beavers are portrayed almost as industrial workers, and this first half simply bursts with animation cycles.

Only after four minutes a ‘story’ develops of a little beaver who saves the whole population from a terrible flood. The beavers completely lack personality and even the spirited little one fails to impress. After such elaborate cartoons as ‘Mother Goose Melodies‘ and ‘The China Plate‘ the cartoon’s uniform, dull designs, and tiresome repetitive animation come as a letdown. The result is one of the weaker Silly Symphonies, although it features some quite spectacular animation of the approaching flood.

Watch ‘The Busy Beavers’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Silly Symphony No. 19
To the previous Silly Symphony: The China Plate
To the next Silly Symphony: The Cat’s Out

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