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Director: Ryszard Czekała
Release date:

In ‘Syn’ (The Son) an old couple at the countryside wait for their son, who has gone off to lead a different life in the city. But when he arrives at his parental home, his visit turns out to be a deception.

‘Syn’ shows Ryszard Czekała’s original style: the film is in black and white, and features a very original cinematography: altering extreme close-ups of hands, ears and such with strange depictions of the barren wintery landscape, with the ground filling up almost the complete frame.

The story is told without dialogue, and because of Czekała’s extreme graphical style, rather hard to follow. Most striking is the sound design, which arguably is as important as the imagery. The result is a puzzling, but quite unsettling and bleak short.

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

‘The Son’ is available on the DVD-set ‘Anthology of Polish Animation’

Director: Walt Disney
Release Date: May 9, 1929
Stars: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Horace Horsecollar
Rating: ★★

The Plow Boy © Walt DisneyIn this weak cartoon (Mickey’s seventh) Mickey and Minnie are farmers.

The most remarkable thing about this cartoon is that it marks the debut of Horace Horsecollar. One might say, it marks the debut of Clarabelle Cow, as well, but the early Mickey Mouse cartoons contain a little too many non-distinct cows to state that clearly, because this cow is not different from the others.

This cartoon is particularly important in the development of Minnie: she now has lost the bra-like circles on her body and she’s singing for the first time. Notice how the animation of the tongue is completely convincing. Although Minnie’s only singing “lalalala” (something she would do in many cartoons to follow), this is an important step in the animation of speech. This was something I guess Disney was eager to master. Indeed, in the next cartoon, ‘The Karnival Kid‘, there’s suddenly a lot of talking and singing.

‘The Plow Boy’ contains a scene where the background moves the wrong way making the cow walk backwards.

Watch ‘The Plow Boy’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Mickey Mouse cartoon No. 8
To the previous Mickey Mouse cartoon: 
The Barnyard Battle
To the next Mickey Mouse cartoon: The Karnival Kid

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