Sunday, June 22, 2014

BEN AND ME (1953)

RELEASE DATE: Tuesday 10th November 1953
 SYNOPSIS: This was a double-reel short film, going for about 20 minutes. It focuses on historical American figures such as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, but mostly concerns a little mouse called Amos who - according to the story anyway - was the real brains behind the Declaration of Independence. This was the first film that Disney distributed himself under the "Buena Vista" label, after having disagreements with his old distributor, RKO.

PASCAL: I love the Disney mice! This is a great way to teach a little history in a fun, simple way.
MALEFICENT: It's a very clever re-telling of an American hero's tale. (Tail?)
WENDY: It would be nice to have an animal sidekick you gives you inspiration and helps you with your work. (They never seem to get the appreciation they deserve!)

IRVYNE: There's some cute and funny little puns. (Like "one less mouse to feed")
PASCAL: I love the way the music matched the visuals, like when Amos was storming away and stepping in the puddles.
IRVYNE: When Amos was first arriving at Ben's house I couldn't help but be reminded of Jiminy Cricket coming into Geppetto's workshop in the middle of the night.
MALEFICENT: It's beautifully drawn. It reminds me of the art from the Little Golden Books. I loved the tiny drop of tea in Amos's cup.
IRVYNE: The character design is all right, but I didn't think it was a particularly good-looking short. It's certainly not feature-length quality anyway.

PASCAL: It's Winnie The Pooh's voice again!
MALEFICENT: I love Sterling Holloway.
IRVYNE: And did you notice that the governor was played by the Dodo's voice actor? He sounded identical!
MALEFICENT: It's funny how the humans don't find it unusual that they're looking at a talking, well-dressed mouse. When he was door-knocking, the lady wasn't freaked out by the fact he was talking or wearing clothes, she just hated him because he was a mouse. Racist.
IRVYNE: Racist? LOL! I've gotta say though, I watched this quite a few times in my childhood, and this is one of those moments where my memories were better than the actual film. It's not BAD by any means, but with a 20 minute length (very unusual) it doesn't offer any kind of character development. I feel like if it was stretched out a bit more and we got to know the characters it would be more entertaining. Besides which, does anyone else think Ben Franklin is a dick? Seriously. He treats Amos terribly. If I was Amos I wouldn't have returned to him. Anyway. Watch it below and see what you think.

1 comment:

  1. Oh! I love that short and I had read the original Robert Lawson book