Best Animation Movies of 1931
Bimbo finds himself surrounded by a mysterious group of robed figures who invite him to become a member of their secret organisation. When he refuses, they fling him through a nightmarish sequence of terror and torture devices. Will our hapless hero make it out alive?
The Ugly Duckling
The film begins with a mother hen sitting on her eggs from which six baby chicks are born. Though initially overjoyed, her mood changes to disgust when the final egg hatches out a duckling. Though the duckling desperately attempts to win his foster family's acceptance, the mother hen is adamant in her refusal to care for an infant that isn't even her species, let alone not even hers.
Betty Boop is queen of the Masquerade Ball where, among other antics, Bimbo and a lecherous old man vie for her affections.
Dizzy Red Riding-Hood
Betty Boop goes to Grandma's through the woods despite wolf warnings; but Bimbo follows and gives the old story a new twist.
Flip the Frog serenades his feline sweetheart to the delight of everyone in her building - everyone, that is, except a homely cow, who is trying to get some sleep.
Study No. 7
An experimental short from Oskar Fischinger
Betty Boop (with dog's ears) is moving; Bimbo comes with his moving van and is smitten with her. Songs: "Moving Day," "Hello Beautiful."
Flip the Frog finds himself in a house haunted by crazy skeletons.
Krazy Kat and his unidentified female companion go to the beach for a picnic
In a vaudeville act, Betty Boop (with dog's ears) sings "You're Drivin' Me Crazy;" Bimbo sneaks into the show and runs afoul of a stage hypnotist.
FLIP THE FROG, who is basically a walking, talking, white glove, bow- tie & short-pants wearing little black frog. In this outing, Flip is introduced to us as he is reading up on how to become a movie director, which essentially comes down to dressing up like Charlie Chaplin!
Mickey is driving a taxi. His first fare is a very large gentleman. Mickey stops traffic and gets a tongue-lashing from the officer. The cab runs into some bad road, bounces the fare down to almost nothing, then bounces the customer right out of the cab. Mickey pulls up to the curb and picks up his second passenger, Minnie. She plays her accordion while they ride. The cab gets a flat tire, and Mickey uses a pig to pump it up.
The Beach Party
A fun day at the beach. While Mickey, Horace, and Clarabelle go swimming, or try to, Minnie lays out a picnic. Pluto discovers why you shouldn't chase a crab. Everyone digs in to lunch. Mickey throws Pluto a string of sausages; he dives after them, and comes up with an angry octopus instead, who crashes into the picnic. Everyone fights the octopus, and Mickey finally manages to send it out to sea by throwing an anchor like a lasso.
Mickey takes Pluto fishing in a boat on a lake, but they aren't too successful. The fish mock them, and even steal the bait can. Finally, the game warden spots them (Mickey had ignored the "no fishing" sign) and gives chase.
Minding the Baby
Bimbo's minding his baby brother, but neighbor Betty Boop (with dog's ears) wants him to come over and play.
Bars and Stripes
Krazy Kat is playing a viola (and doing so badly) as the short opens. He's playing so poorly that all the musical instruments behind him razz him about his playing and his viola finally stops his playing.
At Christmas time, Mickey Mouse, Minnie and Pluto are beset by an enormous litter of bratty orphan cats.
In My Merry Oldsmobile
A lady is rescued from a villain by a heroic young man, who then takes her for a spin in his Oldsmobile.
The China Plate
An old plate tells the tale of the Emperor of China, whose palace was disrupted by some children.
The Clock Store
The various clocks and watches in a clock store dance, ring alarms musically, and otherwise entertain us in an after hours presentation.
The Barnyard Broadcast
Mickey runs radio station ICU from his barn. His friends play various musical numbers. A cat wanders in and starts yowling (which sets Pluto, who was listing from his doghouse, off). Mickey puts it out, but it, and several kittens, keep coming back in, playing with the equipment, running through the musicians (chased by a broom-wielding Mickey, who does a great deal of damage himself), and generally making a mess of things.
A spider gets lost inside the sphinx.
The Cat's Out
A cat, being sent out for the night, begins to make trouble for some birds. He later has a nightmare that the birds grow and begin to extract their revenge.
The Cow's Husband
Bimbo as a bullfighter.
The New Car
Flip The Frog goes out to buy a new car.
Mickey, apparently shipwrecked, is on a raft; he washes up on a tropical island, where a banana tree takes care of his hunger. He then discovers a piano that washed ashore, and begins playing it. The animals come around; a gorilla, after playing a 4-hands piece with his feet, destroys the piano. Mickey runs away and accidentally wakes a lion. The lion chases Mickey to a stream, where he jumps onto a rock that turns out to be right next to a crocodile.
A young dog calls on Betty but fraternity hazers kidnap him. With a Bouncing Ball, Rudy Vallee sings the title tune.
Toby the Pup organises a Halloween celebration. Some witches and elves join the party.
The Busy Beavers
A group of beavers cheerily build a dam.
Mother Goose Melodies
A book of nursery rhymes plays for Old King Cole.
A well composed series of gags run from ones involving simply frame composition all the way out to Keaton-like surrealism in this well-ordered and executed series of gags-on-a-theme Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoon from Walter Lantz' cartoon team.
Toby the Milkman
The title character gets some milk from a cow's udder for the first few inches of the bottles before filling the rest of them with water. Then he and his horse would deliver the stuff at various houses.
The Spider and the Fly
A kitchen is filled with houseflies. A spider wakes up and plays his web like a harp, attracting a pair of them; the female is trapped, and the male summons the cavalry, which arrives riding horseflies, riding dragonflies to drop pepper bombs, firing champagne bottles, and ultimately setting the web on fire and catching the spider on flypaper when he falls.
Wot a Night
Cab drivers Tom and Jerry, waiting at a trains train station for customers on a stormy night, eagerly solicit two arriving gentlemen in top hats until they give in and ask for a ride to their castle.
Mickey Cuts Up
Mickey and Minnie are next-door neighbors tending their yards. When Minnie is captured by a bird's song, Mickey hides in his bird-house and pretends to be a bird himself, until a cat attacks and blows his cover. Then he does a dance while wearing the house; their song attracts more birds, and again the cat. Pluto chases, but he's still pulling the lawnmower, and it causes much destruction.
Makin' 'Em Move
A sassy cat visits a cartoon studio and learns the mysteries of animation.
Red Riding Hood
Some "jazz tonic" restores Grandma's youth. When the Big Bad Wolf pays a visit, he and Grandma decide to marry on the spot; but Little Red Riding Hood finds a way to stop the wedding.
The Delivery Boy
Delivery boy Mickey encounters Minnie washing clothes and singing. He stops for a quick song and dance with her. Meanwhile, Pluto gets tangled up in tar. Mickey sends a beehive flying; it lands on his mule, who kicks Mickey's instrument-filled wagon into the air. He plays a march or two on the piano with Minnie, with many animals playing along.
The Birthday Party
Mickey's friends throw him a surprise birthday party at Minnie's house. The chef brings out the cake (with 2 candles); Mickey manages to blow all the cake onto the chef's face, while the candles stay lit. He unwraps his present: a miniature piano. He plays a duet of I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby with Minnie, followed by an instrumental version of The Darktown Strutter's Ball, which everyone dances to (including Mickey and Minnie, while the piano stools keep playing). Mickey then plays There's No Place Like Home on the xylophone, then accompanies Minnie on another piece, after which the xylophone gets frisky and eventually dumps Mickey in the fish bowl.
Mickey Steps Out
Mickey heads over to see Minnie, but Pluto won't leave him alone. He gets there and watches through the window, standing on Pluto, while Minnie plays piano. Pluto runs off to chase a cat and leaves Mickey stuck in the window. Minnie has him in, and he dances to her playing. Pluto chases the cat into the house and causes havoc. The chase leads into the piano, where Pluto picks up the player-piano roll as an extended tail, and the destruction continues.
Jack and the Beanstalk
A Max & Dave Fleischer cartoon from 1931. Bimbo climbs a beanstalk to find Betty Boop enslaved by the giant.
The Bum Bandit
Masked bandit Bimbo holds up a train carrying someone tougher… Betty Boop (with dog's ears), played by a different, deeper-voiced actress.
The Moose Hunt
Mickey's hunting, along with a characteristically playful and distracted (and uncharacteristically talkative) Pluto. Pluto fetches a forked branch, and Mickey shoots, mistaking it for antlers, but Pluto is OK. Then they find a moose, and Mickey's gun fails but they escape when Pluto does an impression of Dumbo, with Mickey riding.
Birds of a Feather
Swans, peacocks, ducks, and more birds dance.
Kitty from Kansas City
Sun bonneted Betty Boop takes a train to "Rudy Valley" where she gains weight and Rudy Vallee performs the title song with Bouncing Ball.
Mickey plays a bluesy tune on a piano on a stage. Minnie sings. Then an unseen band plays while both sing and dance. Mickey then leads the 9-piece band in an uptempo number, with Pluto on trombone, Horace on percussion, and Clarabelle on bass, among others. Mickey steps out for a clarinet solo.
Bosko the Doughboy
Bosko is a doughboy in the Great War.
The Little Pest
The cartoon follows Scrappy as he tries to get rid of his baby brother, Oopy, so he can go on a fishing trip with his dog. The more Oopy insists on tagging along, the more violent Scrappy turns against him.
One More Time
Cop Foxy is trying to enforce the law in town, but dangerous drivers and gangsters who also kidnap his sweetheart are making this difficult.
A Swiss Trick
Tom and Jerry are aboard a train making its way up a mountain in the Swiss Alps. When their train breaks down, they're spotted by a very thin St. Bernard, who brings the engine some liquor. The engine zips through the Alps, but leaves the pair behind.