Best Animation Movies of 1934
The Grasshopper and the Ants
As in the classic fable, the grasshopper plays his fiddle and lives for the moment, while the industrious ants squirrel away massive amounts of food for the winter. With his song, he's able to convince at least one small ant until the queen arrives and scares him back to work. The queen warns the grasshopper of the trouble he'll be in, come winter. Winter comes, and the grasshopper, near starvation, stumbles across the ants, who are having a full-on feast in their snug little tree. They take him in and warm him up. The queen tells him only those who work can eat so he must play for them. Written by Jon Reeves
Mickey is first seen reading Gulliver's Travels while the mice orphan children are pretending to be sailors. After ruining their game Mickey tries to make it up to them by retelling the Liliput sequences of Gulliver's Travels pretending it was a real event that happened to him by portraying the role of Gulliver. The story ends with Mickey saving the town from a giant spider (Pete). However after telling the story, one of the children dangles a fake spider attached to a fishing rod which scares Mickey out of his witts.
The Wise Little Hen
Join Donald Duck in his debut in the classic animated short The Wise Little Hen. The Little Hen is planting corn and would like to have help from Peter Pig and Donald Duck, but they refuse stating they each have a "tummy ache." When it comes time to harvest the corn, Peter Pig and Donald still refuse to help the Hen, so she and her chicks do the harvest by themselves. Finally, the hen cooks the corn and offers some to Donald and Peter Pig, but when they look more carefully they discover a surprise.
The Big Bad Wolf
The Big Bad Wolf torments Little Red Riding Hood and the Three Little Pigs.
The Goddess of Spring
The goddess is greeted by dancing flowers and fairies. The devil comes and takes her away to be his queen. She's despondent, as winter settles in above ground. But the devil isn't happy either, and offers anything to make her happy. They reach an agreement: she'll spend six months above ground and six below. Thus we have seasons.
Can You Take It
Popeye sees Olive going into the Bruiser Boys Club, where she works in the hospital ward. Their motto, "Can you take it?", is a clear challenge to Popeye. President Bluto puts Popeye through the tests, and while he fares better than most, he still ends up in the hospital ward, until he eats his spinach and goes after the members.
Betty in Blunderland
Betty falls asleep doing a jigsaw puzzle and finds herself through the looking glass into a modern, urban wonderland. The shrinking potion comes from a "Shrinkola" dispenser. When most of the characters assemble, Betty sings "How Do You Do" to them. But the jabberwock steals Betty away, and everyone comes to her rescue.
Axe Me Another
Pierre Bluto, running a logging camp, has thrown Olive into the river because he didn't like her spinach. Popeye rescues her and proceeds to beat Bluto in a lumberjack contest.
Red Hot Mamma
Betty Boop, sleepless on a freezing night, builds a nice hot fire which proves too much of a good thing; in a dream she visits Hell, sings "Hell's Bells," and makes Hell freeze over!
We Aim to Please
Popeye and Olive open a diner, singing the title song. Alas, their first two customers are Wimpy (who actually gets them to fall for the "gladly pay you Tuesday" schtick) and Bluto, who orders 6 sandwiches and refuses to pay for them. This leads, of course, to a fight, which Popeye needs his spinach to win.
Mickey and an early version of Donald Duck are police officers chasing dognapper Pegleg Pete. Despite their bumbling, they manage to repeatedly get the drop on Pete at his sawmill hideout, though they ultimately make a shambles of the place.
When Popeye takes the baby for a walk in the stroller, the little one won't be quiet unless he's sleeping. Of course there's no end of noisiness. This include a Harpo Marx lookalike playing the harp; a music school with many practicing students inside; a ship blowing its horn; a radio outside a radio store; a building construction site; and blaring car horns in traffic. Popeye doesn't hesitate to shut them all up.
The Man on the Flying Trapeze
Popeye comes to ask Olive out, but finds she's gone off with the title character. Popeye goes to the circus (ringmaster Wimpy) looking for her, to find she's part of the act; an aerial battle ensues.
Funny Little Bunnies
We see bunny rabbits preparing for Easter, by making chocolate eggs and rabbits, decorating eggs, and weaving and filling baskets.
A Dream Walking
Popeye and Bluto each wants to save Olive as she sleepwalks onto a construction site. But most of their efforts go into preventing each other from being the hero.
Shiver Me Timbers!
Popeye, Olive, and Wimpy stumble across a ghost ship. They climb aboard, and it proceeds to scare them in various ways.
In the only Betty Boop color cartoon, Cinderella (Betty) goes to the ball thanks to her fairy godmother. Later, only her foot fits the glass slipper.
The Dance Contest
Popeye and Olive visit a dance hall, where a contest is in progress.
Pirate Pete has kidnapped Mickey and Minnie and has them tied up. As Pete prepares to have his way with Minnie, Mickey escapes and gets a swordfish off the wall; a swordfight with Pete ensues. Mickey gets out of the cabin and on deck; he hoists Minnie up onto the mast. Pete summons his crew, and Mickey fights them off with a cannon, shooting pots and pans, a stove, and ultimately a harpoon before winning Minnie and the ship back for good.
Wimpy is such a terrible helper that blacksmith Olive fires him. Both Popeye and Bluto see the help wanted sign; they compete for the position. Of course, their competition wrecks the shop.
Ha! Ha! Ha!
After drawing Betty Boop, Max Fleischer (live-action) leaves the studio; Betty and Koko try amateur dentistry, releasing enough laughing gas to convulse the 'real world.'
A comically ridiculously altered version of the classic tale, in which Don Quixote is victorious over his imaginary enemies and emits Tarzan-like yells of triumph.
Minnie rides into town and takes a large sack of money out of the bank. Pegleg Pete gathers his gang to take it from her, and they chase her out of town. Lonesome cowboy Mickey, who met Minnie earlier and was told she could take care of herself, sees this chase unfolding from his high perch, and rides down to save the day.
The Two-Alarm Fire
Popeye and Bluto run adjoining (and competing) fire companies. When Olive's huge house catches fire, they are soon more interested in fighting each other than the fire. When Bluto goes to the roof to rescue Olive, the fire strands him there. Popeye eats his spinach and rescues them, but it's too late for the house.
Let's You and Him Fight
Bluto is the boxing champ, Popeye his challenger, Wimpy the timekeeper. Popeye is pounded mercilessly until Olive comes by with a can of spinach.
The Old Pioneer
In this first entry in MGM's Happy Harmonies series, an old man tells a newsboy about his adventures with Native Americans in the Old West.
The gang is sitting around their campsite when a mosquito spoils their fun. And then he gets hundreds of his friends and they really cause trouble. Horace squirts some with molasses, which helps a bit. Everyone retreats to the tent, where they still get stung but can fight back a bit, eventually trapping all the mosquitoes in a pair of bloomers and sending them on their way.
Strong to the Finich
Olive runs some kind of boarding school. She serves her charges a huge bowl of spinach, but they are less than enthusiastic about it. Popeye comes by and demonstrates the values of spinach: he feeds some to a tree, which grows huge and sprouts a variety of fruit; he feeds a hen, which lays a dozen eggs, and he eats some himself to resist a prizefighter passing by.
The Flying Mouse
To the tune "I Would Like to Be a Bird," a young mouse fashions wings from a pair of leaves, to the great amusement of his brothers when his attempts to use them fail. When the butterfly he rescues from a spider proves to be a fairy, he wishes for wings. But his bat-like appearance doesn't fit in with either the birds or the other mice, and he finds himself friendless; even the bats make fun of him. Written by Jon Reeves
The China Shop
The elderly owner of a china shop leaves for the night, and the various figurines and decorated mugs come to life. A demonic figure captures an upper-class lady and does battle with her lord, damaging much of the shop. But the demon proves to have a glass jaw and, literally, a yellow streak, and the happy couple is soon reunited. No dialogue, but some signs are in English, particularly the final punch-line.
Betty Boop's Life Guard
Betty takes a trip to the beach and needs the assistance of a big, hunky lifeguard when she rides her rubber horsy out too far!
Little Dutch Mill
A miserly mill-keeper kidnaps two Dutch children, but their pet duck runs for help like Lassie.
A young grizzly bear, undaunted by his mother's warnings of the coming winter, runs away from home only to be confronted by Old Man Winter himself.
Betty Boop's Trial
A traffic cop tries to make time with Betty; she speeds to get away, is arrested, and undergoes a musical trial.
Betty Boop's Little Pal
Pudgy the Pup makes a mess of Betty Boop's picnic, is sent home, and runs afoul of the dog catcher.
Betty Boop's Rise to Fame
A reporter interviews Max Fleischer about his creation, and Betty illustrates with excerpts from three prior cartoons.
The Discontented Canary
A canary is frustrated by being caged. One day the kind old lady who owns him opens a nearby window, and also leaves the door to the cage open. Freedom! But it's not all it's cracked up to be.
The Brave Tin Soldier
A musical rendition of the Hans Christian Anderson Fairy Tale where a brave tin soldier with only one leg and a toy ballerina find happiness.
Donald and Mickey put on a charity show, for some orphans.
There's Something About a Soldier
Betty Boop recruits for the Army by offering inductees a kiss. The recruits march off to war with a force of giant mosquitoes!
Betty Boop's Prize Show
In a melodrama at the Slumbertown Theatre, Freddie is the sheriff and Betty is a school-marm desired by outlaw "Phillip the Fiend."
Mickey's Steam Roller
While streetworker Mickey romances Minnie, Mickey's nephews Morty and Ferdie take control of his steamroller and it's full speed ahead on a very destructive ride.
Santa Claus gets a telegram from Oswald the Rabbit, telling him the city is ready for his Toyland Parade and that there will be a reception in the big department store. Santa is a jolly elf indeed until he discovers that moths have eaten every last shred of his Santa suit. The day is saved when quick thinking on the part of an old elf, armed with red paint and popcorn, turns Santa's ordinary light-blue outfit into a real Santa suit. The parade is a big success, and the reception promises to be even better. Frankenstein's monster, Tarzan, Lupe Velez, Shirley Temple, Al Jolson and Bing Crosby are all there to greet Santa. Laurel and Hardy nearly spoil the day when they dress in a dragon's costume and try to steal the chocolate cake.
Keep in Style
Betty Boop puts on a musical show of new inventions and styles; her creation of "ankle skirts" sweeps the nation.
The Hot Choc-late Soldiers
A group of confectionary soldiers go to war against a neighboring cookie castle.
Mickey's trying to do some yardwork, but Pluto wants to play. They end up indoors; Mickey breaks a screen, spreads flypaper, and they both get stuck.
Penguins dance and play in Antarctica.
The Stolen Heart
A wicked giant attempts to steal all of the instruments from a small town.
She Wronged Him Right
Betty Boop appears on stage with Freddie in an old-fashioned mortgage melodrama.
Jolly Little Elves
A poor shoemaker and his wife have only a stale donut and a cup of coffee left to share. An elf drops by, and they offer to share with him. He teaches them (in song) to dunk the donut in the coffee. Later, as they sleep, he brings several other elves back, and they work through the night making shoes in humorous ways. The shoes are a success. Soon, the shoemaker and his wife are quite prosperous. They treat the elves to a feast of donuts and coffee, and the elves treat us to another chorus of "Dunk! Dunk! Dunk!".