Best Animation Movies of 1953
Leaving the safety of their nursery behind, Wendy, Michael and John follow Peter Pan to a magical world where childhood lasts forever. But while in Neverland, the kids must face Captain Hook and foil his attempts to get rid of Peter for good.
The short-tempered Daffy Duck must improvise madly as the backgrounds, his costumes, the soundtrack, even his physical form, shifts and changes at the whim of the animator.
Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century
Space hero Daffy battles Marvin the Martian for control of Planet X.
Duck! Rabbit, Duck!
The final installment of the "Hunting Trilogy" once again has Elmer out hunting, while Bugs and Daffy try to con him into shooting the other.
Don't Give Up the Sheep
A sheepdog thwarts the efforts of a thieving wolf whose tricks include altering the time clock, hiding in a bush, imitating Pan, digging a tunnel, unleashing a wildcat and disguising himself as the dog's coworker.
Bully for Bugs
Bugs Bunny once again making that "wrong turn at Albuquerque" burrows into a bullring, where a magnificent bull is making short work of a toreador. The bull bucks Bugs out of the arena, prompting the bunny to declare "Of course you realize, this means war!" The deft Bugs' arsenal comes plenty packed, as he uses anvils, well-placed face slaps and the bull's horns as a slingshot. The bull fights back, using his horns as a shotgun barrel. The bull's comeback is short-lived; just after Bugs makes out his will, he lures the bull out of the arena, just in time to set up a rube-like device that leads to the bull's defeat.
The Tell-Tale Heart
One of the most discussed and imaginative cartoons of any era. It tells the famous Edgar Allan Poe story of the deranged boarder who had to kill his landlord, not for greed, but because he possessed an "evil eye." The killer is never seen but his presence is felt by the use light-and-shadow to give the impression of impending disaster.
At the home of Viennese composer Johann Strauss lived Johann Mouse. Whenever the composer played his waltzes, the mouse would dance to the music, unable to control himself. One day, when Strauss was away, the house cat played his master's music. When word got out about a piano-playing cat and a dancing mouse, they were commanded to perform for the emperor.
Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom
In this short subject (which mostly represents a departure from Disney's traditional approach to animation), a stuffy owl teacher lectures his feathered flock on the origins of Western musical instruments. Starting with cavepeople, whose crude implements could only "toot, whistle, plunk and boom," the owl explains how these beginnings led to the development of the four basic types of Western musical instruments: brass, woodwinds, strings, and percussion.
The Spirit of Christmas
This Christmas film, created as a special for television broadcast throughout the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania viewing region, was produced by puppeteer Mabel Beaton and her husband Les for Bell Telephone Company and first aired in 1953. Following a short live-action opening portion, featured are two extended marionette segments, the first dramatizing Clement Moore's "A Visit from St. Nicholas", the second reverently telling the Nativity story; the two stories are staged in classic, traditional style. From 1953 onward, for several years, The Spirit of Christmas was broadcast in the intended region multiple times per holiday season. It was also available as a 16mm film licensed to schools for showings to students. This film often is misstated to have originally been broadcast in 1950.
Scroll paintings prepared like film strips with successive images.
That's My Pup!
Spike explains to his son the rules of being a dog: 1: be man's best friend (begging, lying at feet); 2: bury bones; 3: chase cats. Just then, Tom (and Jerry) run by, offering the perfect practice subject. Spike lectures Tom to be scared by the pup or else; Jerry overhears, and is soon doing his best dog impersonation, while Tom works on various strategies to neutralize Tyke
Jerry and Jumbo
A baby elephant rolls off the circus train and right into Tom's bed. He quickly allies himself with Jerry, and with a rolled-up trunk and some paint, passes himself off as a giant mouse. The two then keep trading places to the bafflement of Tom.
A Mouse Divided
A drunken stork delivers a baby mouse to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Sylvester Cat. Sylvester is about to eat the little rodent when it calls him its daddy. Touched, Sylvester adopts the mouse as his son and attracts every hungry cat in the neighborhood to his door!
It's a peaceful day in a national forest...until hunting season begins at which point all the bears hide out in a cave but one bear, Humphrey, doesn't make it. He hides out in a cabin and, seeing hunter Donald Duck approaching, hides the bearskin rug in a trunk and takes its place. Masquerading as the rug tends to be an unpleasant experience for Humphrey as Donald opens nuts and bottles in his mouth and washes him in the washer/dryer among other things. Finally, when hunting season ends and Donald leaves, Humphrey is relieved but makes a startling discovery.
Two Little Indians
The Bide-a-wee Mouse Home sends two orphans over for a hike with Scoutmaster Jerry. Trouble is, the orphans, dressed as Indians, want to shoot arrows and tomahawk-chop everything in sight, and especially Tom, who quickly gets scalped and has the end of his tail chopped off. He captures Jerry; this, of course, means war, for which the tots paint dozens of badminton shuttlecocks as a fake army. They also paint a fierce face on the sleeping dog. Ultimately, they get Tom to leave a trail of gunpowder, which they light, destroying the garage. Tom signals a truce, and they all smoke a peace pipe, but the smoke comes out of Tom's ears instead of his mouth.
The Missing Mouse
Jerry is raiding the fridge while, nearby, a watchful Tom chases Jerry causing him to crash into a wall which, in turn, causes a bottle of white shoe polish to pour on Jerry. It is at this time when Tom hears on the radio that a dangerous white mouse, having swallowed an explosive formula, has escaped from a lab and that the slightest jar will cause an explosion and destroy a city. Tom then notices the now white Jerry and does whatever he can to stop Jerry from doing dangerous things to himself.
Southern Fried Rabbit
Southern Fried Rabbit is a Looney Tunes cartoon by Warner Bros. starring Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam. Directed by Friz Freleng and produced in 1952, the animated short was first released on May 2, 1953. In it, Bugs Bunny attempts to shake off Yosemite Sam (here, cast as a Civil War-era colonel), who is preventing him from crossing the Mason-Dixon Line.
The Three Little Pups
In this variation on "The Three Little Pigs", Droopy and his brothers, Snoopy and Loopy, repeatedly outwit the big bad wolf, a dogcatcher who tries to find a way to get the pooches out of their house of bricks.
Jerry Mouse befriends a newly hatched duck who can't swim and ends up protecting him against his feline nemesis, Tom.
Much Ado About Nutting
A squirrel in a downtown park lugs a giant coconut back home, but nothing he does can seem to crack it open.
Father's Day Off
Mrs. Goofy leaves for the day leaving the house in the hands of her husband, Goofy. Goofy is confident that he can handle the day's household chores but he keeps making typical goof-ups while attempting them. His first mistake is sending Junior to school on a Saturday. At first, he just makes small blunders but, of course, they keep escalating to the point where his house is flooded, scribbled on, set on fire, invaded by firemen and policemen alike, and, basically, an utter disaster area when the wife returns.
Kiss Me Cat
Marc Antony must convince his owner that Pussyfoot is a great mouser to keep him in the house.
Ben and Me
A revisionist version of American history as a small mouse comes to live with Benjamin Franklin and turns out to be responsible for many of his ideas; including the beginning of the Declaration of Independance!
Granny is Tweety Bird's mistress on a farm. She assigns a bulldog named Hector to take care of Tweety while she's away. Sylvester Cat disguises himself as a scarecrow to sneak up on Tweety. Tweety runs into a chicken coop and is protected by a mother hen and an aggressive rooster. Hector, seeing that Tweety is gone and fearing Granny's wrath, paints Sylvester yellow and puts him in Tweety's cage to fool Granny. Tweety returns and makes like a cat since turnabout is fair play.
Working for Peanuts
Chip 'n Dale live next door to a zoo and spot the elephant's stash of peanuts. They go after them, but both the elephant and his keeper, Donald, are too clever. Then the boys realized the visitors throw peanuts, so they put on a song-and-dance act. Then they paint themselves white and pose as albino chipmunks.
Hypnosis doesn't help the Coyote catch the Road Runner, nor do a clutch of string-controlled rifles or dozens of mousetraps, but they all manage to backfire on him, naturally.
A Is for Atom
General Electric sponsors this explanation of atomic energy, detailing some of its uses besides the bomb. Using animation and an off-screen narrator, the film describes the atom, elements and isotopes, the discovery of transmutation, experiments in artificial transmutation, and the reasons for the power of nuclear fission. The film argues that now, besides war, the atomic age holds promise for energy, farming, medicine, and research. The promise of the atomic age will depend on human wisdom.
Plop Goes the Weasel!
A lip-smacking weasel invades the barnyard of Foghorn Leghorn and his usual canine foe, and Foghorn is quite willing to put baby chicks in danger of being taken by the weasel so long as it makes the dog appear to be failing his job of guarding the chicks.
Don's Fountain of Youth
While traveling with his nephews, Donald is disgusted that they are only interested in comics. He stops at the "fountain of youth" and tricks the kids into thinking he is a baby again. However, he gets tangled up with an aggressive mother alligator and her babies, and makes a hurried exit with the nephews.
Bugs Bunny faces off against Farmer Fudd's robot.
Woody Woodpecker is watching a wrestling match on TV. It's "Precious Percy" (Woody's favorite) versus his opponent, "Bull Dozer". Eventually, Woody's dog gets overexcited and inadvertently wrecks his TV set, forcing to Woody to watch the match in person at the arena. While in the audience, he often helps Percy win the match through underhanded tactics. However, when Bull still defeats Percy, Woody decides to take on Bull all by himself.
Forward March Hare
Bugs Bunny gets a draft notice by mistake and joins the army, with disastrous results, especially for the sergeant of his platoon.
How to Sleep
After a short of history of man's eternal quest for sleep (from the stone ages to modern times) as well as a demonstration of what puts man to sleep and how man sleeps (like the dog, the ostrich, etc.), we see Goofy's attempts to sleep despite insomnia. He tries opening a window, using an electric blanket, drinking hot milk, counting sheep. Nothing works. He consults a scientist who studies Goofy's sleeping habits and finally finds a cure for Goofy's insomnia...by taking a mallet and crowning him on the head. It works!
Through drawings, an illustrator tells his dog the story of a boy named Christopher Crumpet. Christopher can at will change himself from a little boy into a chicken. He threatens to do so if his father, Marvin, won't buy him a rocket ship.
Yosemite Sam hears that Granny has inherited fifty million dollars. Good guy Bugs tries to save Granny from Sam's clutches.
Daffy Duck takes his girl to a beach, where a muscle-bound duck attracts the attentions of Daffy's fickle chick. She leaves Daffy and walks off with the hunky duck. A salesman sells Daffy a bogus strength-building tonic, and Daffy takes some, thinking it has made him into a virile power-house! He challenges the muscular duck to a series of contests involving bar-bending, chain-chewing, and weight-lifting.
Woody Woodpecker and Buzz Buzzard are hotel bellhops in this Walter Lantz Technicolor Cartune (production number 8330.) The are admiring Ga-Ga Gazoon, glamorous French actress, in a fan magazine, when the desk informs them she is about to arrive at the hotel. Woody and Buzz compete (with dirty tricks) to serve her.
The Emperor's New Clothes
The king is offered a fine new suit that can only be seen by wise people, and walks naked in the procession.
Elmer Fudd, on a fourth of July picnic, throws some of his firecrackers into an ant colony, and the ants declare all-out war on him.
A tiny elephant emerges from a banana boat and wanders about town, causing an uproar among the populace. Sightings are attributed variously to mass hysteria, insanity and dipsomania.
The New Neighbor
Donald moves into a new home, and discovers his new neighbor is a slob, a mooch, and has a dog that comes crashing through the fence and digging in Donald's garden. Eventually it escalates into a full-scale war, with crowds cheering and TV coverage.
The Story of King Midas
A greedy King Midas is visited one day by a mysterious visitor who grants him the ability to turn all things he touches to gold. He learns his lesson when the food he tries to eat and his own daughter are turned to gold as well. The visitor reappears and offers him the opportunity to return to his old self, which he gladly does.
Wild Over You
A wildcat escapes from the zoo, disguises herself as a skunk to fool her pursuers, but that only attracts love-struck Pepe, who finds he enjoys the extra spice that fangs and claws add to lovemaking.
A schooner anchors at the South Pole, and the skipper goes ashore and leaves the ship's mascot, a St. Bernard dog, to stand watch and guard the ship. A small penguin, Chilly Willy (the only penguin not equipped for cold weather...anywhere), sees the ship and tries to get warm by its stove. The watchdog attempts to get rid of him, but Willy manages to get the dog drunk from the rum in its own cask. The captain returns to find Willy saving the ship from sinking, while the dog is found sleeping it off. Willy is made mascot and the dog is tossed in the ship's brig.
Little Johnny Jet
A veteran B-29 propeller plane, struggling to find work after the war, is upset after his wife gives birth to a little jet. When he tries to compete with modern planes in an around-the-world race, Junior comes to his aid. This short is virtually identical in plot terms and other items to One Cab's Family (1952), but this time around, it concerns a family of aeroplanes, and the problems Mom and Pop have with Junior, whose obsession with speed leads him to acquire a jet engine.
Woody is a city street sweeper and hates his job. After being abused by policeman Wally Walrus, he decides to quit and disguises himself as a policeman, kicking the rubbish can away which scoops up Wally sending him into the harbour shrinking his uniform. The angry Wally chases the disguised Woody into the circus. Because he is mistaken for a child, he is denied access but enters backstage disguised as an elephant. Finally, after a long struggle with Woody under the big top, he captures the redhead and returns him to his job as street sweeper.
The Unicorn in the Garden
Based on James Thurber's short-story about a mild, henpecked man who, while preparing his breakfast, looks out the window and sees a unicorn eating flowers in the garden. He rushes upstairs to inform his domineering wife, and she accuses him of being crazy and threatens to have him put away. He persists that he did see a unicorn in the garden, and she phones for the authorities to come take him away. But when they arrive, with strait-jackets, they find the wife rambling and raving about seeing the unicorn, and promptly take her away.
Elmer Fudd brings home a rare plant and Bugs Bunny.
Sylvester Cat accepts a position as mouse-catcher on a ship, and his son, Junior, accompanies him. They encounter baby kangaroo Hippety Hopper being shipped from Australia and, as usual, mistake Hippety for a giant mouse.