Best Family Movies of 1944
Meet Me in St. Louis
In the year before the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, the four Smith daughters learn lessons of life and love, even as they prepare for a reluctant move to New York.
The Three Caballeros
For Donald's birthday he receives a box with three gifts inside. The gifts, a movie projector, a pop-up book, and a pinata, each take Donald on wild adventures through Mexico and South America.
Spike the bulldog, grateful to Jerry for getting him out of the dogcatcher's van, offers to help the little mouse any time he whistles. Tom, Jerry's feline tormentor, seeks to overcome this new disadvantage.
The Old Grey Hare
Elmer wonders if he'll ever catch the rabbit; the voice of God takes him through a flash-forward to the year 2000. Elmer is equipped with a rocket-launcher rifle, but he's no smarter. He shoots Bugs, who shows him a photo album with baby pictures. We see a sequence of Bugs and Elmer as babies. Elderly Bugs digs his own grave and tricks Elmer into getting in.
This Happy Breed
In 1919, Frank Gibbons returns home from army duty and moves into a middle-class row house, bringing with him wife Ethel, carping mother-in-law Mrs. Flint, sister-in-law Sylvia and three children. Years pass, with the daily routine of family infighting and reconciliation occasionally broken by a strike or a festival.
I'll Be Seeing You
Mary Marshall, serving a six year term for accidental manslaughter, is given a Christmas furlough from prison to visit her closest relatives, her uncle and his family in a small Midwestern town. On the train she meets Zach Morgan, a troubled army sergeant on leave for the holidays from a military hospital. Although his physical wounds have healed, he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and is subject to panic attacks. The pair are attracted to one another and in the warm atmosphere of the Christmas season friendship blossoms into romance, but Mary is reluctant to tell him of her past and that she must shortly return to prison to serve the remainder of her sentence.
The Zoot Cat
Tom's advances on a young jive-talking girl cat get nowhere; nowhere, that is, until Tom gets a zoot suit. Armed with his miles of fabric and a new cool lingo, Tom still has to deal with the tricks of his nemesis, Jerry.
Suddenly It's Spring
In this longer-than-the-norm cartoon, Raggedy Ann, in a mission in Heaven, works a minor miracle, with the help of the elements.
As Adolf Hitler personally flies a bomber on a mission to the Soviet Union, the gremlins from the Kremlin set about to stop him.
Daffy Duck is a message courier bird delivering a military secret that a femme fatale Nazi spy is determined to get.
Red Hot Ryder is sent to catch the Masked Marauder (Bugs Bunny) who is terrorizing a small Western town.
The Tree Surgeon
The tree surgeon (a donkey) races to the giant sequoia, which isn't feeling well. His techniques, though, seem better suited to treating a person.
Birdy and the Beast
Tweety is set upon by a fat, jowly cat, who winds up with, among other things, a dozen eggs and a gallon of gasoline in his mouth instead of the little bird.
Porky Pig's egg faces production problems when a crooning rooster distracts the hens from their jobs.
I Got Plenty of Mutton
A wolf, deprived of meat by war rationing and starving, sees an article in the newspaper about a sheepdog leaving his flock to join the army and thinks it will be easy pickings. However, if he had read the rest of the article, he would know that the flock is now guarded by the ram Killer Diller, a most formidable foe.
A duck struggles mightily and finally hatches her eggs in the bitter cold. All but one, that is: poor little Robespierre. Mama doesn't notice him missing until after he has sprouted legs and run off in search of warmth.
Barney just wants to hibernate for the winter, but his nephew, just in from the North Pole, has other plans.
A series of visual gags about baseball. One running gag has an angry fan screaming "Kill the ump!" Be careful what you wish for.....
Lost and Foundling
A mouse adopts a hawk.
My Pal, Wolf
A lonely child, neglected by her parents, encounters and befriends a German Shepherd, but she's unaware the animal is a military dog being trained for service in WW2.
Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble
Andy is going to Wainwright College as did his father. He sees a pretty blonde on the train and he is alternately winked at or slapped every time he sees her. Andy is clueless. On the train Andy meets Kay and Dr. Standish who are both headed for Wainwright. Andy likes Kay, but Dr. Standish also seems to take an interest in her. Things are going well at College with Kay, but the blonde is nice one minute and ignores Andy the next. When Andy finds out that the blonde is really identical twins, he tries to help them out with their father but gets caught at their rooming house after midnight.
Once Upon a Time
Broadway producer Jerry Flynn is anxious to recapture the magic and reclaim the crowds after a set of costly flops. Outside his theater one night, Flynn meets a young boy who just might save the day. Inside a small box the boy shows Flynn his pride and joy: a caterpillar named Curly that dances to Yes Sir, That's My Baby. Word quickly spreads about the amazingly talented hoofer, and the caterpillar becomes a symbol of hope for wartime America. Soon, offers are pouring in to capitalize on this sensational insect.
Hell-Bent for Election
A full-blown re-election piece for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt at the expense of Republican presidential candidate Thomas Dewey. Roosevelt is depicted as a streamlined diesel express train in a race against Dewey, a worn-out steam train. The public is admonished to "get behind the president and stay the course to victory."
Broadway producer Johnny Demming is only interested in big-name talent and scoffs that his sister, father and other small-time talent could be used in a successful show.
The Great Mike
Story of a boy and his horse. Mike is the horse and is owned by Speck and his best friend Jimmy, together they have a paper route, on which they deliver papers to customers via a wagon pulled by Mike. Recently a horse track has been built in the area and attracts horse breeder and racer Colonel Whiteny. He takes out a subscription for delivery and meets Mike and Speck & Jimmy. Clever Jimmy talks both the Colonel and Speck into taking on the Colonel's pure bred race horses at the track with comedic results.
Tick Tock Tuckered
Porky and Daffy are workers at an aircraft company and are chronically late. Why? Because they have a great deal of trouble getting to sleep, between the noisy cats, the full moon shining insistently, and the sudden rain shower (and leak in the roof).
This segment involves a pop-up book trip through the Brazilian state of Bahía (spelled Baía in the film), as Donald and José meet up with some of the locals who dance a samba and Donald pining for one of the women, portrayed by singer Aurora Miranda.
This is the story of a group of Mexican children who celebrated Christmas by re-enacting the journey of Mary, the mother of Jesus and Saint Joseph searching for room at the inn. "Posada" meant "inn", or "shelter", and their parents told them "no posada" at each house until they came to one where they were offered shelter in a stable. This leads to festivities including the breaking of the piñata, which in turn leads to Donald Duck trying to break his own piñata as well.
Froggy plans a dance recital to win over Marilyn.
Mexico: Pátzcuaro, Veracruz and Acapulco
Panchito gives Donald and José a tour of Mexico on a flying sarape, or magic carpet. Several Mexican dances and songs are learned here. A key point to what happens later is that Donald is pining for some more ladies again, tries to hound down every single one he sees, and gain return affections, but once more he fails every time and ends up kissing José while blindfolded.
You Belong to My Heart/Donald's Surreal Reverie
The skies of Mexico City result in Donald falling in love with singer Dora Luz.
Tale of a Dog
When Bigshot Jones gives his unnamed dog to the All-For-One Club, Buckwheat quickly named the canine, "Smallpox"---inadvertently causing a city wide panic.