Monday, 18 February 2008

Walt Disney "How to Dance"

The release late last year of the new short, How to Hook Up Your Home Theater, coinciding with Walt Disney Studios stated desire to make new shorts in their classic style, partly as a training vehicle for their animators (watch a clip from Animation World Network) led me to look at what their old "How to .." series has to offer. How to Dance was comparatively late in the programme (1953) though for reasons that are more to do with my wife than myself, it is a suitable film to consider. Goofy teaches himself to dance with cut-out footprints, dress-maker's dummy and guide book. Naturally things go awry. Directed by Jack Kinney, the opening is a fine sequence of historical snapshots as we enjoy South Sea Islanders dancing by moonlight as well as Irish and Scottish dance routines. There are some great gags. Goofy, after training alone, finally decides he requires a dance partner and speaks through the open door to his would-be partner with a dream of a voice. What he gets is a dummy on wheels which Goofy proceeds to whirl round the room, learning the routines. He progresses and seems to have acquired the real deal until she glides past an open window and her dress proves transparent. Dancing does bestow a little confidence and Goofy feels ready, as the film nears its end, to attend a real dance.

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