2 September 2008 | MartinHafer
Gotta love them mushrooms!
This is one of many so-called "Silly Symphonies" that Walt Disney Pictures made in the 30s and they were very, very popular. Given how much cartoons have changed, this film wouldn't play nearly as well today as it did then. Cartoons in the 30s tended to be rather schmaltzy and lacked the insane humor and pacing of classic cartoons of the 40s and 50s. Remember that at the time this film was made, Bugs Bunny, Tom & Jerry (the MGM ones--not the earlier series by the same name) and Tex Avery's shenanigans were still in the future. So, while audiences in later years might have been a bit put off by the style of film that FLOWERS AND TREES represent, in its time it was big...real big. Big enough to earn an Oscar as Best Animated Short.
The film consists of classical style music accompanying scenes of anthropomorphic (people-like) trees and flowers dancing, frolicking and eventually being attacked by the dreaded fire. As I said, most of it very sappy but I did like the adorable mushrooms (Disney seemed to have a knack for this--see FANTASIA for more great mushrooms). However, the artwork is tops for the time and it is diverting. It's also the first three-color Technicolor short to win the Oscar--but it's also very old fashioned and will probably bore many viewers.