So, what can one say about a cartoon that appears to have all the racial sensitivity of a Klan meeting yet respectfully presents tributes to some of the period's greatest African-American Jazz performers? "The Old Mill Pond" is an Academy Award-nominated cartoon which, because of its use of the racial stereotypes of the time, now seems uncomfortable and offensive to many people today. However, rather than using those stereotypes to mock or lampoon the characters, "The Old Mill Pond" is a celebration of some of the premier Jazz performers of their era. At a time when African-Americans were either marginalized or completely ignored in most American films, this cartoon at least makes them the focus of attention and showcases the music of performers who might otherwise be lost to history. Significantly, a number of the reviewers of this film on IMDb are, themselves, unfamiliar with the identities of some of the artists shown. (For the record, the female singer depicted performing "Jungle Rhythm" with the Cotton Club back-up dancers is Ethel Waters, distinguished by the sizable gap in her front teeth.) The caricatures of the performers are not egregiously offensive and are on a par with the Warner Brothers' cartoons depiction of, for example, Frank Sinatra as a beanpole with an Adam's apple or Jimmy Durante as, essentially, a nose followed by a vestigial body. The one exception would be the inclusion of Stepin Fetchit, in all his foot-shuffling glory, in the "Hold That Tiger" number. It should be noted, however, that this presentation is merely a literal recreation of Stepin Fetchit's own screen persona which was, itself, a caricature. (It should also be noted that Lincoln Perry, who created the character, was the first black actor to receive a screen credit and the first to become a millionaire. He may not have been politically correct but he knew his audience.) As animation, however, "The Old Mill Pond" seems a little flat. To today's audiences, used to computer-generated 3-D images, it will certainly seem dated. More importantly, it pales in comparison with the avant garde surrealism of contemporaneous Max Fleischer "Betty Boop" cartoons such as "Minnie the Moocher." Still, it is meticulously drawn, with humor and respect for its characters. While it may not benefit from performances of the actual artists it portrays, it is still one of the few cartoons to depict a number of musical performers who might otherwise be unknown to today's audiences and deserves its place in history.