John Sibley

The Story of Anyburg U.S.A. (1957, Clyde Geronimi)

The Story of Anyburg U.S.A. is an odd one. A small town decides to sue cars–personified here as cute, the windshields as big eyes–for all the auto accidents.

Sadly, Anyburg opens with a lot more energy–the narrator goes on and on about homicides on the highway and such and it doesn’t seem Disney at all.

A lengthy courtroom sequence, with some really bad rhyming dialogue, takes up the rest of the cartoon. As the prosecutor brings up witless witnesses, Anyburg‘s point is clear–people are responsible, not the cars.

Well, duh.

But were Americans in the fifties really willing to take responsibility for themselves? Anyburg makes it seem possible, if not probable.

The animation is fantastic–the courtroom scene’s dynamic, as are the car sequences–but it’s hard to get enthusiastic about the cartoon. Geronimi doesn’t bring any entertainment to the public service announcement.

1/3Not Recommended


Directed by Clyde Geronimi; written by Dick Huemer; animated by Bob Carlson, George Kreisl and John Sibley; music by Joseph Dubin; produced by Walt Disney; released by Buena Vista Film Distribution Co.

Starring Hans Conried (Prosecutor), Thurl Ravenscroft (Cyrus P. Sliderule) and Bill Thompson (Defense Attorney).

Grand Canyonscope (1954, Charles A. Nichols)

In Grand Canyonscope, Donald Duck is the typical disrespectful, annoying American tourist. What’s funny about the cartoon is how–in 1954–it was one in every bunch of tourists… whereas now it’s the inverse.

The cartoon’s in CinemaScope and director Nichols uses the width to mixed effect. There are some great iconic frames of the Grand Canyon, which eventually gets destroyed, but the action in those frames doesn’t need to be CinemaScope.

After Doanld’s initial acts of casual disrespect, things get much worse. But it’s not Donald’s fault. It’s dimwit Ranger Woodlore, yet Canyonscope blames Donald for all the destruction.

Since Nichols’s CinemaScope direction is so flash in the pan, there’s really nothing to recommend the cartoon. It has no comedic gags, except a great sight gag of small planetoid Woodlore on a mule, just chases through the imagery.

Still, there’s good voice work from Clarence Nash and Bill Thompson.

1/3Not Recommended


Directed by Charles A. Nichols; written by Milt Schaffer and Nick George; animated by John Sibley and Julius Svendsen; music by Oliver Wallace; produced by Walt Disney; released by RKO Radio Pictures.

Starring Clarence Nash (Donald Duck) and Bill Thompson (Ranger J. Audubon Woodlore).

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