Whilst Aragon, Breton and Bunuel launched an art revolution in Europe, the huddled massess pressed togther and escaped various forms of oppression. They travelled away from the old countries and journeyed to the newly formed territories.
In their wake they brought old European stories to new shores. Assembled as morality stories for the newly formed nation. They also provided a folk history. Whereas the old European pioneers had traversed the highways and byways to collect old stories, music and culture to create new the European nations sense of being themselves, in America this could be collated on film and sent to every small town in Nebraska and Winsconsin so the Swedes, Germans, Poles and Latvians could learn the American way.
These collected shorts work another particular form of magic. They are beautiful haunting vignettes of life spliced together in the 1930's. Humanistic morality tales about being receptive to danger, the power of transcendence, imbued with a dry humour and a crackling magical sensoria.
Junior 1 and 2 are transfixed at these old tales of foxes, chickens, cats, geese, cats, fish and humans dwelling on; the morality, stories and colour. 80 years later these vignettes of life still sing the same songs to children.
Look closely and these tales deal with child abuse, greed, vanity, belief and hope all hidden within a careful subtext. Modern cartoons with some exceptions feel like a morality lecture as good triumphs over evil especially the "shorts."
Fleischer transcends a one dimensional message to show how evil can be overcome through communal action rather than waiting for a solitary hero to arise. This provides a broad hint in signposting the hidden meaning.
These shorts also work on a humorous level. They transport the watcher to a surreal world. Travelling backwards in time to a land of upheavel.