The Draft Horse

“Raise left foreleg!”

Supervision by Charles M. Jones; Story by Ted Pierce; Animation by Robert Cannon; Musical Supervision by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released in 1942.

A short very important in the history of Mr. Jones, as it was the first time he wasn’t trying to be Disney.

A horse (Not named like we’ve come to expect. I’m calling him Stallone. It’s a clever name for a stallion) is happily plowing a field. But he then sees a poster asking for horses for the war. Feeling fully patriotic, he bids the farmer farewell, and heads to the recruitment office. (The plow still attached and driving a gap through the countryside) There, he shows off how great he’d be on the battlefield to the major. He imitates guns firing, bombs dropping and even his own heroic death. The Major even tears up before remembering that the horse is still alive. He orders it to strip. Stallone  does so as sexily as he can. (Which to another male, isn’t any. But plenty funny) He is scrubbed down by a soldier… Well I’ll be! It’s Private Snafu! Making his first appearance! Stallone is ticklish though, and doesn’t stand still. When getting a physical,he screams when told to say, “ah.” When told to lift various limbs, he does so without putting any of the previous down. He doesn’t fall until he’s told he can’t float. (Except, as a toon, he definitely can.) When all is said and done, the poor horse is rejected. As he mopes, he accidentally wanders onto a sham battlefield where a sham war is being held. (What a sham pain.) He runs around in fear from the cannons, tanks and bombs. He agrees that he is not quite ready to be drafted. So back to plowing? Hardly! Still as patriotic as ever, he takes to knitting sweaters for the troops. (And it takes a lot of patriotism to knit with hooves.)

Personal Rating: 3

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