306. Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom – Ward Kimball, Charles A. Nichols

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SUMMARY: An educational short about the evolution of the four orchestra sections down the ages.

WHY IT’S HERE: The extraordinary influence of the UPA shorts, with their simplistic designs and splashy colours, even reached the Disney studio and with ‘Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom’ it won them an Oscar. Walt apparently hated the more modernist style, having always been dedicated to pushing the limits of animated realism, but Disney did it as well as any of the other UPA imitators and never more prominently than here. ‘Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom’ is an educational short about music (following on from the shorter cartoon ‘Melody’, which featured many of the same characters) but it packs plenty of entertainment into its slightly extended 10 minute runtime too. While it is not quite as exhilarating as UPA’s bolder designs, ‘Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom’ makes its simplified style fit its educational theme, creating an enjoyable and informative experience that is still used by music teachers to this day.

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