SUMMARY: When its traffic problems get out of hand, the city of Anyburg puts a series of automobiles on trial in judicial court.
WHY IT’S HERE: Disney’s ‘The Story of Anyburg U.S.A.’ was an early example of a cartoon tackling the dangers of the growing number of cars on the road, a subject which became popular in animation in subsequent years in shorts like Halas and Batchelor’s ‘Automania 2000’. However, ‘The Story of Anyburg U.S.A.’ examines the problem from a different angle, lamenting not the excessiveness of automobiles on the road but the culpability of drivers themselves in accidents. The clever concept places the cars themselves on trial, with a not guilty verdict being passed by virtue of the jury being made to realise that cars are only made into dangerous weapons by mankind’s irresponsibility. ‘The Story of Anyburg U.S.A.’ criticises drink driving, speeding and carelessness behind the wheel, with a particularly effective scene seeing apparently normal people convicted of motoring offences morphing into deadly killers wielding weapons.