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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Poe's Saturday Cartoon and Flashback: Tea for Two Hundred (1948)

While growing up as a kid in the 70s and 80s, Saturday belonged to Bugs Bunny, Scooby Doo, Fat Albert, The Pink Panther etc. Sunday on the other hand belonged to Micky Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Dumbo, Lady and the Tramp and all of the great characters you saw on The Wonderful World of Disney. Shown Sunday evenings, one could always count on those last few hours prior to bedtime before that first school night of the week to be filled with magic and fun. The Wonderful World of Disney ran on various networks for over 30 years, making it the second longest running prime-time show in the history of television. The classic cartoon compilations were always a favorite, particularly the ones that showcased Goofy or today's star of the the Saturday Cartoon: Donald Duck.

The Disney cartoon shorts from film's golden era were a hit and miss bunch. Compared to the fast paced and violent cartoons being produced at rival studios like Warner Brothers and MGM, the Disney shorts could seem rather tame at times. The exceptions were the shorts featuring Goofy and Donald Duck. Directors such as Jack Kinney and Jack Hannah increased the pace of their cartoons and put the Goof and Duck though some of the similar pacing that Bugs Bunny and Tom and Jerry were going through in their cartoons. Goofy's shorts were more consistent, but Donald could be just as funny, particularly when he was being a sadistic jerk, like in today's cartoon: Tea for Two Hundred. Produced in 1948 and directed by Donald's regular director, Jack Hannah, the short was nominated for an academy award. A bit racist at the beginning, the short was definitely a product of its time. Noteworthy for containing one of Donald's all time best "pissed off" moments. Enjoy!