Saturday, December 31, 2011

Starting the new year with shorts

I'm sorry to see that I didn't post this before. But TCM has actually done a fairly conscientious job of remembering to include the shorts it will be showing, at least for the first couple of days of the new year.

Pete Smith, whom I've mentioned a couple of times in the past, shows up with a pair of shorts early in the morning on January 1. First, just after King Kong (ie. just after 8:00 AM), is Donkey Baseball. When I was a kid, I remmeber that one of the fundraisers the local school would put on every few years was "donkey basketball", in which a team of middle school kids would play against the teachers. The name, as you can probably guess, implies that the two teams were playing basketball, except that the players were riding donkeys. The short Donkey Baseball implies that this is baseball instead of basketball, but with the players riding donkeys.

After the following feature Swing Time (around 10:00 AM), there's another Pete Smith specialty, Swing High. This one looks a bit more interesting, being about a family of trapeze artists.

Last but not least, after Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (or around 12:25 PM), TCM is airing the Traveltalks short on Washington DC, filmed in 1940. One of the interesting things about this ones is the relatively positive things it says about Japan having given Washington the cherry trees -- the short was filmed the year before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

I don't think any of these are on DVD, which is a bit of a shame; the Traveltalks shorts at least would be good additions to features set in the same locations that Traveltalks visits.

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