How to Play Football (1944)

How to Play Football (1944)

Released: 1944
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Genre
Director: Jack Kinney
Starring: Billy Bletcher, ,
Run time: 7 min
IMDb: 7.2/10
Country: USA
Views: 173261


It’s Taxidermy Tech vs. Anthropology A&M for this introduction to college football (first piece of special equipment needed: a campus covered in ivy). Among the names borrowed for players: Clyde Geronimi, Don DaGradi, ‘John Sibley’, Claude Smith.
Written by
Jon Reeves <[email protected]>
User Reviews: During the 1940’s, most of the cartoons in the Goofy series demonstrated, satirically, how to play a sport. These are known as the How to cartoons.

This genre was actually inspired by Tex Avery’s spot gag cartoons he did at WB. They would feature a droll off-screen narrator explaining or demonstrating the nature of a scene, only for the opposite circumstance to occur. Tex’s colleagues credit him for the creation of this device and were honored that they (the Schlesinger studio) influenced Disney’s cartoons.

The Avery cartoon Screwball Football (1939) seems to be a chief inspiration for this short. The premise, characters, and gags are strikingly similar (the quarterback "barking" his signals is used almost verbatim). The Marx Brothers film Horse Feathers (1932) was also a likely influence as it carries the same kind of sensibility.

While Tex used literal and visual humor for shorts like this, Disney’s shorts of this genre subtly satirized the many aspects of game play and related cultural elements. (compare this short with Tex’s "Batty Baseball", which was released the same year).

The original credits, which were discovered a few years ago, show that the main titles were displayed on the scoreboard (Goofy head shot and all).

The shorts of this genre have aged well and sports fans will enjoy them.

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