Noah's Ark

A Special Cartoon

Release Date : November 10, 1959

Running Time : 20:40

Synopsis

A retelling of the Biblical story of Noah and the Ark.

Characters

Noah (II)
Noah's Wife (II)
Hem, Shem and Japeth (II)
Harry Hippo
Mrs. Hippo

Credits

Director
Bill Justice
Backgrounds
Ralph Hullet
Story
Thorton ("T") Hee
Music
George Bruns
Mel Leven
Narration
Jerome Courtland
Voices
Jeanne Gayle
James McDonald
Paul Frees
Styling
Thorton ("T") Hee
Xavier "X" Atencio
Techical Assistant
Jim Love
E. J. Sekac
Character Movement
Bill Justice
Xavier "X" Atencio

Source

Based on the story "Noah's Ark"

Awards

Nominated for an Academy Award (Short Subjects - Cartoons)

Video

United States
Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions I : Disney's Best : The Fabulous 50's

CED

Limited Gold Editions - Disney's Best - The Fabulous Fifttes

Laserdiscs

Japan
The Fabulous Fifties : Limited Gold Editions

DVD

United States
Disney Rarities: Celebrated Shorts, 1920s - 1960s

Television

Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 66

Technical Specification

Color Type: Technicolor
Animation Type: Stop Motion Animation
Sound Mix: Mono
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Negative Format: 35mm
Print Format: 35mm
Cinematographic Process: Spherical
Original Language: English

Comments

From Calvin Daprice : I thought this short was pretty stupid. Not because of the animation (that was better than creative) I just didn't like the boring plot of it. I tell ya, in these later years, Disney sure didn't make very many good shorts.
From Andrew Leal : This was one of the only Disney shorts that was stop-motion animated, the only other one I know of being Tim Burton's 1980's short Vincent. Bill Justice (who excelled at stop-motion animation and also directed the Nursery Sequence in "Mary Poppins" and the opening titles for such comedies as "Shaggy Dog," "Parent Trap," and "The Misadventures of Merlin Jones") did a marvelous job with the stylized figures. I particularly enjoyed the cork Hippos. This short is now rather forgotten, but in my opinion is still quite charming. The songs are sprightly, although perhaps too numerous, as they seem to replace the plot. Jerome Courtland's narration is simple and competent, but the great Paul Frees did a fine job as Noah, and also provided the serious voice of God and was heard briefly (one line) as Mrs. Noah. Jeanne Cayle as Mrs. Hippo does a fine job belting out the song with the cleverest lyrics. The views of the ark awash at sea were also quite inventive, and the opening credit titles alone make this short worthwhile. Though perhaps not in a league with earlier classics such as The Band Concert, "Noah's Ark" was a worthy experiment and deserved its 1949 Oscar nomination for best short.
From Brian Swan : The first time I saw this, it came as a considerable surprise as I was not expecting the stop-action animation (actually, this was before I knew that Disney had done two Noah's Arks, and what I thought I was going to see was what I now know to be the '33 Silly Symphony). I was amazed. Justice was an excellent early pioneer of stop-action, but more than the filming technique itself, I still find the REAL genius of this piece to be the creativity used in "building" the animals from the very mundane household items. The storytelling may not be the most compelling ever done by the Disney studios, but to this day I enjoy watching it for the pure creativity of the process.
From Jeremy Fassler : I just watched this short for the first time today and was very impressed by it. I think it's even better than its companion piece, Father Noah's Ark. The jazz music by George Bruns helps the short immensely, and the expressive animation is a lot of fun to watch. You look at the hippos and go "oh my god they're made of corks and peanut shells!" I would absolutely rank this among my very favorite Disney shorts, and it absolutely deserved its Academy Award nomination (it fortunately lost to one of my all time favorite cartoons, "Moonbird").
From Baruch Weiss : Not a bad cartoon. Its quite a transformation form the traditional ink and paint to household appliances!
From Billy Joe : This is a teriffic way to retell the popular biblical story Noah's Ark. The short's artists animated it out of office supplies. The stop motion animation is extraordinary. Miss Hippo's song wasn't too nescessary, but this retelling of the old story is a must-see.
From Da Von : I thought this short was an okay interpretation of the Bible tale. It's the first departure away from Disney's usual animation style and the stop-motion animation in this short is good, but for some reason I thought the stop-motion in the musical segments of "A Symposium on Popular Songs" was better. Maybe that's because it's not necessarily due to or about the movements of the characters in one short being better than the other, don't get me wrong. I may be phrasing this the wrong way, but actually it could just be more on the material used to create the characters in Noah's Ark that I 'm having a little trouble getting passed, because it just seems so odd to me. Part of the animation used in Symposium is stop-motion too, but at least it still felt and seemed like traditionally hand-drawn, 2D animation somewhat, due to both involving the animation being done on paper. The effects (or special effects) done on the characters from both shorts are fine and well-done, so I take that back, because my real qualm is on the material used to build and design the characters in this short. It's still a nice experiment and departure nonetheless and I just probably need a while to get used to it though, that's really all that is. Because I really believe what somebody wrote that this was a surprising departure away from Disney's normal animation style. Well, the Rutabaga Rag segment was the only one in Symposium that didn't use paper to construct the characters, so again I take the animating part back. Anyway, I hope that somebody is right when he/she typed that Noah's Ark will dispel all the nasty rumors about Walt. For all of you who are new to this short, it might take while to grow on you if you're expecting something different or the opposite. I'll just say that I thought and found the short to be good, not really great, I'll leave it at that and let you all see and decide for yourselves.

Referenced Comments