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Flowers and Trees

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Title: Flowers and Trees  
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Subject: Silly Symphony, Walt Disney, 1932 in film, Silly Symphonies, Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film
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Flowers and Trees

Flowers and Trees
Silly Symphonies series
theatrical release poster
Directed by Burt Gillett
Produced by Walt Disney
Animation by Les Clark
David Hand
Tom Palmer
Studio Walt Disney Productions
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) July 30, 1932
Color process Technicolor
Running time 8 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Preceded by Just Dogs
Followed by King Neptune

Flowers and Trees is a 1932 Silly Symphonies cartoon produced by Walt Disney, directed by Burt Gillett, and released to theatres by United Artists on July 30, 1932. It was the first commercially released film to be produced in the full-color three-strip Technicolor process after several years of two-color Technicolor films.

Flowers and Trees was already in production as a black-and-white cartoon before Disney saw Herbert Kalmus' three-strip Technicolor tests. Deciding that Flowers and Trees would make a perfect test for the process, he had the black-and-white footage scrapped and the short redone in color. The color Flowers and Trees was a commercial and critical success, winning the first Academy Award for Animated Short Subjects.

As a result of the success of Flowers and Trees, all future Silly Symphonies cartoons were produced in three-strip Technicolor. The added novelty of color helped to boost the series' previously disappointing returns. Disney's other cartoon series, the Mickey Mouse shorts, were deemed successful enough not to need the extra boost of color, remaining in black-and-white until The Band Concert (1935).

Disney's exclusive contract with Technicolor, in effect until the end of 1935, forced other animators such as Ub Iwerks and Max Fleischer to use Technicolor's inferior two-color process or a competing two-color system such as Cinecolor.

Plot

During spring the flowers, mushrooms, and trees do their calisthenics. Some trees play a tune, using vines for harp strings and a chorus of robins. A fight breaks out between a grouchy-looking hollow tree and a younger, healthier tree for the attentions of a female tree. The young tree emerges victorious, but the hollow tree retaliates by starting a fire. The plants and animals try to extinguish or evade the blaze. By poking holes in clouds and making it rain, the birds manage to put out the fire, although the hollow tree perishes in the flames. The young tree then proposes to the female tree, with a caterpillar serving as a ring, and they embrace as a rainbow forms behind them.

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