5.3/10
183
13 user 1 critic

Clean Pastures (1937)

Approved | | Family, Animation, Short | 22 May 1937 (USA)
The Lord sees that the stock value of "Pair-o-dice" is dropping on the exchange so he dispatches a slow-witted and slow-talking angel to sinful Harlem to recruit new customers. When this ... See full summary »

Director:

Friz Freleng (as I. Freleng)
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Mel Blanc ... Al Jolson / The Devil (voice) (uncredited)
The Four Blackbirds The Four Blackbirds ... Vocal Group (voice) (uncredited)
Danny Webb Danny Webb ... Various (voice) (uncredited)
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Storyline

The Lord sees that the stock value of "Pair-o-dice" is dropping on the exchange so he dispatches a slow-witted and slow-talking angel to sinful Harlem to recruit new customers. When this fails, God finds success sending a group of musical angels with a little more swing in their style, so much so that even the Devil wants to join up! Written by P. Silvestro

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Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 May 1937 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the "Censored 11" banned from T.V. syndication by United Artists in 1968 (then the owners of the Looney Tunes film library) for alleged racism. Ted Turner continued the ban when he was hired and stated that these films will not be re-issued and will not be put on Home Video. These cartoons will probably never air on television again, and only non-Warner Bros. licensed public domain video tapes will probably ever have these cartoons on them. See more »

Connections

References The Singing Fool (1928) See more »

Soundtracks

Rhythm
Sung by various characters
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of the better, most entertaining, most energetic and generally least offensive "Censored 11" cartoons
30 October 2016 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Was put off seeing 'Clean Pastures' due to its low rating and that it's one of the "Censored 11" cartoons withheld from syndication for being deemed as having offensive content.

However, as somebody who also trusted those defending the cartoon, due to them being from people well-respected by myself and also as somebody who has actually enjoyed some of the "Censored 11" cartoons, 'Clean Pastures' got the benefit of the doubt with an open mind treatment. While one can absolutely understand why some would be offended or dislike it now, to me it is one of the better "Censored 11" cartoons.

There are "Censored 11" with far more offensive stereotypes, such as 'Angel Puss', 'Hittin' the Trail for Hallelujah Land', 'Jungle Jitters' and 'All This and Rabbit Stew'. There are also far duller ones than 'Clean Pastures', again 'Angel Puss' and 'Hittin' the Trail for 'Hallelujah Land', and ones that forget to entertain like all three of the cartoons just listed as cartoons more offensive.

Not that 'Clean Pastures' is perfect. The Steppin Fetchit-like angel character is disastrously executed. Not just because of the character being racially offensive, with an agreed "I hate my race" vibe but the character is also very obnoxious, unfunny, ineptly lazy (which is a common stereotype of the time with the portrayal of black people admittedly, but it is one that's overused, unflattering and to me it's not true either) and poorly drawn. Am not a fan of exaggerated character features usually, and 'Clean Pastures' is not an exception, the big lips for example just look gross and ugly.

Most of the animation is very good indeed, much of it is beautifully drawn and meticulously detailed in the backgrounds and vibrant use of colour. The best thing about 'Clean Pastures' is the soundtrack, which is incredibly infectious (jazz is a very catchy and quite sexy style of music) and just an amazing soundtrack on its own. Regarding the issue of racism, only the Steppin Fetchit caricature is in poor taste, compared to the stereotypes of 'Jungle Jitters' for example and considering the context this is one of the tamer "Censored 11" cartoons outside of that character.

'Clean Pastures' makes up for this issue by being very entertaining, especially with the soundtrack and recognising the caricatures and their roles in the story, instead of forgetting to entertain like 'Angel Puss' for example did. In fact, it is most in common with 'All This and Rabbit Stew' where there is a character that significantly brings the cartoon down but the cartoon is still very funny and clever, very like 'Clean Pastures'. As well as being one of the most energetic along with 'Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarfs' and 'Goldilocks and the Three Jivin' Bears'. The voice acting is very good.

In conclusion, not a bad cartoon at all and one of the better "Censored 11" cartoons. 7/10 Bethany Cox


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