Raggedy Ann and Andy

03/26/24 (SpaceHey Repost)

I saw that old Raggedy Ann movie last night and I thought it was worthy making a post about.

It's a cult classic for a reason. The best part of the film was the animation, by a long shot. I couldn't give a name or even begin to describe how fluid everything feels. Ann and Andy move like actual ragdolls, the french doll moves stiffly, the worn-out camel really seems like he's on the verge of breaking apart at any moment - It's one of the best-looking, most skillfully animated movies I've seen, and how can you not love a movie that puts its animators right in the opening credits, giving them the recognition they deserve?

The other best part of the movie is Ann and Andy themselves. They're incredibly endearing, with this soft-spoken, heartfelt attitude about them, and what makes it even better is that they act like real kids, with Ann sounding out words like reading is a concept she hasn't fully grasped yet, and Andy concerned over being too girly. Just by themselves they make the movie worth watching and I wish they both got more of a character arc.

Everything else though... eh?

The very beginning and the very end of the movie are quite solid, but the middle really drags. You could probably cut the entire section with the Greedy out of the film and the story wouldn't miss a beat. The whole journey through the forest is so surreal that it's almost like watching Fantasia rather than a film with an actual plot, and I don't know if I liked it. I think I definitely would have preferred something more coherent.

Like in Toy Story (which was probably heavily inspired by this film, come to think of it) you had the twisted neighborhood boy next door, Sid, to serve as an indirect antagonist, and this film needed something like that. The Greedy just wasn't doin' it for me and the King of Loony Land was okay, but seemed kinda out of nowhere. They feel out of place - the toys become live-action dolls when humans are around, what do all the weird things in the forest look like to humans?

Oh yeah, speaking of Loony Land, it sucks. Worst part of the movie, easily. It's just harsh, discordant shrieking, equally awful sound effects, and cruel laughter. I wanted them to shut up more than the king did. And this isn't me as an adult, I hated stuff like that as a kid too, I'd always cover my ears when things were too loud or obnoxious-sounding.

I've heard a lot of people say they like the songs, but I really only liked 'No Girl's Toy'. The rest are kinda forgettable. Also, did the camel actually contribute anything? Ann says he 'saved their lives' but did he really? They wouldn't have even gotten into the situation with the Greedy if he hadn't been hallucinating and ignored their calls to stop.

Anyway, even though this movie is really weird and there's a lot I don't like about it, I'm happy I saw it. It's a memorable film, if nothing else. It's kinda sad to think that a lot of the animation techniques on display here have been lost to time. It's honestly disgraceful that animation is a medium invented by Americans, and yet due to massive consolidation of the industry into one or two behemoths and the general elitism of modern art culture, no one remembers most of the techniques we invented anymore, and countries like Japan are picking up the slack as a result.

Give this movie a watch! It's free on youtube, and it deserves the attention!