How many biblical cartoons has Disney made? I’m not sure, really, but four come to mind off the top of my head. And with the exception of The Small One (1978), which comes out on DVD next month, they were all based on the story of Noah’s Ark.
The first, Father Noah’s Ark (1933), came out four years ago on the Silly Symphonies two-disc set; and the third was the Donald Duck sequence set to Elgar’s ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ in Fantasia 2000 (1999); and it is interesting to see how the earlier film packs in more biblical details, like the names of Noah’s sons (or even just the fact that he had any!), and how the later film recycles at least one of the earlier film’s gags (it involves rabbits). But I have never seen Noah’s Ark (1959), an Oscar-nominated stop-motion cartoon — rare for Disney, I believe — in which most of the animals were created out of household and office items such as corks and paper clips.
Well, it looks like I may get my chance to see that film soon. The newest additions to the “Walt Disney Treasures” series have been announced, and one set — Disney Rarities: Celebrated Shorts, 1920s – 1960s — will include this cartoon. Hurray! This announcement would make my day, if it weren’t for the fact that it has been eclipsed by the news that The Chronological Donald, Volume Two (1942-1946) is also coming out in December!