Silly Symphonies

film 12 of 61

The Spider and the Fly

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jul 6, 2015

Here’s the power of protagonism for you. By starting with these flies, which come from maggots, and spending time with these flies, which spread all manner of noxious disease, we end up sympathetic to these flies, which I believe eat their food and then throw it up and thus spread contagion all across the face of the earth and then we die.

Of course it’s the heroine that gets endangered and then saved. That’s a go-to conflict in the Sillies, and it’s going to start to pale pretty quickly. Good thing it doesn’t always make for passive and one-dimensional female characters, or young men who get their signals crossed and trip themselves up when it comes to their real relations with actual girls. This is going to pale, but it’s pretty serviceable here because the energy with which it’s all put across.

There’s a funny running thread gag. There’s a very impressively staged climactic battle. The bombs-away shots are great. In fact there’s so much good rousing stuff here, you’d think that it could and even should have carried the same reassuring message and gotten as much adulatory attention as The Three Little Pigs. It’s probably the lack of colour. Still, very worth attending to.