HN movie critic Amanda Ronan finds a lot to love about The Small One, a short Walt Disney film originally shown in theaters as a prelude to Pinnocchio.
I have cried during three movies: Black Beauty (Ginger! Why?!?), Marley and Me (Marley! Why?!?), and Titanic (don’t judge me). But NEVER have I started crying eight minutes into a film… until now.
The Small One (1978) is a short film created by Walt Disney Productions. It was originally shown in theaters before the film, Pinocchio.
The cartoon begins with Small One, an old donkey, and his loyal boy during their morning farm chores. Small One is old and tired, though, and can’t keep up with the younger, bigger, stronger donkeys.
The boy’s father insists that Small One be sold. They simply cannot afford to feed a donkey that can’t work.
The boy says that he will take Small One to town himself, so that he can find him a good home. He then sits brushing Small One as he sings about finding him the perfect new owner with a “friendly face.” Grab the tissue box, folks!
The next morning, Small One and the boy head in to town to meet prospective buyers. First up is this scary guy….
The man offers the boy a piece of silver for Small One but also reveals that he is the local tanner! Run! Run, Small One, run!
The potter, the baker, and the candlestick maker… no one is in need of a donkey. So, the boy heads to the “jolly” auctioneer.
The auction idea doesn’t go well. Small One and the boy are chased off the stage and into a dark alley.
Will Small One ever find a new home? You’ll (sob) just (sob) have to wait and see!
Disney does not disappoint with The Small One. It’s a beautiful morality tale about being kind, gentle and loving, but its message is not overt like some annoying modern cartoons i.e. anthropomorphized vegetables.
As equestrians we can all relate to the subject matter. We all hope to find that perfect “friendly face” when we decide to rehome one of our beloved horses or donkeys.
I give The Small One a perfect 4 out of 4 Horseshoes.