The Dynamite Brothers

 

Welcome Back! Today, we are reviewing “I Fratelli Dinamite;” also, known as “The Dynamite Brothers.” The Dynamite Brothers was released in 1949 in Italy. It is considered the first Italian feature-length animated film and the first Italian film in Technicolor.

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History:

It was directed by Nino and Toni Pagot (Calimero). The screenplay is by Attilio Giovannini (West and Soda, The SuperVips). The music is by Giuseppe Piazza. The production design is by Franco Cagnoli.

Production began in 1942, but was held back because of a bomb that destroyed the original drawings.

It premiered at the 10th Venice International Film Festival.

This is the only information I can find on the film.

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Setting:

Most likely Italy.

Characters:

So, there isn’t really a lot of information on the movie, and I can’t find any official names of the characters. The movie speaks too fast for me to understand anything. So, I gave the characters nicknames.

  • Dynamite Brothers: There is a red head, a blond, and a brunette. They all like to sing and play music. They like to play jokes. The red one is tough and is the leader of the group. The blond one isn’t very smart, but is very sweet. The brunette one is a quick thinker.
  • Animals: Adorable and nice. They like the brothers. Some rich people come and plan to turn them into clothing.
  • Rich People: Want to sell the animals as clothing. Become parents to the brothers.
  • Clowns: The henchmen of the Devil. They are very mean.
  • The Devil: The villain of the movie. He is evil and likes torture. His weakness is music.
  • Minor Characters: Other Children, Orchestra, and Little Girl

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Songs:

Again, don’t know the official names.

  • Singing to the Devil: The brothers try to stay alive by singing to the devil.
  • Pranks: Music is played while the brothers are pranking people.
  • Love: A beautiful operatic song that plays while couples are together.
  • The Ending: The song plays at the end of the movie.

Before the Movie:

I’ve never seen or heard of the film. Also, with the lack of information, I guess most people haven’t either. I’m not sure what to expect at all. Also, the movie is in Italian, and I can’t find any English subtitles. So, there’s that also.

Plot:

So, we have three “children” who are in a storm. They end up abandoned on an island. There is a cow there who drinks the rest of their liquor; while, the other three are passed out. Many animals surround them, and they start crying. Everyone starts eating, and then a gorilla kidnaps them. Then they go to sleep. Then some rich people come to the island. They plan on turning the animals into clothes. The children free the cow, but the rich lady catches them in a net. She turns the children into her children. She dresses and feeds them. The kids are a little older now and they pass by a circus. They end up going to the school. Children are enchanted by the circus’s music and continue to go there. The clowns kidnap the children. Then in a sort of creepy scene, the clowns whip a starving horse (you can see his bones) and they drive. They go through this sort of “graveyard” where there are children as ghosts crying out for their moms. The clowns laugh, the horse goes from white to red to black, and the brothers look on horrified. The children are kept in cages. The scene is very similar to Pinocchio. The man forces a kid into a suit that looks like a real-live animal. The man has a devil tail, so he might be the Devil. We shall nickname him Devil though. One of the children escapes, and there is a chase scene. The Devil almost shoots the kid with a gun, but misses because the brothers jump on him. The brothers start singing a song, and the Devil is enchanted by their singing. Basically, the Devil’s weakness is music. The brothers use that knowledge to get them and the other kids out of there. The brothers use dynamite and literally blow up the Devil and his house. Then they sing around his ashes. Then they leave. The brothers play pranks on people. Basically, after that the movie gets really weird. It is really weird and I’m not sure how to explain it. I think they just added the extra stuff to make the movie longer. Well, there is a little girl crying, because she lost her doll in the river. The brothers comfort her. Then they try to hang themselves, but it turns out they only went looking for the doll. The give the doll back to the little girl.

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Positive:

The animation is actually really good. It isn’t on Disney’s levels, but it is still good, especially since it is in the 1940s. I think the animation is similar to The Flintstones. Also, I really like the way that they designed the animal characters and the female characters. They are really cute. The scores are really good also. The movie only has a few songs, but they are nice.

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Negative:

Before, watching, there are children drinking and “nudity”, so if those things offend you, it is probably not best to watch the film. Also, there is a scene in the beginning of the movie, with drunken black sailors singing and drinking. The way those characters were designed resembles the blackface characters created during that time. I want to add that it is possible it isn’t racist, because maybe it is just how the artists draw or something like that. I speak some Italian, but I’m not fluent and they speak way too fast for me to understand them. The movie is in the 1940s, and those kinds of things were common, which might make it racist. So, basically what I’m trying to say is that it is possible that it isn’t racist, but it is also possible that it is racist. I’m not sure to be honest.

The movie is also a little scary. There is a scene similar to Pinocchio’s donkey scene which most people find scary. I’m guessing Italian films like to scare the children. It has ghosts as children, child slavery, and animal abuse. Also, the scene looks like they went to hell and there is the devil. There is also violence, a gun, a child nearly murdered, and death. So, if you find any of this offensive, then you probably shouldn’t watch the film.

This movie is really weird. I don’t have any problems with it except a few things bother me. The animals were going to be sold as clothes. So, the children rescue the cow, but they don’t care about the other animals. Did the animals escape or did they get turned into clothes? Also, the rich lady adopts the brothers. We see her take care of them when they are little, but after that she is rarely mentioned. Does she no longer care about her children or what? Basically, after the Devil gets killed, the movie gets really weird. The movie should’ve ended after that scene. The lesson could’ve been to not give into your desires and go to school or something like that. But, now I’m not sure what the point of the movie was. It was just weird.

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Overall Opinion:

The Dynamite Brothers is a weird movie. It isn’t bad, but it is just strange. There are a lot of things that people could take offense to. There is children drinking, sort of nudity, and possible stereotypical characters. There are children that are ghosts, child slavery, animal abuse, hell and the devil, violence, guns, and death. So, if any of those things offend you, then you should probably not watch the film. The movie is a little scary and there are a few shocking scenes. The movie is also funny. It has a lot of pranks similar to Looney Tunes. The movie is good for the first 40 minutes, but then it drags on. There are a few unanswered questions, but they aren’t that important. Also, there isn’t really a lesson to the movie. There isn’t exactly a point to the movie. Now, there are some things the movie is good at. The animation can be quite beautiful. They do a really good job. The animal and female characters are really well designed. The music is beautiful. Well, I wouldn’t recommend the movie to children. I don’t think it is really appropriate, but I think the movie is good for adults. It isn’t something that I would want to watch again, but it isn’t a bad film. Overall, I rate it as a B-.

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Favorite Character:

My favorite character is the cow. It only appears in the beginning, but I find the cow to be funny. The cow actually starts drinking and I thought that was funny.

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Favorite Song:

My favorite song is Love. It is a beautiful opera song. The singer is quite talented and she has such a beautiful voice. I don’t understand the words, but you can tell that the song is very beautiful.

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Favorite Scene:

My favorite scene is in the beginning, when the children meet all the animals. The scene is beautifully animated and I like the designs.

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What did you think of the movie? What was your favorite song?

Next, up would’ve been The Emperor’s Nightingale, but I can’t find it. It was released in 1949 in Czechoslovakia. It was stop motion and live-action. It was directed by Jiri Trnka and Milos Makovec.

So, the next movie is The Singing Princess. It was released in 1949 in Italy. It was directed by Anton Gino Domenighini. It is the last animated movie of the 1940s.

(I do not own pictures, videos, etc. My information came from Wikipedia, mubi.com, and IMDB).

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3 thoughts on “The Dynamite Brothers

  1. It most likely isn’t racist…the Blackface hasn’t the same meaning over here as it has in the US even to this day. I remember once reading a piece in which someone was shocked that “Germany celebrates the Blackface” and then figured out what the article meant was a special celebration in which children go from house to house dressed like the three kings from the bible…and since the third one is supposed to be black and there is a distinct lack of black people in German society (there are more nowadays but not everywhere) one of the children uses face paint to play the part.

    Yeah, I was also searching for the Emperor’s nightingale….the little I have seen of Jiri Tranka’s work is amazing, but it is nearly impossible to get you hands on it.

    I didn’t see this one, but I think I watched the singing Princess….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought so, but I wasn’t sure. Yes, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with your example. No one is intentionally being made of or anything. It is only for respect. Well, I’ve never seen his work, but I do know he has a few movies during the 1950s. The one is OK, but I did like The Singing Princess.

      Like

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