Tuesday, 13 September 2011

The Rover Dangerfield Combine

We're currently in the midst of harvest season, an important time here in Saskatchewan. I went on a trip down to Craik last Saturday to have dinner with some relatives, and seeing the farmers out harvesting with their combines inspired me. I remembered my childhood, and one strange, surreal, twisted, disturbing, unforgettable animated moment that has to be seen to be believed:

The Rover Dangerfield combine.

video

Yeah, THAT doesn't happen when something is picked up by a combine. I have relatives who have run over skunks with these things, and THIS isn't the way they tell it. Like they sing on Phineas and Ferb, cold hard reality can get in the way. Maybe all this goes without saying for people who are smarter than me, but considering what the rest of the film is like, I have no reason not to expect the worst. In context of the film, this moment of unbridled cartoonyness just doesn't belong! 
A Combine harvester is designed to cut down grain stalks, and like any other dignified grain threshing machine, crush the seeds out of them. They are full of sharp metal pointy parts, so a brutal pulverising is imminent. The pipe-like unloader is usually mounted on the right side of the combine, and is lined with sharp metal auger flighting. I'm pretty sure they aren't that flexible.
And what the hell is up with those sound effects?!? They're even more disturbing than the visuals! Is that sound supposed to be the combine or the dog??
A more accurate depiction of this is provided by that cat and mouse duo who always get it right, no matter how gruesome, Itchy and Scratchy:


The featured combine appears to be an International Harvester machine, judging by the windows.
The venerable 'IH' symbol has been replaced with an MC in the film. Perhaps a reference to Matthew O'Callaghan working on this sequence?

For those of you who don't know what Rover Dangerfield is, I'll step aside and let a professional elaborate on it:

I don't hate the film as much as the Critic. I grew up watching this; it's a part of me. Regardless, it's not without its flaws wacky combines.

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