January 7, 1944 – The Special Wartime Short Film The Pelican and the Snipe is Released to Theaters
“Whenever Monte dreams he’s a dive bomber, it’s little Vidi’s job to pull him out of dives.”
On January 7, 1944, the special short film The Pelican and the Snipe was released to theaters. The short was meant to be included as a segment in The Three Caballeros, but was released as a short film instead. It was directed by Hamilton Luske, and narrated by Sterling Holloway.
The short takes place in Montevideo, Uruguay, at a small lighthouse. Monte the Pelican and Vidi the Snipe have a job watching from the top of the lighthouse, but Monte has a major problem – he flies in his sleep. Vidi is tasked to watch over Monte while he sleeps. Poor tired Vidi falls asleep at one point, and that’s when Monte, dreaming that he’s a dive bomber, dives off the side of the lighthouse. Vidi quickly chases after him, preventing Monte from crashing into several large jagged rocks, flying into a shark’s mouth, and other spectacular scrapes. Night after night, Vidi watches over Monte, with Monte never knowing a thing. In the morning, Monte is annoyed when he finds Vidi so exhausted and sleeping. Poor Vidi can’t sleep during the day, however, thanks to the planes performing maneuvers around the lighthouse.
The next night, Vidi thinks he’s found a solution by tying one of Monte’s legs to one of his. However, all this does is pull Vidi along for the ride when Monte takes off for his sleep-flight adventure. Vidi manages to use the rope to keep Monte out of trouble, but poor Vidi is still exhausted. He comes up with one idea after another, but none of them seem to work, save for connecting Monte to an anchor. Unfortunately, Monte pulls the anchor off when he take flight, and lands in the ocean. Thinking that Vidi has just been playing pranks on him, Monte plans on getting even. Vidi tries to explain, but Monte doesn’t give him a chance to talk, and banishes a heartbroken Vidi from the lighthouse. That night, Monte’s problem resurfaces, and he starts soaring around with the air force, and gets his tail hit by one of the propellers. This jolts him awake, and then it finally dawns on him that he’d been flying in his sleep, and Vidi was only trying to protect him from harm. He then notices Vidi fast asleep on the target for bombing practice, and rushes to save the poor snipe from getting blown to smithereens. In the end, the two find a good solution – they tie Monte’s leg to the lighthouse, letting him circle around the lighthouse in his sleep to his heart’s content.