"I'm absolutely certain you're going to need a strait-jacket."
"The Unicorn in the Garden"
"The unicorn is a mythical beast."
is a 1953
animated short directed by William T. Hurtz, produced by UPA
, and released through Columbia Pictures
. The short is based directly on James Thurber
's short story of the same name, originally published in The New Yorker
magazine on October 21, 1939, and later collected in Fables For Our Time and Famous Poems Illustrated
(1940). The short closely imitates the style of the author's own illustrations and cartoons. Like many of Thurber's fictions, "The Unicorn in the Garden" deals with the fundamental conflict between men and women, and the romantic vs
. practical mindset represented by each, respectively.
This short occupies the 48th place on the list of The 50 Greatest Cartoons
- Animated Adaptation: Inverted. There is a live-action rendition of this short, which cleverly chooses not to show the unicorn itself. Watch it here.
- Aside Glance
- Cassandra Truth: The husband telling his wife about the unicorn, and later what the wife tells the psychiatrist and the police.
- Catch Phrase: The unicorn is a mythical beast.
- Have a Gay Old Time: Some younger viewers may not realize that "booby" here has nothing to do with breasts, but refers to the mentally ill: the "booby-hatch" is an insane asylum.
- Henpecked Husband
- Limited Animation: The 'toon is extremely sylized, as was typical of all UPA animation. In this particular case, this may be because the style is that of the original story's author.
- Lohengrin and Mendelssohn: Felix Mendelssohn's Wedding March plays — as the wife is being carried off to the asylum, no less!
- Spoof Aesop: Don't count your boobies until they are hatched.
- Unicorn: Which is, of course, a mythical beast.
- What Could Have Been: UPA planned to adapt more of Thurber's stories, including a feature film of The White Deer. Sadly, it was not to be.