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Western Animation / The Dingles

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The Dingles is a 1988 Canadian animated short based on a book by Helen Levchuk, directed by Les Drew for National Film Board of Canada.
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Its titular characters are an old woman named Doris Dingle and her only companions: Donna the snobby Siamese, DeeDee who likes to tap Doris' cheek with her paw, and all-around good guy Dayoh. The four live a carefree and idyllic life, but one day, a huge storm suddenly arrives and nearly threatens to put an end to their usual routine.

You can view the short here.


Tropes:

  • Alliterative Name: Doris Dingle and, assuming the short's title could refer to all four of the characters, her cats.
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming: All of the characters' names start with the letter D.
  • Anthropomorphic Zig-Zag: Donna, DeeDee and Dayoh, who often show human characteristics like walking on their hind legs, grasping objects with their front paws, etc.
  • Artistic License – Biology: The earthworm seen in the opening and closing credits has visible Black Bead Eyes. Real-life earthworms don't.
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  • A Storm Is Coming: Immediately after everyone finishes breakfast and tend to themselves, a storm comes and disrupts their wonderful day.
  • Big Storm Episode
  • Black Bead Eyes: All of the characters except Donna (and the poodle that is briefly seen being blown away by the storm) have these.
  • Buried Alive: The wind tips over a bag of peat moss which buries Dayoh as he is digging to... somewhere (possibly his unfinished hole to China).
  • Cool Old Lady: Doris formulates a plan to make her way into the house along with her cats - by ripping her apron into three pieces and tying them around each of the cats.
    Narrator: But even though Doris was very scared, she had a plan...
  • Crazy Cat Lady: Who else but Doris Dingle?
  • Creative Closing Credits: The credits show the earthworm seen earlier in the opening credits, sleeping alongside the credits. At one point, it is seen sleeping on top of Raymond Dumas' name in the "Animation Camera" section, and falls down when it fades away. Finally, the credits end by fading to a picture of Doris holding her cats.
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  • Digging to China: After digging loads of holes leading to several countries, Dayoh then proceeds to dig one leading to China. We don't see him ending up there though, but judging by the flags he marked the other holes with, it's implied that he showed up at the countries he dug to.
  • Fear of Thunder: Donna is frightened by a lightning bolt viewed outside the house from a window and hides under a rug and then into Doris' dress, clinging onto the woman's panties.
  • Furry Reminder: The cats groom their paws with their tongues during the scene where Doris relaxes in the bathtub.
  • Go-to-Sleep Ending: The short ends with Doris and her cats settling into bed at night.
  • Harmless Electrocution: Once the Dingles make their way to the front door during the storm, a lightning bolt strikes a fence and bounces off to them. All it does is send them, sans DeeDee, flying through the door.
  • Instant Wristwatch: DeeDee briefly looks at her wristwatch when the narrator finishes this line:
    "After eating, they would drink catnip tea in the sunshine, then go about their business in the backyard."
  • High on Catnip: Averted. The catnip tea that the three felines drink does not seem to affect them in the slightest.
  • Human Knot: At the end of the credits, the sleeping earthworm crawls back into its hole, unaware of the fact that its tail is tied in a knot.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Again, Doris Dingle. The narrator's dialogue at the beginning says it best.
    "Doris Dingle had three cats: Dayoh, Donna and DeeDee, and she loved them with all her heart."
  • Mood Whiplash: The storm that sets off the conflict of the short.
  • Narrator: The short has one.
  • Nice Hat: Doris wears a white cap with an unnaturally-oversized brim.
  • Out Of Control Popcorn: DeeDee's breakfast cereal, for some odd reason, is a bowlful of popcorn that continuously pops out of the bowl after Doris pours milk on the bowl.
  • Panty Shot: The wind causes Doris' skirt to be blown upward, revealing her panties before she pushes it down.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: "Ride of the Valkyries" by Richard Wagner starts playing as the cats approach Doris and hold on tight onto her.
  • Sphere Eyes: Donna has these. So does the poodle being blown away by the storm.
    • Doris herself briefly gains these when she freaks out in one scene, and Dayoh briefly gains sphere eyes as he brings over Donna and DeeDee while preparing to cling onto Doris.
  • Spot of Tea: Doris serves her cats catnip tea after they finish their breakfast.
  • The End: This is the very last thing said by the narrator at the end of the short.
  • The One Guy: Dayoh is the only male character in the short.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Dayoh does a cartwheel at one point as he gets ready to jump on Doris in response to her calling his name.
  • Wingding Eyes: The cats (including the flamingo statue Dayoh is clinging on for dear life) get + eyes as they get blown to the fence, hit it and slide down, one-by-one. Then, immediately after the cats peek out from the rubble pile against the fence, Donna gets + eyes again when a trash can lid lands on her head.
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