First class, second class

About a hundred thousand years ago, I saw several episodes of the International Festival of Animation on teevee, with Jean Marsh as host. Some of the short films were wonderful; others were tedious. As the show progressed, the proportion of the latter increased, and I eventually lost patience. My favorite was a piece called “Second Class Passenger,” an account of an uneventful train ride in Europe. Once I discovered YouTube, I’d search periodically to see if someone had uploaded it. I finally found it this afternoon.

“Traveller Second Class” was released in 1973 by Borivoj Dovnikovic, or “Bordo,” of the Zagreb school of animation. There’s quite a bit of Zagreb animation at YouTube, including more of Dovnikovic. It’s sometimes good — the character designs and slapstick often remind me of Jay Ward productions — but too often the fun is compromised by an excess of message. The train ride is the only example I can unreservedly recommend.