Why Play Leap Frog? (film #3 on An American Retrospective Through Animation (Moviecraft, 1994). Also, in the Ephemeral section of Open Video Project. Also, film #1681 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Industrial]

What plays leap frog are wages and prices in a capitalist economy, as this film patiently explains to its Meet King Joe-like hero, an employee at the Dilly Doll Company who gets upset after getting a raise and then finding out the price has gone up on his own company's product (this must have been the days before employee discounts). The explanation given for inflation is that labor costs so darn much. Essentially, the doll's higher price is directly attributed to worker Joe's raise, a depressing message to the workers this film was aimed at. But a way out is presented in the form of technology––advances in manufacturing technology increase productivity and this supposedly keeps wages ahead of prices. I don't know much about economic theory, but this seems awfully simplistic and convenient to business owners. Besides that, the film has the patronizing tone of Meet King Joe. I doubt if many workers really bought this.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ***.

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