Flowers and Trees is a 1932 Silly Symphonies cartoon produced by Walt Disney, directed by Burt Gillett, and released to theatres by United Artists on July 18, 1932. It was the first commercially released film to be produced in the full-color three-strip Technicolor process after several years of two-color Technicolor films.
Flowers and Trees was already in production as a black-and-white cartoon before Disney saw Herbert Kalmus' three-strip Technicolor tests. Deciding that Flowers and Trees would make a perfect test for the process, he had the black-and-white footage scrapped and the short redone in color. The color Flowers and Trees was a commercial and critical success, winning the first Academy Award for Animated Short Subjects.
As a result of the success of Flowers and Trees, all future Silly Symphonies cartoons were produced in three-strip Technicolor. The added novelty of color helped to boost the series' previously disappointing returns. Disney's other cartoon series, the Mickey Mouse shorts, were deemed successful enough not to need the extra boost of color, remaining in black-and-white until The Band Concert (1935).
Disney's exclusive contract with Technicolor, in effect until the end of 1935, forced other animation producers such as Ub Iwerks and Max Fleischer to use Technicolor's inferior two-color process or a competing two-color system such as Cinecolor.
During spring the flowers, mushrooms, and trees do their calisthenics. Some trees play a tune, using vines for harp strings and a chorus of robins. A fight breaks out between a grouchy-looking hollow tree and a younger, healthier tree for the attentions of a female tree. The young tree emerges victorious, but the hollow tree retaliates by starting a fire. The plants and animals try to extinguish or evade the blaze. By poking holes in clouds and making it rain, the birds manage to put out the fire, although the hollow tree perishes in the flames. The young tree then proposes to the female tree, with a caterpillar serving as a ring, and they embrace as a rainbow forms behind them.
Flowers and Trees was the first animated film to win an Oscar at the fifth Academy Awards in 1932. It won an Oscar for Best Short Subject(Cartoons), a category only introduced that year.
Flowers and Trees was released on the Disney Tin Collection of Silly Symphonies Vol. 1.