George Pal’s Tulips Shall Grow was released in 1942. Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Short Subject, Cartoons this stop-action masterpiece is about the enduring love between a Dutch boy and girl who face the invasion of their idyllic homeland by The Screwballs: A race of mechanical men who threaten to destroy everything in their path. This flick is a transparent metaphor about the Nazi occupation of Holland and a call to the Dutch to fight on to see a day when their beloved tulips would bloom once again.
The gardeners at the Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art were digging up thousands of tulips today. They planted 55,000 of them this year so the clean up is also a massive undertaking.
Never that appreciative of flowers, I was schooled on the beauty of tulips by a friend years ago and have never forgotten the lesson. For me – besides their obvious charms – it’s the transient nature of the flowers that really gives them their intense mystique, and seeing piles and piles of ragged, colorful blossoms being shoveled into black garbage bags today reminded me of this film.
As a prelude to the film, Wiki offers this history lesson on The Battle of the Netherlands and the occupation of Holland.
The battle lasted from 10 May 1940 until the main Dutch forces surrendered on the 14th. Dutch troops in the province of Zealand continued to resist the Wehrmacht until 17 May when Germany completed its occupation of the whole nation.
The Battle of the Netherlands saw one of the first major uses of paratroopers to occupy crucial targets prior to ground troops reaching the area. The German Luftwaffe utilised paratroopers in the capture of several major airfields in the Netherlands in and around key cities such as Rotterdam and The Hague in order to quickly overrun the nation and immobilise Dutch forces.
The battle ended soon after the devastating bombing of Rotterdam by the German Luftwaffe and the subsequent threat by the Germans to bomb other large Dutch cities if Dutch forces refused to surrender. The Dutch General Staff knew it could not stop the bombers and surrendered in order to prevent other cities from suffering the same fate. The Netherlands remained under German occupation until 1945, when the last Dutch territory was liberated.
Also, my companera swears the movie is a perfect match with Dark Side of the Moon.