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Comments by PopKorn Kat
There were several Oswald cartoons in 1930 which were pretty dark (HELLS HEELS, MY PAL PAUL, NOT SO QUIET, DETECTIVE), but those entries all but vanished by 1931. This, the last of the bare-chested Oswald era (at least until he got a dye job in 1935), returns to those unnerving themes, though with a giddier disposition than even HELLS HEELS. Even the music is unnerving, and this isn't the case even in HELLS HEELS (though it gets cheerier in the latter half). This is one strange cartoon, even by strange Oswald cartoon standards. Being hit with a pie is apparently equal to being shot or stabbed, the mobsters acquire chicken eggs and elephants out of nowhere, there's a scene with birds pecking at a tree (???), and there's a Big Lipped Alligator Moment involving Oswald convincing one of the mobsters to dance to "Spring Song." This was a good (albeit weird) film for Oswald's "bare-chested" career to end on. Give it a try if you find it!
Up until I examined this cartoon more closely, Angel Puss was my least favorite Looney Tune of the "beloved" era. While this cartoon does tackle the leaders of the Axis, it more often than not just attacks the people of Japan just because the country supports the Axis. While one could argue that the remaining WWII cartoons (Snafu, et al) were racist (and some of them genuinely were), at least they had the audacity to confront the leaders and not just an entire nation which may not have even supported the abhorrent actions. Furthermore, the jokes, more often than not, simply aren't funny, generally resorting to bad puns.
The Sweet Spot
In case you're wondering how I managed to rate this, it was a free download on iTunes where I live. A very cartoony, funny short that recalls Wile E. Coyote cartoons. I might start watching this cartoon!
I enjoyed this episode and found it funny. There was less of the gross-out stuff that I felt was dragging down the shorts. However, I didn't really think Mickey feeling that the cruise is "killing them with fun" is really in-character, no matter how barbaric the "fun" is. I feel that Donald Duck would be more likely to react in such a matter, along with Daisy (though the two ARE grouchier in comparison to Mickey and Minnie).
Strangely, the design for the Bogeyman is based off the "Bogyman" in the unpublished Little Lulu comic book story "The Bogyman".
Olaf's Frozen Adventure
A half-hearted attempt to milk the
franchise until it melts. I've already gotten very sick of
long before, and this special doesn't help the franchise's case. The makings for even a decent holiday special were halfway there, but they just didn't fit, resulting in nothing more than a mediocre time stopper surely to annoy anyone who isn't a fan of
. The story: Elsa and Anna throw a party for the people of Ardendale. However, after the bell is rung, they all leave to celebrate their own holiday traditions, so Olaf finds it his duty to seek out some traditions on his own. He loads them into a sleigh, but on the way back, it catches fire (thanks to a mishap with some coal) and falls off a cliff. Olaf ventures into the woods with nothing but a fruitcake and is chased by wolves. He makes it out...only to have the fruitcake snatched by a hawk. Olaf gives up and stays in the woods. Elsa and Anna stage a search for him and find him. Then they explain that the tradition was Olaf all along and then they celebrate Christmas...even though the events leading up to the whole thing were holiday-agnostic. Whee. The entire plot is based on an issue that could have been easily avoided, as my dad pointed out to me. Why couldn't Elsa and Anna invite them back in by offering free food? Or by serving the food
ringing the bell? I didn't find the special particularly heartwarming, either, especially since there was little to no moviation. Also, I found the songs absolutely grating, and I usually love songs in Disney movies and TV shows! There were some things I liked about the special. The animation, as always, was nice, though there wasn't anything that impressed me. There were these cute kittens during the part where Olaf went from door to door gathering traditions. There were some amusing physical gags, such as one where Olaf goes to a sauna and melts. The scenes where Olaf got physically injured were by far the best parts of the whole special. Apparently, this "short" was originally slated to air on ABC, and I feel it should have stayed there instead of being a lead-in to Pixar's
. Overall, this short had some good things in it, but it needed a bit more fine-tuning before being committed to film. 5/10.
The Three Bears
The Woolworth's of animation could churn out some off-kilter and bonkers cartoons even during their tenure under the conservative Paul Terry. This is one of several pre-Jim Tyer examples of such ridiculousness. Stereotypically Italian bears? A sudden musical number? The beautifully imperfect animation? It's all here, and frankly I love it.
A Swiss Miss
One thing these "Mighty Mouse" cartoons have going for them is loose, rubbery animation (certainly by Jim Tyer). This entry is saved by loose, rubbery animation and a St. Bernard who is more concerned with reciting his motto than actually saving Pearl Pureheart! And when he finally does stop reciting his motto, he gives some booze to the wrong person--Oil Can Harry! (Also, on the print I watched, there seems to be an abrupt cut between the part where Oil Can Harry severs the rope Pearl Pureheart is dangling from and the Swiss cheese-manufacturing plant stopping just in time for lunch hour.)
Like all of Columbia's Krazy Kat cartoons, Soda Poppa has solid animation and music. The first gag has Krazy cracking open an egg only for the old bird inside to close it back up. We get to hear "The Kat's Meow", the title music for the Krazy Kat cartoons; here, it has different lyrics than the ones featured in the copyright synopsis for The Kat's Meow. Then the rival arrives and drives Kitty Kat to his car, using a table as a steering wheel! Unfortunately, by this time the plot devolves into "girl gets kidnapped by rival; boy must save girl" in the middle, as if the staff couldn't figure out where to go with the soda fountain setting and used that plot as a failsafe. For what it's worth, I found the guard constantly blocking Krazy from entering the suite even after the Kat distracts him humorous. Overall, a lack of surreal, creative humor and a trite, exhausted plot make this one of the weaker entries in Columbia's output.
See Ya Later Gladiator
So...what are my thoughts on what is commonly considered the worst Warner Bros. cartoon of all time? It's pretty bad. I'm not a fan of the "Daffy & Speedy" cartoons at all. They occasionally have humorous ideas, and the voice acting is still good, but their flaws far outweigh the positive factors. Daffy Duck's anger from the 1950s shorts is turned up to eleven, with him hating Speedy's mere
. The plot had potential: while trying to get rid of Speedy Gonzales by sending him back in time to 65 AD-era Rome, Daffy Duck accidentally sends
back in time as well. Daffy calls a driving gladiator a "fathead" and he and the mouse are tossed in the Colosseum to be toys for the lions. Unfortunately, what could have been funny 10 or even 20 years ago is now drained of any last drop of joy, thus leaving a lifeless corpse which staggers across the screen. The execution of any gags, even ones that could have been funny on paper, is exceptionally lackluster, even for these shorts. I didn't laugh once. The only time I genuinely cracked a smile was at the beginning, when Daffy bats the chain on the time machine despite being told not to. Not recommended unless you're a
Bokays and Brickbatz
One thing's for certain, in the comic strip, Krazy Kat antagonizing a mouse (especially Ignatz) would be completely out of character.
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