Comments by PopKorn Kat

Hell's Fire

Now this is a blatantly topical cartoon! One of the main targets of the Devil's wrath is Prohibition!

Santa's Workshop

I just checked Disney+'s version, and it cuts out the blackface doll scene.

Odor of the Day

There’s some controversy over whether Pepe Le Pew and the skunk from this short are the same character or not. Warner Bros. takes the former stance, as this short has been included on the “Pepe Le Pew’s Skunk Tales” and “Zee Best of Zee Best” videos. Remember that Pepe was referred to as just “Stinky” on model sheets for “Forever Ambushed”, a working title for “Scent-imental Over You”. (As far as I know, original titles to “Odor-able Kitty” and “Scent-imental Over You” have yet to be found. Pepe’s name is mentioned on the Blue Ribbon titles for the latter, though.) I have serious doubts that the skunk in this short and Pepe are one and the same – while their designs are close, that’s where the similarities end. There’s no French accents or lady-pursuing in Davis’ short, but we do get a one-on-one fight between a dog and a skunk.

Odor of the Day

I feel I need to issue a correction. I have been notified by tashlinfan44 and nickramer that the skunk in this short was indeed Pepe Le Pew, according to Thad on Cartoon Logic. So...disregard my last comment. I...haven't listened to Cartoon Logic in a while. (sweat)

Hot Feet

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!

Tokio Jokio

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!

Crybaby

Most of the Little Lulu shorts in the first 26 episodes of this show are adaptations of stories from John Stanley’s run on the Dell comic books (1945-1959). This is an exception. I’ve read every Stanley-authored comic and cannot find one with this exact plot. (There is a Stanley-authored story from 1951 [#31] that has the same title, but the plot is entirely different—it revolves around Lulu trying to find ways to entertain herself when she’s confined to her room.) My theory is that this story is adapted from a later, non-Stanley issue, but it could also be an original Cinar creation.

Shipped Out

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).

The Bogeyman

Strangely, the design for the Bogeyman is based off the "Bogyman" in the unpublished Little Lulu comic book story "The Bogyman".

Naked Beach Frenzy

As uncomfortable as this episode already is (especially with Ren’s sexual harassment), it’s all the more disturbing once you know about not only how one of the animators felt while working on this show (to put it shortly: she was absolutely repulsed), but also of John’s sexually abusive attitude toward underage girls and women as a whole. (Oh, and there's a woman who just flips around ala Paper Mario. It just looks cheap in this context.)

Dumb Luck

This short is well-animated, but it does highlight a huge issue I have with the recent shorts: Mickey is stricken with such bad luck that Donald seems luckier in comparison. Now I’m fine with Mickey getting the short end of the stick, but it’s preposterous when that’s all that happens. I believe Donald is better suited to head this cartoon, but I suppose the reason why Donald isn’t front and center in these shorts is because with two shows he’s heading (DuckTales and The Legend of the Three Caballeros), Disney didn’t want him to overshadow the Mouse too much. Another good candidate would be Oswald, if only for that touch of irony.

Fire Dogs 2 (Part 1)

This episode takes the worst aspects of “Adult Party Cartoon” and commits them to celluloid. The pacing of this episode is glacial, and both parts of the episode could have fit in half the time. Even then, it still wouldn’t have been much better, writing-wise—the episode is one big animation in-joke. Apparently we’re supposed to assume that anything having to do with John’s former employer is hilarity in and of itself. (It’s not.) Overall, I feel this episode and "Part 2" are some of the worst episodes of the entire Ren & Stimpy body of work, period.

House Painters

I don't know what to think of this short. The animation and expressions were wacky and unrestrained, and it's great to see Mickey, Donald and Goofy working together as a team again. However, Mickey in this short seemed way too angry to the point where it was out-of-character to me, everyman personality aside.

Cans Without Labels

John Kricfalusi and his post-Ren & Stimpy output have been...divisive, to say the least. The reviled Adult Party Cartoon forced him out of mainstream animation, and his Kickstarter-funded cartoon "Cans Without Labels" proved to be one of the many, many things that ended his career. He scheduled a 2013 release date, which came and went. All the while, he continued to get tidbits of work elsewhere, while claiming that his cartoon was partially or completely done. In 2018, numerous accusations of sexual harassment and abuse against him ensured he would never work again. And yet, against all odds, he finally released the short in May 2019. To absolutely no one's surprise, this is one can that should have been thrown out.
The plot is simple: George Liquor tries to force his nephews, Slab and Ernie, to eat a face out of a can. That's it. Unfortunately, the short falls flat in every single fathomable way. From the animation to the jokes, there's nothing to enjoy.
One glaringly obvious problem appears within the first scene: the combination of 2D and CGI is painfully amateur. I've seen PlayStation and GameCube games that utilize sprites and models better! Why the cans and furniture are CGI is never explained, nor does there appear to be a reason why.
The other obvious problem that is the short's undoing: every single character is flat and uninteresting--even George Liquor does little beyond threatening his nephews to eat a face out of a can. He worked well alongside Ren and Stimpy in "Man's Best Friend" worked because the personalities of the three characters played off of each other. That's not the case here. Slab and Ernie do not conflict with George's attitudes, nor do they play off of them in unexpected ways. They're simply there to get antagonized by George, and that's it. George Liquor's mood swings are a rehash of Ren Hoek's mental breakdowns, but without any of the character depth that made those moments work. As a result, there's nobody to root for or hiss at.
Then there's the animation. The cartoon never slows down. Even Bob Clampett's wildest work took breaks once in a while! On the other hand, there's moments of unacceptably lackluster animation as well--one example being a scene where a belt-grasping George slides across the floor, with no other body movement in sight. Quite an accomplishment.
The only redeeming factor about this short is that it illustrates how not to make a cartoon: from the production to the execution and behavior of its producer. I think Thad Komorowski put it best: "When all's said and done, they should show "Cans Without Labels" and "Last Days of Coney Island" in animation schools as a warning in regards to what can happen to creators who take their success for granted and abuse their fans and co-workers. Cautionary tale indeed."

Tired and Feathered

Somewhat amusing gags are ruined by canned music, stiff animation, and a lifeless atmosphere.

Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling

Now this is how you do a revival! The original Rocko is my favorite Nicktoon. Every season and episode has held up, even to this day. It's smart, funny, well-written, and subversive. How would the titular wallaby and his pals adjust to the hectic 21st century? Well...let's just say Heffer and Filburt adapt easier than Rocko and Ed.
Rocko, Heffer and Filburt have been floating around in space since the events of "Future Shlock" occurred over twenty years ago. When they crash-land back in O-Town, they find that it's the 21st century and everything has changed. Conglom-O has lost a lot of money, dooming O-Town. Distraught that The Fatheads is no longer on TV, Rocko has an idea: bring it back, and get the original creator behind it!
The special's basically an episode of the original show that's four times as long, but it never feels like it overstays its welcome. If anything, it may be too short--I felt the ending was abrupt, even though all the plot threads were resolved.
The show's message--"accept change"--is important for everyone to understand. You can't avoid it--the "whinds" of change won't let you. One important plot point hammers this moral home--the creator of Rocko's favorite show is revealed to be a trans woman named Rachel. While Rocko, Heffer, Filburt and Bev have no problem with this, Ed takes a while to adjust. The character of Rachel was handled very respectfully, with no offensive stereotypes in play and no derogatory jokes about her character or appearance. The message goes both ways. When Rocko is upset about the Fatheads' new child in Rachel's Fatheads revival, he realizes his logic is just as flawed as Ed's once was. (He very quickly changes his tune, fortunately.)
Should you watch this special? Yes. If you're a newbie to the Rocko show, maybe take some time to watch the original episodes to understand what's going on. (I'd personally start off with the Rachel Bighead episodes and "Future-Schlock," the series finale.) If you've been a Rocko fan for a while, you will not be disappointed.

Golf Chumps

This short is one of the few I've seen from the "tail end" of Krazy Kat's theatrical career. By this point, he is Krazy Kat in-name-only--he doesn't even look anything like a George Herriman character anymore. The narration is high on exposition and low on laughs. Best gag of the picture: the trio of golfing animals (two dogs, one pig) singing a solemn tribute to a golf ball...then proceeding to beat the heck out of it. There isn't much you'll be missing if you skip this one.

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 existence. 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 himself 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 Looney Tunes completionist. 1/10.

Mass Mouse Meeting

Poor pacing and story prioritization is this cartoon's biggest failing. Most of the cartoon is spent on the mouse talking to the cat about his new collar. By the time that's over and done with, the cartoon's over. As I was watching, I kept thinking of ways to improve it. Wasted opportunity.

I'm With Cupid, Stupid

Combine a tired old 1940s movie/cartoon cliché (Woody doesn't want to commit to marrying Winnie? Hilarious) with hideously poor animation and you get this. I am not the target audience for these new cartoons, but even I would know better than to target something like this for kids. 1/10.

Buttons in Ows

Poor Buttons can never catch a break. He's always getting injured trying to save Mindy from harm. He's not even safe in the Land of Oz, where everything from tin men to cowardly lions inflicts comedic injuries on the dog. At least Mindy says Buttons is her favorite dog after everything he's gone through. That's sweet.

Let's Ring Doorbells

This is a weird, somewhat disjointed cartoon. Honestly, the part with the door maze (that makes slightly more sense in context) would make more sense as a "stranger danger" moral than a "don't ring doorbells" one. (Speaking of, that choice of moral is weird - it's so benign.)

Fully Vetted

This is the only "Looney Tunes Cartoons" short (as of this writing) that I didn't like. The Looney Tunes are no stranger to dark comedy - in fact, shorts like "The Ducksters" are among my favorites - but the treatment of Sylvester in this cartoon had an unpleasant aftertaste to it that I don't remember from any other Freleng or even Clampett entry. Some of the gags are fine, like the one where Sylvester tries to make a Tweety sandwich, or when Sylvester ends up dressed like a bride ready for a wedding, but I feel the final gag, which depicts an on-screen suicide - gags which were, mind you, typically cut when they aired on cable TV - took the cake. Granted, extreme violence like this is not uncommon on "adult" cartoons like Family Guy and South Park, which explains my surprise.

Plusaversary

You can feel the despair in Lisa's song. It screams "I am trapped in a corporate synergy crossover and no amount of jabs at Disney can numb the pain."

Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers

"Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers" is a movie I have mixed feelings on. Like the marketing tagline says, it's not a reboot. It uses the "Rescue Rangers" title and show as more of a jumping-off point. Characters from that show make a few appearances, but prior knowledge of it is not required to understand the film. The film presents Chip and Dale as "animated actors" in the vein of *Who Framed Roger Rabbit*, but tonally it takes a different approach. The two meet as children, star in "Rescue Rangers", have a falling-out, reunite years later, and are tasked with rescuing "Rescue Rangers" co-star Monterey Jack from a studio that specializes in producing animated mockbusters. Great premise, right? Well, I feel the execution could've been better. Let's get the positive aspects out of the way first. I love the medium blending going on here. Stop-motion, 2D animation, CGI, and live-action characters all seamlessly interact with each other. Uli Meyer was the animation director here, and he did an incredible job. There was clearly lots of love put into the animation. About the only character whose style I wasn't a fan of was Chip's. They attempt to replicate hand-drawn 2D animation with a cel-shaded 3D model, and while I'm sure it was for budgetary reasons, it doesn't look the best in action. I'm also glad they didn't have Chip and Dale doing their typical high-pitched voice routine throughout the film. I'd imagine it'd get old fast. The biggest reason as to why I'm conflicted about this film is that it tiptoes precariously between being an affectionate tribute to the animation industry and 100 minutes of Disney bragging to the audience "look at all these characters we got the rights to use!" Here's the thing: Roger Rabbit's strength rested not on its numerous cameos, but on its story and original characters. Rescue Rangers goes a bit too far in the "hey, reference! Laugh!" direction. Then there's the main villain himself: "Sweet Pete", a washed-up, grown-up Peter Pan. I'm far from opposed to giving previously wholesome characters troubled pasts or futures, but given the sad fate of Bobby Driscoll, Peter Pan's voice actor in the 1953 Disney animated film, it comes off as tasteless. The satire falls short of giving the middle finger to Disney's practices. For as how "unexpected" a film like this coming from Disney is, I still get the feeling that they couldn't go too far, lest they bite off the hand that finances them. Overall, "Rescue Rangers" is an alright film that will likely entertain kids, but the criticism of the industry is surface-level and obviously tongue-in-cheek.

Screams of Silence: The Story of Brenda Q

I know Family Guy isn’t exactly the kind of show to go to if you want a deep, nuanced portrayal of human relationships (episodes like “Brian and Stewie” being rare exceptions). Its characters devolve into walking caricatures more and more with every season, and almost every horrible disaster you can think of has been played for laughs at least once...which makes this, a rare attempt at treating the subject of domestic violence seriously, easily one of the worst episodes in the series. For one, having one of your main characters write a letter essentially berating the victim for not leaving an abusive relationship is not a good look, to say the least. Joe isn’t much better – he claims he can’t take action unless Brenda files a formal complaint...despite Jeff abusing her right in front of everyone’s faces. Maybe this was intended as commentary on how our justice system treats victims of domestic violence, but it just comes off as contrived. The cutaway gags and jokes (which, to their credit, aren’t as abundant as your average Family Guy romp) stick out like a sore thumb among a story that, mind you, is about three guys convincing a domestic abuser to go on a camping trip so they can murder him. No lessons are learned.

Rodeo, Rodeo, Where for Art Thou Rodeo?

I admittedly haven't seen much of this show, but can you blame me? The pacing is way too slow for the types of gags they're trying to pull off, and that's the show's biggest failing. Even divorcing the show from the "Tex Avery" name wouldn't fix this problem.

Honesty is the Best Policy

I can see why this cartoon never caught on. While the art and animation are decent, the cartoon isn't funny enough. Even Screen Gems had funnier shorts.

Raggedy Ann & Andy in The Great Santa Claus Caper

I think this is one of the weakest Chuck Jones productions ever. Characters talk and talk, and the ending is just plain saccharine.

Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow

Gotta admit, there are some amusing expressions in this cartoon. Unfortunately, I feel this suffers from Kennedy's main weakness: extremely floaty animation.

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.

Turning Red

Pixar films are no stranger to tugging at the heartstrings, but this one hit extra hard for me, being a girl of Chinese heritage who had (and still occasionally has) emotional regulation issues.

Olaf's Frozen Adventure

A half-hearted attempt to milk the Frozen franchise until it melts. I've already gotten very sick of Frozen 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 Frozen. 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 before 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 Coco. Overall, this short had some good things in it, but it needed a bit more fine-tuning before being committed to film. 5/10.

Over the Top

One question: one of Woody's tricks involves Wally Walrus putting glue on his skis. If snow is basically frozen water, wouldn't it dissolve the glue, rendering Woody's little prank ineffective?

The Trapeze Artist

For whatever reason, the Mintz studio made the interesting decision to change Krazy Kat's design, starting with this cartoon. By this time, any resemblance to George Herriman's character is completely gone - this Kat resembles Felix the Cat (who had stopped appearing in animated cartoons four years prior). Despite this, Krazy's previous design would show up in 1935's "The Bird Man" - a short I suspect was fully completed but held back for some reason.

Tom & Jerry

When the first trailers for this movie were released, I kept my expectations low. Live-action/animation combinations as of late have usually been average kids' fare. This film is no exception, except the emphasis on a frankly boring wedding plot is likely to bore the young ones. It also means that Tom and Jerry's antics, while amusing, don't get the chance to shine they deserve. Honestly, my reason for the 5/10 rating was the animation. It's nice and fluid (though I am not a fan of the way the characters are rendered at all. If they're trying to go for a cel-shaded look, the characters don't have enough contrast for that to work).

Lawnmower Chicken

Gotta say, some amazing character animation and expressions in this short--especially with the Red Guy and Chicken!

Diplodocus

It's interesting to see how John R. Bray capitalized on the popularity of Winsor McCay's "Gertie the Dinosaur". Sadly, there's nothing Bray's Diplodocus has over McCay's Gertie. The animation is a lot more rigid and is nowhere near as fluid or charming as McCay's intricate efforts. To Bray's credit, his short has a wide range of grays, something McCay's short understandably lacks.

One Beer

I get the feeling that this episode was written purely to show the characters drunk.

My Sister, My Sitter

I actually don’t mind Bart being a jerk towards Lisa. You’ve gotten saddled with being babysat by your younger sister; I can imagine that being pretty embarrassing. It’s simply not as strong or as funny as the show’s best.

Out of the Milk Bottle

Note the skeletal information in this entry--apparently everything about this little short is a mystery, even its studio and exact release year. Steve Stanchfield guesses that this short must have been produced as a silent education film in 1929/1930, then it was revamped as a sound film with new animation.

A Leela of Her Own

I personally felt this to be a rather weak episode. The jokes fell flat for me.

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.)

Soda Poppa

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.

Face Freeze!

The ridiculous facial expressions are the best part of this episode.

Silent Treatment

The concept (Wally Walrus gives Woody the silent treatment) is actually not a bad one. Sadly, the execution is perhaps the least creative possible route they could have taken. Woody eventually gives up until he is inspired by another commercial to find a workaround to the walrus' no-talk schtick. I could easily imagine and write an ever-escalating scenario where Woody doesn't get the hint (or does, but chooses to ignore it) and makes Wally's silent life a living heck! Wasted opportunity.

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.