Porky’s Spring Planting (1938)

Porky's Spring Planting ReviewPorky’s Spring Planting Review

Porky’s Spring Planting is a 1938 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It is a solid, but not great entry.

I did not care much for this particular cartoon and in my opinion the gardening short ‘Porky’s Garden’ is the better short of the two. Certainly the animation is nice and the overall story I found to be interesting and not really done before. The ending with Porkys negotiations with the chicken was the highlight, but the rest wasn’t really funny.

The film takes its time to get there owing to a very slow start and thus we are not introduced to these chicken well into the film. They only arrived around the half mark which was beyond problematic. Another very troublesome aspect is Porky Pig who is here animated oddly and he both looked and behaved strange and different than usual. I was not a fan of that at all.

Porky’s Spring Planting is perfectly solid with a good story, but weak structure and a problematic depiction of Porky Pig.

My Rating – 3.5

Share

Cinderella Meets Fella (1938)

Cinderella Meets Fella ReviewCinderella Meets Fella Review

Cinderella Meets Fella is a 1938 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is such a hilarious short.

Having in mind that this short is directed by Tex Avery, it was bound to be great as it is. It has his great signature humor and I loved its parody. It parodies Cinderella and it does that really well with a couple of hilarious moments. The film is still sweet and moving, but with a couple of decidedly adult gags which I appreciated. It isn’t perfect as the second half never quite is comparable to the first one and Cindy is portrayed as too young, but other than that, it’s awesome.

I really liked the animation and of course the characterization is excellent. Cindy is young but fun and memorable and of course Egghead is as amusing as he usually is. The funniest gags were the cuckoo trying to stop the clock, the various radio cuts as they were modern and put into an older period and of course the highlight is the Fairy Godmother who is here portrayed as a drunk lady who visits booze pubs regularly. The gag in which she pulls vodka instead of a magic wand from her purse was so funny.

Cinderella Meets Fella is one of the best Merry Melodies so far owing to it being such a great parody with excellent characterization and many hilarious mature gags.

My Rating – 4.3

Share

Love and Curses (1938)

Love and Curses ReviewLove and Curses Review

Love and Curses is a 1938 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a solid flick.

The problem I’ve had with this short is that it never utilizes on its admittedly very strong and interesting premise to the fullest extent and both the score and especially animation are quite weak and unpolished this time around. Technically speaking and in terms of the gags, it should have been much better.

But the characters are memorable even if the villain is familiar. The action is a lot of fun and the highlights are the ending and especially the cozy beginning. It was very interesting plotwise to have an older couple reminisce on how they beat this guy out in the gay 1890s. I liked the period details quite a bit and the film is quite charming.

Love and Curses is technically weak but with a charming central couple and an interesting plot.

My Rating – 3.6

Share

Have You Got Any Castles? (1938)

Have You Got Any Castles? ReviewHave You Got Any Castles? Review

Have You Got Any Castles? is a 1938 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is such a typical parody cartoon.

This is another one of those parody entries released in the thirties but this one is problematic as it came in 1938 and feels like a 1934 short. It is obviously too old-fashioned and not fresh enough to be interesting. It has a couple of fine gags, but is mostly too scattershot in humor and filled with too much action.

It also has too many characters from Clark Gable to Paul Muni to Victor McLaglen. Admittedly, I liked some of those and I liked this short for being about movie stars as I definitely know these people and I have seen most of the movies mentioned here. However, the movie is not fun or funny enough to rise above its regular, overdone routine.

Have You Got Any Castles? is rehashed and overdone and note even the familiar acting faces could save it from being dull.

My Rating – 3.4

Share

Porky’s Party (1938)

Porky's Party ReviewPorky’s Party Review

Porky’s Party is a 1938 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It is a very funny short.

Porky invites his friends to his birthday party and hilarity ensues. This is a simple concept but the execution is so great that it transcends it. I definitely do think that it should have been longer plus it was weird that he did not invite his regular friends instead of those new friends such as a duck and a penguin. That was odd and the characters, although fun, should have been introduced better.

But the gags make this cartoon so great. And there are a lot of quality ones in here. One involves the silkworm who knits clothes for Porky and when he makes a bra, Porky bashfully hides it away. Another one is the dog who is hilarious here. Not only does he get drunk on hair-growth formula but he also uses shaving cream and afterwards Porky and others run away from him thinking that he has rabies. But the most hilarious gag is the one in which the Penguin cuts a small piece from the cake and then takes the larger one and eats it. That was so funny.

Porky’s Party transcends its flaws thanks to a bunch of inventive and incredibly funny gags.

My Rating – 4

Share

Katnip Kollege (1938)

Katnip Kollege ReviewKatnip Kollege Review

Katnip Kollege is a 1938 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is such a pleasing short.

Although it is definitely a typical musical which has a weak plot and is relying too much on the popularity of swing music in its day, this is still a solid cartoon thanks to in particular strong characterization and main romance. The plot is a typical plot for these types of musicals where the protagonist suddenly becomes much better at music and wins the girl at the end.

But the score and the animation make it worth the trip. I loved its songs used here as they are very catchy and upbeat. And the animation is the highlight as it is very polished and looks really good overall with a particularly strong character design of the cats. I just do not understand why they had to be cats as there are no gags here whatsoever and they just as well could have been humans.

Katnip Kollege is weak in plot, but catchy in its songs and quite appealing in the animation and character design.

My Rating – 3.5

Share

Porky the Fireman (1938)

Porky the Fireman ReviewPorky the Fireman Review

Porky the Fireman is a 1938 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It is a weak short.

Porky the Fireman is one of those cartoons that only presents us one situation and that is basically it. Here we got Porky trying to put out the fire and that is literally it. There are almost no villains here and the gags are thoroughly lacking. Except for that racist blackface joke which is more infamous than funny.

The short is well animated and well scored. I liked how that fire flame looked and that was the only nice gag here. To me the film is short and quick in pace and energetic, but never really entertaining as there is not a lot of fun action or humor going on here leading to one of the weaker Looney Tunes from 1938.

Porky the Fireman is well animated and with a fun ending, but weaker action, mostly lacking in gags and not really entertaining.

My Rating – 3.3

Share

The Isle of Pingo Pongo (1938)

The Isle of Pingo Pongo ReviewThe Isle of Pingo Pongo Review

The Isle of Pingo Pongo is a 1938 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a surprisingly solid entry.

This one belongs in the Censored Eleven and is actually one of the best cartoons from that particular list. Certainly the narration is overwhelming at times, the animation is particularly weak and unappealing here and the natives’ designs are ridiculously racist and just awful. But everything else is pretty solid.

By everything else I mean Egghead who is very funny here with his constant interruptions and asking his boss if he should do it. And then he finally does shoot the sun at the end and makes it sink down after the boss failed to make it set down. That was a hilarious, perfectly executed gag for a great finale. And the rest of the cartoon is pretty funny at times and I enjoyed its travelogue approach a lot.

The Isle of Pingo Pongo is racist and weakly animated, but frequently funny and absolutely brilliant in its final gag.

My Rating – 3.6

Share

Injun Trouble (1938)

Injun Trouble ReviewInjun Trouble Review

Injun Trouble is a 1938 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It is such a fun cartoon.

The problem with Injun Trouble is that it is only great in its excellent ending. Before that, it was rather standard. Not bad, but certainly far from great. It is a standard western flick with Indians with a lot of action and nothing more than that. Porky Pig is surprisingly forgettable here, but the animation is mostly superb.

As for that ending, it was hilarious. The character is very crazy and thus fits the Looney in the Looney Tunes label. But the Indian being tickled was hysterical and especially the final moment when he begs for more tickling as he is apparently enjoying it. That was unexpected and so funny. I loved how he stopped the closing credits. Very inventive.

Injun Trouble is mostly a standard western flick, but the ending is particularly memorable and hilarious.

My Rating – 3.6

Share

Now That Summer is Gone (1938)

Now That Summer is Gone ReviewNow That Summer is Gone Review

Now That Summer is Gone is a 1938 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is such a weak entry.

Now the message is great of course as the film opposes gambling. The ending is also pretty good especially in the gag that we hear the lashing even while the end credits roll. The animation is the standout aspect for sure as it is such a wonderful hand-drawn animation with good character design and wonderful autumn scenery.

However, the film is very much a throwback to all those message Silly Symphonies but is never as great and it never adds anything new to the table. It needed more characters in it and thus, because it has just a father and a son squirrel, it becomes pretty repetitive very quickly. The energy is just not there and the overall story and pacing are weak,

Now That Summer is Gone is a weaker Merry Melody with great animation and fun ending, but a dull, uninspired story.

My Rating – 3.3

Share