Porky the Giant Killer (1939)

Porky the Giant Killer ReviewPorky the Giant Killer Review

Porky the Giant Killer is a 1939 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It is a solid short.

As the stories with giants go, this one certainly isn’t one of the best, but it’s also not one of the worst. The problem with it is that it lacks real danger as the giant is way too mild and not intimidating enough. And of course the film is just way too long clocking in at around eight minutes and thus the first half is very slow.

But the second half is a major improvement with some solid gags and moments. I liked the animation and the baby character is okay, but it was nice seeing Porky finally take the front stage and he was fantastic here. The highlight is the ending and every time he stuttered which was super cute and endearing. They made use of his personality so well here.

Porky the Giant Killer is boring and slow, but it surely has its amusing moments with Porky Pig being terrific here.

My Rating – 3.7

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Fagin’s Freshman (1939)

Fagin's Freshman ReviewFagin’s Freshman Review

Fagin’s Freshman is a 1939 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is an okay short.

This is pretty much a rip-off of Disney’s ‘The Robber Kitten’ as the plot is very similar with just the setting and time period being changed. Again it starts in the same way and ends with the kitten learning his lesson. The framing is very standard here, but definitely the middle section is the highlight.

Those scenes parallel usual gangster fare from the thirties really well which I liked. I really liked Fagin and he is the only memorable character in this film as he pretty much steals the show from everyone else. The score is forgettable, but the animation is actually really nice. The character design is nothing original, but the color palette and the overall look to the film is very strong.

Fagin’s Freshman is very rehashed, but mostly well done and very well animated. The middle section is the highlight here.

My Rating – 3.4

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Fresh Fish (1939)

Fresh Fish ReviewFresh Fish Review

Fresh Fish is a 1939 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a weak short.

It is one of those Merry Melodies where we have a narrator who explains stuff and we are to be acquainted with a culture or this time around a setting which is the sea. The film showcases life of the fish and it follows various groups of fish with the only highlight being that fish teacher with the rest being all boring and forgettable.

The narration is okay and not too annoying. The animation is definitely solid with pretty good character design. But the score is forgettable and the film fails when it comes to humor and action as it is boring and never at all funny as it has no gags whatsoever. It is an old-fashioned Merry Melody with all that comes with it.

Fresh Fish is one of those narrated Merry Melodies which are okay, but dated and not particularly entertaining.

My Rating – 3.3

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Pied Piper Porky (1939)

Pied Piper Porky ReviewPied Piper Porky Review

Pied Piper Porky is a 1939 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It is a very strong short.

Porky here is the Pied Piper, but the film actually happens after that famous story which was a nice, really fresh idea I liked a lot. He gets tormented by a mouse and then calls a cat to help him with the mouse but with no results. In my opinion, Looney Tunes entries are getting very problematic in their insistence to use the character of Porky Pig. If they use him, let him have a bigger role, but here once again he gets to have a very small impact on the story which was unfortunate.

Pied Piper Porky is nonetheless one of the strongest Looney Tunes of the late 30s mainly because of that mouse who is absolutely hilarious. His line about the trap stole the show as it was perfectly delivered and so funny, but the ending is also memorable and incredibly dark. The cat fearing the mouse was also quite funny. There are a lot of quality gags here and the mix of Tom and Jerry with the series’ crazy antics worked in its favor.

Pied Piper Porky needed more Porky as he is useless here, but the film is hilarious with a lot of terrific and such funny moments.

My Rating – 4.2

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The Good Egg (1939)

The Good Egg ReviewThe Good Egg Review

The Good Egg is a 1939 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is an endearing short.

The hen is childless and cannot hatch until it finally hatches a turtle with a beak who eventually becomes a life guard of all the little chicken. In my opinion, this film is obviously Warner Bros. attempt at ‘The Ugly Duckling’ and it is infinitely worse than that classic. It is overly Disney-like in style and execution and it has no gags whatsoever.

But I could not deny its sweetness. The animation and score are solid but the highlight is that wonderful turtle and the ending which is very sweet and immensely heartwarming. The beginning is also quite sad with the childless hen. The middle parts were lacking, but the rest was pretty solid.

The Good Egg is sort of like a Disney cartoon – an endearing, cute cartoon which is sweet, but lacking in gags and originality.

My Rating – 4.2

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The Little Lion Hunter (1939)

The Little Lion Hunter ReviewThe Little Lion Hunter Review

The Little Lion Hunter is a 1939 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a phenomenal short.

This is the first film starring Inki and Mynah bird. Inki is a black boy who explores the wilderness and gets in trouble with the lion. Mynah bird is this very odd, voiceless, mysterious bird who eventually rescues him from the lion but kicks him in the butt in that hilarious end gag. The film is great for featuring very memorable characters. I liked the lion and Inki is very cute and endearing though obviously caricatured.

But obviously the bird is the highlight as such a mysterious, very intriguing and memorable presence. Great character design as well. I loved this bird so much. The cartoon is a bit slow at first, but pleasantly atmospheric, very well scored and with some fun antics and memorable action. It truly is the most original Merry Melody in quite a while, maybe even the most original so far.

The Little Lion Hunter is a very authentic, intriguing short with unforgettable, mysterious Mynah bird and a fantastic ending.

My Rating – 4.2

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Naughty Neighbors (1939)

Naughty Neighbors ReviewNaughty Neighbors Review

Naughty Neighbors is a 1939 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It is an okay short.

This is basically a remake of ‘A Feud There Was’ which was a Hatfield-McCoy short from the previous year. Both are of very similar quality, but I would honestly give a slight edge to this one as it is more original and different. However, it is still filled with a lot of problems. The cat milk gag is great, but rehashed. The humor here is very rare and only the third act is somewhat amusing. I also found that song in the beginning weak.

But the short is memorable for being cute and romantic at first and then suddenly going into war, violent and fighting territory. The shift is abrupt and interesting making the cartoon very entertaining and crazy which are the usual best qualities for a Looney Tunes cartoon. In that area it succeeds quite a bit, but still it is very uneven.

Naughty Neighbors lacks great gags, but is overall well structured and its shift from romantic to violent is a lot of fun.

My Rating – 3.5

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Jeepers Creepers (1939)

Jeepers Creepers ReviewJeepers Creepers Review

Jeepers Creepers is a 1939 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It is a very good short.

This is the kind of atmospheric horror, haunted house film that Warner Bros. should make often. So Porky Pig is a hero here. He plays a police officer who has to go into a spooky house to investigate. There the playful ghost awaits to make fun of him. It’s a great premise, but the execution isn’t the greatest as the last gag is typically racist with an annoying black face and the overall film should have been much funnier.

But I still liked it and the ghost is pretty amusing and so well designed. Porky is very memorable here and it was very entertaining watching him get scared by the ghost. The highlights are actually the scenes before he even arrived in the house because they were perfectly slow, noir-like, atmospheric and wonderfully animated with gorgeous black and white animation and great imagery.

Jeepers Creepers definitely needed more laughs, but it is wonderfully animated and atmospheric.

My Rating – 4

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Land of the Midnight Fun (1939)

Land of the Midnight Fun ReviewLand of the Midnight Fun Review

Land of the Midnight Fun is a 1939 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a typical, but visually pleasing short.

I really liked the animation here. It is very strong and frequently even gorgeous as those night sky backgrounds and ice scenery are absolutely lovely. The score is also quite sweet. The film is technically very polished and the narration is also solid, but the story is lacking.

It’s a typical 30s travelogue with no memorable characters, action or gags. It is a very unfunny cartoon. Not that it is unfunny in a bad way, but just that they don’t even try to be amusing but just serious and straightforward which was still troubling to me. Warner’s cartoons are best when they’re comedies. But I still liked the look at Alaska and the Eskimos as we have not seen that before in the series.

Land of the Midnight Fun has gorgeous animation and a good score, but no gags and it’s too serious and typical.

My Rating – 3.4

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Sioux Me (1939)

Sioux Me ReviewSioux Me Review

Sioux Me is a 1939 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a rehashed entry.

Unfortunately this entire cartoon is a rip-off of another cartoon from 1936 which is of course ‘Porky the Rain-Maker’. That entry is so strong and one of the best of its time that rehashing it was bound to get back at them and it did. The execution of this film is unoriginal and the only new, original addition are the Indians. Everything else is exactly the same, but done much worse.

The animation is far from great and the same goes for the score. So the film is very weak, but also somewhat solid in the end mostly because of the fact that the characters are well developed and memorable and the ending is fantastic. Yes, the ending is so great that it makes the film worth watching. The gag is hilarious, inventive and perfectly delivered.

Sioux Me is terrific in its ending, but annoyingly rehashed, weak and boring otherwise.

My Rating – 3.3

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