Rhythm in the Bow (1934)

Rhythm in the Bow ReviewRhythm in the Bow Review

 Rhythm in the Bow is a 1934 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a very forgettable entry.

This is a very dull short. This is famous for being the last black-and-white Merry Melody and that is the only distinction that it has as it is otherwise a very forgettable entry that doesn’t have anything interesting about it. The animation is solid with some good imagery and the score is pretty good, although repetitive and used too often in the movie.

Rhythm in the Bow has its good moments. The dog sequence is the best and I really liked that dog. A very interesting and cute scene. But most of this cartoon is too uneventful and way too typical to be remembered. Even its different than usual protagonist ended up being underdeveloped and tedious.

Rhythm in the Bow is a pretty standard Merry Melody of this period with nothing original to offer.

My Rating – 3.3

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Pearl (2016)

Pearl ReviewPearl Review

 Pearl is a 2016 animated short film that was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

The film follows a man and his younger daughter as she grows up. The film is an interesting experiment as we follow her growing up from the front seat of a car, that is where we watch all of the action from. The animation is solid and the highlight for me was the score. The song that accompanied it was beautiful and heartwarming and it certainly fitted this story like a glove.

However, Pearl is an interesting, but not successful experiment. The idea behind it is great, but it wasn’t executed properly. I thought that it wasn’t that engaging or comprehensible to follow and it should have been much more emotional as it left me cold personally. But the biggest problem is that the film is the first Oscar nominated VR film and I do not have that technology so I couldn’t watch it as it should be watched. So the movie is made for just a handful of people who have that technology and that is troublesome.

Pearl is definitely a unique experiment which unfortunately isn’t fully successful as it needed more characterization and emotion in it.

My Rating – 3.8

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Beau Bosko (1933)

Beau Bosko ReviewBeau Bosko Review

 Beau Bosko is a 1933 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It is a very weak, typical entry.

Beau Bosko is the kind of Looney Tune which easily could have been great had they paid more attention. I liked its Middle Eastern setting and the animation was fine. Some moments were also pretty good and the score was okay. But the plot itself is as basic as they come and both Bosko and Honey are underutilized here.

But there are too many Middle Eastern stereotypes in this film making it feel dated and quite of its time period. Overall, all of those supporting characters are weakly used and all are forgettable. The film lacks focus as it doesn’t know whether to focus on the supporting characters or on the Bosko/Honey duo and thus it ended up being highly uneven.

Beau Bosko is interesting, but weakly made, so-so edited and with a lack of focus or a strong plot.

 My Rating – 3.3

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Summer (1930)

Summer ReviewSummer Review

 Summer is a 1930 Disney short film in the Silly Symphony series. It is a typical seasonal short.

As a sequel to the previous year’s ‘Springtime‘, Summer fails as it is nowhere near as good. To me the musical score here is quite solid and fun and the animation is pretty good for its time. Some moments were memorable and the film utilizes on the season somewhat well as we witness bees, frogs and other animals that thrive during summer.

But it is very light on gags as the film is never as comedic as it should have been. The dance sequences are expectedly overdrawn and somewhat dull and the film is too short and not particularly eventful during its runtime. And more animals should have been used for sure. I guess the film is solid for its time, but it’s a typical early Silly Symphony nonetheless.

Summer is solid and well scored, but forgettable and definitely not as good as its predecessor.

 My Rating – 3.3

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Shake Your Powder Off (1934)

Shake Your Powder Off ReviewShake Your Powder Off Review

 Shake Your Powder Off is a 1934 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a very good, funny entry.

This film is by far the best Merry Melody of this period as I do not remember the last time I’ve had such a great time watching a Merry Melody, certainly not from the year of 1934. The plot is so good. A bunch of animals throw a singing competition in a barn. That premise is very similar to Illumination Entertainment’s ‘Sing’ which was interesting to see.

Now the short isn’t great as it could have used a bigger running time, more gags and more memorable characters, but the conflict with the dog in the third act is very well executed and funny. That moment where the birds got their feathers off was hilarious. Another funny and inventive moment was when we see the seating of all the animals and that the ducks got special seating in water. So funny and clever. The entire short has great music and is a lot of fun to watch.

Shake Your Powder Off is one of the best Merry Melodies of its time thanks to a great high-concept idea and a couple of great gags.

 My Rating – 3.9

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The Girl at the Ironing Board (1934)

The Girl at the Ironing Board ReviewThe Girl at the Ironing Board Review

The Girl at the Ironing Board is a 1934 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a very charming, albeit slight entry.

This Merry Melody features a man and a woman falling in love at the laundry room. And their two clothes start dancing together as well. So naturally this is one of those Merry Melodies that heavily rely on music and surely the dance sequences here overwhelm. The entire second half is too musically oriented in my opinion and the first half was much better.

Yes, I loved everything about that first half. That clothes development was fitting to the plot and quite effervescent. That was obvious Merry Melody stuff, but in a good way. I also really liked the animation and the designs plus the score is very good with that opening titular song being quite catchy. The short is quite romantic.

The Girl at the Ironing Board features a weaker second half, but the first one is a lot of fun and very charming.

 My Rating – 3.5

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The Box (1967)

The Box ReviewThe Box Review

The Box is a 1967 Oscar-winning animated short film directed by Fred Wolf.

An old bearded man wearing a raincoat walks into a bar and sits down, placing a mysterious box next to him. The other patrons try, with varying success, to find out what’s inside. That is the premise here and it is quite interesting. It is the kind of old-fashioned cartoon that works well today as it did for its time and it is fun and charming.

It has a couple of good gags that rely on fun facial expressions and the animation is solid as the character designs are particularly memorable. But The Box is still not that worthy of an Oscar winner in my opinion as it isn’t as funny as it should have been, it is overly short and I did not get the point of its titular box at all.

The Box definitely has its amusing moments, but it is too short, too simplistic and not as funny as it could have been.

My Rating – 3.7

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Why Do I Dream Those Dreams (1934)

Why Do I Dream Those Dreams ReviewWhy Do I Dream Those Dreams Review

 Why Do I Dream Those Dreams is a 1934 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a charming flick.

So this entire dream structure of the short has been seen before in the Merry Melodies series and nothing here is particularly original. The humor is also non-existent and the film isn’t at all memorable. But it is still solid owing to its ending in particular which is rather sweet in its imagery and happy conclusion.

I liked the score as well as it is very upbeat and a lot of fun. I thought that the first half wasn’t the greatest, but the second half is pretty good and much more memorable. Why Do I Dream Those Dreams isn’t an inspired Merry Melody, but it is better than most of its type and it is quite satisfactory.

Why Do I Dream Those Dreams has a typical structure, but a good ending and such a fun musical score.

 My Rating – 3.4

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Buddy’s Bearcats (1934)

Buddy's Bearcats ReviewBuddy’s Bearcats Review

 Buddy’s Bearcats is a 1934 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It is a typically dull sports flick.

Buddy plays baseball here and needless to say I was bored a lot as I hate sports and I particularly do not care for this ridiculous sport. To me the short is well animated, but the score is forgettable and the action on screen is not at all memorable too. Cookie has blonde hair here for some reason and Buddy is totally forgettable and uninteresting.

It does have a couple of good, solid gags in the first third, but that was just not enough. The game was tedious and the stadium setting should have been utilized more. In terms of humor, characterization and of course plot, this Looney Tunes entry fails in my opinion and is one of the weakest so far.

Apart from a couple of decent gags, Buddy’s Bearcats doesn’t have a whole lot to offer. It is a boring, weak baseball entry.

My Rating – 3.1

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Buddy of the Apes (1934)

Buddy of the Apes ReviewBuddy of the Apes Review

Buddy of the Apes is a 1934 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It is a solid, but pretty standard flick.

So here Buddy is obviously Tarzan as he is seen inhabiting the jungle and eventually helping one baby monkey. Afterwards, the animals fight the invading natives. To me this is one of those cartoons from its time that heavily relies on natives, jungle and animal antics and I’ve seen that multiple times by now which is why I didn’t love this one. The natives were too typical and Buddy is forgettable.

But the animals are the highlights here and they are all great. The animation is very good and the standout of this cartoon is watching those animals brush their teeth. That was so amusing and inventive. But I also loved their attack on humans as it was very well choreographed. They certainly are the comedic and overall highlights of this short whereas humans are much weaker.

Buddy of the Apes features forgettable Buddy, but the animals are great and their antics are quite amusing.

 My Rating – 3.6

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