The Daffy Doc (1938)

The Daffy Doc ReviewThe Daffy Doc Review

The Daffy Doc is a 1938 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It is such a crazy cartoon.

Daffy Duck got his first whole film here finally. Certainly Porky Pig is there and he is great, but Daffy gets the majority of screen time and I am fine with that. More than fine as he is such a classic character and he has never been this good before. He plays a doctor here and gets Porky to be his patient. He tries to cut his stomach with a saw and the pig runs away.

Yes, that actually happened here. It is a very brutal, adult and incredibly crazy film as not only the duck but also the doctor turns out to be a lunatic in hilarious fashion. I thought the film ended somewhat abruptly plus that inflation gag went on for too long, but the saw scene was unforgettable as well as that “consultation” sequence which is very inventive and so funny.

The Daffy Doc is a very funny, properly loony cartoon with a great emphasis on Daffy Duck who is reliably crazy here in a couple of very inventive scenes.

My Rating – 4.3

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The Night Watchman (1938)

The Night Watchman ReviewThe Night Watchman Review

The Night Watchman is a 1938 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a typical short.

This short is typical for Disney but for Warner Bros. it is just derivative and it doesn’t suit their style at all. And I still do not understand why they constantly had the need to make Disney-like cartoons when their own, brand original approach is just as good as Disney’s formula and maybe even better.

Here a rodent watchman has to leave the job and thus he leaves his son to watch over while he is gone. Then the gang of bad guys appear and start tormenting the little guy. It is a serviceable film which is actually very sweetly animated and cuddly, endearing and overall pretty solid, but nothing too original and certainly lacking memorable scenes or gags.

The Night Watchman is cute and endearing, but uninspired in plot and approach.

My Rating – 3.4

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Fishin’ Around (1931)

Fishin' Around ReviewFishin’ Around Review

Fishin’ Around is a 1931 Mickey Mouse cartoon. It is such a solid entry.

Mickey and Pluto are on a lake fishing. The sign clearly says “no fishing” but the two completely ignore it. They do not manage to get any fish as the fish here are so clever that they play pranks on the two, but they still manage to escape the man who chases them for fishing in his lake.

This cartoon is unfortunately never as funny as it clearly should have been given the awesome, promising premise. And Mickey is sadly not as present as Pluto is. But Pluto is so funny in his yelps and some gags really worked, though none of it was too original or clever. I still found the film very enjoyable and entertaining. Also the score is fine and the animation is quite solid for its time.

Fishin’ Around is not hilarious, but it is perfectly solid in its premise and execution with a great emphasis on Pluto.

My Rating – 3.5

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You’re an Education (1938)

You're an Education ReviewYou’re an Education Review

You’re an Education is a 1938 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a standard Merry Melody.

By standard I mean that I’ve seen this type of short many times before in this series with that book style, this time around travel books. The film is still solid, but very unoriginal. So we follow a travel agency and the travel books become alive and we see various people from various countries performing some musical acts.

I think that for its time this must have been very exciting and interesting as you see a lot of countries here and the film is diverse for its time, but for now it isn’t and it has a lot of stereotypes in each shot. But still I found the music very entertaining and exuberant and the second half is definitely much weaker as the development with the thief was not all that interesting to begin with.

You’re an Education has a typical style to it, but is still somewhat interesting and fun in its first half with that travel angle to it.

My Rating – 3.4

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Porky in Egypt (1938)

Porky in Egypt ReviewPorky in Egypt Review

Porky in Egypt is a 1938 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It is so good.

As the title suggests, Porky is in Egypt with his camel. They are journeying in the desert and because the sun is too hot, the camel starts losing his mind and behaving erratically. This film is one of the most crazy and hallucinogenic Looney Tunes so far and those scenes were the highlights not only in terms of the humor but also in terms of animation which is very artistic and unique. The movements are particularly well animated and accomplished.

I also liked the character design and the entire Egypt looks awesome and painted with great attention to detail. That along with a fittingly Arabian score definitely creates the mood superbly. The camel is such a great character and he steals the show here, but unfortunately he steals it from Porky who is somewhat underutilized here. The film is very good, but not as funny as I hoped it would be.

Porky in Egypt should have been funnier, but it is a gorgeously animated, wonderfully crazy and hallucinogenic trip to Egypt.

My Rating – 4

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The Lego Ninjago Movie (2017)

The Lego Ninjago Movie Movie Review

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The Lego Ninjago Movie Movie Review

The Lego Ninjago Movie is a 2017 animated action comedy film starring Dave Franco and Jackie Chan. It is a hugely underappreciated flick.

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You ruined my life!

That’s not true! I haven’t even been a part of your life,

how could I ruin it? I wasn’t even there

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The Lego Ninjago Movie Movie Review

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Certainly a story about a ninja who has a villainous father who abandoned him is rather familiar. There is no denying that. But it is so well executed that I didn’t mind it all that much. I found the relationship between the two to be really sweet and strong. It’s the heart of the film. It is a very engaging, wonderfully entertaining watch.

Lloyd is a pretty good main character and I liked his struggles and how well they were depicted. Dave Franco’s voice is somewhat too mature for the role but still he did a really good job here. The ninjas are solid. They are actually rather fun and dynamic as a team, but definitely underdeveloped and underutilized individually.

The mother is typical as is her story, but I still ended up liking her and I wanted more of her. Master Wu is a lot of fun. He is that typical Asian master character and the movie made fun of him really well and he himself is particularly funny at times.

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The Lego Ninjago Movie Movie Review

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But of course Lord Garmadon steals the show. He is amazing! His story is definitely familiar, but again so well done that I didn’t mind it too much. And because the film takes its time to get there and it develops the father-son relationship fully, his character entirely worked and he changed throughout the course of the film and not too suddenly. But above all else has he amazing one-liners and he made me laugh so many times, especially during the film’s first half.

The Lego Ninjago Movie is expectedly superbly animated and once again the various Lego pieces seem real and not at all like CGI which definitely adds a lot of cute, real appeal to the entire viewing experience. I liked the character design and the jokes surrounding their hook hands were so funny. Garmadon in particular looked great and very memorable. The imagery is awesome, the tech looked fine and the city is fittingly Asian influenced and fueled by great attention to detail.

The problem with this film apart from the familiarity lies in its second half. I did like the family drama and, once again, it was really well done and with mostly strong dialogue. However, the film became too dramatic and less comedic and thus it lost its edge. The first half is much better and much funnier and there lie some of the film’s best moments.

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The Lego Ninjago Movie Movie Review

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I liked the role of the kitty, really well done. But despite a solid work from Jackie Chan, those live-action beginning and ending scenes did not do much for me. Meowthra was great, the Volcanic Lair was awesome and the film had a bunch of memorable set pieces. The action is really well executed too and surprisingly not at all overwhelming as I expected. Overall, the movie took me by surprise and it is actually one of the best animated films from this very weak year. It is weaker than ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ but certainly better than ‘The Lego Movie’.

The Lego Ninjago Movie definitely lost its steam in the second half and the entire story is very familiar, but still well done with a lot of heart and strong characterization. I loved that the film did not have overwhelming action but it relied more on characters and certainly Lord Garmadon steals the show as he is so hilarious. The movie is funny, but also a lot of fun from start to finish leading to one of the year’s most underappreciated films.

My Rating – 4

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Blue Rhythm (1931)

Blue Rhythm ReviewBlue Rhythm Review

Blue Rhythm is a 1931 Mickey Mouse cartoon. It is such a dull entry.

I do realize that people who are into music more are bound to love this film, but I really found it boring. Incredibly boring actually and way too long. It is basically a concert film but unlike other musicals of the time, it is literally a concert short. But unlike those earlier shorts, it is even more boring this time around and it only has that concert novelty to it.

It starts off fine, but becomes repetitive and dull. The runtime is excessive and I found both Mickey and Minnie somewhat forgettable in this particular cartoon. Others are also forgettable and in spite of a couple of charming moments, the film is mostly devoid of either charm or humor. The animation is very good though.

Blue Rhythm is very tedious and overlong. It is another one of those excessive Mickey Mouse musicals.

My Rating – 3.2

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Johnny Smith and Poker-Huntas (1938)

Johnny Smith and Poker-Huntas ReviewJohnny Smith and Poker-Huntas Review

Johnny Smith and Poker-Huntas is a 1938 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a solid short.

Egghead plays famous John Smith who arrives to America aboard the Mayflower. He meets Poker-Huntas who is obviously a parody of Pocahontas and marries her and they have kids, some resembling her and some resembling him. It is a typical parody flick, but better than most weaker Merry Melodies thanks to some clever gags.

I liked that cute ending, but the highlight in my opinion was the scene when they arrived on the continent and there the Indians already had shops and services. The hairstyle scene was quite amusing. Egghead is okay for this short, but he is getting boring pretty quickly and I am looking forward to him becoming Elmer Fudd finally. The animation is solid here, but far from great.

Johnny Smith and Poker-Huntas is nothing special, but a solid little parody with some quite clever gags.

My Rating – 3.6

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Porky’s Naughty Nephew (1938)

Porky's Naughty Nephew ReviewPorky’s Naughty Nephew Review

Porky’s Naughty Nephew is a 1938 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It is a weak short.

This is basically one of those Porky Pig cartoons where the focus is on Porky being a victim and this time around he is tormented by his very annoying cousin. I honestly like the victim formula more than most people out there, but this one is weaker than most of the previous offerings and for many reasons.

Certainly it is energetic and mostly well executed plus the animation is good, but the cousin is a forgettable new character and Porky here is even less memorable or endearing than he usually is. But the film just doesn’t have any quality, truly great gags and thus it is an entirely forgettable offering.

Porky’s Naughty Nephew has a forgettable title character and a lack of strong gags to make it more memorable.

My Rating – 3.4

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Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase (1992)

Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase ReviewMona Lisa Descending a Staircase Review

Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase is a 1992 Oscar winning animated short film that is for art fans alone.

The film consists of various images of famous paintings and the selling point is that each painting gets morphed into the next one. That is the point of this film and it has nothing else to offer besides that. Certainly the animation is strong and artistic and the animator pulled of this trick remarkably well for 1992, but it is still boring.

It is the kind of film that is unfortunately only suited for art majors and people who are really interested and know a lot about art. I personally have weak knowledge of that and thus I only recognized a couple of paintings here. The film is definitely a very boring watch.

Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase has great animation, but despite that selling point, it doesn’t have a lot else to offer and is very boring and too artistic.

My Rating – 3

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