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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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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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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Little Brother Rat (1939)

Little Brother Rat ReviewLittle Brother Rat Review

Little Brother Rat is a 1939 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is quite a funny cartoon.

This is one of the best Merry Melodies of 1939 by far. I really enjoyed it. It is about Sniffles the mouse who has to get an owl’s egg for the other mice, but angers the owl. Eventually he saves the baby owl and in gratitude, the father gives him the blue egg. The film has a weaker first half and it is most definitely a Disney Warner Bros. film, but it is quite possibly their best attempt so far at a Disney flick.

That is because that second half is so phenomenal. I really liked Sniffles and that father owl is very memorable and with a great voice. The baby owl is immensely cute. I liked the simplistic, but sweet plot and the ending as well. The cat sequence is the highlight, especially visually as the silhouette animation is gorgeously put to use here. The entire film is actually superbly animated with a fine level to detail and wonderful character design.

Little Brother Rat definitely is a Disney film, but a good one with a sweet plot, likable characters and arresting animation.

My Rating – 4

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Detouring America (1939)

Detouring America ReviewDetouring America Review

Detouring America is a 1939 Oscar-nominated animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a solid, but not great flick.

It is basically a travelogue of the United States where we see various groups of people and places visited while also following a human fly who tries to climb the Empire State Building. His “Help!” yelp at the end was of course very funny and a great finale, but other than that, there aren’t a lot of quality gags here unfortunately.

The film definitely must have been incredibly interesting for the 1939 audiences, but travelogues are rather dated in today’s day and age and that is just the fact. Some scenes here are fine, but most are forgettable and not all that funny. The narrator is definitely solid and the animation is certainly very strong, but the film is still overrated and certainly not deserving of an Oscar nomination. Thankfully ‘The Ugly Duckling’ earned another Oscar for the Silly Symphonies series and not this weak film.

Detouring America definitely is very well animated and with a great ending, but it’s a slight, dated travelogue nonetheless.

My Rating – 3.6

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Hare-um Scare-um (1939)

Hare-um Scare-um ReviewHare-um Scare-um Review

Hare-um Scare-um is a 1939 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a very good short.

It stars the early prototype of Bugs Bunny who is now grey instead of white and thus much more closer to his classic design. I am looking forward to the final design. A man named John is rabbit hunting along with his dog. Bugs first disposes of the dog and then manages to make a fool of the man himself.

The story is standard but really well done. The animation is solid, but not great. The gags are quite funny, but not hilarious or particularly original. Still, I really liked that ending which was a multi-punch ending so well executed. I liked the song and how the rabbit was pretty talkative. The dog stuff was weaker, but John’s scenes are the highlights. I also loved that Porky Pig poster sequence.

Hare-um Scare-um definitely needed more work, but still it is a very entertaining short filled with a bunch of very solid gags and scenes.

My Rating – 4

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Snowman’s Land (1939)

Snowman's Land ReviewSnowman’s Land Review

Snowman’s Land is a 1939 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a weak short.

As has been pointed out by many, this film is so obviously influenced by Disney’s films and especially Goofy as the main character has that Pinto Colvig signature voice and is so reminiscent of Goofy that I would deem this entire film a rip-off. Now obviously the animation is very good and I loved the icy setting along with some quite good action moments, but everything else is weak.

The characters are forgettable and stolen from Disney, their interactions are mostly uninspired and most of the gags in the cartoon do not work. The major problem, however, is its slow pace. The film is very slow, especially in its first half and very uneventful that it was a pretty boring watch.

Snowman’s Land is an obvious Goofy rip-off with solid animation, but a dull plot and a lack of strong gags.

My Rating – 3.3

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Dangerous Dan McFoo (1939)

Dangerous Dan McFoo ReviewDangerous Dan McFoo Review

Dangerous Dan McFoo is a 1939 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a very weak one.

The story here is quite archaic. The film is far from bad as some scenes are fun and I definitely really liked its animation and the character design as all its characters looked really good. However, everything else is subpar and the movie is one of the weakest from this year.

I did not care for its story and I also found its humor very weak. I do not understand why they continue to make fun of Katharine Hepburn so much. They could have made fun of Bette Davis here instead but we only got her picture and the rest was again Hepburn comedy. And the ending I found very mediocre.

Dangerous Dan McFoo is very well animated, but not funny and very weak in story and humor.

My Rating – 3.3

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