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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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The Penguin Parade (1938)

The Penguin Parade ReviewThe Penguin Parade Review

The Penguin Parade is a 1938 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a weaker short.

It is basically a short about a nightclub filled with penguins. They sing and they dance and serve and that is basically it. Again we see a Bing Crosby impersonation and that of course is very repetitive by now. And here we get a musical episode which seems to have come from 1933 and not 1938. I do wonder when they are going to evolve from this format or at least make a different kind of musical.

The penguins in this situation and in this setting admittedly makes sense and the animation in particular was excellent with that iceberg and the penguins themselves looking stellar. The score is boring and the film has no quality gags except for that ending where they confronted the audience in an amusing manner.

The Penguin Parade is superbly animated and with a good ending, but other than that, it’s a regular, too old-fashioned episode.

My Rating – 3.3

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A Star is Hatched (1938)

A Star is Hatched ReviewA Star is Hatched Review

A Star is Hatched is a 1938 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is such a weak cartoon.

I wouldn’t say that it is a total rip-off of ‘Let It Be Me’ which is a much better 1936 Warner Bros. entry, but it surely is very similar in some points. Both share Emily and she is a very weirdly written character. They could not decide whether to lampoon Greta Garbo or Katharine Hepburn in her character so they did both. That did not pay off and both were repeated countless times before and those jokes need to die off already.

I thought that it also did not really work as a parody of ‘A Star Is Born’ which is a great 1937 film and it did not get justice here at all. I liked the animation and I liked that it employed fast pace which was fitting for the story, but the gags were thoroughly lacking this time around.

A Star is Hatched is perfectly fine as it is, but it lacks originality and great humor to make it truly memorable.

My Rating – 3.3

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The Sneezing Weasel (1938)

The Sneezing Weasel ReviewThe Sneezing Weasel Review

The Sneezing Weasel is a 1938 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is such a derivative entry.

This was a perfectly competent short film, but the fact that it is so damn derivative hurt it tremendously. The animation is definitely very good with the character designs all being stellar. The action is solid and the film is quite a lot of fun to watch. As I said, perfectly solid and well made overall.

But the story and the action on screen are nothing short of unoriginal. This is basically their rendition of ‘Three Little Pigs’ as the weasel tries to break into the chickens’ house with the disguise as well. That story is always a lot of fun to watch, but in terms of originality, it is the worst offender yet from the series.

The Sneezing Weasel is very well made across the board and with good voice acting, but the story and action on screen are entirely unoriginal.

My Rating – 3.4

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Jungle Jitters (1938)

Jungle Jitters ReviewJungle Jitters Review

Jungle Jitters is a 1938 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is such a weak cartoon.

This is by far the worst Merry Melody from the latter half of the thirties. It is just not great. It is certainly not bad and there is nothing truly bad or awful in it and for people who may have not seen the other shorts, it should prove fine. However, to me as an avid cartoon watcher, both the animation and the jokes felt recycled from previous, much better entries.

The animation is choppy and not great and the score is forgettable. The plot is nothing to write home about and naturally the worst part about it is the racism which is casual here in both the story and the characterization and character design. And that white girl interest with the face of a chicken was horribly animated and so odd.

Jungle Jitters is one of the worst Merry Melodies so far with a forgettable story, a racist approach and recycled, choppy animation.

My Rating – 2.8

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