Egghead Rides Again (1937)

Egghead Rides Again ReviewEgghead Rides Again Review

Egghead Rides Again is a 1937 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a pretty solid flick.

Egghead is a boy who wants to become a cowboy but fails at every test given to him and eventually ends up getting the job but the job contains cleaning horse and cow feces. This is the first ever introduction of Egghead who would appear in later 30s Merry Melodies as well. I liked him, but I did not love his design or his voice.

The film itself is another one of those entries where the protagonist is endlessly humiliated and the humiliation was excessive for sure, but it was also funny and the ending was of course the hilarious highlight. The first half is not as engaging as the second one and the animation is not the greatest, but the film is interesting in setting and protagonist and it mostly succeeds as a good introduction to him.

Egghead Rides Again is weaker in first half, but stronger in the second one with a particularly funny ending.

My Rating – 3.6

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Sweet Sioux (1937)

Sweet Sioux ReviewSweet Sioux Review

Sweet Sioux is a 1937 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a pretty solid short.

This is actually a very solid short despite all odds going against it and more on that later. It follows Native Americans and it has no plot but is just about music as we follow their dances. I am usually against heavy on music and light on plot cartoons but this one benefits from very good score and it is a lot of fun. All of the dance scenes were highly amusing and diverse as we also got Russian music in there too which was interesting. The film is a lot of fun with an infectious energy to it.

However, the Native Americans are portrayed in a very racist manner with their mannerisms and behavior being highly stereotypical. I do not blame the movie so much as it was from a different time, but I blame today’s American society. They are the people who censored most of the Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies about African Americans, but this one does not belong in the Censored Eleven despite it being very racist. I find that hypocritical.

Sweet Sioux is racist and with no plot to it, but it is a lot of fun with a highly infectious energy to it and many great dance sequences.

My Rating – 3.5

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Streamlined Greta Green (1937)

Streamlined Greta Green ReviewStreamlined Greta Green Review

Streamlined Greta Green is a 1937 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a pretty interesting short.

This is a pretty unique premise for a Merry Melody as it concerns a little car who wants to become a taxi against his mother’s wishes. I don’t know why he would want to become a taxi and I thought he looked odd. The character design here is very original, but not really cute and the cars definitely look odd. And for a killer premise such as this one, they did not do a lot with it which was unfortunate.

But the film is still a whole lot of fun with memorable action scenes and such a cute protagonist at its center. The ending was not as memorable, but most of his misadventures were so entertaining and my favorite scene has to be the fuel scene with the fuel serving as alcohol in the world of cars. Very original.

Streamlined Greta Green has odd character design, but a likable main character and it’s a fun, interesting film.

My Rating – 3.7

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Uncle Tom’s Bungalow (1937)

Uncle Tom's Bungalow ReviewUncle Tom’s Bungalow Review

Uncle Tom’s Bungalow is a 1937 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is an okay film.

This Merry Melody is pretty much a parody of ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’, but I haven’t read that book so I cannot comment upon whether or not it succeeds as a strong parody. It is another “racist” cartoon and again only the design is racist and the film itself is not. It is pretty much on par with previously released ‘Clean Pastures’ both in terms of the content and the quality.

I found the film to be solid, fun and with a particularly amusing, really well designed and goofy villain. He is most certainly the highlight in a short which is otherwise quite bland, badly edited and with an overly extensive use of narration that I found quite frustrating. The characters are fun, but the pacing is frenetic and the film should have been funnier.

Uncle Tom’s Bungalow is another short from the Censored Eleven with a solid villain, but dull narration.

My Rating – 3.3

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Clean Pastures (1937)

Clean Pastures ReviewClean Pastures Review

Clean Pastures is a 1937 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is an infamous, controversial film.

I am not an African American so maybe I am not competent to write about this film, but I will do my best. So basically this film portrays black musicians who eventually go to heaven where jazz is accepted. I guess that is the plot in a nutshell and it angered so many people that it is now one of the Censored Eleven from Warner Bros.

I personally disagree with the notion that this film is so extremely racist. Certainly the character designs with big lips and everything are just horrible, but this is actually a major improvement over the previous Merry Melodies as black people and their culture I felt were celebrated here and the fact that they go to heaven is admirable. That is why the film honestly contains more positive than negative aspects about black culture and the PC-obsessed world now faults it too much. But as for the movie itself, it is okay, nothing too remarkable. The animation and the music are solid, but the characters are forgettable.

Clean Pastures is an infamous film which is not really all that racist when you think about it. It has a solid plot, but forgettable characters.

My Rating – 3.3

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Ain’t We Got Fun (1937)

Ain't We Got Fun ReviewAin’t We Got Fun Review

Ain’t We Got Fun is a 1937 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a pretty sweet flick.

Ain’t We Got Fun is different than most cat and mice cartoons in that the roles are reversed and the cat is the hero here and the mice are very much portrayed as the villains. That was quite interesting. I really liked this story, especially the beginning and that funny ending. The cat is a good hero and of cours the old grandpa is quite memorable and really well animated.

The animation truly is terrific here with good colors and superb designs for the most part. Very polished, especially for its time. But the score is very forgettable unfortunately. The biggest problem, however, are the mice which are just not as memorable as the cat and his owner and I have to say that the middle section dragged quite a bit and was quite dull.

Ain’t We Got Fun is slow and overlong, but definitely interesting and refreshing in its different angle on the regular cat and mice cartoon storyline.

My Rating – 3.8

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She Was an Acrobat’s Daughter (1937)

She Was an Acrobat's Daughter ReviewShe Was an Acrobat’s Daughter Review

She Was an Acrobat’s Daughter is a 1937 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a pretty fun flick.

This short is very much of its time which can be a hurdle for some viewers, but because I like 1930s movies, I’ve had a fun time watching it. It basically parodies a movie-going experience and what it was like going to a movie theatre back in the day. Some of the segments in the first half weren’t as memorable, but the second half was superb.

The movie has too much going in it, but mostly it does those segments right. The one with the sing-along was a lot of fun as the titular song is very catchy, but the highlight is of course the final segment. It parodied that Bette Davis flick so well and how the sound quality was very poor in the 30s. I loved that duck child who constantly asked his father questions about the movie. That was a very realistic portrayal of annoying children in cinema and very funny.

She Was an Acrobat’s Daughter is uneven, but honestly a lot of fun as it painted the picture of going to a 30s movie theatre so hilariously.

My Rating – 3.9

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The Fella with a Fiddle (1937)

The Fella with a Fiddle ReviewThe Fella with a Fiddle Review

The Fella with a Fiddle is a 1937 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a pretty solid, interesting flick.

Yes, this cartoon is actually quite interesting and refreshing for featuring a more realistic storytelling figure. The grandfather tells his tale about the dangers of greed to his grandchildren, but eventually in the end it is revealed that he pretty much lied and manufactured most of the story.

That is realistic as most parents and grandparents do that. He is still caring for them, but he is just not telling the truth. The short should have been more entertaining and better animated and scored, but the characters are a lot of fun, I liked the message and the grandfather steals the show as he is such a memorable, different than usual cartoon character.

The Fella with a Fiddle is technically weaker, but with an interesting story and a refreshing main character.

My Rating – 3.8

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I Only Have Eyes for You (1937)

I Only Have Eyes for You ReviewI Only Have Eyes for You Review

I Only Have Eyes for You is a 1937 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a pretty archaic 30s Merry Melody.

And by that I mean that it is very much a product of its time in terms of storytelling and music. It features a bird who is in love with crooners. This crooner thing has been done at least twice before in this series so it was pretty unoriginal this time around.

I liked the music, it was typical, but solid with a good, competent voice. The animation is also pretty solid albeit the bird designs are somewhat ugly. I guess that is authentic, but they are too unappealing to me. The film is too long but it has some memorable characters and it ends well. Overall, nothing spectacular and it is definitely dated.

I Only Have Eyes for You is a typical 30s Merry Melody in terms of music and crooner storyline.

My Rating – 3.4

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Pigs Is Pigs (1937)

Pigs Is Pigs ReviewPigs Is Pigs Review

Pigs Is Pigs is a 1937 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is one of the best entries so far.

This is the last cartoon to feature and star Piggy in the lead role and he is great here, very well developed and very amusing and likable. This reminded me so pleasantly of those Silly Symphonies which have a message, this one is about the dangers of gluttony as the pig is obsessed with eating but eventually the mad scientist offers him food, tricks him and make him eat so much food that he becomes enormous.

That was a phenomenal concept, but it was somewhat undone by its very typical ending. It was definitely funny that in the end, after everything that he suffered, he forgot that and still wanted to eat. Certainly that was great. However, how many times can the series get away with the twist ending where it turns out it was all just a dream? Here it didn’t quite work as a different ending would have been stronger in my opinion.

Pigs Is Pigs is so well animated with an excellent story and humor with only the ending being somewhat problematic.

My Rating – 4.3

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