You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘1946’ tag.

Director: Paul Grimault
Release Date: 1946
Rating:  ★★★
Review:

La flûte magique © Paul GrimaultIn this sweet little film, a boy-like minstrel and his misshapen dog disturb a nobleman in a castle.

The nobleman destroys the minstrel’s lute, whereupon a little bird gives the boy a magical flute, which makes alle people dance, including the evil nobleman and his birdlike soldiers.

This pantomime story is elaborately animated, but its designs belong more to the thirties than to the forties, and its story is hampered by uneven timing.

The idea of a flute making people dance was reused twelve years later by Belgian comic artist Peyo in his ‘La flûte à six schtroumpfs’ introducing his famous creations, the smurfs. This was also made into an animation film in 1976.

Watch ‘La flûte magique’ yourself and tell me what you think:

‘La flûte magique’ is available on the DVD ‘Le roi et l’oiseau’

Advertisements

Director: Robert McKimson
Release Date: August 31, 1946
Stars: Henery Hawk, Foghorn Leghorn
Rating:  ★★★★★
Review:

Walky Talky Hawky © Warner BrothersAlready in his fourth film as a director McKimson introduces his most durable star, Foghorn Leghorn.

The loud-mouthed rooster is coupled with Henery Hawk, in his second appearance since the Chuck Jones cartoon ‘The Squawkin’ Hawk’ (1942). Also featured is the Foghorn Leghorn’s regular opponent, the barnyard dog, and their recurring feud is already laid out in this short. Foghorn Leghorn uses Henery in this feud, making him believe the dog, not he, is a chicken. In the end Henery catches both, and even a horse, exclaiming; “one of them got to be a chicken”.

‘Walky Talky Hawky’ is one of McKimson’s most inspired cartoons. Both Foghorn Leghorn and the barnyard dog are great characters, and the short is full of great, rather Clampettian animation.

Foghorn Leghorn’s vocal mannerisms were inspired by a 1930s radio character called ‘The Sheriff’. Later, mannerisms from another radio character, Senator Claghorn, crept into the rooster’s vocabulary. For a detailed account on the origins of Foghorn Leghorn, see Keith Scott’s excellent post on Cartoon Brew.

Watch ‘Walky Talky Hawky’ yourself and tell me what you think:

Directors: Tex Avery
Release Date: August 3, 1946
Stars: Droopy, The Wolf
Rating:  ★★★★★ ♕
Review:

Northwest Hounded Police © MGM

In ‘Northwest Hounded Police’ Avery revisited the material of ‘Dumb Hounded‘ (1943) to make a film that is faster, more concise, more extreme, more paranoid and funnier than the original.

The idea of Droopy being everywhere is quickly established, while the focus lies on the wolf’s double takes, which get more and more extreme during the film, including the famous jaw drop. The cool part is that Droopy (or ‘Sergeant McPoodle’ as he’s called here) only has to be there to scare the wits out of the wolf. He doesn’t do anything but being there.

In the wolf’s double takes Tex Avery explores the limits of cartoon exaggeration. These extreme takes make ‘Northwest Hounded Police the epitome of animated cartoon paranoia, displaying a world of fear that has not been seen on the animated screen since the Fleischer cartoon ‘Bimbo’s Initiation‘ (1931). If there should be only one classic Tex Avery cartoon, this must be it.

Watch ‘Northwest Hounded Police’ yourself and tell me what you think:

http://www.veoh.com/watch/v202943sX3q26aT?h1=Northwest+Hounded+Police+-+Droopy

Director: Friz Freleng
Release Date: February 2, 1946
Stars: Bugs Bunny
Rating: ★★★★★
Review:

Baseball Bugs © Warner BrothersIt seems an almost certain loss for the age-old Tea-Totallers, who get plastered by the tough team of the Gas-House Gorillas…

Bugs Bunny, who’s watching the game, wearing an innocent straw head, boasts that he can beat the Gas-House Gorillas single-handedly, so he gets himself a game. Playing in every position he manages to win the ball game in this wild and hilariously funny cartoon.

Highlight among the many gags may be Bugs’s constant jabbering. Some of it was copied by Jones in ‘Rabbit Punch‘ (1948). ‘Baseball Bugs’ reuses several gags from the Woody Woodpecker cartoon ‘The Screwball’ (1942), but with much better results, making it a classic, where ‘The Screwball’ was not.

Watch ‘Baseball Bugs’ yourself and tell me what you think:

http://www.wimp.com/bugsbunny/

‘Baseball Bugs’ is available on the DVD set ‘Looney Tunes Golden Collection, Vol. 1’

This is Bugs Bunny cartoon No. 35
To the previous Bugs Bunny cartoon: Hare Tonic
To the next Bugs Bunny cartoon: Hare Remover

Director: Jack Hannah
Release Date:
 December 12, 1946
Stars:
Goofy
Rating: 
★★★★

Double Dribble © Walt DisneyIn ‘Double Dribble’ we’re watching a basketball game between home team U.U. and visiting team P.U. (which has only one fan).

‘Double Dribble’ is Jack Hannah’s second Goofy cartoon, and it uses the same format as his first, ‘A Knight for a Day‘ (1946) with equally fast and funny results. There’s a sports game with a lively narrator, typical for the Goofy shorts of the forties, but there’s also one underdog-like character, whom we can follow throughout the picture, and to whom we can relate. In ‘A Knight for a Day’ it was Cedric, this time it’s a tiny Goofy, called Marathu, who makes the final and deciding score, turning the game in favor of ‘old P.U.’.

Like in ‘Hockey Homicide‘ (1945) the team members share names with Disney employees.

Watch ‘Double Dribble’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Goofy cartoon No. 19
To the previous Goofy cartoon: A Knight for a Day
To the next Goofy cartoon: Foul Hunting

Director: Jack Hannah
Release Date:
 March 8, 1946
Stars:
 
Goofy
Rating: ★★★★★
Review:

A Knight For A Day © Walt Disney‘A Knight for a Day’ is one of four Goofy cartoons directed by Jack Hannah, while Goofy’s usual director, Jack Kinney, was busy working on feature films ‘Make Mine Music’ and ‘Fun and Fancy Free‘.

Hannah, who shares Kinney’s love for fast and nonsensical cartoons, adopts the use of a jabbering sports reporter-like voice over, but applies it to a medieval setting, with hilarious results. Unlike Kinney’s Goofy cartoons however, Hannah’s cartoon consists of a real story with identifiable characters, splitting Goofy’s personality into various different ones.

During a medieval tournament, Cedric, a young squire, has to replace his master, Sir Loinsteak, when he falls with his head on an anvil, blocking him out. He has to face the champion, Sir Cumference, an evil opponent, who rides a black horse, smokes cigars and has a shield of bricks. Cedric wins the tournament, however, earning kisses from the ‘beautiful’ princess Esmeralda, who is another Goofy-like character.

‘A Knight for a Day’ is a fast and fervid cartoon, which is over before you know it.

Watch ‘A Knight for a Day’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Goofy cartoon No. 18
To the previous Goofy cartoon: Hockey Homicide
To the next Goofy cartoon: Double Dribble

Director: Bob Clampett
Release Date: 
October 5, 1946
Stars:
 Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd
Rating:
 ★★★★★ ♕
Review:

The Big Snooze © Warner BrothersAfter a short chase routine involving a tree trunk on a cliff, Elmer quits.

He tears his contract with Warner apart and decides to enter a career of fishing only ‘and no more wabbits!’. When he rests at the riverside, Bugs enters his serene dream to create a nightmare. This involves e.g. nightmare paint, rendering Elmer in Adam’s costume, making a girl out of him, followed by wolves and a great fall, which typically ends the nightmare. At the end Elmer returns to the scene, reassembling the contract and ready for another routine with the tree.

‘The Big Snooze’ is one of those great cartoons that play with their characters as being real stars (others being the Mickey Mouse cartoon ‘Mickey’s Gala Premier’ (1933), the Donald Duck cartoon ‘The Autograph Hound‘ (1939) and ‘You Ought to Be in Pictures’ (1940, starring Porky and Daffy).

The Big Snooze’ was to be Bob Clampett’s last cartoon at Warner Bros. He was fired before he could finish it, and the short was completed by Art Davis, who succeeded him as a director. The film’s look and feel is still that of the war era, while contemporary cartoons by Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng show the studio was heading into other directions, with milder humor and more sophisticated designs. In contrast, in ‘The Big Snooze’ Clampett’s animation style is extremely flexible, as usual for him, and his backgrounds are as vague as ever.

‘The Big Snooze’ is a hilarious cartoon that marks the end of an era, where the wildest and the zaniest gags were possible. Only Tex Avery at MGM would continue the extreme style. Bob Clampett left Warner Bros. in May 1945 to join the Screen Gems studio. He was succeeded by Art Davis, who would direct some great cartoons until his unit was closed down in 1949.

In the years following Clampett’s leave, his zany style was continued for a while by his master animator Robert McKimson, who had been promoted to director only a few months earlier. However, McKimson soon toned down both animation and humor, and he would never achieve the same level of originality as Bob Clampett did during his Warner Bros. days.

Watch ‘The Big Snooze’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Bugs Bunny cartoon No. 40
To the previous Bugs Bunny cartoon: Racketeer Rabbit
To the next Bugs Bunny cartoon: Rhapsody Rabbit

Director: Robert McKimson
Release date: June 29, 1946
Stars: Bugs Bunny
Rating: ★★
Review:

Acrobatty Bunny © Warner Brothers‘Acrobatty Bunny’ is director Robert McKimson’s first Bugs Bunny cartoon. It’s not his best.

When a circus moves in, it disturbs Bugs Bunny’s quiet home life. When he wants to complain, he encounters a lion and the rest of the cartoon consists of his battle with this animal.

Bugs seems in less control than he normally is and their battle is not very funny. McKimson would bring Bugs back to the circus in the more successful ‘Big Top Bunny‘ (1951).

Watch ‘Acrobatty Bunny’ yourself and tell me what you think:

http://ulozto.net/live/x2MQDJj/bugs-bunny-acrobatty-bunny-1946-avi

This is Bugs Bunny cartoon No. 38
To the previous Bugs Bunny cartoon:  Hair-Raising Hare
To the next Bugs Bunny cartoon: Racketeer Rabbit

Director: Frank Tashlin
Release Date: 
March 23, 1946
Stars:
 Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd
Rating:
 ★★
Review:

Hare Remover © Warner BrothersIn ‘Hare Remover’ Elmer Fudd is an unlikely evil scientist developing a potion to change animals into monsters.

He tries it on a dog, but it only makes it eat grass. Because he has run out of test animals, he has to find a rabbit to try the potion on. Enter Bugs Bunny. What follows is a plot in which both characters think they’ve turned the other into a monster, which happens to be a totally confused bear.

‘Hare Remover’ was to be Frank Tashlin’s last Warner Brothers cartoon and the second of only two Bugs Bunny cartoons directed by him. Unfortunately, it’s not a grand finale.

Despite some great gags and a clever story, the director seems at loss with the two personalities. Elmer, who has a slightly altered design, having suddenly received buck-teeth, is awkward enough as a scientist. But watching Bugs being aghast that he really has made his foe into a monster, and trying to revive Elmer’s former self by making a chemical drink of his own, is just out of character.

In September 1944 Frank Tashlin would leave Warner Brothers, to direct puppet films for the Joan Sutherland studio. Then he left animation all together to work at feature films, first as a gag writer and screen writer, then as a director, in 1951.

Robert McKimson would succeed Frank Tashlin as a director. When Bob Clampett left Warner Brothers, too, in May 1945, the studio had entered a new era. The wild days were over.

Watch ‘Hare Remover’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Bugs Bunny cartoon No. 36
To the previous Bugs Bunny cartoon:  Baseball Bugs
To the next Bugs Bunny cartoon: Hair-Raising Hare

Director: Jack Hannah
Release Date:
November 1, 1946
Stars: 
Donald Duck, Goofy
Rating:
 ★★½
Review:

Frank Duck Brings 'Em Back Alive © Walt Disney‘Frank Duck Brings ‘Em Back Alive’ is the fourth of five cartoons starring both Donald and Goofy. The coupling never was really successful, and ‘Frank Duck Brings ‘Em Back Alive’ is no exception. 

In this short Goofy is staged as some Tarzan-like wild man wearing sneakers. Donald Duck is himself as hunter ‘Frank Duck’, trying to capture the wild man. Their endless chase ends when they encounter a lion. The wild man escapes with Donald’s boat, leaving Donald leaping from tree to tree, followed by the lion. Iris out.

The comedy of ‘Frank Duck Brings ‘Em Back Alive’ does not work well, because Goofy is not really himself here. Maybe director Jack Hannah was inspired by the anonymous Goofies that crowded the Goofy films of the era, including some he directed himself. In any case, when the anonymous Goofy suddenly is reduced to one, something apparently goes wrong. Then we probably expect to watch the real Goofy again, something which does not happen in this cartoon. Instead, we watch a Goofy acting silly, but also outsmarting his hunter, just like Daffy Duck does at Warner Brothers. It just doesn’t feel right. It’s so out of character, it ruins the comedy.

‘Frank Duck Brings ‘Em Back Alive’ contains a very late occasion of Donald’s typical dance of anger, made famous by animator Dick Lundy in Donald’s second screen appearance, ‘Orphan’s Benefit‘ (1934). Donald showed this behavior often in his early career, but it had become rare by the 1940s.

Watch ‘Frank Duck Brings ‘Em Back Alive’ yourself and tell me what you think:

Director: Jack Hannah
Release Date: 
September 20, 1946
Stars:
 Donald Duck
Rating:
 ★★★★
Review:

Lighthouse Keeping © Walt DisneyIn ‘Lightouse Keeping’ Donald works at a lighthouse. He nags a pelican by aiming the light on it. What follows is a fast and funny duel between the two birds in switching on/off the light.

This is a hilarious cartoon from the first scene, in which we watch Donald trying to read in the ever-circling lighthouse light, to the last one, where the feud has gotten so fanatical, the two birds even continue it after sunrise.

With his third Donald Duck short Jack Hannah really hit his stride. It’s faster and better timed than his first three shorts, ‘Donald’s Off Day’ (1944), ‘The Eyes Have It’ and ‘No Sail’ (1945). Maybe he was inspired by his work on a Goofy cartoon, ‘A Knight For A Day‘ earlier that year? In any case, while directing both Goofy and Donald (1946-1947), he made some of his best Donald Duck shorts: apart from ‘Lighthouse Keeping’, the 1947 shorts ‘Straight Shooters’, ‘Clown of the Jungle‘ and ‘Chip an’ Dale‘.

Watch an excerpt from ‘Lighthouse Keeping’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Donald Duck cartoon No. 59
To the previous Donald Duck cartoon: Dumb Bell of the Yukon
To the next Donald Duck cartoon: Straight Shooters

Director: Jack Hannah
Release Date: June 7, 1946
Stars: Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Chip and Dale
Rating: ★★★½
Review:

Squatter's Rights © Walt Disney‘Squatter’s Rights’ is director Jack Hannah’s first of many cartoons starring Chip and Dale, who were introduced by Clyde Geronimi in ‘Private Pluto‘ in 1943. The two chipmunks are still interchangeable here. They would get real personalities in their next cartoon ‘Chip an’ Dale‘ (1947).

In this cartoon Chip and Dale live in a winter cottage, which is visited by Mickey and Pluto. Pluto soon discovers the jabbering duo, but Mickey never does. In the end Chip and Dale make Pluto and Mickey think Pluto’s been shot. In the final shot we can see Mickey running into the distance, carrying Pluto to a hospital, and leaving the cottage to the two little chipmunks.

‘Squatter’s ‘Rights’ is the first of only eight post-war Mickey Mouse cartoons. Mickey had had a short renaissance under director Riley Thompson in the early 1940s, but by 1946 he was once again reduced to a side character, at best co-starring with Pluto. ‘Squatter’s Rights’ is typical, with most of the screen time devoted to Pluto, Chip and Dale.

Jack Hannah would direct only one other Mickey Mouse cartoon: ‘Pluto’s Christmas Tree‘ (1952), which also features Chip ‘n Dale. Hannah’s appointed character was Donald Duck, whom he led through the last stage of his cinematic career. In this he would develop Chip n’ Dale into Donald Duck’s main adversaries.

Watch ‘Squatter’s Rights’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Mickey Mouse cartoon No. 118
To the previous Mickey Mouse cartoon: Pluto and the Armadillo
To the next Mickey Mouse cartoon: Mickey’s Delayed Date

Director: Charles Nichols
Release Date: May 10, 1946
Stars: Pluto, Dinah
Rating: ★★★★
Review:

In Dutch © Walt Disney‘In Dutch’ is one of those rare cartoons set in Holland.

In ‘in Dutch’ Pluto is a milk-bringing dog in a very awkward, almost fairy tale-like picture of The Netherlands. He and his love, Dinah the dachshund, accidentally ring the alarm bell in their love play, and they get expelled from the village.

However, our couple saves the day, when Dinah stops a leak in the dyke and Pluto warns the villagers, albeit in an unorthodox way. This story idea is a nice take on the children’s book ‘Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates’ (1865) by Mary Mapes Dodge. The result is a charming little story in an exotic setting.

Like Mapes Dodge, the animators had probably never visited The Netherlands themselves, for the country is erroneously depicted as surrounded by a huge dyke, behind which the sea is splashing. Further couleur locale is provided by numerous windmills, tulips and wooden shoes. The people in the cartoon speak with a weird accent, which is supposed to sound like Dutch, but which is more reminiscent of German.

Nevertheless, it’s hard to blame the makers for the cliches, for even the George Pal’s cartoon about Holland, ‘Tulips Shall Grow’ (1942), is crowded with windmills, tulips and wooden shoes. And George Pal had lived in The Netherlands for several years…

Watch ‘In Dutch’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Pluto cartoon No. 18
To the previous Pluto cartoon: Pluto’s Kid Brother
To the next Pluto cartoon: The Purloined Pup

Director: Charles Nichols
Release Date:
 April 12, 1946
Stars:
 Pluto, Butch
Rating:
 ★★★½ 
Review:

Pluto's Kid Brother © Walt Disney

Pluto’s family life has been treated mysteriously in his films.

Mostly, he is on his own, but in ‘Pluto’s Quin-Puplet’s (1937) he had five children, and in ‘Pluto Junior‘ (1942) only one. In ‘Pluto’s kid Brother’, without any explanation, Pluto suddenly has a smaller brother.

The little brat is full of mischief, causing trouble with a rooster, a mean red cat and even teaming up with Butch the Bulldog to get some sausages from the butcher’s shop. But Butch is not the type to share, and in the end Pluto has to save his brother, while Butch is caught by the dog catcher. However, there’s not too much moral to this story, for Pluto, too, fancies the loot: the sausages his little brother has stolen.

‘Pluto’s Kid Brother’ uses the same story idea as the 1936 Betty Boop cartoon ‘You’re Not Build That Way’ starring Pudgy, but with better results. ‘Pluto’s Kid Brother’ is a great improvement on ‘You’re Not Build That Way’: it’s better animated, less cloying, and more entertaining. The result is a nice cartoon, if by no means among Pluto’s best. It remains unknown whether the makers even knew the Betty Boop cartoon, at all.

The red alley cat would reappear in the Figaro cartoon ‘Bath Day’, six months later.  Pluto’s little brother, on the other hand, would disappear again into nothingness, never to return to the screen.

Watch ‘Pluto’s Kid Brother’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Pluto cartoon No. 17
To the previous Pluto cartoon: Canine Patrol
To the next Pluto cartoon: In Dutch

Director: Bob Clampett
Release Date: January 5, 1946
Stars: Daffy Duck
Rating:
 ★★★★
Review:

Book Revue © Warner Brothers‘Book Revue’ is the last of the book-covers-come-to life cartoons, a series started by Harman and Ising in 1932, with ‘Three’s a Crowd’.

These cartoons, in which the book titles provide the gags, were mostly plotless, relying on puns and sight gags. ‘Book Revue’ is no exception, but it has the most swinging take on the formula one can wish for.

‘Book Revue’ contains caricatures of some famous (white) jazzmen of the era: Harry James, Frank Sinatra, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa. At a certain point Daffy Duck interrupts the swing music to sing ‘Carolina in the Morning’, dressed like Danny Kaye (with a blonde wig). Daffy even imitates the Russian accent Kaye sometimes would explore. Daffy immediately exchanges the song for some superb scat singing to warn Red Riding Hood for the Wolf. These two sequences form a highlight in Daffy’s career, and a real tour de force from voice actor Mel Blanc. The ‘story’, if there is any, involves Daffy being followed by the wolf from red riding hood.

The animation of Daffy is extremely flexible in this cartoon, especially when animated by Rod Scribner and Manny Gould, who really push the limits here. At one point Daffy even converts into one big eye – probably the most extreme deformation of a major cartoon star ever put to screen.

‘Book Revue’ makes no sense at all, but it is a cartoon full of sheer joy, and a crowning achievement of the book series.

Watch an excerpt from ‘Book Revue’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Daffy Duck cartoon No. 31
To the previous Daffy Duck cartoon: Nasty Quacks
To the next Daffy Duck cartoon: Baby Bottleneck

‘Book Revue’ is available on the DVD-set ‘Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume Two’

Director: Friz Freleng
Release Date: November 11, 1946
Stars: Bugs Bunny
Rating: ★★★★
Review:

Rhapsody_Rabbit © Warner BrosA very deft Bugs Bunny plays Franz Liszt’s second Hungarian rhapsody on a piano. This classical piece was director Friz Freleng’s all-time favorite, and it appears in several of his films.

In ‘Rhapsody Rabbit’ it is played out full. The cartoon consists of spot gags and it has a small story about Bugs having problems with a mouse. This story element is not well-developed and dropped halfway the cartoon, only to return at the end.

The idea of a battle between the pianist and a mouse was perfected by Hanna & Barbera only five months later in their Tom & Jerry cartoon ‘The Cat Concerto‘, which has exactly the same subject, and which uses exactly the same music by Liszt. Unlike Freleng however, the duo swept the Oscar… There seems to be something fishy about this fact, which is analyzed in detail by Thad Komorowski in his excellent blogpost on the issue.

Compared to the latter cartoon, ‘Rhapsody Rabbit’ is less consistent, but more absurd. The gag in which the mouse makes Bugs play an infectious boogie-woogie may be the highlight of the film.

Watch ‘Rhapsody Rabbit’ yourself and tell me what you think:

http://www.220.ro/desene-animate/Rhapsody-Rabbit/RnRu8v7HIK/

This is Bugs Bunny cartoon No. 41
To the previous Bugs Bunny cartoon: The Big Snooze
To the next Bugs Bunny cartoon: Rabbit Transit

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 938 other followers

Bookmark and Share

Follow TheGrob on Twitter

Categories

Advertisements