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Director: Hugh Harman
Release Date:
 September 19, 1931
Stars: Bosko
Rating: ★★★
Review:

Bosko Shipwrecked © Warner Bros.‘Bosko Shipwrecked!’ opens with a great cartoon gag, in which the title card is washed away to show us a stormy scene, with Bosko at the rudder.

In the next scene Bosko is washed ashore a tropical island. When fleeing from a lion, Bosko enters a cannibal settlement. Luckily our hero can escape certain death by climbing on a rhino in a lake.

‘Bosko Shipwrecked!’ is hampered by long scenes, which are surprisingly low on gags. The animation, on the other hand, is fluent, and at times no less than outstanding, with the lion chase scene as a particular highlight. The film’s best gag is when out of the cooking pot a skeleton appears to shake hands with Bosko: “Come on in, the water is fine!“.

Watch ‘Bosko Shipwrecked!’ yourself and tell me what you think:

‘Bosko Shipwrecked!’ is available on the DVD ‘Uncensored Animation 2: Cannibals!’

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Director: Walt Disney
Release Date:
 November 15, 1929
Stars: Mickey Mouse
Rating:
Review:

Jungle Rhythm © Walt Disney‘Jungle Rhythm’ opens with Mickey playing the harmonica while riding an elephant, the design of which is still rooted in the silent era.

Mickey shoots a vulture, but misses and is soon threatened by a bear and a lion. Luckily at that moment a monkey and a parrot start playing a tune on his harmonica, and a long dance routine can begin…

First we watch Mickey dancing with the lion and the bear, then two monkeys. Then Mickey plays the saxophone with two ostriches dancing. Mickey plays the whiskers of a little leopard like a harp, while a lion dances the hula, and he even returns to ‘Turkey in the Straw’, the tune that made him famous in his first sound cartoon ‘Steamboat Willie‘ (1928). After playing’Yankee Doodle’ on five tigers, a number of apes and a lion, the crowd applauds, and the cartoon ends.

‘Jungle Rhythms’ is easily one of the most boring entries among the early Mickey Mouse shorts: there’s no plot, no dialogue, no song, and the dance routines resemble the worst in contemporary Silly Symphonies. In fact, to me, ‘Jungle Rhythm’, together with ‘When The Cat’s Away‘ and ‘The Castaway‘ (1931), forms the worst trio of all Mickey Mouse cartoons. Luckily, weak cartoons like these remained a rarity within the series.

Watch ‘Jungle Rhythm’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Mickey Mouse cartoon No. 13
To the previous Mickey Mouse cartoon: The Jazz Fool
To the next Mickey Mouse cartoon: The Haunted House

Director: Jack Kinney
Release date: October 15, 1954
Rating: ★★
Review:

Social Lion © Walt DisneyIn this narrated short a lion deliberately gets himself caught to scare the people in New York. Unfortunately, he’s all but unnoticed there.

‘Social Lion’ was the last of three ‘special cartoons’ Jack Kinney directed in 1954, after his own Goofy series had stopped. It is, unfortunately, not a very successful cartoon. Its narration is trite, its timing poor and its animation, by veteran Norm Ferguson, heterogeneous: the full animation of the lion is awkwardly out of contact with the highly stylized animation of the humans.

Unfortunately, ‘Social Lion’ would be the great animator’s last statement. the Disney studio fired Ferguson in July 1953. He died four years later of a heart-attack, at the premature age of 45.

The cartoon reuses the weird safari song from Kinney’s earlier, way more successful short ‘African Diary’ (1945).

Watch ‘Social Lion’ yourself and tell me what you think:

‘Social Lion’ is available on the DVD ‘Walt Disney Treasures: Disney Rarities’

Director: Jack Hannah
Release Date: February 8, 1952
Rating: ★★½
Review:

Lambert, the Sheepish Lion © Walt DisneyDisney’s  favorite voice, Sterling Holloway, returns for the first time since ‘Peter and the Wolf’ (‘Make Mine Music’, 1946), to lend his voice to a child-delivering stork like he did in ‘Dombo’ (1942).

Holloway tells the story of Lambert, a lion cub who’s accidentally delivered to a mother sheep. Because he’s different, he’s bullied by the other lambs, and he grows into a cowardly lion, until he rescues his mother from the clutches of an evil wolf.

Like the similar ‘Morris, the Midget Moose‘ from two years earlier, the story of ‘Lambert, the Sheepish Lion’ is slow, sickeningly sweet and terribly unfunny. What Lambert eats during his stay among the sheep remains a puzzling mystery. The cartoon’s only delight are the facial expressions on the adult Lambert.

Watch ‘Lambert, the Sheepish Lion’ yourself and tell me what you think:

‘Lambert, the Sheepish Lion’ is available on the DVDs ‘Walt Disney Treasures: Disney Rarities’ and ‘Melody Time’

Directors: William Hanna & Joseph Barbera
Release Date: April 8, 1950
Stars: Tom & Jerry
Rating: ★★★½
Review:

Jerry and the Lion © MGMA ferocious lion has escaped from the circus, and of course, the lion is in Tom & Jerry’s house.

He turns out to be a nervous wreck and he asks Jerry to help him out. Tom, on his guard after a warning on the radio, never finds out the lion is in his house, but he does think that Jerry suddenly has gained enormous strength. In the last scene Jerry says goodbye to the lion, who’s stuck away on an ocean liner to Africa.

‘Jerry and the Lion’ contains some nice confusion scenes, but like most ‘Jerry-befriends-an-animal- cartoons’ the cartoon is rather cute, and the comedy somewhat subdued.

Watch ‘Jerry and the Lion’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Tom & Jerry cartoon No. 50
To the previous Tom & Jerry cartoon: Texas Tom
To the next Tom & Jerry cartoon: Safety Second

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: Clyde Geronimi
Release Date: November 20, 1942
Stars: Pluto
Rating: ★★★★★
Review:

Pluto at the Zoo © Walt DisneyWith ‘Pluto at the zoo’ director Clyde Geronimi delivers his most successful Pluto short.

In this short Pluto carries a tiny bone when he discovers a huge bone at the Lion’s cave. He decides to steal it, but this causes him lots of trouble with the lion, a kangaroo, a gorilla and several crocodiles.

Pluto’s pantomime is wonderful in this cartoon, and, unlike most of the previous entries directed by Geronimi, there’s an absence of sentimentality, which is nicely replaced by absurdism, with the simply hilarious gorilla sequence as a highlight within the whole series.

Watch ‘Pluto at the Zoo’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Pluto cartoon No. 9
To the previous Pluto cartoon: T-Bone for Two
To the next Pluto cartoon: Private Pluto

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