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Directors: William Hanna & Joseph Barbera
Airing Date: February 24, 1961
Stars: The Flintstones
Rating: ★★½

The Tycoon © Hanna-BarberaThis episode has an unusual narrative structure. It immediately starts differently, using a narrator, who first introduces bedrock and its inhabitants, before focusing on Fred Flintstone. Moreover, the episode uses a flashback, and ends inconclusive, much unlike all the other Flintstone episodes.

The story is an example of a classic mistaken identity, when Fred Flintstone is mistaken for business tycoon J.L. Gotrocks, and vice versa. The problems start when Gotrocks flips his wig, resigns and goes out on the street, and his employees convince Fred to take Gotrocks place. Surprisingly Fred does an amazing job by saying “whose baby is that?”, “What’s your angle?” and “I’ll buy that” only.

Nevertheless, the comedy hardly comes off, as the lookalike plot never gets convincing. The best prehistory gag involves a bird voice recorder, which repeats the message when thrown a cracker.

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

‘The Tycoon’ is released on the DVD-set ‘The Flintstones: The Complete First Season’

Director: Tex Avery
Release Date: November 17, 1951
Stars: Droopy, Spike
Rating: ★★½
Review:

Droopy's Double Trouble © MGMDroopy is a butler in a mansion who invites his incredibly strong brother Drippy to join him at work.

The pair is told to let nobody into the house while the master’s away, but Droopy brings in his old pal, the tramp Spike. What follows is a series of confusion gags, in which Spike is pampered by Droopy and clobbered by Drippy.

The comedy is less inventive than in earlier Droopy shorts, and ‘Droopy’s Double Trouble’ is arguably Avery’s weakest Droopy cartoon. Spike is in no sense the funny, mean cheater he was in earlier cartoons, like ‘The Chump Champ’ (1950) and ‘Droopy’s Good Deed’ (1951). He speaks with a strange, Irish(?) accent and is only a meek and unfunny victim of the confusion gags.

Watch ‘Droopy’s Double Trouble’ yourself and tell me what you think:

https://archive.org/details/DroopysDoubleTrouble

Director: Gene Deitch
Release Date: September 1, 1961
Stars: Tom & Jerry
Rating: ★★½
Review:

Switchin' Kitten © MGMIn ‘Switchin’ Kitten’ Tom visits an eerie castle, where Jerry helps a mad scientist with an experiment changing cats into dogs and vice versa. An anonymous cat, thinking he’s a dog, protects Jerry against an incomprehensible Tom.

‘Switchin’ Kitten’ is the first of a series of thirteen Tom & Jerry shorts directed by Gene Deitch, three years after the MGM animation studio had shut down and Hanna & Barbera had left for television. Gene Deitch’s animation team was based in Czechoslovakia, and it had only seen a handful of the classic Hanna & Barbera films.

‘Switchin’ Kitten’ immediately shows their problems: there’s a fairly good story with some great gags, but these are smothered in ugly designs (especially that of Jerry), bad timing, unappealing animation, terrible sound effects and unimaginative music, resulting in a surprisingly unfunny film. One cannot help but thinking that this short was made only to cash in on Tom & Jerry’s popularity. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t get better…

Watch an excerpt from ‘Switchin’ Kitten’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Tom & Jerry cartoon No. 115
To the previous Tom & Jerry cartoon: Tot Watchers
To the next Tom & Jerry cartoon: Down and Outing

‘Switchin’ Kitten’ is available on the European DVD Box set ‘Tom and Jerry Collection’ and on the DVD-set ‘Tom and Jerry: The Gene Deitch Collection’

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