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Director: Ikuo Ōishi
Release Date: 1939
Rating:  ★★
Review:

Swim, Monkey, Swim © Ikuo Ōishi‘Swim, Monkey, Swim’ tells about monkey, who learns to swim, and immediately joins a swimming contest.

The monkey wins by cheating, riding a ‘water imp’. In the end he succeeds in “cheating the others, but not his heart”.

‘Swim Monkey Swim’ is a primitive film, with the designs and animation looking like an Aesop Fable from the 1920s. Indeed, Ōishi was a Japanese animation pioneer, already making films in the 1910s. But if this film really was made 1939, it seems he had little learned since. The designs are nice and readable, but the film’s timing is too slow, rendering endless footage of the race. With its ten minutes the film is overlong and overstays its welcome.

Watch ‘Swim, Monkey, Swim’ yourself and tell me what you think:

‘Swim, Monkey, Swim’ is available on the DVD-box set ‘Japanese Anime Classic Collection’

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Director: Dave Fleischer
Release Date: January 27, 1939
Stars: Betty Boop, Pudgy
Rating:  ★★
Review:

My Friend the Monkey © Max FleischerBelow Betty Boop’s window there’s an Italian organ grinder with a monkey.

Betty invites the monkey inside to play with Pudgy. But the mischievous little animal immediately aims for her food, and Pudgy has a hard time trying to chase the intruder out of the house. When Pudgy finally succeeds, the monkey returns in Betty’s arms, as she has just bought him from the organ grinder.

‘My Friend The Monkey’ is the closest the Betty Boop series ever came near becoming a chase cartoon, a new genre that was emerging at the time. However, the cartoon is far from a gag rich chase cartoon, being more tiresome than funny. Even the pay off scene is anything but a surprise, as we could watch Betty negotiating with the organ grinder throughout the picture.

The animation of the monkey dancing was reused from Pudgy swinging in ‘The Swing School‘, even using the same music, but now in barrel organ form.

Watch ‘My Friend the Monkey’ yourself and tell me what you think:

 

This is Betty Boop cartoon No. 79
To the previous Betty Boop cartoon: Pudgy in Thrills and Chills
To the next Betty Boop cartoon: So Does an Automobile

‘Pudgy in Thrills and Chills’ is available on the French DVD Box Set ‘Betty Boop Coffret Collector’

Director: Robert McKimson
Release Date:
 January 21, 1950
Stars:
 Bugs Bunny
Rating:
 ★★½
Review:

Hurdy-Gurdy Hare © Warner BrothersIn this cartoon Bugs Bunny apparently lives in Central Park, New York.

He buys a hurdy-gurdy with a monkey in order to become rich. But when the monkey betrays Bugs, Bugs fires him and goes fetching the money at the apartment block himself. The monkey then fetches his big brother (a gorilla) to fix Bugs. But in the end it’s the gorilla who collects money for Bugs.

‘Hurdy-gurdy Hare’ is an inconsistent and rather weak cartoon, which nevertheless contains a great ladder gag, in which Bugs quotes Groucho Marx. At the end, Bugs makes a reference to James Petrillo, leader of the American Federation of Musicians at the time.

Watch ‘Hurdy-gurdy Hare’ yourself and tell me what you think:

http://www.ulozto.net/live/xPiUKTr/bugs-bunny-hurdy-gurdy-hare-1950-avi

This is Bugs Bunny cartoon No. 68
To the previous Bugs Bunny cartoon: Rabbit Hood
To the next Bugs Bunny cartoon: Mutiny on the Bunny

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