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Director: Dave Fleischer
Release Date: December 13, 1940
Stars: Popeye, Eugene the Jeep
Rating:  ★★★½
Review:

Popeye Presents Eugene, the JeepAfter reviving Poopdeck Popeye in ‘My Pop, My Pop‘ and ‘With Poopdeck Pappy‘, the Fleischers reintroduced the Jeep in ‘Popeye Presents Eugene, the Jeep’, despite the creature having appeared already in ‘The Jeep’ (1938).

‘Popeye Presents Eugene, the Jeep’ opens with a package deliverer delivering a package to Popeye. This package deliverer is clearly voiced by Pinto Colvig, and sounds exactly like Goofy.

The package contains the Jeep, which Olive has sent to Popeye, with a strange instruction to keep it outdoors to sleep. This premise leads to a great chase cartoon: for despite all Popeye’s efforts, the Jeep refuses to remain outside, and time and time again ends up in Popeye’s bed.

Now in E.C. Segar’s comic strip the Jeep had magical powers, being able to cross the 4th dimension, but the Fleischers don’t use this premise in this film. In some scenes it’s clear how the Jeep enters the house, in others they keep it wisely unknown.

With this mysterious ability to be at any given place at will the Jeep anticipates Tex Avery’s characters Cecil Turtle in …. and Droopy in …. The comedy of this cartoon certainly is of a new era, and the fun is greatly helped by the inspired score, which, like the one in ‘With Poopdeck Pappy’ makes great use of the lullaby ‘Go to Sleep, My Baby’.

Watch ‘Popeye Presents Eugene, the Jeep’ yourself and tell me what you think:

‘Popeye Presents Eugene, the Jeep’ is available on the DVD set ‘Popeye the Sailor Volume Two’

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Director: Chuck Jones
Release Date: November 23, 1940
Stars: Sniffles
Rating: ★★★½
Review:

Bedtime for Sniffles © Warner Bros.This Christmas cartoon opens with a stunning scene in which the camera zooms over a winter village scene. ‘Bedtime for Sniffles’ may not be a ‘Pinocchio’, this is still a very atmospheric opening intro to the Christmas spirited cartoon.

Cut to Sniffles, who wants to stay awake until Santa comes. Unfortunately the radio plays a lullaby, drowsing our cute little hero.

Because this is a cartoon about the familiar problem of trying to stay awake despite a desire to sleep, this is a more entertaining short than most other Sniffles cartoons, and a great antecedent to the classic Tom & Jerry cartoon ‘Sleepy Time Tom’ (1951), which covers similar grounds. The animation of Sniffles’s eyes when he tries to stay awake, is priceless, and is an early showcase of Jones’s upcoming mastery of facial expressions. Sniffles’s reluctant walk into bed, too, points forward to Jones’s mature style.

Apart from this, ‘Bedtime for Sniffles’ excels in great background art, and lovely lay-outs, with delightful details, like a walnut functioning as a waste basket, and cigarette paper substituting for a towel.

Watch ‘Bedtime for Sniffles’ yourself and tell me what you think:

‘Bedtime for Sniffles’ is available on the Blu-Ray set ‘Looney Tunes Mouse Chronicles: The Chuck Jones Collection’

Directors: William Hanna & Joseph Barbera
Release Date: May 26,1951
Stars: Tom & Jerry, Mammy Two-Shoes, Meathead
Rating: ★★★★★ ♕
Review:

Sleepy Time Tom © MGMTom has been hanging out all night with three other cats.

He comes home early in the morning, only to meet a very angry Mammy. The same night Jerry has plundered the kitchen, so Mammy orders Tom to stay awake to chase the mouse away. Not an easy task for the exhausted Tom. Especially when Jerry repeatedly makes him fall asleep. In the end Tom is thrown out, only to be picked up again by his friends for another long night out…

‘Sleepy Time Tom’ is a hilarious cartoon with great gags and wonderful animation involving Tom’s feeble attempts to stay awake. Together with ‘Daffy Duck Slept Here‘ from 1948, its’arguably the funniest cartoon about sleep ever, outdoing other great cartoons like the Woody Woodpecker cartoon ‘Coo-Coo Bird’ (1947),  the Donald Duck shorts ‘Early to Bed’ (1941), ‘Fall out-Fall in’ (1944), ‘Sleepy Time Donald’ (1947), and ‘Drip Dippy Donald’ (1948), or the similar Pluto short ‘Cat Nap Pluto‘ (1948).

One may indeed consider ‘Sleepy Time Tom’ to be the last of the classic Tom & Jerry cartoons. Although other funny Tom & Jerry shorts would be made in the years to come, the average quality of the designs, animation and stories would only diminish during the rest of the fifties.

Watch ‘Sleepy Time Tom’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Tom & Jerry cartoon No. 58
To the previous Tom & Jerry cartoon: Jerry’s Cousin
To the next Tom & Jerry cartoon: His Mouse Friday

Director: Robert McKimson
Release Date: March 6, 1948
Stars: Daffy Duck, Porky Pig
Rating: ★★★★★
Review:

Daffy Duck Slept Here © Warner BrothersPorky Pig tries to find a room in a town in which all hotels are full due to a convention.

When he finally finds one, he has to share it with a room mate, which turns out to be Daffy at his looniest. Daffy certainly is your worst nightmare of a room mate: he arrives singing loudly, talks to an invisible kangaroo, awakes Porky just out of curiosity, hiccups, steals blankets, puts his cold feet against Porky’s back and spills his glass of water over him. Porky, naturally, throws the looney duck out, but Daffy returns and makes Porky believe it’s morning already, and that he has to catch a train, which Porky eventually does, defying all logic.

This zany Warren Foster-penned story undoubtedly is one of Robert McKimson’s finest cartoons. The gags come fast and plenty, and are as insane as they are familiar. ‘Daffy Duck Slept Here’ is one of the last Warner Brothers cartoons to feature the looney Daffy. The result is a cartoon to laugh your head off.

On a side note: The elevator gag in this cartoon was reused in ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit?‘ (1988) starring Droopy as the lift boy.

Watch ‘Daffy Duck Slept Here’ yourself and tell me what you think:

http://www.220.ro/desene-animate/09-Daffy-Duck-Slept-Here/kAtvb6cOw3/

This is Porky Pig cartoon no. 117
To the previous Porky Pig cartoon: Little Orphan Airedale
To the next Porky Pig cartoon: Nothing But the Tooth

This is Daffy Duck cartoon No. 42
To the previous Daffy Duck cartoon: What Makes Daffy Duck?
To the next Daffy Duck cartoon: You Were Never Duckier

‘Daffy Duck Slept Here’ is available on the DVD-set ‘Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume Three’

Director: Charles Nichols
Release Date: 
August 13, 1948
Stars:
 Pluto, Figaro
Rating:
 ★★★★
Review:

Cat Nap Pluto © Walt DisneyIn ‘Cat Nap Pluto’ Pluto’s returning home in the morning from a very rough night, but he’s kept out of sleep by a very rise-and-shiny Figaro.

‘Cat Nap Pluto’ is an entertaining short. The funniest gags in this cartoon involve a very, very sleepy miniature Pluto sandman, who puts Pluto to sleep several times. Nevertheless, the cartoon pales when compared to the Tom & Jerry short ‘Sleepy Time Tom‘ (1951), which covers similar grounds.

‘Cat Nap Pluto’ is the second of three cartoons co-starring Pluto and Figaro, the other ones being ‘First Aiders’ from 1944 and ‘Pluto’s Sweater‘ from the next year.

Watch ‘Cat Nap Pluto’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Pluto cartoon No. 26
To the previous Pluto cartoon: Pluto’s Purchase
To the next Pluto cartoon: Pluto’s Fledgling

Director: Hawley Pratt
Release Date: December 23, 1966
Stars: The Pink Panther, The Little Guy
Rating: ★★★
Review:

Rock-A-Bye Pinky © DePatie-FrelengIn ‘Rock-a-bye Pinky’ the little guy is camping out, but his snoring troubles the Pink Panther, who’s sleeping in the tree above.

The Pink Panther tries to get rid of the little guy, but it is the little guy’s dog who gets the blame. When finally man and dog discover that the Pink Panther is the real cause of their trouble, they chase him out of the park into the distance.

‘Rock-A-Bye Pinky’ is one of the better Pink Panther cartoons: it has a good story and some great gags. The dog would reappear in ‘Pink Paradise’, the following year.

Watch ‘Rock-A-Bye Pinky’ yourself and tell me what you think:

Director: Friz Freleng
Release Date: August 25, 1965
Stars: The Pink Panther
Rating: ★★★★★
Review:

The Pink Tail Fly © DePatie-FrelengAfter a long evening of watching television, a tired Pink Panther tries to sleep, but he’s hindered by a small but annoying mosquito.

‘The Pink Tail Fly’ is one of the better entries in the Pink Panther series, and a worthy addition to the sleeplessness cartoon canon, being able to compete with cartoons like the Woody Woodpecker cartoon ‘Coo-Coo Bird’ and the Donald Duck cartoon ‘Sleepy Time Donald’ (both from 1947). It contains several good gags, which build up to a great finale. The highlight may be the gag in which the Pink Panther tries to kill the mosquito using karate.

‘The Pink Tail Fly’ was the last Pink Panther film to be directed by Friz Freleng himself.

Watch ‘The Pink Tail Fly’ yourself and tell me what you think:

Director: Winsor McCay
Release Date: January 1912
Rating: ★★★½
Review:

How A Mosquito Operates © Winsor McCayWinsor McCay’s second cartoon is about a giant mosquito who sucks a sleeping man until his body is a giant bulb. Then, suddenly aware of the audience, he performs some tricks on the man’s nose, sucks some more and explodes.

Unlike McCay’s first film, ‘Little Nemo‘, a long live action intro is absent, and more importantly, this one tells a real story. These are both great improvements on ‘Little Nemo’. Moreover, the mosquito is quite a character, arguably the first in animated history: he wears a tall hat and carries a suitcase. Besides, he’s not only a menace to the man, but also playful and a bit of a showoff. In ‘Before Mickey’ Donald Crafton tells us McCay even baptized the character ‘Steve’.

The film stands in the tradition of McCay’s ‘Dream of the Rarebit Fiend’ comics and is a rather peculiar combination of a sleeper’s nightmare and a bit of silliness. The mosquito is larger than life, and when he sticks in his long proboscis into the man’s head, it looks incredibly painful. This makes some of the action a discomforting watch, and this is perhaps the first time an animated film tries to draw on an audience’s emotions.

Unfortunately, the action is rather slow, and there’s a lot of reverse animation, in which McCay reuses the same drawings in reverse order. This may have spared drawings, but it doesn’t look convincing in its perfect symmetry of movement. Nevertheless, the realism with which the man is drawn and animated remains absolutely stunning.

Despite some flaws ‘How a Mosquito Operates’ remains an original and fresh film, and like all McCay’s films, very well animated.

Watch ‘How a Mosquito Operates’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Winsor McCay’s second film
To Winsor McCay’s first film: Little Nemo
To Winsor McCay’s third film: Gertie the Dinosaur

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