Tuesday, 21 October 2014

358. Porky's Cafe (1942)

Warner cartoon no. 357.
Release date: February 21, 1942.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Supervision: Chuck Jones.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Mel Blanc (Porky Pig).
Animation: Rudy Larriva.
Musical Direction: Carl W. Stalling.
Sound: Treg Brown (uncredited).
Synopsis: Porky runs a cafe, which is operated with mechanical gadgets that help prepare a meal. Meanwhile, Conrad Cat finds he is in a pickle in various circumstances: such as an ant and a pancake mixer.

Still trying to create new characters who could successfully act through pantomime, Chuck Jones still attempts to make Conrad Cat work, but still hasn't make the character adaptable for a Warner Bros. short, except you could say Conrad has a little more character and emotion form the previous failure, The Bird Came C.O.D. Now, Chuck has regular characters like Porky Pig or Daffy Duck team up with Conrad, to perhaps make him appear more along the lines of a Warner Bros. character, though it doesn't meet such results.

Perhaps the most pivotal aspect of this cartoon would be Chuck Jones' timing. This isn't a criticism on his "slow pacing" which I've criticised over the past four years of Chuck's career; his timing has actually improved validly, starting from this cartoon.

Chuck appears to have at last capture the sense of speed and pace in his characters, that make his pacing sharper to the point it meets the other director's standards. From the first scene in the cartoon, Chuck appears to show security and confidence in his pacing and even gag development.

The opening scene which is set in Porky's Cafe, Conrad is seen working as a chef in his diner, and he flips the pancakes from the grill precisely in synchronisation of the popular Gavotte. A known popular melody for its time, it works itself as a gag; and Chuck's improved capability of slicker pacing has made a complete difference compared to what he attempted to accomplish previously.

Though Chuck's pacing is seen improved in many scenes of the short, I'll give another shout-out to his great timing delivery would be the sandwich scene during a communication scene between Porky and the customer, who we'll meet in further detail. He is given layers and layers of sandwich slices combined together, and he eats the whole lot. Moments later, his neck spontaneously reacts as the sandwiches are caught stuck in his throat, representing the shape of an accordion and reacting like a pair, too.

Though Porky's role in the cartoon is more predominant than normal; he is still represented as a weak character. Yes, he is presented as a loyal, hardworking employee who wants to meet the customer's expectations, but that's about it. His lack of temperament as well as a cynical attitude really lacks the spark with Porky here.

The scenes where he is first seen communicating with a customer who wears a feathered hat and a long moustache. Close enough to be considered a prototype Yosemite Sam, which I'm sure wasn't the case.

The customer himself shows more personality than what Porky presents, even though the customer's only motifs in the film is yelling for food to Porky. Despite the dictions on the character is what makes the character broader than Porky in that retrospect. Keith Scott suspects the voice of the customer is Bob Bruce, though the evidence is inconclusive. Most of the sequences with the customer is mainly a string of gags of Porky's poor service to the customer, whose services tend to lead to a circumstance, and yet this all leads up to a potential climax. This isn't a bad concept for a short, but Chuck hadn't used the right gag material to make this fulfilling as a cartoon.

With Porky issues asides, the cartoon itself still appears to function like its a pantomime short. The only real dialogue occurring in the cartoon is in scenes featuring the customer and Porky, but its not the sort of dialogue you'd be inspired by. Conrad Cat still is presented as a silent character, except for the occasional grunt, scream or even a rare speaking part in the scene. The two characters with different characteristics don't blend very well together in his cartoon, personally.

You get scenes that Chuck could have used in previous cartoons like The Bird Came C.O.D. where Conrad is looking suspicious on the missing pieces of pancakes, but takes some time to realise they're sitting on top of his chef hat. Having moments of dialogue as well as sequences where there is silence for long periods of time, especially on a particular character really makes the cartoon look inconsistent altogether. It's not that its terrible, but having Conrad and Porky together just isn't the right casting for the cartoon.

Most of the scenes featuring the customer and Porky aren't all interesting, though one that comes to mind shows some great visualisation that makes up for such a scene. The customer has requested to have soup served to him as a meal, which Porky serves to him immediately.

Forgot to mention, Porky's quick pacing from the entrance and exit doors of the kitchen really do look effective, adding depth to the sense of speed to emphasise his dedication to the job. The meal that the customer is served is alphabet soup, except Porky adds the final ingredients by typing random letters which spring to life, and then land on the customer's soup. For a wacky concept, Chuck sure made this visualisation look very appealing to watch.

From the start of the customer's dilemma gag, it seems a little aggravating to watch. The gag centers on the customer attempting to blow the steam off his soup, but only for the steam to return directly to the bowl, preventing himself from eating in fear of burning his tongue. Its a gag parallel enough to Elmer attempting to extinguish a candle in Good Night, Elmer. As that gag itself was incoherent and poorly conceived, the steam gag in the short is more exaggerated visually, on how it would be interpreted in real life.

 In reality, the steam returns from the bowl in an attempt to blow the evaporation away from a hot meal, and a lot of folks would get the general feeling. Chuck Jones not only beautifully visualises it into a gag, but gives the evaporating steam a little bit of personality too. After the customer supposedly blows the steam away, the steam is seen hiding around jars in the table; it then returns unnoticed to the bowl. This leads to a great take from the customer who sips with the steam surrounding him. He quickly places his hat under the bowl with great disturbance.

A sequence that will probably stick to the minds of others who have viewed the cartoon before would the mechanical gadgets who are seen baking a fried egg and preparing toast. The assembly line begins with a rooster who is seen nesting, but gets grabbed by the neck from a robotic hand and the outcome leads to an egg being hatched.

And so, this leads to some more assembly line business involving conveyer belts as well as mechanical hands doing the work, such as putting the toaster on or scraping the crusts off a piece of toast with a knife. Would've have been a more effective sequence had Stalling used Raymond Scott's infamous Powerhouse, even though it didn't become a cue by Stalling until late 1943.

It's a little straightforward in terms of gag approach. You've seen it in other motion pictures before, and in terms of an idea its cliched. But animation wise it was very complex to stage, and Chuck Jones as well as Warner's camera department knew how to handle such complicated staging without going too costly.

Conrad, in the short's subplot is mainly seen dealing with an invading ant who has entered the kitchen area, and becoming a clear distraction to Conrad's work. The ant at first hides inside a bowl full of cream, and as Conrad pours the cream in the grill to form a pancake; the ant is seen alive, and thus making the pancake walk.

It's a great little sequence when viewing character animation, as well as Chuck's sharp posing and the volume of his glorious facial expressions. Conrad fails at stopping the pancake from moving, at first placing the hand on top of the grill (causing his hand to burn), and continues to stop at nothing.

Watch Conrad in close-up as he is seen counting furiously to ten. The inner feelings of the character are greatly expressed and can be sympathised with. Bobe Cannon animation? Chuck Jones' timing is also pretty slick too, once more, especially in the fast-paced action of Conrad attempting to splatter the pancake with his spatula. The scene with Conrad swinging his spatula intensely that it causes his body to swirl like fireworks is very surreal itself in gag approach and timing. Beautifully crafted.

After a series of struggles from the kitchen, Conrad chases after the 'pancake-ant', leading into a chase sequence. Reading to the cartoon's climax, Porky is seen carrying a huge cake with several layers standing; and the climax only reaches its peak when Porky finds he is slippery around the cafe, crashing through tables, breaking china, etc. And at that point, Porky crashes towards the customer's table leading to an ultimate crash amongst Claude Cat and the ant.

The final scene, Porky is presented as a gag; for he's laid out in the style of a suckling pig; the customer and Claude are both trapped inside the cake. As for the ant, the ant has proved victorious towards Claude; for he ironically stands next to the bride figurine on top of the cake, kicking the husband away. From my point of view, the ant has a striking resemblance to the pygmy ant Porky faced in two truly terrible shorts: Porky's Ant and Porky's Midnight Matinee. Mmm, this doesn't sound like a good sign..

In all fairness, this short is no worse than Bird Came C.O.D., which is the truth. Chuck Jones' comic timing has a much more slicker and more appealing approach compared to previous cartoons where he is trying to be as successful with timing compared to the competence from Friz Freleng or Bob Clampett. Chuck's nailed it here, but from creating an all-round entertaining cartoon: he's not there yet. Chuck still isn't yet comfortable from breaking out from poor habits such as sequences that tend to drag, or incoherent gags; and also a heavy reliant on pantomime when it isn't really connecting. It's a starter for Chuck, but with a touch of comedy, a competent writer, and good characters: Chuck would be the great director we all would worship.

Rating: 2/5.

Monday, 20 October 2014

357. Who's Who in the Zoo (1942)

Warner cartoon no. 356.
Release date: February 14, 1942.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Supervision: Norm McCabe.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Mel Blanc (Porky Pig / Animals), Robert C. Bruce (Narrator).
Story: Melvin Millar.
Animation: John Carey.
Musical Direction: Carl W. Stalling.
Sound: Treg Brown (uncredited).
Synopsis: A wacky spot-gag short centered at a city zoo. Porky Pig is portrayed as the zookeeper.

Although Norm McCabe had already received his first sole animation credit for Robinson Crusoe, Jr., it's safe to assume that this is quite possibly the first McCabe cartoon that he directed from start to finish. Though there is little evidence to suggest that, 'Crusoe' does feature elements that suggest Clampett had originally started the short, and not to mention his drawing style was still fragmented.

Moving forward to this cartoon, it's a different artistic style compared to Clampett; a style which you can associate with a lot of McCabe's cartoons. Here, it appears that McCabe hasn't quite comfortably stepped out to reveal what his true directorial talents can require: he is approached with a spot-gag short, but not based on a new subject.

Set as a zoo-themed short, this concept had already been explored previously in Tex Avery's A Day at the Zoo, which had the mediocre gags you'd expect. Although the gags range differently in this short, its still written in the same style that you've explored Tex do for the past four years at Warner Bros. Not to mention, it's another cartoon where Tubby Millar is attempting to throw Porky Pig in whatever scenes are opportune for him, and once more, giving him another limited role: as a zookeeper.

Millar creates an appropriate scenic location for the zoo, in order to create a well-delivered comedic error which is well satirised from Bob Bruce's narration. Set in Azusa, California; The narrator begins by reading out the short's title; and then reads the name of the zoo as seen from the screen.

Combining the title and the zoo's name together in a speech, it is a real tongue twister, and Bruce's narration is well acted, capturing the tongue twister difficulty to a tee.

The opening scene, although its riddled with poor puns, and the whole sort: it does make up with an impressive pan shot of some of the animals displayed in their cages. Then it dissolves into another camera pan as the camera takes you to another line of animals (with puns) featured on display.

You get some corny puns labelled to the animals in their cages; offhand you get the corny "tortoise and the hair" gag, as its revealed the tortoise only has one piece of hair on his forehead. The other would be the 'bum steer' gag where you see a cow dressed as a tramp, which you see in the second camera pan shot. The pan shots aren't exactly as complicating or as inventive as Tashlin's pans, but they're great shots in establishing some of the animals you'd expect to see from cage to cage.

More and more corny puns are tossed into the mix, abundant enough to carry the whole cartoon. To look a little more further at where these puns just lack creativity or integrity would be gags such as the "march hare" gag, where a group of marching hares are walking in a single line walking a la army marching. Other really corny puns which is amateurishly developed, but the output meets a funny result otherwise.

This centers in the middle of the short, where we view the different types of elephants displayed at the zoo. First off, we see the 'African elephant' who is seen very plainly eating, being its only anticipation. Then, we meet an 'Indian elephant'. With the outcome not being an ethnic Lascar stereotype, we get the straight-forward pun resulting in a Native-American elephant who is seen whooping and producing a rain dance, which is a more forgiving stereotype, even though I never see it as not being PC. It's a silly gag, but of all the madness combined into the gag: it works to that degree.

One of the funniest gags in the short with a great unpredictable outcome is centered in the sanctuary scene where the narrator identifies a vulture. Looking very stern from its appearance, the narrator informs the audience of the vulture's instincts: "A sneaky bird of prey", "a lonesome scavenger", etc.

After blurting out a couple of cutting remarks to the vulture; the bird responds by breaking out in a snobbish, calm attitude as he simply speaks back by reciting the Sticks and Stones nursery rhyme.

The rhyme is also a moral, to help encourage children to ignore taunts or name-calling from various people. The outcome of the scene is not only surprising, but you enjoy the characteristic, camp voice Mel Blanc performs, who could devout a great performance, even out of a one-shot, minor character. Another great sequence, a pun intended, but also with a great outcome is seen earlier in the show: in another sanctuary scene. The narrator identifies the bird as a bald eagle. The eagle is disturbed when he is being called a 'bald eagle' by the narrator several times more loudly, until the eagle removes his hairpiece and yells: "Okay blabbermouth, so I am BALD!". It's another good diction voiced well by Blanc, who himself saves an average gag to being passable.

Porky Pig's role in the cartoon is still limited, but his scenes are scattered randomly through the short, perhaps to try and make his role look dominant. Porky's role in the short is as a zookeeper with gags and other businesses, that are unrelated to a travelogue parody. His role and the scenes he's in are really pointless combinations to be placed in a spot-gag short.

The gags would have worked better as a passable short if it were a cartoon focused primarily on Porky as a zookeeper. Anyhow, the first scene we find Porky walking merrily holding a mallet with him. When questioned by the narrator, he responds that he uses it to feed the giraffe.

It's explained further on, that his method on feeding giraffes is by striking the mallet in the style of a strength tester display that you'd see in a funfair. The first few times, the giraffe narrowly misses the bucket as Porky attempts to strike harder each time. After a series of tries, it reaches to the giraffe except the food splatters over his face, ruining his meal.

The next sequence Porky is seen feeding the seals fishes, except one seal refuses a piece (slamming it back, striking Porky's face). Then, in his scene; he is seen as a demonstrator on the narrator's commentary about the toughness of the hippo's skin. Porky demonstrates he consistently prodding a stick to the hippo's skin during his commentary. Then, out of nowhere, both commentaries contradict otherwise as the hippo breaks down laughing, ticklish at the stick poking him. It's another amusing, contradiction gag which are beneficial for entertainment.

At the same time the short was in production, the U.S. government played a part in propaganda by encouraging the public to help save scraps in preparation for World War II. It seemed rather fitting for the time the short was made to feature gags related to the war effort. One gag features a black panther who is sloppily drinking from his bowl.

After filling up the entire bowl, he finds to his astonishment a symbol which he tosses over a "save aluminium" scrap. I suppose this was the ideal symbol produced by the government used at the time so the public would be alerted to saving aluminium tin cans, pots, etc. to help the cause.

Another government-related joke also has some subtle humour blended in to it. The scene begins with a father rabbit, who already in the scene is the father of a multiple bunny rabbits. Reading the letter: he shows concern, anxiety and is almost at the brink of being panic-strikened. He gasps, "I can't do it! I can't do it! It's impossible. My gosh, there's no limit!". The curious narrator asks of the rabbit's concerns, and he turns to reveal the letter, as you can see in the screenshot. It's a nice subtle gag, which you'd expect out of Clampett; but instead Norm McCabe adds the right touch to the gag.

Like many spot-gag cartoons produced in Warner shorts, you get a satirical scene of a scene building up to suspense. The scene begins with the narrator explaining the intimidating instincts of a black bear. He is seen approaching towards a helpless lamb who is eating from a trough, as the narrator explains about his deadly claws which he uses "to hug his prey of death". And so, the bear approaches the lamb: and this is the height of the suspense that the scene carries.

Unlike many Warner fans, one might expect the bear to break down exclaiming, "I can't do it"; or the bear would romantically embrace the creature. The bear does the latter. Not to mention, it's another play-on word scene, as Tubby Millar uses emphasis on the word "hug" to suggest otherwise. Just as the bear hugs the lamb with affection--the narrator, misinterpreting that as danger, demands the bear to place the lamb down, but the lamb responds by sharing the same affection, "Oh for goodness sakes, mind your own business!". Love the Blanc falsetto voice.

And so, last but not least is the typical recurring gag which has been a popular formula when creating a spot-gag short. The star of this recurring gag is a lion who is seen pacing inside his cage with an ambiguous expression. A few times in the short, we see him still pace in his cage.

It isn't revealed until the ending sequence where, the lion finally stops pacing and looks from outside his cage with sheer delight. It turns out he's been waiting for the ice-cream man to arrive with his ice cream cart. He barks out ice-cream around the zoo, and notices the lion's eager attention for ice-cream.

The audience would be under the impression that the punchline was just a childish gag of a lion who was peckish for ice cream, but that isn't the case. As the ice cream man walks off screen to deliver the ice cream, we hear an off-screen munch. As it turns out, the lion as after the ice-cream man all this time, and not the ice cream itself. Cruel irony is awesome.

As this review comes to a close, my overall thoughts on the cartoon was rather tepid. As I wrote, Porky is very much unrelated to the cartoon, other than that he's a zookeeper, and some of the gags just don't seem to fit into the short. Not to mention, he appears to be written in the short as an attempt to save the short from being an uninspiring spot-gag cartoon. Like most spot-gags, you'll find it has some goodness as well as some blandness in taste. Mel Blanc and Bob Bruce both play their roles expressively as well as enthusiastically, despite having worked on such material so many times previously. You'd need to be this devoted an actor to carry on with such roles. Norm McCabe's sense of direction is also passable. He's not afraid to explore several aspects of subtle humour, as well as to make his shorts look visually pleasing, like the long camera pan shot. A vastly under-appreciated director, indeed.

Rating: 2.5/5.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

356. Aloha Hooey (1942)

Warner cartoon no. 355.
Release date: January 31, 1942.
Series: Merrie Melodies.
Supervision: Tex Avery/Bob Clampett (uncredited).
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Mel Blanc (Sammy Seagull), Pinto Colvig (Cecil Crow), Sara Berner (Hawaiian bird).
Story: Michael Maltese.
Animation: Virgil Ross.
Musical Direction: Carl W. Stalling.
Sound: Treg Brown (uncredited).
Synopsis: Sammy Seagull shows a shipmate, Cecil Crow, in how to attract a dame, as they take an eye on a Hawaiian bird dancer.

By the time the cartoon had reached theatres, it was already established by the Studio that Clampett had took over Tex Avery's unit after his departure, but its surely plausible that during the short's production; this was indeed one of the shorts that was started by Tex, but finished by Clampett. In fact, it's a little harder to distinguish whose style is dominant in the cartoon, but as the short's credits don't give any answers--I'd like to say that this feels more like a Tex Avery cartoon, to be on the safe side.

Why I say so? Not only does the cartoon feature gags very much in Tex's style, but from an animation point (backgrounds, character designs and all); it looks like a Tex Avery short. Reflecting on other aspects such as timing: its hard to identify or finger point whose scene is which. At that point, both Tex Avery and Bob Clampett were already pressing their feet hard on the accelerator, as Tex's last few shorts had slicker pacing and more out-of-the-norm gags, whereas Clampett was just starting to break out from his bad working habits from producing mundane Porky Pig shorts. To say whose the dominant director of the short, in my opinion, is inconclusive.

The opening shot is a prime example of how two characters should be introduced to one another, especially when written for an animated short. Michael Maltese demonstrates the character's personalities from not only their own genus, but from their geography.

Cecil Crow is already established as a Mid-Western dim-witted crow "from Iowa", whereas Sammy Seagull was created as a sailor, and it seems fitting to fit both personalities from different cultural aspects; creating good exposition.

Admittedly, I'm not a fan of the alliterated names Maltese or whoever conceived, as it's just generic names anybody could create for a character: it lacks juice or appeal. In fact, in the dialogue for the introduction scene, Maltese writes in alliteration a few times, mainly heard in Sammy's intro: "the sailor the sailor from Singapore to the South Seas". The short, too, marks the return of voice actor Pinto Colvig, who for a few years left Hollywood to work for Fleischer over at Florida, and his distinctive voice is put to good use as he voices the Crow.

The whole opening is written simply to not only introduce the characters, but to also set the cartoon's ambition to carry the plot.
Both have arrived from distant places but to a tropical island. Cecil's excuse was he was "tired of farmin'", and opted to seek after some "Hula-hula dancers" looking like Dorothy Lamour, who at the time was a popular actress for her Hula figure, most notable for starring in the original Road to... comedies. And so, the Seagull agrees to help out with Seagull in finding a dame for him. Out with his telescope from under the sheet of a lifeboat, they spot just the right bird: which is the Hawaiian bird dancer, who is designed to resemble Lamour.

Following that, the two birds depart the ship to the tropical island where they are greeted by the Lamour bird. The rest of the cartoon, however, is mainly the seagull and the crow motivating themselves in an attempt to win the girl's affection. The scenes with Sammy Seagull, though, aren't fulfilling at all, and the scenes lack much creativity as well as gags that Tex or even Clampett didn't offer.

Sammy is pulling tricks towards the Hawaiian dancer in a way to impress her, such as Sammy flying in the sky like an airplane. I suppose, the gag is that he is flying in the style of the plane, and creates a love heart in the shape of a cloud form.

I suppose, to a minority it might be amusing, but from the reviewer's perspective, I expected a bigger send-off, it just seems too tame a gag for Tex or Clampett's taste. The other gag which Sammy uses to impress the dancer is a gag in the same category, for the seagull does another gag acting as a dive-bomber; and that's literally all the gag is to it.

Comparing the gags of the Crow's attempt to woo the Lamour bird, the gags are better anticipated and show a fresh comparison between the crow and the seagull's personalities. The Crow character is already portrayed as a dim-wit, whereas the seagull is already the ideal everyman. A problem with that personality is its difficult to execute broad, vaudeville gags to a wonder-boy character, especially when doing it right.

Characters like Cecil Crow, on the other hand are much easier to conceive broader gags. In his attempt to charm the Lamour bird, he attempts to copy the actions of Sammy Seagull, but finds that he loses his speed limit and falls directly under the sea.

The underwater sequence is a great showcase for character animation by Rod Scribner, who captures the dimwitted persona very well into the character. The crow is still puffing his cigar underwater, and not having any sudden realisation that he's underwater.

What's a gag without the crow striking a flame through his matchstick whilst underwater? Only Tex (or Clampett) could have made such a gag look so subtle. Until, the crow remarks: "Gosh, I didn't know you could light this underwater..UNDERWATER?". Cecil's double-take was also greatly caricatured with Rod, who hits the accents right. The second gag in his third attempt to impress the dancer, is another great showcase of comedic timing, hitting it right on the beam. In a attempt to copy the Seagull's actions as a dive-bomber; he starts off with an average lift-off, but just then he ends up jerking consistently, and spazzes up like an engine going out of hand. These are both great scenes which blends in well to the character's instincts.

After a series of gags from a competition between the Seagull and the Crow, the competition breaks off into a dilemma for Cecil Crow. After an avoidance from the shark, Cecil quietly inhabits himself inside a turtle shell, hiding out of fear. Discovering quickly that another turtle resides in that shell, they both start fighting inside the shell, causing a racket. The part where supposedly the crow is raising his fist inside the shell to slam the turtle really shows power and monument weight in animation, that you feel the pain. Note how the turtle greatly resembles, Cecil Turtle, who had appeared earlier in the Bugs Bunny short, Tortoise Beas Hare. To make this even more coincidental, both the characters in the scenes were supposedly called "Cecil" (even though the turtle is unnamed in the short).

Areas which appear to show some of Tex Avery's humour is evident in some of the scenes, as well as scenes that I've already covered. In the first attempt of attracting the girl's attention, the first goal was to retrieve a clamshell successfully.

The seagull did the task effortlessly. For Cecil Crow on the other hand, the goal backfired. As soon as the crow opens the clamshell, we find a protesting clam inside the shell yelling incoherently before squirting water into the crow's face.

The sort of juvenile humour feels like it was executed the way Tex would have done it, though in some respects Clampett was certainly more juvenile than Tex. Another gag, appearing in the short's climax, is almost certainly Tex's own where we get an introductions scene of the cartoon's villain: a vicious gorilla. His jersey clearly labels him as "The Villain", but just to get cocky, the back of his jersey reads: "As if you didn't know" which is a decent tongue-in cheek gag which Tex adored.

Not to mention; you get the idea that the pacing is still building up; much like how Tex Avery and Clampett were building up their pace both in that same period; that its once again hard to distinguish whose timing is which. I'm going to suggest this might have been Tex Avery's work, for he did experiment a lot with rapid pacing, especially extensive use of dry-brushing effects.

The scene of the crow narrowly escaping the shark's jaws just features a beautifully rapidly paced scene, as well as a beautifully executed gag that it works on its own. Just as fires out the scene like a missile, all of his feathers fall out of the scene, making the gag feel more believable and convincing.

The second scene which features some beautiful timing and staging would be the starfish scene. Once again, the scene requires some beautiful and appealing dry brush work which makes the animation look very inventive, but also convincing in force. In a close-up shot, Cecil Crow struggles to pull the starfish from the top of his head, and then leading to a fight between the Cecil and the starfish, but as you'd expect: the starfish defeats him validly.

This leads to a mini fight scene, where the violence occurs behind a shrub, but the violence can still be visualised through the crashing motion that it gives. After a series of failures of impressing the girl, Cecil Crow finally defeats the villain of the short and wins the girl's affections. I guess the irony of the scene was that the crow failed to complete such simpler tasks, but had the knack to fight the vicious gorilla. And so, the new couple embrace one another and kiss. The final scene, though, ends in a very wimpy sense. Sammy Seagull bids them farewell as the sun sets. In the final scene, Cecil Crow and his new mate both wave back goodbye as they fly away from the tropical island, and followed by new offspring. It's a pretty weak way to end the short, for it lacks satire and taste: especially from a director like Tex, who would always satirise an ending to make it a suitable payoff. Here, it ends at a Disney-ish

Over who the dominant director of the cartoon was, its still debatable, but like I said, I'm more willing to say its a Tex Avery short. In all, this short was pretty weak in terms of satire. Though alliterated names are fun, here it just seems to lack creativity, but that's not all: some of the gags created themselves lack creativity. In all fairness, the character development in the short was paid off well, and believable enough in that sense. Cecil Crow at least saved the short from its uninspiring moments. I suppose the fact that the short was supposedly worked on by different directors, and yet the outcome didn't really meet to good results? Who knows. It wasn't a terrible short, but it felt so uninspiring, and especially reviewing the short was very uninspiring; as apart from the faster pacing delivered in the cartoon's action scenes; the rest of the cartoon is overall, mundane.

Rating: 2.5/5.