The House of Tomorrow is such a well-made cartoon, the technical aspects more than make up for some of the weak writing. However, that weak writing does make the cartoon an interesting historical artifact.
First the technical stuff. Tomorrow is a tour through a house of 2050. The year’s made clear when the kitchenwares get their emphasis and the opening actually makes it seem more immediate. So there’s a bit of a disconnect, but whatever. Avery’s direction, from the first frame, is fantastic. His animators do an outstanding job.
Where Tomorrow goes wrong is in the jokes. There’s a lot of vague misogyny but then it gets a lot more pointed–there are endless jokes about killing one’s mother-in-law. It wasn’t until halfway through I realized the mother-in-law in question was the wife’s not the husband’s.
But besides that aspect, Tomorrow is great.
Directed by Tex Avery; written by Jack Cosgriff and Rich Hogan; animated by Walt Clinton, Michael Lah and Grant Simmons; music by Scott Bradley; produced by Fred Quimby; released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Narrated by Frank Graham and Don Messick.
Posted in 1949, Animation, Color, Comedy, English, Family, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Short, USA
Tagged Don Messick, Frank Graham, Fred Quimby, Grant Simmons, Jack Cosgriff, Michael Lah, Rich Hogan, Scott Bradley, Tex Avery, Walt Clinton
Fresh Airedale opens without titles and I’m a little surprised to see it’s Chuck Jones. The animation is rather weak for the most part and, while there’s inventiveness, it’s chaste.
The cartoon has either a mixed message or just a depressing one. It’s all about a sociopathic, Machiavellian airedale who does whatever he can to get all the attention in the world. Meanwhile, a nice cat suffers.
So it’s either about how people stupidly like dogs over cats or about how this particular dog is the Mussolini of terriers.
Sadly, there’s no point in deciding which one. Michael Maltese is all over the place with the plotting and it sort of kills any expectation for the cartoon.
Mel Blanc doesn’t have much to do with most the voices, but Frank Graham is excellent in his role as the dog’s stupid owner.
Knowing it’s Jones, I expected a whole lot more.
Directed by Chuck Jones; written by Michael Maltese; animated by Ken Harris, Lloyd Vaughan and Ben Washam; edited by Treg Brown; music by Carl W. Stalling; produced by Edward Selzer; released by Warner Bros.
Starring Mel Blanc (Cat / Prowler / Nightmare Voices / Shep) and Frank Graham (Narrator / Shep’s Master).
Posted in 1945, Animation, Color, Comedy, English, Family, Short, USA, Warner Bros.
Tagged Ben Washam, Carl W. Stalling, Chuck Jones, Edward Selzer, Frank Graham, Ken Harris, Lloyd Vaughan, Mel Blanc, Michael Maltese, Treg Brown