Technically speaking, Old Smokey is a fantastic cartoon. The animation and the backgrounds are both excellent. Hanna composes some great shots, as well as the camera “movements.”
But it’s not a fun cartoon. There are no gags, because there’s real danger. A house is on fire and only The Captain (the cartoon series’s lead) can stop it. Or can he….
The Captain is actually a dumb, mean-spirited, technophile immigrant who stupidly fired the fire department’s fire horse and got a fancy engine. And the fire engine, it turns out, is just too new-fangled to be any use.
Oh, I forgot… The Captain (and the woman in danger) are both fat immigrants. Couple of real mean fat jokes.
The cute fire horse saves the day and The Captain rehires him. The Captain then kills the fire engine, which has just been anthropomorphized.
While masterfully made, Smokey‘s a little creepy.
Directed by William Hanna; based on a comic strip by Rudolph Dirks; animated by George Gordon; music by Scott Bradley; produced by Fred Quimby; released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Starring Billy Bletcher (The Captain).
Posted in 1938, Animation, Color, Comedy, English, Family, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Not Recommended, Short, USA
Tagged Billy Bletcher, Fred Quimby, George Gordon, Rudolph Dirks, Scott Bradley, William Hanna
There aren’t any real gags in The Goose Goes South until the finish. And that gag is sort of predictable.
The cartoon concerns a goose who can’t fly and therefore has to find other ways south for the winter. The uncredited narrator explains the goose’s problem and describes some of his adventures.
But The Goose Goes South is really—for the most part—just an excuse to make fun of the South. Whether it’s inbred “hillbillies,” the cartoon’s term, or a moonshiner—or even two Southern gentlemen who prove the most moronic—the cartoon’s constantly slinging mud at the South.
And it’s funny.
Hanna and Barbera’s direction isn’t exactly inspired, but the animation is all solid. The locations don’t change much, but when they do—the first scene and last—they look quite good.
Goes South moves very fast, probably because of the narration, and it’s a pleasant, slight diversion.
Directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera; animated by Ed Barge, Pete Burness and Irven Spence; music by Scott Bradley; produced by Fred Quimby; released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Posted in 1941, Animation, Color, Comedy, English, Family, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Recommended, Short, USA
Tagged Ed Barge, Fred Quimby, Irven Spence, Joseph Barbera, Pete Burness, Scott Bradley, William Hanna