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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Oily Bird

I have mixed feelings on the Harveytoons distributed by Paramount studios. On one side, they do have entertaining animation in them and, to be honest, can be kind of fun to watch. On the other hand, and this was the biggest fault, they weren't that original or novel. They ranged from okay to WTF. I also think they had a lot of trouble finding a target audience. My argument is that most of them (which I think was about 70%. I'm just guessing here.) are mild, child-friendly, and aren't really that funny, like with the Casper and Little Audrey series. Then you have Baby Huey and Herman and Katnip (my personal favorites from this group) that were made for movie-going adults in mind and can be really funny.

Today's short is one of the cartoons from the latter argument from 1954 directed by Izzy Sparber. I do love the music and the animation of the little worm when his eyes open in rhythm to the snake-charming music.

There is one thing that bothers me though... the whole thing is about an earthworm in a derby trying to foil his enemy, a brown early bird.

Gee... sound f'n familiar?

Oh, and as if the bird didn't look familiar!

At least they know how to take influence from the good animators (to be polite). The problem is that Harveytoons like this one didn't do it too well.

1 comment:

J Lee said...

The earlier Noveltoon "Voice of the Turkey" really borrows from the Avery ouerve, where we get an Arnold Stang v. Sid Raymond voiced battle that just pre-dates the start of the Herman & Katnip series.

(Really, if you separate out the one-shot cartoons of the 1950s from the series with the recurring characters, the one-shots overall are actually pretty good, especially after Irv Spector was reassigned to the story department. Paramount's problem was when they took their successful one-shot characters and tried to build series around them, the fell into the habit of repeating the same plot lines over and over again.)