Archive for March, 2009

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Cartoon Hell #20 – “Wiffle Piffle the Hot Air Salesman”

March 30, 2009

Cartoon Hell is TheKarpuk’s attempt to review every single installment in an awful $5 collection called “150 Classic Cartoons” purchased at his local Wal-Mart. Your prayers are welcome.

It's a growing field you know.

It's a growing field you know.

I discussed the matronly version of Betty Boop I refer to as “Frau Boop” during the saddening review of Henry the Funniest Living American, and it seems as the years went by they emphasized the Frau’s presence less and less. The strategy was to wean people unto other popular cartoon franchises before they could realize that the name Boop no longer involved overt sexual imagery. As weird as it is to find myself saying this, I wish Wiffle Piffle had taken off.

A great man at work.

A great man at work.

I’m immediately thrown off by Wiffle Piffle as he does not resemble any sort of main character I’m used to. He’s dressed like a hobo martian in a Monopoly outfit and his limbs are always in motion and always rubbery.

He goes to the first door and after offering, “something new in household items,” he’s smacked on the head. His response? “What a robust woman!” Awesome.

Watching Wiffle meander around town is oddly hypnotic, his body swaying as he goes down winding walkways, dodges guard dogs, and boards and disembarks from a trolley without it ever moving. I wish I could get a screen saver of him moving. It entrances and delights.

In the thirties a door-to-door salesman apparently received all the warmth and regard of a rabid bulldog dressed like a gypsy, as Wiffle gets treated like a plague rat wherever he goes. This could also have something to do with his resemblance to an extra-terrestrial crossed with a Stretch Armstrong.

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Cartoon Hell #19 – “Mr. Piper and the Story of The Magic Horn”

March 23, 2009

Cartoon Hell is TheKarpuk’s attempt to review every single installment in an awful $5 collection called “150 Classic Cartoons” purchased at his local Wal-Mart. Your prayers are welcome.

If this cartoon were done today the title would have been designed with MS Word Art.

A stunning display of minimalism in title design.

It doesn’t take very long to spot a formula in a cartoon series, especially in the wasteland of the 60’s and 70’s. The Mr Piper series of cartoons left a nasty taste in my mouth after the first viewing. Going into the second, a lovely tale called “The Magic Horn,” I knew a few of the things I could expect.

  1. A introduction by creepy Mr. Piper himself.
  2. Art that barely qualifies as animated.
  3. A public domain fairy tale story that limits the amount of creativity needed without having to pay anyone for the rights.
  4. A crappy closing remark from Mr. Piper, completing the cycle.
He almost looks mafioso.

He almost looks mafioso.

Finding out that Alan Crofoot, our Mr. Piper, killed himself at the age of 49 puts an extra uncomfortable spin on the action.

Mr. Piper gives an unneeded explanation of the story to come, and we’re whisked off to the world of stiffly animated make believe.

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Cartoon Hell #18 – “Plane Dumb”

March 18, 2009

Cartoon Hell is TheKarpuk’s attempt to review every single installment in an awful $5 collection called “150 Classic Cartoons” purchased at his local Wal-Mart. Your prayers are welcome.

Oh good, hijinks of some sort.

Oh good, hijinks of some sort.

I knew sooner or later I’d have to revisit good old Tom and Jerry, and by that I mean the two ragamuffins from the crappy line of 30’s cartoons, not the lovable cat and mouse team that won Oscars in their heyday. So knowing that there’s about 5 or 6 of the damn things, I picked the one with the wackiest title assuming it’d be another few minutes of buildings and other objects dancing to mediocre brass-heavy music.

Egg-shaped planes once dominated the skies of Europe.

Egg-shaped planes once dominated the skies of Europe.

We join our heroes flying a two seater plane, a perfectly conventional scenario in which two mischief-making fellows can surely run amok. Nope, nothing breaking out of the mold so far. Tom says, “When we fly this plane to Africa, we’ll be heroes!” Well, that’s kind of weird, but oh well.
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Cartoon Hell #17 – “Quack A Doodle Doo”

March 14, 2009

Cartoon Hell is TheKarpuk’s attempt to review every single installment in an awful $5 collection called “150 Classic Cartoons” purchased at his local Wal-Mart. Your prayers are welcome.

The only Doodle you can count on!

The only Doodle you can count on!

This review was immensely easy to put off. Certain entries in Cartoon Hell I look forward to, sometimes because they involve a character who I actually watched in my youth and sometimes because it’s a damn easy target. “Quack A Doodle Doo,” brings neither of these things to the table, and instead brings a symbol of childhood revulsion I’d all but forgotten about.

Does this image excite anyone?

Does this image excite anyone?

That’s right, Baby God-damn Huey. Even as a child these cartoons evoked a weirdly strong sense of offense. They combine two of the ultimate shitty cheap shots of asshole humor, fat jokes and retard jokes. When you have a cartoon running less than ten minutes and your set up involves Baby Huey, it’s guaranteed to please the assholes in the crowd.

I’m going to break this down into fat jokes, and retard jokes, and along the way we’ll see if there’s an actual gag anywhere in this production’s runtime unrelated to either once Huey hits the scene.

The unnamed mother duck of Baby Huey sits in a small duck house covered in cobwebs in an attempt to suggest that this duck is suffering from some sort of depression in the absence of a child. To help with the childlessness she takes an entire bottle of pills, possibly to end her suffering. What she didn’t factor in is how difficult it is to overdose on once-a-day vitamins.

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Cartoon Hell #16 – “Cad and Caddy”

March 1, 2009

Cartoon Hell is TheKarpuk’s attempt to review every single installment in an awful $5 collection called “150 Classic Cartoons” purchased at his local Wal-Mart. Your prayers are welcome.

You must decide which is which!

You must decide which is which!

Once again we’re dealing with a little rapscallion of a girl who is not only voiced by the same actress as Little Audrey but also has a theme song describing her devious ways. I feel no need to quote it, there’s nothing remarkable about the antics sung while the credits roll, it’s all innocuous behavior like using lipstick to write a letter.

The advantages Lulu has over Audrey are manifold:

1.No overtly racist supporting cast. (Her only companion is a frog, and not even a black-faced minstrel frog, just the regular kind.)
2.She’s faintly familiar as a comic icon from a bygone age.
3.Her voice is a slightly less grating variant of the Olive Oil voice.

Before the title even appears, we get a big message stating, “Little Lulu by Marge from The Saturday Evening Post”. I didn’t realize America was on a first name basis with Marge, they must be great friends.

The title concerned me, as it implies golf jokes. The magic of golf humor is its utter dullness to people who do not play the sport. Like most forms of hobby comedy, it is toxic to those not already indoctrinated. Golf’s power is that it renders humor even intended to lampoon it boring and bland.

Perhaps he's just murdering a prairie dog down there.

Perhaps he's just murdering a prairie dog.

Lulu leapfrogs with an actual frog when she’s attacked by dirt. A frustrated golfer is attacking a ball at the bottom of a hole he’s clearly dug himself. When Lulu asks him what he’s doing, the man yells at her, establishing himself as the villain of the piece. I love how often that’s used as standard issue bad guy behavior, since most children expect to get yelled at if they’re within their parents’ cone of visibility. Put in his situation, my main question would have been, “Seriously kid, why would you even be here? The only thing more boring to a kid than a golf course would be a crafts store or a museum of antique farm implements.”

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