Directed by Paul J. Smith (uncredited)
Available on: The Woody Woodpecker and Friends Classic Cartoon Collection
The debut of Chilly Willy, probably Walter Lantz's 2nd most popular character after Woody Woodpecker, is a cute little film with some good recurring gags. Many cartoon characters look very different in their first films, and Chilly Willy is no exception. Here he's a bit taller and skinnier than he ended up being in famous, more rotund form.
In this short, a dog is left guarding an arctic ship when the crew (which appears to be one guy) goes out. A penguin who can't stand the cold happens a long to try and warm himself on the ship's stove. The basic is premise is one that we've seen different versions of in many cartoons, so there's nothing really original there. But I enjoyed the use of recurring gags in this short.
The bouncy gangplank makes for a funny gag a few times. The best recurring bit, however, is Chilly obeying the sign asking people to wipe their feet when coming aboard. So he insists on wiping his flippers on the dog's tail.
Though it has it's funny moments, there are a few timing issues at other points. All in all, this is a good first film from a character that would become a favorite for many over time.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008