Friday, October 17, 2008

Cartoon a Day: Hysterical Highspots in American History

Hysterical Highspots in American History
Directed by Walter Lanz
Available on: Woody Woodpecker and Friends Classic Cartoon Collection

Not every cartoon that ends up on my "Cartoon a Day" reviews is going to be a gem. "Hysterical Highspots in American History" is not a bad cartoon, but there's nothing spectacular here either.

The work of Walter Lanz (most famous for creating Woody Woodpecker) is not quite on the same level as Disney or the Looney Tunes shorts. Don't get me wrong, though, I have a great deal of respect for Lanz's work, he was a great contributor to the art of animation.

This film goes through events from Columbus discovering America to the start of World War II, some of the jokes work, some have not held up over the years, and some fall flat.

I did find some sequences fun. The Gettysburg address and the opening of the Panama Canal did make me laugh. From an animation standpoint, there is some skillful work on display, but I would've liked to have seen more variety and originality in some of the character designs.

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