Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cartoon a Day: Lights Fantastic

Lights Fantastic
Directed by Friz Freleng (as I. Freleng)
Available on: Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 6

I've been watching several so-called "one-shot" cartoons this week. These are cartoons that are not part of a series that focuses on a certain character. "Lights Fantastic" is another Warner Brothers cartoon that plays off of pop culture references (in this case billboards and advertisements of the day) for it's humor. This is similar to the better known series of Looney Tunes that played off of the titles of books.

With these cartoons it's always a mixed bag. Some of the jokes are still as funny today as they were when the short was made, while others fall flat now because the pop culture references are not familiar to modern audiences. In general the opportunities for humor seem to be not as plentiful here, I mean there's only so much you can do with a neon sign.

The gag featuring a sign advertising typewriters was funny (what's a typewriter?), as was an elaborate sign that ends up just saying "eat at Joe's." But in general, I think most of these gags would've worked better in the context of a short with a story, as a side gag of sorts.

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