Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Cartoon a Day: Slingshot 6 7/8

Slingshot 6 7/8
Directed by Walter Lantz
Available on: The Woody Woodpecker and Friends Classic Cartoon Collection

It's been awhile since we've done a Woody Woodpecker short. This particular one has a few interesting things to note. First there is not dialogue in the movie except for Woody's signature laugh. Second is that there is no director credited for the film. There is the usual "A Walter Lantz Cartune" credit screen. While Wikipedia credits Lantz for directing (based on his own claim), the Internet Movie Database does not. It's hard to know what to believe.

In this short, Woody is in the old west and ends up participating in a shooting contest. The competitors can choose their weapons, so Woody uses a slingshot while his top rival, Buzz Buzzard as an Indian, uses a bow and arrow.

There's nothing wrong with a silent cartoon comedy, but the animation has to really excel. While this short has some good moments, mostly early in the film, many sequences are lacking that extra punch that is needed. Had Buzz and Woody been given some Tex Avery style reaction shots this could've been a much more memorable film.

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