I’m continuing to watch Voom’s THE CLASSICS animation block in HDTV on the Animania channel, and while I do, I’m mulling over matters such as these:
* Were UPA’s Dick Tracy shorts the worst cartoons ever adapted from a great comic strip? Or at least the most ill-conceived? What would possess one to put a talking bulldog into Chester Gould’s world? Why all the stereotypes? Even Filmation’s Tracys are better, for Pete’s sake…
* Everybody in Joe Oriolo’s Felix cartoons talks veeeerrry sloooooowly. As if they’re trying to kill time.
* Speaking of Joe Oriolo Felixes, they’re the sources of some of my earliest animation memories. But I’d forgotten, or never noticed, that Poindexter is a truly disturbing character. If anybody in 1960s animation would have gone of the deep end and committed unspeakable crimes, it would have been him.
* Not to harp on Joe Oriolo Felixes or anything, but is there even one recorded instance of anyone’s sides aching from excessive laughter, or anyone’s heart going pit-a-pat, while watching one of these cartoons?
* Despite the slow talking, Poindexter’s creepy qualities, and the misleading theme song, someone at Voom must like Joe Oriolo Felixes–so far, they’ve made up not just the Felix block but also around half of the Magoo block (which I was hoping would be all obscure Columbias).
* Stuff like UPA Dick Tracys and Joe Oriolo Felixes does little or nothing to show off HDTV–but the interstitials between them (animated by Primal Screen, I think) are stunning in their clarity. By far the crispest animation I’ve ever seen outside a theater.
* Voom is promoting the premiere of something called MAGOO’S CHRISTMAS this Sunday. It could be a new special, but I suspect it’s MR. MAGOO’S CHRISTMAS CAROL.
* The best thing about the CLASSICS block so far by far: Tonight it included a Columbia Fox and Crow I’d never seen before–the fine and funny UNSURE RUNTS (1946), in which the Crow sells car insurance to the Fox. It was worth sitting through UPA Dick Tracys and Joe Oriolo Felixes to see it–and that’s saying a lot.