Saturday, June 28, 2008

Off-Topic: WALL-E Review

I know, this is a Disney movie. But I did not want to post this to "Random Research", because posting this here on Classic Paramount Cartoons would probably get more animation buff attention.

I just saw WALL-E, and here is my review:

Sorry, Jerry Beck, even though I think you're a great Paramount cartoon fan, I would have liked "Kung Fu Panda" if I saw, but I'm with the nitpickers. And no offense, I'm not much into that type of setting for a movie.

I was used to the less surreal animated features where characters talked a lot, plus such formulaic plot (doesn't mean I hate Famous Studios) and unoriginal plots. I even liked movies that is purely "based on" something. Even though there's that controversy over it being based on a real robot, it is nearly original because it is surreal with a pinch of plot as the storyline progresses.

The score was not your typical Toy Story vibe, and there weren't very many freckeled characters. You could almost forget who made this because it was different than all of the previous Pixar features combined.

The film starts with an MGM-era Tex Avery-style Pixar short called "Presto". It was a cartoony short trying their best to recreate a typical Tex Avery cartoon. The bunny's speed resembled the character movement of bunny characters from the real Mcoy (execpt Bugs Bunny, of course).

Then we begin the actual feature with the opening logos and titles. Wall-E is trying to clean up a mess affecting Earth left behind due to an outer space trip promotion by a world-dominating Wal-Mart like chain named Buy-N-Large. At first, we see Eve being an evilesque robot until she befriends Wall-E. Wall-E gives an important gift- a plant. Wall-E finds this huge ship landing after a small lava disaster and Eve is kidnapped. Later, we see how lazy and bored the humans are in the new spaceship Buy-N-Large area. They've decided to go back to Earth, but the robots and computers push them not to go.

I'll just say this- Pixar decided to go a different direction for plot after what happened with how "Finding Nemo" began.

One of the running ingredients to the jokes/plot is a less popular to kids Fox musical named Hello Dolly. I like it because it makes it different film when you're picking a pop culture reference that people don't always know as more well-known classics.

If you're concerned about the future and don't think Meet The Robinsons is good enough of a future predictor (after all, life isn't perfect), see this movie.

Well, that's my review and I hope you enjoyed listening to my opinion.

See you,


Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Return of the Matty's Funday Funnies video- The Intro and Closing

Well, you've seen the promos previously on my blog, which was removed from YouTube. But now, there's the recognizable part of the actual show- the intro.

This is a great treat for Famous Studios/Paramount cartoom/Harveytoon fans!

Sponsored by Mattell and aired on ABC from 1959-1962, I believe this was the second show to air cartoons in the Harveytoon package.

Some of the footage was used for the promos, including the weekday countdown verse of the theme.

Nice lively theme song, by the way. Something you would expect in a parade or an animated feature number, theatrical or direct-to-video.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Betty Boop with Grampy in House Cleaning Blues (Fleischer, 1937)- with original titles!!!!!

Tom Stathes posted the original version of "House Cleaning Blues" on YouTube.

The theatrical titles look like as if you were watching a trailer for a classic movie. Seriously, did Max and Dave hire somebody who has experience on movie trailer titles? Alongside from that, I've noticed that on UM&M prints, the titles don't have any moving illusion value at all when you're seeing title cards that originally had references to Paramount. One live-action short example would be the UM&M opening to "A Rhapsody in Black and Blue" with Louie Armstrong.

But it was a thrill to see the opening titles as originally presented in the movie theater. It has the Paramount logo with the Stereoptical biplane byline- which can be seen in PD Popeye logo recreations (Little Swee'pea, Blow Me Down), plus a cartoon on the Popeye Volume 1- I forgot which cartoon it was, oh well.

For the actual cartoon- it's a little bit formulaic (you thought Famous was the only cartoon era to have the same story?) because you're having a duo Betty Boop cartoon (Betty Boop with Pudgy, Betty Boop with Grampy, Betty Boop with Buzzy Boop)- even though Pudgy seems to be the most repetitive. Even watching "Betty Boop and Grampy" and/or "Christmas Comes But Once A Year" (that was a Color Classic without Betty), you'd get an idea of what would happen.

The plot? We begin with Betty Boop waking up from a birthday party. Betty can't clean the house, and she's getting clumsy, so Grampy comes in and makes homemade cleaning devices.

This was directed by Dave Fleischer and featured Grim Natwick's creation of Betty Boop for Fleischer, and this Grampy cartoon was really directed by Dave Tendlar for his unit. "House Cleaning Blues" was released by Paramount Pictures in 1937, approved with MPAA # 01188.

NOTE: The ending is incomplete. Tom did notice without me telling him. To see the complete ending via a UM&M print, click here.