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Things are hopping at a certain Mexican café. All the animals are singing. The tables are swaying to the music. The ape-waiter is dancing down the aisles as confetti and ribbons continually fall from the ceiling. And then Foxy walks in and the customers really go wild. He sings "A Gay Caballero" as he walks down the aisle. By the time he gets to his table, the show is ready to begin. The performer is a beautiful girl-fox singing "Lady, Play Your Mandolin." Foxy sings along, as his horse busts in and gets drunk. Written by
Being a fan of Merrie Melodies but knowing very little of Foxy, let alone not seeing any of his three cartoons, it was high time to put that right if only for curiosity. As the first Merrie Melodies cartoon, it's decent enough though they certainly went on to much better things later on.
'Lady, Play Your Mandolin!' is practically plot-less and doesn't make an ounce of sense. The animation is uneven, it's crisply shaded and has some nice detail, some of the movements flexible, but the designs of the supporting characters are strange and in a rather ugly way and parts are on the stiff and repetitive side.
One can understand too why Foxy didn't last longer as a character, he's amusing enough if rather derivative of Mickey Mouse but not as strong or as expressive a personality.
However, the music is suitably peppy and does a great job in rousing the spirits. The atmosphere is bizarre but not in a way too unappealing. Actually the whole cartoon bursts with such joy that it is difficult to not fall for its charm warts and all.
Depiction of alcohol is humorously done and one is amazed at what is gotten away with, this being pre-Production Code. There are some good gags here, especially the castanet teeth, the horse exploding and particularly the horse playing its own head as a trombone.
Overall, watchable but less than great. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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