Believe It or Else (1939) Poster

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Takeoff on the "Ripley's Believe It or Not"
Robert Reynolds5 November 2002
Tex Avery loved to do spoofs of things and this one was a spoof of Robert Ripley's column/program, "Believe It or Not", where he detailed odd or unusual events, items and the like for his readers' edification. This is Avery doing the same, but Avery's way. The running gag (Avery almost always used one in his shorts) consists of Egghead (Elmer Fudd in the larval stage) periodically showing up to scoff at various claims, saying, "I don't believe it!" The ending is probably the best gag, the rest being either mildly amusing or falling a bit flat, with one or two not working in the slightest. Egghead basically makes this one worth watching. Decent idea, with some funny gags, but the parts are definitely greater than the sum. Average Avery, which means that it's equal to quite a few other directors' better work, but a simple finger exercise for the maestro, Still worth watching. Recommended.
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"I don't believe it!"
TheLittleSongbird21 November 2017
Love animation, it was a big part of my life as a child, particularly Disney, Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry, and still love it whether it's film, television or cartoons.

Also have much admiration for Tex Avery, an animation genius whose best cartoons are animated masterpieces and some of the best cartoons ever made by anybody. 'Believe It or Else' is not one of my favourites and is to me an uneven effort of his, but even lesser Avery is still worth watching and much better than the lesser efforts of most others. It's best to forget the story, which is basically a series of gags strung along. Egghead is okay but a fairly limited character whose material is pretty repetitive even for a running gag. Avery is no stranger to running gags, but other cartoons of his have done them with much more variety.

In terms of humour, 'Believe it or Else' varies. Parts are very amusing, especially the Buck Dodgers spoof and the ending. Others aren't as well timed and come over as unusually corny for Avery and it would definitely help to be familiar with what each gag is parodying, this aspect was hit and miss for me too. Avery has done funnier, wilder and more imaginative cartoons that took more risks.

However, it is no surprise that, as with a vast majority of Avery's cartoons regardless of the period, the animation is excellent. Beautifully drawn, very detailed and the colours are vibrant.

Carl Stalling's music score is typically lushly and cleverly orchestrated, with lively and energetic rhythms, it's also beautifully synchronised with the action and gestures/expressions and even enhances the impact.

Some amusing moments, if never hilarious, decent timing and lively supporting characters are further things to like. As is the very good voice acting, Mel Blanc showing off his envious unparalleled versatility again.

Overall, uneven but still worth watching. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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Perhaps it sounds a little macabre to allude to Voices from Beyond the Grave . . .
Edgar Allan Pooh24 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
. . . but that's a pretty apt description about the Marching Orders provided to We Americans of the (Then) Far Future by Warner Bros.' always prophetic Animated Shorts Seers division (aka, The Looney Tuners), those Peerlessly Proficient Prognosticators of the USA's upcoming Calamities, Catastrophes, Cataclysms, and Apocalypti. These clairvoyant psychics, who can boast a much better track record of Prophecies Fulfilled than such over-rated hacks as Nostradamus, were particularly accurate with their uncanny depictions for America's Deplorable Advent of Rump. BELIEVE IT OR ELSE is a title sounding fairly threatening in and of itself, and as soon as Today's Viewers see frequent Warner Rump stand-in "Egghead" barge onto the scene during BELIEVE IT OR ELSE we can understand why that title elicits such trepidation. But, as was often the case with these brief cartoon offerings from Warner, the final scene of BELIEVE IT OR ELSE provides a prescription for relief from our current Reign of Terror. Though an easily bamboozled American Minority in the Confederate\Nazi States have been fooled into thinking that Rump is a "Man of Stature," Warner shows by Rump's Egghead representation that he's as bogus as those bloated Gas Bags in the Macy's Parade, and can be "popped" or cut-down-to-size as efficiently as the Magician sawing Egghead in half as BELIEVE IT OR ELSE concludes.
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utgard146 August 2016
Another of Tex Avery's funny shorts that's basically just a series of gags connected by a single premise, in this case a spoof of Ripley's Believe It or Not. It's notable for being one of the final appearances of Egghead, who pretty much vanished after Elmer Fudd came on the scene. He appears here and there throughout, usually walking across the screen carrying a sign expressing disbelief at whatever's going on behind him. Basically the entire cartoon is one bit after another where, like the Ripley's show, we see different oddball characters that have something unbelievable about them. We have a fat guy whose been drinking fifty quarts of milk a day for two years, a Hindu snake charmer, a bottle ship builder, a hog caller, a "bad boy," the human basketball, a knife thrower, and so on. Most of these gags are corny but I think they were supposed to be, even back then. The highlight is probably the "life on Mars" bit with Buck Dodgers. The animation is beautiful with nicely detailed characters and backgrounds and rich colors. The voice work and music are good. It's not a bad cartoon by any means, just nothing extraordinary. How much you like it will probably depend on how much you like sight gags or how familiar you are with some of the stuff that's being spoofed.
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I believe it!
Lee Eisenberg18 March 2010
One of Tex Avery's spot-gag-replete Warner Bros. cartoons, "Believe It or Else" parodies Ripley's Believe It or Not with a series of improbable occurrences. The star is Elmer Fudd's prototype Egghead, who doesn't believe any of it. Which of course means that he's got a surprise coming...

Buck Dodgers, while obviously a spoof of Buck Rogers, also brings to mind "Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2 Century". As it is, Buck Dodgers is kind of effeminate (they even got that past the censors!). The Sportsmen Quartet appeared in a few other Warner Bros. cartoons.

So, you'll have to determine for yourself whether or not you believe what the cartoon depicts, but you're sure to find it funny.
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