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For a while, when I was very young, watching animated shorts from the
1930s and '40s on video was a regular hobby for me. Watching many of
these cartoons over a decade later, some of them don't do anything for
me anymore, while others I still find amusing, even if they don't do as
much for me as they did way back. "Gold Rush Daze" is one of the
latter. When I watched this 1939 cartoon for the first time in many
years, I was mildly disappointed. However, I have watched it several
more times since then, and have found it just slightly funnier.
A man stops at a gas station. He very quickly and anxiously tells the man who runs the station to put some gas in his car, and is asked why he is in such a hurry. He tells the station owner that he's about to dig for gold. The station owner then laughs and tells him that it's a useless idea, since there's no gold to be found, no matter where one searches. He then then begins to tell the man in the car the story of his long, troubled search for gold back in 1849, as we are shown in flashback.
Some cartoons from around this time may still be considered classics today, while others have been forgotten. Since it appears that no one else has commented on "Gold Rush Daze" on IMDb yet, it's obviously one of the more obscure ones of its time. I can understand this, as it's not very memorable, and may be a bit dated. However, I've definitely seen much worse excuses for comedy. This short does have some reasonable slapstick gags, and could be enjoyable for fans of these old cartoons, especially kids. I'm not quite sure about the availability of this Merrie Melodies piece right now, but for hardcore fans of these old animated shorts, it might be worth looking for.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As neither the first commenter nor IMDb point it out, let me add a
notice that this film, as well of many thousands others, is in the
public domain and can be legitimately streamed or downloaded from The
Internet Archive http://archive.org (just enter the title in the search
This particular cartoon isn't very much to write home about. It briefly sketches the various gold rushes of the 19th century, and gives some artists' impressions on how the actual gold-digging work was done. Decently done, and sometimes amusing.
I downloaded the 512kb MPEG4 version, which has vivid colors, but somewhat blurry contours on a 1024x600 netbook screen. Still, a nice old short, if you're interested in the history of popular culture. :)
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