On re-watch, this replaces King for a Day as the best of the Gabby series
Before re-watching The Constable for the first time in about six years, I, while not the biggest fan of the Gabby cartoons and mostly of Gabby himself, classed King for a Day as the best of the series with Fire Cheese the funniest, with the worst being Two for the Zoo. King for a Day was the closest the Gabby cartoons came to having the spirit of 1939's Gulliver's Travels where the series is spun off from and Gabby was tolerable and closer to the Gabby in Gulliver's Travels, and while the weaker Gabby cartoons ranged from humourless to mildly amusing at best Fire Cheese had some very funny moments.
What makes The Constable the best of the Gabby series is two things mainly. One is that the story is actually good, most of the Gabby cartoons have stories that are paper thin and contrived but the story, while a little unoriginal and slight, here is very well paced, feels like one and is eventfully and engagingly told with some of the latter half being quite suspenseful. Surprisingly Gabby is the other reason, while he was one of the better supporting characters in Gulliver's Travels and at least tolerable in King for a Day but in most of his cartoons especially in Two for the Zoo(where he even physically abused a character) and Gabby Goes Fishing he is an inept know-it-all and an arrogant jerk who remains unapologetic when he ruins someone's day. None of those traits however are in The Constable, the only one of the eight Gabby cartoons where Gabby actually doesn't screw up, there's even a line in the latter half of the cartoon that shows Gabby with a caring side and good intentions, only his brief "stop in the name of the law" shows Gabby as a little annoying.
The animation is characteristically wonderful, the colours have a mellow warmth and the backgrounds are detailed and smooth and like a picture from a story-book come to life. Along with the music, the animation is the asset that has been consistently good in all eight Gabby cartoons. There's nothing to fault the music in The Constable either, it synchronises with the visuals beautifully, is very lively in rhythm and is orchestrated with lush vibrancy, complete with an irresistibly memorable and cheerful title theme in It's a Hap Hap Happy Day that is enough to brighten anybody's mood. The Constable is not a particularly funny cartoon as such but it is amusing and always engaging with little signs of lagging. The supporting characters support the cartoon well, the mayor character is not very interesting but the villain is quite a juicy character and I did feel a pang of sympathy towards his assistant. The voice acting is fine, there were one or two instances where Pinto Colvig did overdo it a tad as Gabby(i.e. Two for the Zoo) but here he's just right and the menacing booming voice work for the villain suited the larger than life physique of the character more than ideally.
All in all, very entertaining and the best of the eight Gabby cartoons after re-watch. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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