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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Not Up To Later Standards Of Avery

Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
8 November 2007

This cartoon features a lot of the cornball stuff Warner Brothers and others liked to use in the 1930s and the first year or two of the '40s: poking a little fun at famous fairy tales and imitating actress Katharine Hepburn with her affected "Bryn Mawr accent" to play a role or two.

Humpty Dumpty, Jack and Jill, Little Miss Muffet, The Three Little Pigs, the Little Old Lady Who Lived In A Show, and more are all depicted with one-joke scenes. Unfortunately, the jokes all fell flat with either the joke coming from dialog or a sight gag.

I wonder if audiences actually laughed at the theater in 1940 over this stuff. I doubt they would today; it's just a little too dated, humor-wise, to be rated more than a "4," and that's being generous. It's just not funny and certainly not the Tex Avery stuff we animated fans came to love later in the decade.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Great, great, great!

Author: slymusic from Tucson, AZ
19 May 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"A Gander at Mother Goose", directed by Tex Avery, is a wonderful Warner Bros. cartoon that essentially has no plot. Instead, it presents a series of clever comic spin-offs of classic children's fairy tales. You wouldn't expect anything less from the wacky Warner Bros. cartoon studio!

My favorite moments from "A Gander at Mother Goose": I love Carl Stalling's jazzy music score during the opening credits, as well as Humpty Dumpty's butt joke, as well as the dog's reaction to receiving a tree after wishing on a star, as well as the Big Bad Wolf slobbering the words "huff" & "puff" and overreacting to the pigs' insistence that he use mouthwash.

One final point regarding the Jack & Jill sequence in this cartoon. It reminds me of the lyrics to a song: "Jack and Jill went up a hill, / Jill came down with a twenty-dollar bill!"

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

More talky than normal for Tex Avery, but it's largely successful.

Author: Robert Reynolds ( from Tucson AZ
26 November 2002

This is a cartoon that was made in a format Tex Avery wasn't always successful with-a series of loosely connected blackouts, which are little comic set-pieces. Avery didn't always do these well because each distinct piece had its own setup, joke and punchline, usually requiring more dialogue and a slower pace than Avery liked to use. This one works better than others he did because the gags are funnier and there are some sight gags here that have Avery written all over them (in Humpty Dumpty and Jack Be Nimble particularly) and the pacing is a little better. As I said, this type didn't really suit Avery very well. One sub-class of this type Avery did have success with, though, and it was the travelogue cartoons, I suspect because they were parodies of the often mind-numbingly bland and sophorific travelogues that were popular in the 1930s and 1940s, thus making them sitting ducks for the antic lunacy that was Avery's long suit. Decent, but not up to his better work. Worth watching once. Recommended for Tex Avery die-hard fans (like me).

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Fun but some gags work better than others

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
2 October 2016

Tex Avery was, and is, one of the greatest and most talented animation directors there was with an immediately recognisable visual style (for example you can recognise his character designs anywhere). Also an example of a director where even his lesser efforts have some entertainment value and are interesting enough.

'A Gander at Mother Goose' is not one of his best. Some gags do work better than others, with some of them feeling too rushed and short, almost like throwaway one-jokes. Avery also works better when wilder and more elaborate, 'A Gander at Mother Goose' is solidly paced and it is interesting to see Avery take on a cartoon made up of takes on fairy-tales and nursery rhymes but it is a style that doesn't entirely suit him or play fully to his strengths. It is certainly enjoyable, but for Avery it's also a little bland.

However, there is no denying that the animation is amazing, rich in detail, high in imagination and vibrantly colourful. Same with the music, which sounds wonderful, is orchestrated very cleverly with an ability to be dynamic with the action and there is so much energy and character. Also liked the jazzy arrangements of pre-existing material.

While the gags were variable, there are gags where Avery's style really does shine and are also incredibly funny. The Big Bad Wolf, Jack Be Nimble and that surprisingly daring Humpty Dumpty gags come off best. The characters are lively enough, and there is nothing to complain about the vocal talents.

Overall, enjoyable with amazing animation and music, plus any Tex Avery cartoon is worth a peak even if just for interest value, but for Avery, who works better when wilder and more elaborate, it's also a little bland and inconsistent. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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It's hard to say if this is more of a case of butts-on-parade . . .

Author: Edgar Allan Pooh from The Gutters of Baltimore
22 September 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

. . . or an Anti-Broads Tirade. Among the notable rears exposed during A GANDER AT MOTHER GOOSE are Humpty Dumpty's bare buns (mooning viewers after his "great fall"), Jack-Be-Nimble's flaming posterior, and America's Guardian Bald Eagle, who pulls Hiawatha's arrow from his bottom. On the other hand, Mistress Mary displays an ugly attitude toward agriculture, Snottily Proclaiming that gardening "stinks;" Jill seems to be a total tart, leaving Jack covered with hickeys on the hill; Miss Muffet has enough facial deformities to scare her spider away; and the morbidly obese but not-so-old Lady Living in a Shoe seems to be the not-so-bright sex slave of a particularly lazy yet very fertile skinny bald guy. It's all enough to give the Big Bad Wolf bad breath. This early example of on-screen, mid-story Product Placement (for Listerine) leaves one wondering how much GANDER GOOSE producer Leon Schlesinger may have pocketed here in the form of Payola.

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Only visually convincing

Author: Thomas ( from Berlin, Germany
8 April 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"A Gander at Mother Goose" is a 6-minute short film from over 75 years ago and there is no denying how amazing the animation is. Tough to believe that this is from the early 1940s, actually from World War II, but there are no real political references in here as the USA weren't participating actively at that time yet. This film is evidence that these really were the years of the Golden Age of Animation. Unfortunately, the story and comedy is not really on par here. It is basically a collection of very short nursery rhymes (half a minute perhaps), but apart from the wolf with the smelly breath none of them are really funny and all rely on one funny final moment, which basically makes the entire thing very forgettable if this one isn't working. I personally do not recommend the watch. Even for Avery and Blanc, not everyone can be a winner.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Tex went up and down, even within one cartoon

Author: Lee Eisenberg ( from Portland, Oregon, USA
29 December 2007

Fairy tales were often used as the basis for cartoons in the days of yore. Warner Bros. cartoons usually twisted them into jokes, with Friz Freleng's "Three Little Bops" ("Three Little Pigs" as a jazz song) as the crowning achievement. An earlier effort was Tex Avery's "A Gander at Mother Goose". This was one of many cartoons from the era using children's stories and nursery rhymes as excuses for spot gags. This was not the best one. I personally think that Tex worked best when focusing on an elaborate plot - as was the case with "The Isle of Pingo Pongo" and "Thugs with Dirty Mugs" - so that he could create neater gags.

Still, this one isn't bad. Aside from getting to see more of Humpty Dumpty than we expect (they actually got it past the censors!), we can probably guess what Jack and Jill are really doing! Of course, about two months later, Tex brought to the silver screen "A Wild Hare", introducing Bugs Bunny in his first true form. So this one works mostly as a place holder. OK, not great.

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