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This cartoon is really atypical of Tex Avery in that entirely too many of the gags are either verbal or sight gags that require verbal assistance to make any sense of at all-a surefire killer for a sight gag. The pacing-largely unavoidable here-is too slow and a few gags just aren't that funny. At least one dies completely. There are moments here, but Avery did this type of short more successfully with other cartoons (such as A Gander At Mother Goose) and, while I still don't think he did any really bad cartoons, this is as close as he came to doing one. Recommended for die-hard Avery fans, who'll watch anything he did (like me).
As always, Tex Avery lampoons an otherwise "normal" topic with a series
of blackout gags. In this case, a number of the year's notable holidays
are the target. The part about leap year was apparently an old
tradition in which girls were supposed to propose to boys on leap year.
George Washington's birthday incorporates the cherry tree...and an
Artie Auerbach quote. The characters in the graduation sequence are
caricatures of Gildersleeve and Fibber McGee from the radio show
"Fibber McGee and Molly".
The part about there being two Thanksgivings is because Franklin Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving back a week, which the Republicans didn't like. Just like the current health care bill, they can't agree on anything! Why the absence of St. Patrick's Day and Independence Day? Who knows. All in all, "Holiday Highlights" isn't Avery's best cartoon, but worth seeing, if only once.
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