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Swing Cleaning (1941)

Approved | | Animation, Short | 11 April 1941 (USA)
The king allows Gabby to take over the supervision of the castle's spring cleaning with disastrous results.


, (uncredited)




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Uncredited cast:
Pinto Colvig ...
Gabby (voice) (uncredited)
Jack Mercer ...
King Little / Castle Workers (voice) (uncredited)


The king allows Gabby to take over the supervision of the castle's spring cleaning with disastrous results.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Animation | Short






Release Date:

11 April 1941 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Spun-off from Gulliver's Travels (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

Falls far short of brilliant but a decent cartoon and one of Gabby's better ones
8 February 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The best being King for a Day and Fire Cheese, King for a Day saw Gabby at his most tolerable out of his eight cartoons and came closest to maintaining the spirit of 1939's Gulliver's Travels which saw Gabby's overall debut where he was much friendlier, more amusing and sympathetic towards, and Fire Cheese is by far the funniest Gabby cartoon.

Swing Cleaning isn't brilliant but it's decent and superior to Gabby Goes Fishing, It's a Hap Hap Happy Day and especially Two for the Zoo(the weakest). Those cartoons had great animation and music and with reasonable supporting characters(like the fish in Gabby Goes Fishing) but only had a few mildly amusing moments between the two of them, had contrived stories and everything that makes me generally indifferent to Gabby are in all three of these cartoons, the last reason is why Two for the Zoo is for me the worst of the eight.

Talking about Swing Cleaning, starting with the least successful assets top of the list would be the title character Gabby. He's not as unlikeable as he is in Gabby Goes Fishing or Two for the Zoo, but in King for a Day, Fire Cheese and All's Well Gabby showed that he had good intentions despite messing everything up. In Swing Cleaning that's not as obvious and what makes him not a likable character is that he is obnoxiously inept and a know-it-all jerk who shows no signs of being apologetic when anything goes wrong, which is seen in Swing Cleaning. Thankfully though he does not become physically abusive to the other characters like he did in Two for the Zoo. Swing Cleaning has some fun moments but the cartoon is never consistently funny, those moments stop it from being completely humourless but the ways in which Gabby ruins everyone's routines(I felt especially bad when he completely ruins the painting of the King with paint remover) really took away from the amusement. The King is also very bland and what there is of the dialogue is not very memorable and doesn't really amuse.

However, the best thing is indeed the animation which is wonderful, everything is beautifully drawn from the crisp detailed backgrounds, the distinctively Fleischer-esque character designs and mellow colours, some of it like storybook pictures come to life. Excelling also is the music, rhythmically it's the personification of energy and the orchestration is lusciously vibrant, also doing brilliantly at synchronising with and enhancing the action. Particularly of note being the It's a Hap Hap Happy theme in the opening title credits which is gloriously upbeat and puts a smile on one's face. As said Swing Cleaning is not devoid of fun, the ending being the most enjoyable(both the castle wrecking and Gabby's "reward") though Gabby skating on the floor and the part with the bird in the cuckoo clock entertained a good deal too. The story is luckily one of the less contrived ones of the Gabby cartoons, even if it's not very surprising at all, and is moved briskly. It was more than easy to feel sympathy for all the servants whose day Gabby ruins, whenever anybody shows any signs of pleading, anger or frustration you are likely to find yourself feeling those emotions yourself. The voice acting is solid enough.

In conclusion, less than brilliant but decent and watchable. 6/10 Bethany Cox

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