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This "Hooneymooners" takeoff on the famous television program was a
Instead of "Ralph Kramden," we have "Ralph Crumden." Instead of "Ed Norton," we have "Ned Martin." At least "Alice" is still "Alice."
The other differences are big ones: instead of humans, they're mice, but at least they still live in New York (on 42nd Street if the opening music number means anything.)
Of the three imitations, I thought June Foray was great as "Alice," sounding pretty close to the human counterpart (Audrey Meadows) and Daws Butler cracked me up as Norton. He also did Gleason's role as Ralph but not as effectively.
Alice gets the best lines in this simple tale of the mice trying to figure out how to get by a big cat so they can get to the food. She uses lines like, "I've seen better heads on a glass of beer," when describing the two males. Their big plan is a "Trojan dog" to trick the cat but the main idea of the cartoon appears to be simply having fun with the TV program, playfully mocking the main characters and all the phrases they used to use in almost every show including the "Alice, you're the greatest!" endings.
Watching this cartoon has convinced me to buy the real "Honeymooners" DVD from that memorable one season of 1955.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Directed by Robert McKimson, "The Honey-Mousers" is a nice cartoon
spoof of the popular 1950s Jackie Gleason television spot "The
Honeymooners", the various characters being mice in this case. Daws
Butler provides the voices of the lovable grouch Ralph Crumden and his
dopey pal Martin, and June Foray supplies the voice of Ralph's witty,
sarcastic wife Alice. The interplay between Ralph & Alice is beautiful
as they trade sardonic insults & wisecracks with each other.
In addition to the wonderful mice characterizations, there are two segments in "The Honey-Mousers" that I find memorable. First, I don't believe anyone could ever forget Ralph's closing remark: "One of these days, Alice, one of these days, POW, right in the kisser!" And second, when the cat sneaks inside Ralph's & Martin's silly Trojan dog disguise, all hell breaks loose!
Featuring a good music score by Milt Franklyn, "The Honey-Mousers" is one of several Warner Bros. cartoons that spoofs a television series. This cartoon wouldn't have been released if Jackie Gleason himself didn't like it, but fortunately he did.
Robert McKimson's 'The Honey Mousers' is a parody of the television sitcom 'The Honeymooners', the same sitcom that later spawned 'The Flintstones'. Through no fault of anyone involved in the cartoon, 'The Honey Mousers' references always went straight over my head since I'm from the UK. Nevertheless, I always enjoyed this cartoon as a child purely on its own merits. Despite the characters being based on the protagonists of 'The Honeymooners' (and to this day I've never seen an episode), there's sufficient plot for anyone unfamiliar with the source material to still enjoy 'The Honey Mousers'. It moves along quickly and has enough amusing moments to be a decent and enjoyable piece without any knowledge of what it is parodying, unlike McKimson's subsequent Jack Benny parody 'The Mouse That Jack Built'. I'm sure that for people who are familiar with 'The Honeymooners', 'The Honey Mousers' is hysterically funny. As it is I can't comment except to say that it works fine as a stand alone story too.
I know of The Honey-Mooners, but I've never seen it. That didn't stop me from really enjoying The Honey-Mousers, which just goes to prove that anything when done well can work on its own. The animation is clean and luscious with good attention to detail and well-drawn characters. Milt Franklin's music compliments everything beautifully, I am more a Carl Stalling fan myself but Franklin also has that ability to write jaunty orchestration and to make it merge with the action with no problem at all. The writing and gags are delightfully fresh and witty, Alice has the best lines and the Trojan Dog sequence is a classic, Ralph's closing remark also(the Sylvester and Tweety cartoon Red Riding Hoodwinked also uses it). Admittedly a couple of the references went over my head, which is mostly likely due- as said already- to not being familiar with the originating material, but that wasn't a major issue really. The mice- Alice being the tougher and possibly funnier of the two despite her size suggesting otherwise- are hugely entertaining characters, and June Foray and Daws Butler help to also make very lovable too. To conclude, great fun and highly recommended. 9/10 Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is the first of a trio of shorts parodying the television show
'The Honeymooners'; the others being 'Cheese it, The Cat!' and 'Mice
Follies'. It features three mice; Ralf, his wife Alice and his
dim-witted friend Morton. As the short opens they are running low on
food but it looks as if their problems are over when a new family move
in to the house; there is a complication however... they have a cat and
it stands between them and the well stocked refrigerator. After a
couple of unsuccessful attempts to get the food Morton comes up with a
great idea... The Trojan Dog! This ends up with hilarious results and
ultimately Alice must deal with the cat while the boys are left nursing
their injured pride.
I have never seen 'The Honeymooners' but that didn't stop me enjoying this short as the characters are great even if you aren't aware that it is a parody. One of the strengths of this cartoon is the fact that the characters don't sound like cartoon characters Daws Butler, as the Ralph and Morton, and June Foray, as Alice, did great jobs. The gags were pretty funny; especially the Trojan Dog episode. The only thing anybody might have against this is Ralph's threat of spousal abuse against his wife... although from what we see it looks as if she is the tougher of the two despite her appearance!
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