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Bold King Cole (1936)

5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 135 users  
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Felix the Cat is perched in a tree playing his guitar and serenading himself and a canary with a little ditty called "Nature and Me." It is a beautiful day in cartoon-land but Mother Nature... See full summary »

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Title: Bold King Cole (1936)

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Storyline

Felix the Cat is perched in a tree playing his guitar and serenading himself and a canary with a little ditty called "Nature and Me." It is a beautiful day in cartoon-land but Mother Nature, perhaps not a music lover, whips up a lightning-laden thunderstorm and Felix is soon seeking shelter. He finds it at the castle of King Cole, a boastful, fabricating blow-hard. The King's ancestors, tired of hearing the braggart, come out of their pictures as ghostly specters and take the King to the dungeon and pump the gassy hot-air out of him. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Passed | See all certifications »
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29 May 1936 (USA)  »

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(RCA Victor High Fidelity Sound System)

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| (Technicolor)
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Futurama: Mother's Day (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

We're Not Afraid of Anything
Written by Winston Sharples
Sung by Felix the Cat and Old King Cole
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User Reviews

 
Cartoon has surrealistic flair even though its star is dull
23 November 2004 | by (Murray Hill, NJ) – See all my reviews

Anxious to become a formidable rival of the popular and influential Walt Disney animation studio, the struggling Van Beuren studio acquired the popular silent cartoon character Felix the Cat for his talking Technicolor debut. Alas, their version of Felix the Cat in BOLD KING COLE is just an insipidly cheerful character devoid of the spunk that, from what I gather from seeing one silent cartoon, made the original Felix memorable. The uncredited actress who provides Felix's voice pleasingly carries a tune but the sweet singing doesn't provide anything unique about the character.

However, the cartoon's interesting scenario, for the most part, compensates for the lackluster star. Caught in a thunderstorm, Felix seeks refuge in King Cole's castle. This King Cole is not only a merry old soul, but a boastful one as well. The castle's ghosts can't stand the king's bragging, so they strap him to a machine to suck the wind out of him. It happens to be the wind that makes him a windbag. It's quite bizarre watching the rotund king deflate like a balloon. Then the ghosts expose him to the gas which exudes all his boastings. The king learns it's not nearly as fun listening to his speech as it is making it. A fascinating sequence that has to be seen to be believed, it effectively exploits the essential unreality of animation.

BOLD KING COLE benefits from other vividly realized sequences including a harrowing thunderstorm. The energetic animation is enhanced by Winston Sharples's spirited musical score. Watching this cartoon makes one regret that when it was released, the Van Beuren cartoon studio was on its last legs. One can only wonder if the studio would've reached Disney's artistic heights had it been allowed to last longer.


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