Despite Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and his cartoons being popular and well received at the time, they have been vastly overshadowed over time by succeeding animation characters. It is a shame as, while not cartoon masterpieces, they are fascinating for anybody wanting to see what very old animation looked like.
Of the 1931 batch of Walter Lantz Oswald cartoons from 'China' up to this, 'The Bandmaster' as of now has replaced 'The Farmer' as the best so far of that year's batch. That is also saying a lot, as most of the 1931 cartoons up to this point were mediocre, the only above average ones are 'Country School', 'The Farmer' and this.
'The Bandmaster' may be a little thin in story, though not as much as a lot of Lantz Oswald cartoons, and the ending is a bit of a cheat.
However, Oswald is as likable and fun as he is a vast majority of the time. The animation is some of the smoothest, most detailed and elaborate of all the 1931 batch of Lantz Oswald cartoons, on the same level as 'China' in this regard. The music has a lot of energy and is suitably dynamic, putting one in a good mood.
Was really surprised at the quality of the gags. Most of the previous 1931 cartoons were severely lacking in laughs, but the gags in 'The Bandmaster' are not only funny (some of the funniest in a while) but remarkably imaginative and even with a surreal element that doesn't feel out of place at all.
Synchronisation is decent and the sound isn't too muffled even if lacking occasionally in resonance.
In summary, very good and compares favourably as far as the 1931 Oswald cartoons go. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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