Oswald the Rabbit puts on a concert for a group of barn animals - but when they discover that he's miming to a record of his idol, Paul Whiteman - they boo and shun him. Oswald wanders off ...
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Oswald the Rabbit puts on a concert for a group of barn animals - but when they discover that he's miming to a record of his idol, Paul Whiteman - they boo and shun him. Oswald wanders off in shame to hang himself from the nearest tree and is stopped by none other than Whiteman himself who happens along in his car. The two begin performing music using parts of the car which leads to some highly surrealistic setpieces (dancing tools - a hood ornament that does an Indian dance, etc.) This rare and whimsical cartoon was used to promote THE KING OF JAZZ and makes reference to same. Written by
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.
Not all the Walter Lantz cartoons are bad, 'Hells Heels', 'Permanent Wave' and 'The Hash Shop' for examples are perfect proof of that, but some of them are not good representations of Oswald or Lantz and for historical interest only. 'My Pal Paul' is a well done Oswald cartoon, if unusually dark in places, faring favourably as far as the Lantz Oswald cartoons go.
The story is thin and slightly predictable, and the pacing at times could have been tighter.
On the other hand, there isn't much wrong with 'My Pal Paul'. Sound quality for a cartoon so old and techniques still in its early days is not as primitive as it could have been. The gags are funny and mostly inventive. Paul Whiteman is caricatured and it is an entertaining addition.
'My Pal Paul's' music is as energetic as ever too, and Oswald is endearing. The animation is quite good, pretty detailed, not as crude as in some of the Lantz Oswald cartoons and Oswald's movements, expressions and gestures are well done.
In summary, well done. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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