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Oswald, Pete and the Stone Age

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
23 June 2017

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.

While sort of an unexceptional and forgettable cartoon, 'The Stone Age' is not among the worst of the 1931 batch of cartoons made during the Walter Lantz era. From that era, judging so far the cartoons from 'China' and this, the best by quite some way were 'The Farmer' and particularly 'The Bandmaster', 'Country School' was also decent. The rest were mediocre with the previous cartoon 'Northwoods' being pretty poor but not completely awful and one of Oswald's worst overall.

Best things about 'The Stone Age' are the animation and the depiction of the Stone Age itself. The animation may occasionally lack refinement, but most of it is smooth and detailed with Oswald's movements, gestures and expressions still very much natural. Drawing has occasional crudeness but is mostly fine and transitions don't feel as choppy and incomplete as some of the worst Oswald cartoons.

Loved the Stone Age era details, which saw some quite interesting and inventive ideas. For example, as mentioned in the previous review, using birds for bicycle horns. Synchronisation is good, and the music is a great improvement over the music in 'Northwoods', one of the rare times in an Oswald cartoon where the music didn't work, it is a welcome return to the energetic nature that fits well and is dynamic with the action.

Oswald is endearing and Pete is a good foil, their chemistry is fun to watch.

However, as is the case with most Oswald cartoons, the story is formulaic and pretty much non-existent. Good pacing and gags would have made this more forgivable. Neither are there enough.

Some of the pace in 'The Stone Age' does lack momentum, and while there are some amusing moments the gags and humour don't come consistently and give a pretty uninspired feel. The sound can sound muffled.

In summary, average and unexceptional but better than most of the 1931 cartoons made in the Lantz era. 5/10 Bethany Cox

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Treat 'Em Rough

Author: boblipton from New York City
11 April 2015

When Pete demonstrates that the Stone-Age beauty likes to be clunked on the head with a rough club, Oswald goes courting. There are, however, problems, in this Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoon directed by Bill Nolan for Walter Lantz.

All the standard tropes of stone-age life are pleasant, including using birds as bicycle horns. Although it may seem blah, it should be remembered that this was a third of a century before the Flintstones -- although only a year before Vincent Hamlin would create the long-running comic strip about Alley Oop; doubtless these tropes were in the air.

James Dietrich seems to use a variation of "Minnie's You-Hoo" as the musical theme here

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