5.6/10
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A Horse's Tale (1954)

Sugarfoot, the faithful old plow-horse, fearing his days and place on the farm are numbered since his master had purchased a tractor, destroys it. The farmer is outraged and banishes ... See full summary »

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Storyline

Sugarfoot, the faithful old plow-horse, fearing his days and place on the farm are numbered since his master had purchased a tractor, destroys it. The farmer is outraged and banishes Sugarfoot from the farm. Sugarfoot is determined to make the money needed to buy his master a new tractor, and he becomes a movie-double for a screen Wonder Horse of the Movies, and makes enough money to buy a new tractor. The farmer forgives him and, as a reward, takes him to the movies, where Sugarfoot sees the star-horse getting all the credit for all of Sugarfoot's stunt-doubling. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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tractor | master | farm | farmer | horse | See All (30) »

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Animation | Short

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Approved | See all certifications »
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15 February 1954 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound System)

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(Technicolor)
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A very unfunny and uninteresting horse's tale
22 August 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Paul J. Smith is best known to me for his Chilly Willy and Woody Woodpecker cartoons. Both cartoons series saw a mix of good (great in the case of Chilly Willy's debut and Woody's 'Niagara Fools') cartoons, average ones and less than average ones.

Was curiously interested in seeing other cartoons of his and Walter Lantz studios not featuring either character, including lesser-known and short-lived characters like Sugarfoot the horse and Maw and Paw. Mainly to see if their cartoons were as bad as heard and whether one could see why the characters didn't last long. With Sugarfoot's debut cartoon 'A Horse's Tale', it is not hard to see why he didn't and practically obscure today. It is a pretty poor cartoon and Sugarfoot is just not a strong character, and no this is not because he is mute (there are great examples of mute characters in animation), for a mid-period Walter Lantz cartoon that was actually an interest point.

Not only is he laughter-free and sometimes annoying, he has such an uninteresting personality that is hard to root for and his behaviour in the early part of the cartoon is mean-spirited. Only in his good deed towards the farmer, which was a nice touch but then completely wasted by an ending that feels like one big cheat and the question "what's the point of the cartoon?" is on the viewer's lips, does he marginally win one over, but as said it was a waste.

Had a truly hard time believing that Michael Maltese was the one behind the writing here. He was a talented writer, but the sharp timing, wit and freshness is completely absent. There are no laughs in sight, the timing is completely limp which makes a paper thin story even duller and predictability is all over the cartoon. The rest of the characters make little impression too.

Regarding the animation in 'A Horse's Tale', some of the colours are nice and there is the odd handsome background. However, this is outweighed by Sugarfoot being so unappealingly drawn and generally a lot of it looks rushed.

Other than a couple parts of the animation being serviceable, the best thing about 'A Horse's Tale' is the beautifully orchestrated and characterful music score. It is well-synchronised and adds a lot, the only asset here that rises above good quality.

In conclusion, pretty poor, completely lacking in laughs and lacking a strong lead character who would work marginally better as a plot device supporting character. 3/10 Bethany Cox


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