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Katnip's Big Day (1959)

Katnip is the guest of honor in a "This is Your Life" type of television program showing his experiences with Herman (via archive footage) and with Katnip, of course, always getting the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Jackson Beck ...
Buzzy / Spike (voice) (uncredited)
Jack Mercer ...
Television M.C. / Mice / Herman (voice) (uncredited)
Sid Raymond ...
Katnip (voice) (uncredited)
...
Herman (voice) (archive footage) (uncredited)
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Storyline

Katnip is the guest of honor in a "This is Your Life" type of television program showing his experiences with Herman (via archive footage) and with Katnip, of course, always getting the short end of the stick. It winds up in a jam session that leaves Katnip happy. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Approved
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30 October 1959 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound System)

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(Technicolor)
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User Reviews

 
This is Your Life with Famous Studios
8 August 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Katnip's Big Day did have an interesting idea, even if not an original one, having been used previously to wonderful effect in the 1955 Looney Tunes cartoon This is a Life? However, instead of the fun, affectionate tribute that it strived to be, Katnip's Big Day felt like a cheap stringing along of cartoons bookended with a story that has little done with it.

There are plus points here. The music by Winston Sharples throughout is outstanding, it's very beautifully orchestrated with clever use of instruments, rhythmically it is filled with energy and character and it matches and enhances the material. The animation in the stock footage used of Bicep Built for Two, Drinks on the Mouse, Cat-Choo and Mousetro Herman ranges from decent to great, and in the links there was an attempt to adhere closer to Katnip's original character design was much appreciated. The material in Cat-Choo and especially Mousetro Herman still holds up as very funny, Cat-Choo is the only one of the four to show its highlight gag, though Mousetro Herman's segment is still very funny (I just think the record and snake charmer gags of that cartoon were a little funnier).

It was nice to see Herman, Spike and Buzzy present, even if in evaluation all of them have very little to do outside of that, and don't have enough to let their personalities shine. And the voice work from Jackson Beck, Sid Raymond and Arnold Stang is dependably good with the little they have, although Jack Mercer in the This is Your Life parts of the cartoon makes very little attempt to sound like Stang in the footage and the mice cousin characters are bland, poorly drawn and a little annoying here.

However, the difference in animation quality between the footage and the rest of the cartoon is very noticeable and really jars, with only Katnip's character design being appealing. The rest of the characters are poorly drawn, especially the very stylised-in-look animal audience, a look that sticks out like a sore thumb against the flat colours, sparse backgrounds and very-much-less-than-smooth drawing. The introductions are very repetitively written with only Buzzy of the introducers showing his proper personality, while the This is Your Life parts have very little to make them stand out and are sorely lacking in laughs or charm (other than how bad the animation is).

The footage itself is too brief, especially Spike's Bicep Built for Two segment. None of it shows the best of these characters, although Mousetro Herman is the best of the four and is one of the better Herman and Herman cartoons. Admittedly in the case of the mice cousins it must have been hard deciding what to use for them because most of their material in almost all their appearances was repetitive and not particularly funny, and the Drinks on the Mouse segment is no exception. And of the cartoons only Cat-Choo shows its best moment, the Drinks on the Mouse segment is pretty dull actually outside of the music.

All in all, apart from some nice things and moments Katnip's Big Day felt like a cheap and pretty pointless stringing along of previous cartoons, and not the affectionate send-off that Katnip deserved. 5/10 Bethany Cox


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