|Index||2 reviews in total|
The 26 Little Lulu cartoons made during 1944-1948 (and the two made in
the early 60s) were uneven (individually and the series as a general
overview) but mostly watchable.
Starting it all off was the decent but "still finding its feet" 'Eggs Don't Bounce'. Since then the quality of cartoons was inconsistent with some faring better than others (sometimes significantly so). There are, at least up to this point in the series, some good ones like 'Hullaba-Lulu' and 'Lulu's Indoor Outing', some mediocre at best ones like 'Lulu Gets the Birdie' and ones that fall somewhere in between like 'Eggs Don't Bounce' and 'Lulu in Hollywood'. There were also a few pretty bad ones.
'Lulu's Birthday Party' is to me an example of a pretty bad Little Lulu cartoon and one of her worst. The best things about 'Lulu's Birthday Party' are Sammy Timberg's luscious and hugely energetic music score, one also cannot forget the irresistibly catchy title song, and some imaginative visuals once the birthday party fantasy takes over. The voice acting is dependable.
However, still really dislike the character of Mandy. She is a dull and obnoxious racial stereotype, that will easily cause some offence, and once again really disliked the very stereotypical and ugly character design for her, which reminds one uncomfortably of the character designs in the "Censored 11" cartoons with those ugly and somewhat offensive exaggerated features. Little Lulu has been more engaging before and since, her material here is too bland for her to show more expression.
Apart from the birthday party fantasy sequence dominating the second half, the animation is a bit flat and rough here, the series was actually starting to became more refined just before but 'Lulu's Birthday Party' returns to the less appealing animation style of the first few cartoons. The story is practically non-existent and is incredibly draggy and repetitive in the first half, where so many of the gags are stale at best.
In summary, pretty bad and one of Little Lulu's worst. 3/10 Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Before I begin, if you plan to watch the cartoon then be advised as
this short has a heavy blackface mammy stereotype.
OK, so this short starts off with what else but what the title says Lulu's birthday. And the person baking a cake is a stereotyped black woman (who may I say, also bears some characteristics of a man!). LuLu eagerly wants to see the cake but the woman wants her to wait. It goes on for a couple of more scenes. Also guess who Lulu brought along, her pet frog(who I dub drunky because he talks like one.) The black woman tries to bake the cake but keeps get interrupted by Lulu and drunky. Then she finally puts the 2 out to play for a while. LuLu and drunky then get bored of playing so they start playing leap frog (pun right there) until drunky gets thrown inside through the window hitting the black woman. Lulu and drunky go back outside again and then Lulu goes into one of her fantasy worlds. This time, it's birthday land! Were cakes are mountains and candy canes can be used as ski's! And then she crashes into a mountain and leaves her fantasy land. Then finally the cake is done and but I'm not sure who blew it out (drunky or lulu) but either way, 1 of the 2 blew off almost everything off the cake onto her 2 party guests. The end.
Now, the reason why I gave this a 3 is for 2 reasons.
1.)The plot and jokes. I find this cartoon being one of the stalest of the little lulu set. I mean, 75% of the cartoon was just Lulu harassing the woman. It was really boring to watch. And I didn't see a lot of "lulu" gags. Just some same repetitive things without nothing clever to pull it off.
2.) The black maid Arg. Just when I thought I was gonna see another clean Lulu short, I stumble upon this! The black maid is so stereotypical it's not funny. Really dark skin, big pink lips, light like backside of hands , bad speech and the get-up she's wearing. From all the races they had to pick to bake a cake, it had to be a stereotyped black woman?!?! But I'm not blaming this on Lulu. I'm blaming the animators and society back in that time. Were they didn't believe in equal rights and people felt a race was superior to the other. That really ruined the cartoon.
But I wouldn't be surprised to see stuff like this considering this short was produced by Warner Brothers...
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