A sleep-walking baby owl finds its way in Herman's house, and the friendly mouse makes friends with it. But the owl arouses Katnip, who takes out after it, but Herman always manages to ... See full summary »

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Cast

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Hootie the Baby Owl (voice) (uncredited)
Sid Raymond ...
Katnip (voice) (uncredited)
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Herman (voice) (uncredited)
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Storyline

A sleep-walking baby owl finds its way in Herman's house, and the friendly mouse makes friends with it. But the owl arouses Katnip, who takes out after it, but Herman always manages to rescue the little owl. The owl finally makes a nest for its self out of Katnip's fur which Herman has stripped off. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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owl | katnip | rescue | nest | mouse | See All (22) »

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Animation | Short

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Approved | See all certifications »
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2 January 1959 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound System)

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(Technicolor)
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Herman, Katnip and a sleep-walking owl
19 July 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As far as the Herman and Katnip cartoons go, Owly to Bed to me is one of the weakest. Has just about enough to make it watchable, but overall it's only average and not much more.

Owly to Bed has one great asset, and that is the music score from Winston Sharples. Even when the cartoon fell short as a whole, Sharples' music always shone. Hooty's sleepwalking theme while short and memorable is repeated a fair number of times, and does get tiresome eventually, but the rhythmic energy, beautiful orchestration, great sense of mood and the ability to match seamlessly with the action and even enhance it are all present here. The title credits theme is catchy too. There are two gags that are funny here, if not hilarious, Hooty dropping the big 'stage' light on Katnip and in particular what Hooty does inside Katnip when being swallowed. Herman is not particularly funny here and doesn't have an awful lot to do, but it was lovely to see him being so sympathetic and loving towards Hooty and he as always is very well-voiced by Arnold Stang, and while the sleepwalking was rather overused Hooty is adorable and avoids being annoying or cloying.

Conversely, of all the Herman and Katnip cartoons Owly to Bed is a contender for the cheapest-looking from an animation perspective, even for a period in which Famous Studios' output was noticeably getting cheaper. There are a few lush colours, but as the fault of the lower budget or a bad print a lot of them are quite flat and not as vibrant as the colours in the Herman and Katnip cartoon generally tend to be, but even worse are the backgrounds, which are like walls/backdrops of one colour and little detail and some very rough drawing. Aside from two gags, Owly to Bed is not that funny, there are not an awful lot of gags to begin with but the humour is hurt more by how predictable it is (just how many times have we seen the mousetrap gag or anything similar in a Herman and Katnip cartoon?) and the slow timing. The final gag is also one of the series' most brutal, and rather too cruel, and some of the cuteness does get in the way of the humour at times.

Even without Herman's cousins or nephews or the over-familiar beginnings, which just about saves Owly to Bed from being too repetitive, the story does take too long to get on its feet and there is not much that is surprising, if you know the formula of a standard Herman and Katnip cartoon figuring out what is going to happen is not all that hard. Katnip's personality shines very little here, he's not funny enough and he doesn't come over as that much of a threat, even his dim-wittedness is not that obvious. Both Herman and Katnip are at their least funny here, and their chemistry has never been blander.

All in all, a long way from an embarrassment or a must avoid, but as an overall cartoon never rises above average. 5/10 Bethany Cox


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