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In the desert but destined for Mars with Woody Woodpecker
Was very fond of Woody Woodpecker and his cartoons as a child. Still get much enjoyment out of them now as a young adult, even if there are more interesting in personality cartoon characters and better overall cartoons.
That is in no way knocking Woody, because many of his cartoons are a lot of fun to watch and more and also still like him a lot as a character. He is a lot of fun here and is never obnoxious or a jerk, and is closer to his manic personality here than the heroic or toned down ones adopted around this period. The conflict is also believable and it's a good scenario at playing to Woody's strengths as a character. The professor character is fun and wonderfully eccentric.
Paul J. Smith returns as director, the previous cartoon 'To Catch a Woodpecker' being directed by Alex Lovy, and while it is no 'Niagara Fools' when it comes to his late 50s efforts 'Round Trip to Mars' is in the better end.
Sure, the story when it comes to the Woody Woodpecker action is typical and not much of one. Time and budget constraints shows in some of the animation, which is a little rushed looking in the drawing and detail wise it's on the simplistic and careless side like many of Woody's cartoons from this period continuing through to the 60s.
Not all the animation is applicable to that. It's brightly coloured with some nice if simple backgrounds. There are far worse-looking Woody Woodpecker cartoons.
Music is bouncy, energetic and very lushly orchestrated, not only synchronising and fitting with the action very well but enhancing it. The whole cartoon goes at a lively pace, especially in the second half.
Gags are always very amusing and never less than that, some of it is actually very funny and timed very well, and Grace Stafford, who understood Woody the most and best of the voice actors who voiced him, and Dal McKennon are reliably good.
In conclusion, enjoyable if lacking in the animation department. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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