I love animation, and being fond of some of the actors involved and of the puppetoon I naturally wanted to see Tubby the Tuba. Five years I got the DVD and watched it over and over. After my last viewing, only a couple of days ago, I think this movie has held up really well.
It is still the simple, charming and delightful movie I fell in love with. The sound on the DVD(probably from the repeat viewings) is occasionally rather muffled, and the movie itself could have been about 2 or 3 minutes longer.
That said, while kept simple, the animation is vibrant and colourful, with fluid backgrounds, lively colours and character designs that move well and are not overly-cute. The music is wonderful, and one of the main reasons why I love Tubby the Tuba so much. The incidental music is wholly memorable, and as for the songs- my favourite being Oom-Pah- the melodies often have me humming all day long after watching and the lyrics are clever and droll.
Very good dialogue and a simple yet delightful story are also definite things to like about Tubby the Tuba. The dialogue has many amusing and touching moments without being too complex or over-simplistic. The story as I've said is a simple, which is not a bad thing at all, yet delightful one with lots of charm and heart, is well paced, doesn't feel over-stretched and entertains and educates without preaching.
Even the characters' names are of interest. They are very fitting and sometimes funny too. Haughty Violin and Pee-Wee the Piccolo are prime examples. Tubby is one of my favourite title characters in an animated film. Throughout the film, I feel for him and I identify with him, and what's even impressive is that I don't feel as though I am forced to do so. The voice acting is terrific, Paul Tripp's narration is droll and evokes sympathy, and Pearl Bailey, Jane Powell and David Wayne's voice-overs are in tune to their fittingly named characters.
But Tubby the Tuba will always be Dick Van Dyke's film, a born entertainer who participated in many of my childhood favourites, including Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Van Dyke's voice is very distinctive throughout, and entertaining anybody or making anyone identify with him comes naturally to him.
Overall, a delightful film and deserves to be better known. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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