Great Guns (1927) Poster

(I) (1927)

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Oswald goes to fight World War 1
Damon Fordham4 February 2008
Apparently based on the 1927 World War 1 feature film "Wings," this knee-slapping hoot features the legendary silent Disney character Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, the older brother of Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny.

Basically, war is declared and the animals go off to "do their bit" for their country. Oswald, seeking the love and admiration of his rabbit girlfriend, takes up arms to impress her. Some really interesting animation with a slew of animals marching into a small building in their regular clothes and coming out in guns and uniforms, and a cannon whose barrel emerges to darken up the screen. The real guffaw-inducer for me is during the skyfight where the enemy airplanes start slapping each other with their wings (a gag I saw repeated in a Popeye cartoon about a decade later).

Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks (as well as Friz Freling and some of the future creators of the Looney Tunes) really show their stuff here and the Oswalds, unlike most silent animation, are still funny and interesting after 80 years.
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frantic but fun very early Disney cartoon
Mary-182 January 2008
Disney fanatics know all about Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Walt Disney's first popular cartoon animal hero. For the uninitiated, this character was created by Disney and Ub Iwerks, and they made 20+ successful Oswald cartoons in 1927 and 1928. This is not one of the more original or inventive Oswald cartoons, but it's very well animated and, even at this early date, features unmistakable Disney-quality characters and stock gags. In this one, Oswald hops the bandwagon and joins the army. They're sent to what seems like a WWI trench-based battle against Germany where the bombs fly and Oswald pines away for his bunny girlfriend back home. It's a little frantic, but still entertaining. I especially enjoyed seeing Oswald attempt to strangle what looks a lot like a very early Mickey Mouse prototype, since this kind of explicit cartoon violence would soon disappear from Disney's later, more family-oriented fare.
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Of to war with Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
TheLittleSongbird16 March 2017
Despite Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and his cartoons being popular and well received at the time, they have been vastly overshadowed over time by succeeding Disney characters (like Mickey, Donald and Goofy) and those from Looney Tunes. It is a shame as, while not cartoon masterpieces, they are fascinating for anybody wanting to see what very old animation looked like and what Disney animation was like before Mickey arrived on the scene.

'Great Guns!' is every bit as good as 'Oh Teacher' and 'The Mechanical Cow', meaning very good and interesting if not quite a cartoon masterpiece, and fares better than the still very decent 'Trolley Troubles' (not Oswald's first cartoon but the first one to not be rare). The story is somewhat slight and unimaginative with a familiar premise given at times derivative execution, and some of the pacing is too hectic.

The animation is good on the other hand, for a cartoon so old and techniques still in early days, it's crisp and fluid enough with some nice detail (sure there are some rough spots understandably especially with Disney animation becoming much more refined later). The added soundtrack and sound effects (the 1927-1928 Oswald cartoons being silent) add a lot rather than distract, actually improving the cartoon's impact and making things easier to understand.

The gags work very well, always ranging between very amusing and at times hilarious, like 'The Mechanical Cow' the craziness and wit is even more amped up from 'Oh Teacher' and particularly 'Trolley Troubles'. At the same time, some of the content is interesting and also powerful. Oswald is an endearing protagonist, and his girlfriend much more likable than in 'Oh Teacher'.

Overall, very good. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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