Buddy goes to Mexico and visits a cantina. He wakes up the patrons from their siesta and there is music and dancing. Pancho (a Wallace Beery caricature), one bad hombre, rides into town ... See full synopsis »
Now a fairly obscure character, Buddy was the second Warner Brothers Looney Tunes character, after Bosko and followed by Beans the Cat. Buddy didn't last long, being retired in 1935 after 23 cartoons starting in 1933.
The title is somewhat of a misleading one, seeing as most of 'Buddy's Garage' is more a standard rescue-chase sequence, perhaps in giving more plot than the plot-less gags-driven-around-music formula adopted at the beginning of the cartoon (the one and only section of the cartoon that resembles anything to do with a garage). Not that that is a reason for putting down 'Buddy's Garage', because it is a decent cartoon but a long way from a great one. Up to this point, none of the Buddy cartoons were awful but the highest standard it reached was pretty good, serving as historical interest mainly.
'Buddy's Garage' certainly has good things. The animation is nicely drawn and detailed. Music played a big part in the Buddy cartoons and it was essential for it to work. Luckily it has the liveliness and energy, as well as the lush and vibrant orchestration. Some of the gags once the story kicks in are amusing and well timed, if never hilarious and there is certainly a lot of energy.
Of the characters, the most colourful is the villain. Archetypal but formidable and fun, a good opponent for Buddy. Liked the more heroic than usual Buddy, the sweet relationship between him and Cookie and how he cares for her. Voice acting is solid.
However, while 'Buddy's Garage' is not as plot-less as other Buddy cartoons, the story is still thin and basically a standard, formulaic rescue-chase sequences with variable gags. While some of the gags are amusing, others are over-familiar.
Cookie has some charm but she is mostly bland and has little to do other than be a damsel-in-distress plot device. The dog was useless and the tone of the beginning of the cartoon was cloyingly cutesy with little funny or little interesting in characterisation. It's when the villain appears really when things pick up.
In summary, decent but not great. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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