A collection of animals goes to school; their teacher, a goose, asks them several questions, during which time an ape, sitting behind an elephant, keeps tormenting the elephant. The teacher leaves the room, putting a turtle in charge. While she's gone, things go fine for a while, but the ape starts an all-out book tossing brawl. As the teacher returns, everyone suddenly stops, and although the room is a shambles, she congratulates them on behaving and dismisses them for the day. On the way home, the elephant (who kept reminding us that he never forgets) finally takes revenge on the ape.Written by
Jon Reeves <email@example.com>
If there were things that Fleischer Studios were consistently good in throughout their entire output, they would be that their cartoons were nearly always well animated and the music never disappointed regardless of the quality of everything else. When they were on form, their cartoons were amusing (very funny to hilarious at their best) and charming. When they floundered, especially in the 40s, their cartoons were bland, too cute, humourless and sometimes annoying.
'An Elephant Never Forgets' sees them neither on top form or floundering, though it has most of the above on both sides. As far as the "Color Classics" cartoons go, which was not a consistent series (especially their output made in their decline in the 40s) but mostly a little better than the barely watchable "Stone Age" and "Animated Antics" cartoons, 'An Elephant Never Forgets' is something of a middling effort. It looks and sounds great and has its charming moments but it is also again a bit bland.
Will start with what 'An Elephant Never Forgets' does well. It is mostly well animated, even if there were more visually innovative cartoons from the studio, but wasn't expecting anything less to be honest. While the lush colours and neat drawing impress, it is the meticulous attention to detail that stands out the most in this regard. Unsurprisingly the music also stands out. So beautifully orchestrated, in a way that manages to flawlessly enhance every expression, gesture and action, and full of character while having moments of intimacy too. The title song is very catchy with some clever lyrics.
There are other things too. There is the odd amusing moment, particularly in the brawl, and did feel sorry for the elephant in enough of the cartoon, was teased a lot in school but did relate. Did love the hippo, the most interesting of the rest of the characters. Parts are cute and there is evidence of energy. Gus Wickie does a nice job.
Not quite enough though in my view. With 'An Elephant Never Forgets' tending to veer into the too cute category, the characters generally not being particularly interesting and laughs being too few it really could have done with more lustre with it taking too long to get to the main action. Didn't find the revenge aspect particularly funny or rootable, as have always felt that there are better ways of dealing with the situation than retalliation and in that extreme a way, my sympathy for the elephant diminished a bit here.
Didn't need to be reminded in so unsubtle a way that an elephant never forgets, one gets that before the cartoon even starts because of the title. It did rather grate. As said, there could have been less cutesiness and more gags, the too few (and the hippo is the source of them mainly) there are are never hilarious. Of the rest of the characters only the hippo and goose teacher had a colourful enough personality. The animation in the drawing has had more finesse in other Fleischer cartoons.
In conclusion, not so bad but unexceptional. A bit conflicted here if to be honest. 5.5/10
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