It is always interesting to see a Looney Tunes cartoon that doesn't have any of the famous iconic characters, and instead see characters that are not as compelling in personality or are in cartoons as refined or as funny but serve well for historical interest.
Such is the case with the characters of Beans, Ham and Ex, first seen in 1935's 'I Haven't Got a Hat' (most notable for the first appearance of Porky Pig in a decent cartoon that didn't do Porky justice), and this cartoon 'The Fire Alarm'. 'The Fire Alarm' is not a great cartoon, but it's decent and above average without anything to be frustrated or offended by. It is very light on plot, basically stringing along scenes and gags together with not an awful lot going on story-wise, what there is is very predictable.
Like 'I Haven't Got a Hat', while there are smiles throughout the whole duration of the cartoon, 'The Fire Alarm' is short on humour that's consistent or hilarious, it's not that it's unfunny it's just that there's not enough and it's mildly amusing really.
The animation on the other hand is very good. It is nicely drawn and detailed with the black and white looking crisp. The music is lively and lush.
Again like 'I Haven't Got a Hat', there is a warmth and gentility that was appreciated and the cartoon is amusing and charming.
Beans didn't last as long as the previous two Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies stars Bosko and Buddy, and, while there are funnier and more interesting characters around most definitely, he is a much better character than either of those two, being neither an annoying stereotype or bland. Ham and Ex make one smile. The voice acting is solid.
Overall, decent and above average, nothing to be alarmed by but doesn't quite win one over at the same time. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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