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The Merry Old Soul (1935)

Old King Cole marries the Woman in the Shoe. As soon as they get home, the babies show up from every drawer and closet, much to the king's chagrin. As the singers keep informing us (until ... See full summary »


Friz Freleng (as I. Freleng)


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Uncredited cast:
Bernice Hansen Bernice Hansen ... Mary / Lambs / Woman in the Shoe / Babies (voice) (uncredited)


Old King Cole marries the Woman in the Shoe. As soon as they get home, the babies show up from every drawer and closet, much to the king's chagrin. As the singers keep informing us (until the king shuts the window on them), it's the end of his happiness. We spend most of the picture watching his baby assembly line, as he washes them, sends them through the rinse line, dries them with a roller towel, powders them, sends them floating along with balloons, diapers them with paper towels stapled in place, and finally flips them into sleep suits and into their cradles. Time to catch up on the sewing; the machine is connected to the cradles and rocks them as he sews. Once everyone is asleep, the king rests, until two babies run the machine at warp speed, sending everyone flying, ultimately into the king's lap. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

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Release Date:

17 August 1935 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (2-strip Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Bridal Chorus
from "Lohengrin"
Music by Richard Wagner
Played during the wedding procession
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User Reviews

This old soul is merry enough
22 September 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Like as was said in my recent review for 'The Country Mouse', is always interesting to see any cartoon from Friz Freleng relatively early on in his career. As it is seeing early Looney Tunes characters that are not the iconic more well known characters that we all know and love, with more interesting and fleshed out personalities.

Freleng certainly did much better later than 'The Merry Old Soul', once Looney Tunes/Warner Brothers/Merrie Melodies hit their stride, when the animation became even more refined and imaginative and when the writing became more fresh, funnier and more witty. 'The Merry Old Soul' is a decent cartoon and a little better than the mediocre rating here suggests (from personal opinion that is), but it's not great either being lacking in areas.

'The Merry Old Soul' is barely existent in story and lacks the crispness in the pacing and the later characteristic wit to mask it. It also tries a little too hard in place to be "cute" and is a little too over-reliant on that than providing hilarious moments and fresh wit.

This would also have fared better if the aim to make the kids cute was properly successful. There are parts where they are sweet and adorable, at other times one feels sorry for the title character because they are a little on the bratty side.

However, Old King Cole himself is a likable and jovial character, making him an endearing and merry enough character and his benevolent antics make it easy to relate to him. The cartoon is amusing enough and captures the merriness of the character and the atmosphere of the story quite well. The Woman in the Shoe doesn't have as much to do but is charming. Bernice Hansen is in multiple roles and does a great job.

Animation-wise, 'The Merry Old Soul' looks great, boasting beautiful colours and meticulous detail. The characters are drawn well with smooth movement and it was clear that Freleng's animation style was becoming faster, more inventive, looser and smoother. The music is every bit as good and perhaps even better. It's beautifully and cleverly orchestrated and characterful, adding to every action, expression and gesture and even enhancing them.

In summary, merry enough though made at a time when things were still settling. 6/10 Bethany Cox

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