Not everything Fleischer Studios did was great, very few studios in the world are exempt from disappointments, especially their 40s work which was the complete opposite of when they were making good to great cartoons in the 30s. Nothing in their vast output was unwatchable, even when a few series in their decline betrayed the vastly inferior quality in comparison to their early work, but the best of the studio's work when it was on form were gems.
'Bunny Mooning' is neither among Fleischer Studios' best or worst. It is pleasant and cute, as well as well made and scored, but rather unexceptional and somewhat bland at the same time. It is something of a disappointment in a way, due to it being made and released in a contender for the studio's best period (the late-30s). One did miss pre-code Betty Boop (the best of which being among Fleischers' best) but it was a particularly great period for the Popeye series, where the quality was remarkably consistent in a good way. It is part of the uneven "Color Classics" series, of which it is a middling effort, again neither among the best or worst, also again though the late-30s cartoons from that series generally were infinitely better than the 40s ones.
Almost every film, television dramas/shows, filmed stage productions and cartoons in existence have both good and bad points, though tending to either have good things outweighing bad or vice versa. There are certainly a good deal of exceptions, where one can find next to nothing wrong or if they can't find anything redeeming. 'Bunny Mooning' is an example of the both good and bad points, with the good just slightly outweighing the not so good. Starting with what is good, as with pretty much all the "Color Classics" cartoons, even in the 40s ones, the best assets are the animation and music. While there are more visually innovative cartoons of theirs, the attention to detail in the backgrounds, the lush and atmospheric colours and the smooth way everything is drawn is really lovely to watch. The music never works against the action and fits very well with it instead, it is also characterful and cleverly and beautifully orchestrated.
The animal characters are amusing and 'Bunny Mooning' does well in giving them distinct personalities. There could have been more gags, but the cartoon is not devoid of humour and some of it does bring a smile. It is cute without generally being too sentimental. The voice acting from Fleischer regulars Jack Mercer and Mae Questel is well done and fit their characters appropriately.
For all those good things, 'Bunny Mooning' does have caveats. The story could have done with more energy and despite being a short length there is just not enough content to it to sustain the length, on the whole it is rather routine and flimsy. Some of it is a bit too cute for my tastes and while 'Bunny Mooning' does have humour present there is nothing really hilarious here. The leads are on the bland side.
It will be said that nothing here is executed awfully and there are well done elements. There is just not an awful lot special here.
Worth a look certainly but not a gem and more a one-time-watch sort of cartoon rather than one worth repeated viewings. 6/10
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