5.5/10
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3 user

Chicken a la King (1937)

A rooster sultan is bored by his harems. A duck strongly resembling 'Mae West' entices him. Her lover arrives, and they do battle; the lovers leave, and the sultan, humiliated, turns to his harem, who beat him up.

Director:

Dave Fleischer

Star:

Jack Mercer
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Jack Mercer ... Ducky Wucky / Chickens (voice) (uncredited)
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Storyline

A rooster sultan is bored by his harems. A duck strongly resembling 'Mae West' entices him. Her lover arrives, and they do battle; the lovers leave, and the sultan, humiliated, turns to his harem, who beat him up.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

La cucaracha
(uncredited)
[Played when the Sultan and Ducky Wucky dance]
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User Reviews

 
Strange poultry
24 October 2019 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

'Chicken a La King' is not the easiest of cartoons to rate or review. It is not going to work for everyone either. It may amuse and charm some, but others are going to find it bizarre and not always tasteful. Am in the latter camp, when it comes to the "Color Classics" made from the mid-30s all the way through to the 40s it is a strong contender for the strangest and one of the lesser ones, as well as in the minority group of not-so-good Fleischer cartoons from the late-30s.

Am actually rather surprised that 'Chicken a La King' came from 1937, which was actually part of one of Fleischer Studios' better periods evidenced by the Popeye series in its prime era. It could easily have passed for one of their 40s cartoons when the studio was in decline (and we are not talking a slight decline, it was a significant one) and has a lot of that period's flaws, although the cartoons from that period oddly enough had better and more refined animation than here in 'Chicken a La King'.

Despite being more wrong than good, there are merits. The best asset, and the only really outstanding one, is the music, which is full of energy and rich orchestration and never once jarring with what was going on. Some of the animation is nice, the use of colour is never flat or garish and there is some nice attention to detail.

The Mae West-inspired character is a lot of fun and the only one to make much impact.

However, none of the rest of the characters make much impression (other than the not in a good way strange rooster sultan, who comes over as a borderline sleaze) and the love rivalry and wooing were more bizarre and awkward than cute and amorous. The story is very thinly plotted, actually that is something of an understatement, and is quite pedestrian. Also agree that the premise itself does not leave the most pleasant of aftertastes and its execution is not particularly tasteful either.

Morever, there is a severe shortage of gags, pretty much humourless actually. There is not even a cute charm, which gave it a forgettable blandness, and the excessive predictability undermined any tension in the suitor rivalry. Fleischer regular Jack Mercer was a talented voice actor (a prime example being the definitive voice actor for Popeye) but he does not have much to work with and there is not much of a chance for him to show off his versatility. Even the animation had been better before and since 'Chicken a La King' and this was disappointing, because the studio's animation had generally advanced quite a bit by the time this was made and released, it just looks rushed on the whole.

Overall, very strange and forgettable late-30s effort from Fleischer. Really not among their best work. 4/10


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 April 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sultan tuppen See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fleischer Studios See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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