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The fox spots a little lamb and disguises himself with a beard and bushy eyebrows. He posts an announcement for a baby contest, and the animal mothers spruce up their little ones (a rabbit and a pig). Meanwhile, the fox builds his judging stand. Several contestants are rejected: a squirrel, three ducklings, a whole family of rabbits, before the winner, little lamby. The fox reveals himself and motorcycles off, chased by the parents. He barricades himself in a hollow tree, where he starts preparing dinner while a ram heads a battering ram, a beaver starts eating his way in, and two birds start sawing, but the fox foils them all. The battering ram crew makes their way in just in time, and the lamb is rescued while the fox is punished.Written by
Jon Reeves <email@example.com>
[Lamby pours pepper on his nose]
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High in sugar, low in interest
It is not as if the "Color Classics", running from the mid 30s to the early 40s, cartoons are completely unwatchable. That is actually not the case, have actually liked and even loved a fair few of them and the series is generally better than the "Stone Age" and "Animated Antics" cartoons, the worst of those being barely mediocre. It is though an uneven series with the late 30s cartoons tending to be better (not all mind) than the 40s ones.
1937 to me was generally one of Fleischer Studios' better individual years, with in particular some of the best Popeye cartoons being made in that year. Against all that, there was still a minority group of cartoons that were average at best. As much as this genuinely pains me to say this, to me 'Little Lamby' is in that group. Very like 'Chicken a La King' from that year, actually was surprised that 'Little Lamby' was from 1937 when it had all the trademarks of 40s Fleischer which sadly is not a compliment.
'Little Lamby' is not unwatchable. The music never failed to disappoint with Fleischer Studios' output, and it still doesn't. Actually consider it one of two of the cartoon's best elements, with its vibrant orchestration, that is a mix of energetic and sensitive, beautiful but never too sentimental sounds and rich character. The other best element is the opening shot, which is really quite gorgeous with a three dimensional tabletop landscape that takes the breath away. Generally the animation comes off well, the standout being the opening shot though the eye-popping quality of the use of colour was striking.
Of the characters, the most interesting by far is the fox, despite the overkill grunting. The only one actually to have some kind of discernible personality and one that is suitably formidable as a foe.
The lamb however is completely bland, no real personality other than being just "cute". Which 'Little Lamby' goes overboard on. Like most of the "Color Classics" cartoons, 'Little Lamby' is paper thin plot-wise and actually it's one of the thinner and more predictable ones. There are also the further mistakes of nothing interesting happening really (so interest is lost fast), being very dull in pace and by being far too sugary in quality and quantity.
Furthermore, there is nothing remotely at least mildly amusing in 'Little Lamby', really didn't detect much attempt at humour at all and thought that in the gags department there was a severe shortage. Reminiscent of gags being neglected in favour of cuteness, managing to coat the cartoon in too much of that and sugar. The tension between the lamb and the fox fails to interest let alone excite, which is what happens when one character is much more compelling than the other.
Concluding, lacklustre. 4/10
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