Hunky is teaching her son Spunky how to kick properly. She has him practice with a mattress propped against a tree. Spunky befriends a family of birds who are building a nest. Spunky copies...
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Hunky is teaching her son Spunky how to kick properly. She has him practice with a mattress propped against a tree. Spunky befriends a family of birds who are building a nest. Spunky copies their design and builds a nest of his own. Although he is a donkey, he tries to imitate the birds in flight and falls out of his nest. A vulture kidnaps the baby bird from the nest and Spunky follows them. Spunky uses his newfound kicking abilities to send the vulture packing and return the baby bird to its parents.Written by
Dave Fleischer was responsible for many gems. Ones that were amusing and charming, though over-cuteness did come through in some efforts and the stories were always pretty thin, with appealing characters, outstanding music and visuals that were inventive and with innovative animation techniques.
'Always Kickin' is a better Hunky and Spunky cartoon than 'The Barnyard Brat'. While having a lot of the same flaws that are found in pretty much all of the short-lived series, Spunky isn't anywhere near as much of a brat, the supporting characters aren't as irritating and there at least isn't an over-familiar moral shoved down our throats. 'Always Kickin' is still not to me a particularly good cartoon however, with the same good things but also the same flaws.
Best asset is the animation. Simply put it is great, very colourful and atmosphere with smooth character designs, meticulous if not innovative attention to detail and gorgeously detailed backgrounds.
The other outstanding asset is Sammy Timberg's music score. It is both lively and lush and adds a lot to the cartoon's mood and what's going on. The supporting characters are thankfully not annoying and have more personality than the two leads.
The best character by far is the vulture, both fun and sinister. A couple of mildly amusing moments.
However, Hunky and especially Spunky are too sickly sweet and not particularly interesting, Hunky has little to do even and Spunky is not a relatable enough hero.
When it comes to the story, it is very flimsy and also very predictable, with no surprises as to what will happen next let alone at the end. When the vulture and the conflict is introduced and things get a tad more interesting, 'Always Kickin' makes the mistake as most of the Hunky and Spunky cartoons in their second halves in that it's like a different cartoon.
Furthermore, 'Always Kickin' is far too cloying (Fleischer are no strangers to cuteness and sentiment, but the Hunky and Spunky cartoons took them way too far), drags in especially the first half and there is not much at all in the way of humour, when there is any it is too few and is not very funny.
Overall, lacklustre and bland cartoon that lacks kick. 4/10 Bethany Cox
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