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You Can't Shoe a Horse Fly (1940)

Hunky and Spunky are settling in for a nap, but a horse fly sees them and sees dinner. After battling the fly for a while, the youngster enlists dad's help. But the fly is merely stunned, ... See full summary »


Dave Fleischer


Bill Turner (story) (as William Turner)


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Uncredited cast:
Pinto Colvig ... Horsefly (voice) (uncredited)
Jack Mercer ... Hunky / Spunky (voice) (uncredited)


Hunky and Spunky are settling in for a nap, but a horse fly sees them and sees dinner. After battling the fly for a while, the youngster enlists dad's help. But the fly is merely stunned, and rallies a new attack, this time with friends. Father eventually kills the lot of them. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

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Not Rated






Release Date:

23 August 1940 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fleischer Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Follows A Kick in Time (1940) See more »


Keep Agoin'
Music by Sammy Timberg
Played during the opening credits and at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

Don't shoo this one away
20 February 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

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.

Mostly am not a fan of the Hunky and Spunky cartoons. Don't hate them, but apart from a few good elements (commonly the animation, music and the odd supporting character) they tend to be far too sweet and cloying, with draggy pacing, very weak stories, too little humour (when there is any it's rarely more than mildly amusing) and any conflict tends to disjoint the cartoon tonally. Also don't think that highly of the two lead characters themselves.

'You Can't Shoe a Horse Fly' however, while not a great cartoon and a long way from being one of Fleischer's finest hours, manages to be one of their better efforts by quite some way. Perhaps a contender for the best one.

There are things that work against it sure. The less said about the weak and practically non-existent story the better, when there is anything resembling one it's very predictable. The first part of the cartoon drags and is basically typically standard Hunky and Spunky.

While Hunky and Spunky are certainly at their least bland and annoying here, they still don't feel like strong enough lead characters to carry the cartoon. Hunky comes off the better of the two, her involvement at the end is the most interesting she ever was in any of the Hunky and Spunky cartoons.

However, while still too cutesy, the cloying sentiment isn't taken as far here in 'You Can't Shoe a Horse Fly' than seen in the other Hunky and Spunky cartoons. With more gags than usual, especially in the second half, and them being above mildly amusing, 'You Can't Shoe a Horse Fly' is easily one of the funnier Hunky and Spunky cartoons. This is largely thanks to the horse fly being a strong character that feels more like a lead, the pace really picks up when it's introduced and the conflict doesn't feel disjointed this time.

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.

Overall, surprisingly decent Hunky and Spunky cartoon. 6/10 Bethany Cox

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