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The Mary Kaye Trio,
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Our story concerns a famous flea circus. At the center of our story are a clown flea named Francois, and a glamorous flea named Fifi. Francois asks Fifi to marry him, but she refuses. One day, the performance of the circus' show-stopping dance number is interrupted by a dog, who the entire entourage takes to, leaving the owner now bankrupt and with no actors. Francois assures the owner of the circus that he will help. Trailing the dog, he finds the dog in a nearby fountain, the fleas on his back sinking into the watery depths like people on a sinking ship. Among the fleas calling for help is Fifi. Francois saves her, to which she asks him to marry her for his bravery. Soon afterward, the two marry and have a rather large number of baby fleas. Returning to the flea circus owner, he is more than happy to display Fifi, Francois and their offspring, and the circus is back in business again. Everything looks to be back to normal, when we see Francois walk into Fifi's room, and see her ...Written by
Love animation, it was a big part of my life as a child, particularly Disney, Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry, and still love it whether it's film, television or cartoons.
Also have much admiration for Tex Avery, an animation genius whose best cartoons are animated masterpieces and some of the best he ever did. Avery did do better than 'The Flea Circus', cartoons that are more original and more inventive visually and in narrative but it's still very well made and entertaining. Even when Avery was not quite at the top of his game he put many other animation directors to shame and the cartoons in general much better than many at their worst. Hope that doesn't sound too hyperbolic, unfair or ignorant.
The story is a fairly conventional one and for an Avery cartoon it is agreed that it is fairly subdued for him and that it lacks his usual wild wackiness. Occasional limitations show in the background art.
However, much of the animation is very good. Very rich in colour, the backgrounds have mostly good detail and the character designs are distinctively Avery in style and are fluid in movement. The music, courtesy of Scott Bradley, is lushly and cleverly orchestrated, with lively and energetic rhythms and fits very well indeed, even enhancing the action.
Can't fault Avery, whose style is all over, nor the dynamic voice acting and the very engaging characters, those fleas have good comic timing. The pacing is very lively and nothing is less than amusing if not always hilarious and more wildness would have been more welcome.
All in all, good fun from Avery but he did better. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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