Gopher Broke (1958) Poster


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Gaslight -- gopher style
utgard1430 September 2015
Penultimate Goofy Gophers short, directed by Robert McKimson, is a loose remake of the earlier Chuck Jones short Mouse Wreckers. The plot to this one has Mac and Tosh trying to recover "their" vegetables taken by a farmer. But the veggies are being guarded by Barnyard Dog, so the duo devise a plan to drive the dog insane (!) to remove him from the situation. It's a mildly funny short with amusing dialogue and likable characters. There's an unnamed pig who figures into things in a cute way that I won't spoil. The animation is very colorful and attractive. The voice work from Mel Blanc and Stan Freberg is good. This would be the last short for Warner Bros. Freberg would lend his voice to during the classic era. The stock music score is a major negative.
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The Goofy Gophers take on Barnyard Dog
TheLittleSongbird2 July 2016
Having loved 1947's 'The Goofy Gophers', 1948's 'Two Gophers from Texas and 1951's 'A Ham in a Role' and really liked the next four cartoons directed by Fritz Freleng, Robert McKimson's 'Gopher Broke' is a disappointment but it's very watchable still.

It is not near as good as his 'A Ham in a Role', and it does feel like it is too closely indebted to the brilliant Hubie and Bertie cartoon 'Mouse Wreckers', almost like a slightly loose remake, so it does suffer from a lack of originality and a blandness compared to that cartoon. The whole premise with the vegetables has also been done before and to better effect in 1954's 'I Gopher You'.

Perhaps the biggest debit is the music score (was this due to the musicians' strike), here the stock music sounds cheaply orchestrated, annoying and somewhat repetitive in places in a cartoon crying out for the involvement of Milt Franklyn or even Carl Stalling if he hadn't retired.

A shame because the animation is great, as always with the early and middle period Looney Tunes cartoons, with some bright vibrant colours and richly detailed backgrounds and everything is very fluidly and smoothly drawn with no obvious jarring anywhere.

'Gopher Broke' does have some very funny dialogue, that has the zany Looney wit while almost all the best of it coming from the over-polite Gophers. The earlier Goofy Gophers cartoons were known for the gags and violence being quite dark and brutal, without being over-the-top or overly-sadistic, while 'Mouse Wreckers' was relentlessly cruel without feeling too much, and while that tone is evident it was done with much sharper, darker and more imaginative edge in the previous Goofy Gopher cartoons.

Mac and Tosh work are a wonderfully entertaining duo, if a very acquired taste, being cute yet very funny in their over-politeness to one another. They are voiced adroitly by Stan Freberg and Mel Blanc. Barnyard Dog (also voiced wonderfully by Blanc) works better with Foghorn Leghorn, but is very true to character and is an amusing foil that one does sort of sympathise with.

In conclusion, quite good but not great and a little bland cartoon with the Goofy Gophers and Barnyard Dog. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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Though many of Warner Bros.' Golden Age animated shorts . . .
Edgar Allan Pooh3 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
. . . (whether "Looney Tunes," such as GOPHER BROKE, or "Merrie Melodies") teach valuable Life Lessons (giving rise to such pop culture best sellers as W's old stand-by, I LEARNT EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO LIVE IN THE WHITE HOUSE FROM SATVRDAY MORNING CARTOONS), this outing featuring two English-accented rodents is grating from beginning to end, with no redeeming social value. Just the opposite, in fact, as it glorifies theft. Let someone else do the heavy lifting, then take whatever you want from the fruits of others' labor. It's Reaganomics all over again: "From each according to their powerlessness, to the guy atop the pyramid." Usually Warners is loath to abet the Help-the-Rich-Get-Richer movement, so GOPHER BROKE seems the product of an animators' revolt in which the guys decided to be perversely Upper Crust. Perhaps one of them had just converted to Scientology, as Psychiatry is panned several times here for no reason, and the Sacred Symbol of the Transvestite Dog pops up out of nowhere.
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