While not one of my favourites, Ub Iwerks was responsible for a lot of interesting work. Especially when working with Walt Disney, his oldest friend and one of his best, and co-creating one of animation's most famous characters in Mickey Mouse. His career since opening his own studio had interest value but the quality was variable, often being successful in the animation and music but wanting in the story and variable in gags, lead characters and tone.
1933 to 1936 saw twenty five cartoons, mostly based on famous fairytales and familiar stories, as part of Iwerks's "ComiColor" series. The "ComiColor" series is very much worth watching and interesting, as is the case with many series some cartoons are better than others but there are no real animation nadirs. 1934's 'The Brave Tin Soldier' is remarkably very well done and one of the better cartoons of the series.
'The Brave Tin Soldier', while faithfully adhering to the basic details (and also spirit) of the story while putting its own spin, is slight and even for that particular part of the story the gutter scene's darkness goes a little overboard with the darkness and it doesn't gel with the rest of the cartoon.
However, 'The Brave Tin Soldier' in no way disgraces the story and has enough freshness to stop it from being stale. It avoids the over sentimental factor and is never dull.
There are amusing moments, that aren't too corny and never repetitive, it's very charming, is very touching (the ending made me cry admittedly) and there is a genuine likeability and cuteness without being over-sentimental. The characters drive 'The Brave Tin Soldier' well, with a very likeable titular character and a not too bland if not as interesting love interest.
Furthermore, the animation is great. Meticulously detailed, fluid in drawing, vibrant in colour and often rich in imagination and visual wit. The music is cleverly and lushly orchestrated, is infectiously catchy and adds a lot to the cartoon. The song is very memorable and clever.
Concluding, very well done. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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