May 25th, 2008

krazy koati

Make a bad one good, make a wrong one right

It took some time, and some deliberation, and the warm approval of chefmongoose and the sympathetic if not awestruck review of bunny_hugger, but I finally went ahead and watched the Heckle and Jeckle (that looks more right) short ``The Power of Thought'', in a virtual getting-together with skylerbunny and various other people. And so for the first time in a quarter-century or so I watched a cartoon that I had always remembered lovingly. Revisiting cherished childhood memories is always dangerous, and when those memories involve cartoons from the lesser tiers of the cartoon studios the peril can only grow vaster. So, my verdict?

Boy, I'm glad I watched it. I was shocked to discover on watching it how many of the salient plot points I did remember, even if I couldn't quite articulate them. Chief among those moments is a point where the bulldog cop, needing encouragement to think, gets himself hammered on the head repeatedly: I couldn't have described the scene to you before, but his glee an cry for more was lurking just below my conscious mind. bunny_hugger had been disappointed with the development of the cartoon, which is that the bulldog cop starts chasing Heckle and Jeckle, rather than just letting things develop with their exploration of the boundless cartoon nature. The bulldog was one of the recurring characters of the Heckle and Jeckle universe, though, and having the two who've figured out the gimmick using it against a person who doesn't know is not by itself a bad plot.

I was also extremely pleasantly surprised to find that the animation was smoother than I figured. My recollection of Terrytoons has been that they were, well, poverty-row productions, and that impression wasn't helped by the Filmation series that TV Land reran through the late 90s. But the animation was competent. The timing wasn't as tight as would have optimized its comic value, but the music pulled out delightful memories, and the result was satisfying to my memories. Sometimes childhood fascinations revisited turn out well.

Trivia: Gossip columnist Walter Winchell's name gained its final 'l' by an accident on the theater marquee. Source: Know-It-All, A J Jacobs.

Currently Reading: We Reach The Moon, John Noble Wilford.