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» The Explorer (1931)
The Explorer (1931) Online
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The Explorer (1931) Online
The Terrytoons are oddly interesting, mainly for anybody wanting to see (generally) older cartoons made by lesser known and lower-budget studios. They are a mixed bag in quality, with some better than others, often with outstanding music and with some mild amusement and charm and variable in animation, characterisation and content.
After a very decent, none less than average, standard set by the previous 1931 cartoons, 'The Explorer' signals the 1931 batch's first misfire. Not unwatchable by all means and not quite one of the very worst Terrytoons (towards the bottom though), but below average, mediocre even, and with not an awful lot to it.
As always with Terrytoons, the best component of 'The Explorer' is the music, which is incredible. It is so beautifully and cleverly orchestrated and arranged, is great fun to listen to and full of lively energy, doing so well with enhancing the action. The backgrounds for 1931 are remarkably detailed and there is some nice inventive visual detail, showing a studio that were aiming for ambition and succeeding in some aspects. In particular agreed the dancing/skating sequence.
Some neat synchronisation and some lively energy, while Farmer Al Falfa has enough personality to carry the cartoon.
However, like the previous cartoons and much of the ones since, the character designs are crude and don't match the amount of detail that went everywhere else in the animation.
Furthermore, while there is some charm here thanks to some details, the story is basic and obvious, barely existent actually, and there is an disorganised feel that makes things come over as choppy and vague, which gives 'The Explorer' an odd vibe. Sadly, 'The Explorer' doesn't have enough lively pacing (erratic here) to make up for all this.
Nor any good gags, which are too few and are far too random and short to make much impression. Not to mention extremely dull, the absurdity isn't there, apart from an ending that goes overboard on the bizarre-ness, and there isn't even enough to them to reach the opposite way of cute, saccharine level, basically there's nothing to them. The rest of the characters make very little impression, easily forgettable is the best way to describe them.
Overall, mediocre. 4/10 Bethany Cox
A crowd gathers at the aerodrome to cheer Farmer Alfalfa as he sets off in his autogyro for the North Pole. Other characters follow in him increasingly eccentric means of travel in this mediocre Terrytoon.
This one looks like it was produced to fill in an empty spot on the schedule and is largely a rehash of one or more of the Aesops Fables he had done in the silent era, with little but a synchronized score added. Although there are one or two elaborately animated scenes -- the one in which everyone is dancing/skating has a lot of detail work -- by and large this rote production falls in the category "if you've seen one, you've seen them all."
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