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» Stormy Seas (1932)
Stormy Seas (1932) Online
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Stormy Seas (1932) Online
Where else but a cartoon, especially these crazy early 1930s ones, can you see the following?:
Someone spit (Flip The Frog) and the saliva turns into a tiny human who then dances on the ship deck; someone (Flip) roll up their sleeves and get a complete dance routine out of a tattoo and then the owner slaps the buttocks of the female dancer; a skunk comes out of an accordion, gets thrown in the sea and fish all jump out and run on top of the water while holding their noses! And - all of this is just in the first minute of this wild Flip The Frog cartoon from UB Iwerks.
I almost got a headache watching all this craziness, accompanied by a very fast soundtrack. A lot of these Flip The Frog cartoons are one long series of slapstick gags and you're almost worn out by the end. This is another example of that. I'm not complaining, as I find them very entertaining. You just can't watch more than a couple of them at one time because you need a break from all the action.
This is an entertaining Flip the Frog. Flip is more or less just a prop to bounce gags off, with inanimate objects showing more personality then our putative hero does, most of the time anyway. Some truly scary scenes, including a truly malevolent looking Father Neptune (or Poseidon to those Grecophiles among you) in one sequence (listen very closely during this sequence for a hilarious single word cry for help) makes this short a cut or two above most Flip cartoons. One comment in general about Flip's social life: sometimes you see Flip dating a cat, or pursuing her, as he does here. Sometimes, he's dating a human female (rather pretty, Betty Boopish clone, usually),while at last one has him married to an older woman who shows up as a landlord or other minor character. Is a puzzlement. At any rate, a very good cartoon and very much worth watching. Recommended.
Ub Iwerks's Flip the Frog series of cartoons was short lived, only lasting from 1930 to 1933. On the most part the Flip the Frog cartoons are not great or cartoon/animated masterpieces and it is sort of understandable as to why Flip didn't make it bigger. However they are far from terrible ones either and do hold some interest, enough of them even being good.
Despite not being historically significant like 'Fiddlesticks' was, 'Stormy Seas' for me is among the best Flip the Frog cartoons, as well as being one of the original and easily the series at its most unexpectedly racy. It is a very good cartoon, it is not perfect but there are things here that improve quite a bit and done much better than many other Flip the Frog cartoons.
A lot of good things in 'Stormy Seas'. The animation is very good good, with beautifully detailed backgrounds, nice shading and characters that aren't drawn too crudely. The anthropomorphic designs for lifeless objects, no longer lifeless thanks to this cartoons, are outstanding, and the cloud comes close to stealing the cartoon. The music makes even more of an impact, it is lushly and cleverly orchestrated, full of lively energy and not only adds brilliantly to the action it enhances it.
There are plentiful sight gags, and they are beautifully timed and amusing, even when unoriginal. Maybe not always hilarious but they are some of the best gags of the series easily. There is a nice natural charm, a good deal of zest and it is certainly among the least sentimental Flip the Frog cartoons, which is a good thing.
Characters are lively. The atmosphere is what sets 'Stormy Seas' apart from the rest of the series, there is a lot of stormy atmosphere and creepiness (better only in 'Spooks', another one of Flip's best) that one doesn't expect at all from a Flip the Frog cartoons or from Iwerks. The pacing is never dull.
Flip is a bit bland still though, he never was one of animation's most compelling, most interesting or personality-filled lead characters.
A little lack of originality and moving forward too, there is some gag borrowing here like in the rescue scene.
In summary, lots of fun. 8/10 Bethany Cox
Stormy Seas (1932)
*** (out of 4)
Flip the Frog is out at sea enjoying the fine day by playing some music. Out of nowhere a dark cloud shows up and soon Flip and the ship are dealing with a dangerous storm.
STORMY SEAS isn't the greatest film in the Flip series but once again Ub Iwerks imagination is in full force and the creative nature of the story makes it worth watching. The highlight is an early scene where we see where storms come from as the cloud mixing the rain, rough seas and the lightening and how the cloud does it was just fun to watch. The film also has an underwater sequence that is quite good and an overall charm that helps carrying everything through to the end.
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