Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Sour Puss -- Underrated?

Hammerson has posted a bunch of pictures from Bob Clampett's "the Sour Puss" on his blog, and wonders why the film has such a bad reputation:

Ladies and gentlemen, here's a cartoon usually regarded as the worst thing that Bob Clampett has ever done at Warners. So often I've seen the opinion that "The Sour Puss" represents a real nadir, a big stinky blot in an almost faultless filmography of a great director. I've also seen it mentioned on various lists of the worst classic cartoons of all time... and I wonder why? What's the matter with you, people?!?

John Young agrees:

This is one of my favorites. I had no idea people hated this one, I find that extremely puzzling. There are so many funny drawings in there it's almost ridiculous. It makes me feel alone in the universe 'cuz this is one of those cartoons I show my my non-cartoon friends so they can see why i like cartoons so much.

J. Lee offers his opinion on why the cartoon is so derided:

I like the first half of the cartoon -- the cartoon deserves respect if for no other reason than the "Now I've seen everything" suicide gag debuts here -- but the second half comes across as something Ben Hardaway would have done if Cal Dalton designed wilder poses for the animators.

Clampett was obvously feeling constrained by 1940 at having to use Porky in every cartoon, and one of the ways to liven things up was -- as Hardaway did in "Porky's Hare Hunt" -- take the Avery-Clampett Daffy Duck model and stick it into a different body. So here we get the original Daffy in a fish suit, and in "Paitent Porky" we get the original Daffy in a cat costume. There are some good gags in both cartoons, but neither of Porky's antagonists are Daffy Duck, which takes away from both shorts.

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