Wednesday, February 3, 2016

No 'Wonder' About It: "Baby Huey and Many More"

This grainy "Wonder Toons" videotape is hard to watch on many levels, and is thankfully only twenty minutes long and contains three cartoons (yes, three total cartoons constitute "many more"), something that must have thrilled parents of yesteryear who shelled out the big bucks to keep their kids quiet:

Pest Pupil (1957) Directed by Dave Tendlar, Written by Carl Meyer
This awful little slice has the giant mentally retarded duck known as Baby Huey getting expelled for constantly assaulting his teacher, and then doing the same to his German-speaking home tutor. Tired gags and one annoying main character doom this. (*) out of five stars

Quack-a-Doodle Do (1950) Directed by Izzy Sparber, Story by Jack Mercer, Carl Meyer, Martin Taras
This is the first Baby Huey cartoon, showing how he was born, and dealing with the other poultry teasing him as well as battling a barnyard-invading fox. Still annoying, still terrible quality video, although famed Freleng does try to do something different here and there. (*) out of five stars.

Peeping Penguins (1937) Directed by David Fleischer
Four baby penguins explore an abandoned cabin, even after their mother sings them a bizarre song entitled "Curiosity Killed the Cat." This isn't as bad as the two Baby Huey clips, but it still grates, and the song, with odd throat clearing, is awful. (* *) out of five stars.

Not only is the quality bad on the video, but unlike other public domain companies cashing in on better-known characters, the cartoons themselves suck as well. If you see "Baby Huey and Many More" in your thrift store free picking room, leave it. (*) out of five stars.

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