Love animation, it was a big part of my life as a child, particularly Disney, Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry, and still love it whether it's film, television or cartoons.
Also have much admiration for Tex Avery, an animation genius whose best cartoons are animated masterpieces and some of the best he ever did. Tex Avery's 'Who Killed Who' may sound like another one of the many murder mystery in a creepy house endeavours in animation or in film in general, but manages to be much more than that. It has all the murder mystery tropes, the creepy setting, the horror feel, the suspense, the mystery, the suspicious-inducing suspects, but explores it in a way that's imaginative and hilarious at the same time.
Not many cartoon cartoons manage to be hilarious, creepy and imaginative, 'Who Killed Who' does and is one of the greatest ever examples. To me, it's one of Avery's greatest too, though he was a master director who was responsible for so many very good to classic cartoons and even his weaker efforts would induce the envy of any animation directors at their worst.
All the characters are entertaining and induce the right amount of suspicion. The voice acting is in true bravura-style particularly from Billy Bletcher. The narration sets up the ominous tone to perfection, and the live action is blended ingeniously, the two being blended several times in film/cartoon history to variable effect. For every 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?' there's also the likes of 'Rock a Doodle'.
Avery does a wonderful job directing, with his unique, unlike-any-other visual and characteristic and incredibly distinctive wacky humour style all over it as can be expected.
On top of the creepy tone and murder mystery story, there are still the classic Avery jokes and sight gags with witty dialogue and the characteristic wildness. Everything is timed immaculately and the ending is a knockout.
It is no surprise either that the animation is superb, being rich in colour and detail. The character designs are unique, Avery always did have creative character designs, and suitably fluid. The music, courtesy of Scott Bradley, is lushly and cleverly orchestrated, with lively and energetic rhythms and fits very well indeed.
Altogether, an animated who-dunnit that is an example to all. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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