25 January 2018 | TheLittleSongbird
Hollywood gets the poultry treatment
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.
'A Star is Hatched' is not one of Friz Freleng's best cartoons and he was yet to be in his full prime, but for a relatively early effort from him it's a very solidly made and interesting one. For Freleng during this particular period in his career, the premise is something that one associates more with Frank Tashlin. With that being said, Freleng does handle it very well and one can see his style, which is not subdued here (instead there is a subtle irony and wit), coming through.
The basic story is fairly flimsy and younger audiences may not get all the references and caricatures, on first viewing when much younger a couple did go over my head when names like Dick Powell and W.C. Fields were unfamiliar to me. Still, 'A Star is Hatched' is a sheer delight for classic film/Golden Age Hollywood fans, and is very likely to interest younger audiences into getting into this period.
Animation is excellent, it's fluid in movement, crisp in shading, vibrant in colour and very meticulous in detail. The story may be predictable, but it's beautifully paced with never a dull moment and strongly structured.
Carl Stalling's music is typically superb. It is as always lushly orchestrated, full of lively energy and characterful in rhythm, not only adding to the action but also enhancing it.
It's a never less than amusing cartoon, has some very inspired and delightful to spot caricatures (a huge part of the fun is recognising them) and the pacing never lets up while having enough room to breathe.
Energy throughout is full of liveliness and the voice acting is stellar.
Overall, very well made and enjoyable poultry Golden Age caricature cartoon. 8/10 Bethany Cox