28 July 2015 | TheLittleSongbird
A Sylvester and Hippety Hopper cartoon where the bulldog steals the show from under them
Hippety Hopper is well-engineered and entertaining stuff without being one of the best or worst of the Sylvester and Hippety Hopper series, and this was only their second cartoon.
The mouse is a rather bland character and somewhat stiff and ugly in design and movement, and as repetitive as this sounds if you are familiar with the basic formula of the Sylvester and Hippety Hopper cartoons there is not much that is particularly new here in this regard, the characters still serve the same functions and the basic situation is pretty much the same except with a suicidal mouse and a bulldog in the mix.
However, on the most part Hippety Hopper is very well animated, the colours are vibrant and atmospheric, the backgrounds fluid and detailed and the character designs and the way they move (excepting the mouse) crisply drawn and smooth. Another plus is Carl Stalling's music, which has so much life and character and is beautifully orchestrated with lively rhythms and clever use of instruments and sound effects (the music accompanying Hippety's hopping and movements). It matches brilliantly with the action, especially in the interplay between Sylvester and Hippety, and even enhances it in a way that few other cartoon composers excelled in better than Stalling.
Also great is the dialogue, which is sharp and witty, and even more importantly it's funny, especially towards the end with the bulldog and the mouse. The sight gags are every bit as entertaining, the physical comedy between Sylvester and Hippety is standard but with enough sharp timing and invention to amuse at least (and it certainly does do that here and more), the ending is a little random but pretty hilarious. The story is atmospherically sombre to begin with, but changes tone with ease to fast-paced lunacy, it's formulaic but also is a lot of fun, is strongly paced and the chemistry between the four characters whether in pairs, threes or all of them charms and entertains with no mean-spiritedness at all. Hippety's antics are somewhat limited and predictable for a baby kangaroo mistaken for a big mouse but the physical comedy is well-animated and is thankfully more entertaining than it is tiresome, the character himself is amusing and cute. Sylvester is the funnier and more interesting character, and both traits come through very well here, and he's also appropriately cunning, but it's the bulldog and his inspired dialogue that steals the show from under both, the best comedy also comes from him. Mel Blanc does a stellar job as always providing the voices of all the characters but silent Hippety.
Overall, well-made, entertaining and well-engineered early Sylvester and Hippety Hopper cartoon. 7.5/10 Bethany Cox