30 January 2018 | TheLittleSongbird
Hanna-Barbera turn serious
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.
Hanna-Barbera are better known to me for their more comic-anarchic violence-oriented shows and cartoons, many of them good to classic so there is no complaining here. Like what was said with describing in my review for 1939's 'Peace on Earth' (mentioned by many reviewers, being a cartoon with a similar story and also a message cartoon that is pretty much the same message and subject) that Hugh Harman grows up with one of his most serious and darker efforts, 1955's 'Good Will to Men' sees Hanna-Barbera turning serious and providing one of their most mature and serious works. Again like 'Peace on Earth' this different approach comes off in a good, no great, way.
Of the two, it's hard to say which is preferred of the two. They are both powerful cartoons with a daring subject, weighty themes and an important message that actually is not too irrelevant. For me 'Peace on Earth' packs slightly more of an emotional punch, while 'Good Will to Men' handles its message a touch more subtly while still making its point very forcefully. In terms of quality overall, the two are about equal.
Regardless, 'Good Will to Men' makes a big emotional impact. It packs a very poignant punch and really makes one think about what it's trying to say. The beginning and end scenes are cute but not too sentimental, while the darker content in between provokes thought and moves. Story-wise, it's simple in terms of structure and plot development while still having a good deal going on but this is a good thing, making the cartoon easier to understand and resonate with.
The characters carry the cartoon beautifully, they look adorable in appearance but show stronger personalities than one would expect. Daws Butler shows that he can do much more than comedy and he does a great job at it.
Animation is rich in detail for design and backgrounds, vibrant in colour and crisp. Composer for the prime-era 'Tom and Jerry' cartoons and regular Tex Avery composer Scott Bradley provides a lush and atmospheric music score.
In conclusion, great. 9/10 Bethany Cox