17 August 2015 | TheLittleSongbird
Lights on/Lights out with Sylvester and Hippety Hopper
While I am not the biggest fan overall of the Sylvester/Hippety Hopper series, some of the cartoons are still good. Lighthouse Mouse is not one of their best cartoons, and it was at this point where the series' one-shot concept was starting to wear thin but it is still fun and well-made.
The weak point of the Sylvester/Hippety Hopper cartoons is nearly always the story, and it's no exception in Lighthouse Mouse. The cartoon does start off quite slowly and takes too long to set up, properly coming to life when Sylvester appears, and not much special or inventive is done with the concept of a baby kangaroo being mistaken for a giant mouse so it does feel a little stretched-thin and routine despite how well-made and fun it is. Sylvester's owner is a bland, roughly drawn and annoying character with a stereotypical and overdone-sounding accent, bringing very little different to the long line of owners that treat their pets badly in cartoons (pretty much the only thing that isn't so bad against him is that he isn't sadistically violent), while the mouse (apart from the beginning where do you feel sorry for him) is basically a plot device and does barely anything, to the extent that you sometimes forget that he's even there.
Lighthouse Mouse is animated well though, while it is not the best-looking cartoon in the series there is some lovely dark atmospheric colours as well as some vibrantly bright ones, detailed backgrounds and beautifully and smoothly drawn characters on the whole. Even better is the vibrant and character music score from Milt Franklyn, it fits wonderfully and does add a lot to the action, it's rousing in energy, orchestration is rich and beautiful and rhythmically it's very lively yet dynamic. Love Hippety's hopping theme, which fits so well with his characteristics. While the story isn't the best, it does pick up when Sylvester appears and maintains a lively pace without feeling too repetitive. Lighthouse Mouse is a funny cartoon too, without being one of the funniest of the series. The dialogue is very witty (especially the interplay between Sylvester and the parrot and Sylvester's final line) and the gags are well-timed and range from very amusing to very funny, especially the explosion and Hippety and Sylvester's fight inside the light (the bit before with Hippety and the mouse was also good).
What were even more fun were Sylvester's facial expressions which are priceless (McKimson sure knew how to animate and characterise facial expressions), especially his first sight of Hippety and after the explosion. The parrot doesn't have an awful lot to do but his interplay with Sylvester is still very funny, and while Hippety like the mouse is also a plot device he is cute and amusing and the physical comedy still looks great. Sylvester however steals the show, he has such great comic timing but he is also very easy to root for. Mel Blanc's voice work is excellent as always.
Overall, fun Sylvester and Hippety cartoon but not among the best or funniest of the series. 7/10 Bethany Cox