7 February 2018 | TheLittleSongbird
In the experimental lab
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.
Speedy Gonzales is not a favourite character of mine and his cartoons overall are very variable (the worst cartoons being the worst of his outings with Daffy Duck and 'Mexican Cat Dance'). Am a fan though of Sylvester, regardless of any character he was paired with he was always the funnier and more interesting while also being one to root for. Generally, their outings are better than Speedy's with Daffy though some are better than others, and their pairing makes much more sense and isn't too much of a mismatch. This is evident here.
'West of the Pesos' is for me one of their best outings, as well one of Speedy's overall best. It's one of their funniest and also one of their wildest, the way Sylvester is treated is even more painful and violent than most Speedy and Sylvester cartoons but it's not in a sadistic way.
Sure the story is very standard and with not an awful lot to it, even with a change of pace setting most Speedy and Sylvester cartoons follow the same formula with not a whole lot of variation, the case also with 'West of the Pesos'.
Budget limitations and time constraints is sometimes evident in some roughness here and there.
Generally though, the animation could have been so much worse, considering that Looney Tunes/Warner Brothers were past their prime if not yet hit the severe decline seen in especially the mid-60s onwards. It is colourful and there is fluidity and detail here, though there clearly wasn't the budget or time to be more imaginative or elaborate.
Am more of a Carl Stalling person myself, but Milt Franklyn's music is full of energy and lush and clever orchestration, while not quite enhancing the action that Stalling did so consistently brilliantly Franklyn's music always added a lot.
Furthermore, Speedy is not too annoying thankfully and his chemistry with Sylvester is fun. Sylvester as was predicted is the funnier and more interesting character of the two by quite some way, he's cunning, provides the laughs more than naturally and is easy to root for. The dialogue is not particularly fresh but it is quite sharp-witted and amusing and there is a crisp pace throughout. The gags are nothing innovative but raised still a number of smiles and laughs.
Mel Blanc's vocals as expected are very exuberant and full of vigour, few actors have voiced multiple characters in one cartoon alone and give all of them a different identity with such conviction.
Overall, very enjoyable. 8/10 Bethany Cox