3 February 2018 | TheLittleSongbird
Canine fish trouble
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.
'Fish and Slips' is not one of Robert McKimson's best overall and there are better Sylvester and Junior cartoons. To me though, it is somewhere in the top middle of his later efforts. His late period saw a fair share of pretty weak cartoons (though nowhere near as bad-faring as the worst of Alex Lovy and Rudy Larriva), in what was in all fairness a patchy decade, particularly the latter part, generally for Looney Tunes, so seeing a cartoon that was pretty decent for that decade was pleasing.
Is 'Fish and Slips' a perfect cartoon? No. The story is pretty simplistic and predictable and budget limitations and time constraints is sometimes evident in some roughness here and there.
There is a lot to enjoy though. The plot is fairly standard but has tremendous energy and enough freshness and amusement to keep one interested.
While never quite hilarious, the gags are at least fun and amusing, with lively timing, while the dialogue has a good amount of sharpness and wit. Have always liked Sylvester and Junior together, they are a funny pair and there is also heart to their relationship. That can be seen in 'Fish and Slips' even if it has been stronger in their earlier cartoons.
Junior is amusing and avoids being too cutesy. The most interesting and funniest character is Sylvester, he takes the laughs to very funny effect and is suitably cunning but one roots for him too. Also love the fish.
Generally, the animation could have been so much worse considering the period. It is very 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.
Mel Blanc very rarely put a foot wrong, he was an unequalled master at giving individuality to more than one (often multiple) character, always sounded like he was having fun and never phoned it in when his material was weak. As ever he is outstanding and clearly was enjoying himself a lot, helped by that his dialogue allowed him to do so.
Overall, not bad at all if not particularly mind-blowing. 7/10 Bethany Cox