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  • darcyj15 January 2003
    Take some stock footage - the opening bullfight scene is from "Bully for Bugs" from 10 years earlier and throw in Speedy, Sylvester (with no dialogue) and some sombrero-topped mice. There is little originality on display here, with the usual bull-fighting japes being rehashed over the top of the backgrounds from the Bugs Bunny cartoon mentioned above.

    One annoying continuity error - at one stage, the mice who are in the bleachers cheering the contest are shown to be fast enough to get away from Sylvester. This is at odds with all other Speedy Gonzalez plots where only Speedy is fast enough to avoid being caught by the cat.

    Don't fret if you miss this one. You haven't missed much.
  • Not by much though. Mexican Cat Dance does have its values, Bill Lava's music score is pleasantly orchestrated and rhythmically very catchy, Mel Blanc still gives his all to the vocal characterisations but this immensely talented voice actor deserved so much better than this and some of Sylvester's facial expressions did crack me up. His entrance was pretty cool too. The main problems however with Mexican Cat Dance were that it is not at all funny and that it looks cheap. The animation in the Speedy cartoons have been known to look basic, and it's certainly that here and worse. The colours have no life or vibrancy at all and everything just looks scrappily drawn and sparse, Speedy and Sylvester have been much better drawn before too. With the humour, the writing has no real freshness or wit and there are a few groaners too, while the gags are incredibly predictable and limp, even the best of the visual gags felt recycled and to much inferior effect due to the complete lack of energy in the pace. The story has that lack of energy and never gets out of being simplistic, it feels stretched even for the short running time, or derivative. The opening looks like a rehash of Bully for Bugs and actually contains the best-looking animation of the entire cartoon, not saying an awful lot though. Neither Speedy or Sylvester are written well. Their chemistry certainly makes much more sense than that of Daffy and Speedy but they still don't gel because the material for both are so weak here. The mice are annoying and unnecessary and Speedy is no better, he's also unnecessarily sadistic towards Sylvester here. Sylvester is certainly Mexican Cat Dance's most rootable character, only because you hate everybody else, but in doing so what was so endearing about him in the first place is lost. The charisma is there, the craftiness is not and you are feeling too sorry for him to be amused by him, in his cartoons he's always the character that provides the laughs but it sure doesn't feel like that here because of how he's treated. In conclusion, a very weak Speedy/Sylvester cartoon, quite possibly their worst, and even worse than anything in the much-maligned Daffy/Speedy series put together(of that series the only one to come close to this level is See Ya Later Gladiator). 3/10 Bethany Cox
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Directly ripping off the plot of (the far superior) Bully For Bugs to a tee, this cartoon opens with a bullfighting contest in the middle of Mexico. After the matador loses the fight and everybody goes home, a crew of Mexican mice decides to take over the bullfighting arena with Speedy and Sylvester replacing the matador and bull respectively.

    Speedy cartoons have always been very hit-or-miss, but this particular cartoon has to be one of his weakest (yes, even weaker than most of his cartoons with Daffy Duck). The plot has promise but is tarnished by stale jokes and growing sympathy towards the "antagonist." A lot of sadistic punishment is inflicted on Sylvester with Speedy totally unscathed. The jeering mice in the bleachers are only the icing on the cake. So expect to eventually be rooting for Sylvester rather than Speedy (it's hard to root for "the little guy" when he acts just as bad as the "big bully" ~ed.). What's more, most of these jokes are predictable and not at all funny. Especially the insanely convoluted (and mean-spirited) final gag.

    Overall, there's very little to recommend about this cartoon save for Bill Lava's Spanish-flavored musical score. The animation is cheap and really downgrades the reused footage from the brilliant Bully For Bugs, the jokes are mean-spirited and unfunny, and the whole cartoon reeks of a team of tired directors simply "going through the motions."
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Once the people have retired for their siesta the mice take over the bullring for a contest of their own; Speedy Gonzales will take on the role of the matador and hapless Sylvester will take on the role of the bull. As is usually the case things start badly for Sylvester then quickly get worse. At first he charges at Speedy but misses and crashes into the wall, then it nearly happens again but as he is about to hit the wall he turns and Speedy jabs a pin in his backside... while the mice watching the show cackle with glee. We then get a few gags involving anvils and ones involving a stick of dynamite and rocket propelled skates.

    This was a fairly weak Speedy short as there was no real story; somebody had just thought it would be funny to see Speedy and Sylvester acting out a bullfight...we don't even get the witty dialogue that usually features in Speedy shorts. There was no explanation as to why Sylvester was there at all; usually he is at least guarding something the mice want but in this one he is just there behind a gate ready to be released into the ring. The anvil gags felt fairly stale and the rocket skates looked like something Wile E Coyote would be using. On the plus side I did like the time Speedy and Sylvester ran around the walls like motorbikes on a 'wall of death'. If you are a fan of Speedy Gonzales this is worth watching but it is hardly a must see.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    When the Warner's cartoon studio was at its best in the 1940s and early 1950s, the animators there turned out shorts which were original, well-crafted, and above all funny. But by the 1960s, its cartoons were seldom better than routine. Gags which had been "done earlier and better" became dominant, and in most cases there was little wit to the stories.

    "Mexican Cat Dance" serves notice right away that originality is not its strong point, for it uses footage of El Toro and his human opponent from "Bully for Bugs." During this sequence, the bull's bellows are heard with annoying frequency when the beast is off screen.

    The film improves for a while when Sylvester shows up in atypical posture, pawing and snorting like a bull. But the amusement doesn't last long. Once Speedy begins his one-sided duel with Sylvester, the film becomes predictable and unfunny. "Bully for Bugs" lets two wily characters fight each other with the outcome uncertain until the last minute, but "Mexican Cat Dance" presents a sadistic Speedy and hapless Sylvester. Plus dozens of mice whose obnoxious laughter overwhelms one of the film's few virtues -- surprisingly pleasant music from Bill Lava.

    A signature gag finds Sylvester chasing Speedy until the mouse opens a door for the cat to crash into. We see Sylvester's pitiful face framed in the wood. It would have been better to fling Sylvester out of the arena and through a market so that the cat could be garlanded with flowers and fruit (the artists still had more than enough talent to make such a sight gag pleasing).

    Sylvester does leave the arena at the end -- upside down, plowing the ground while rocket skates on his feet provide thrust. This gag was done earlier and to more audience laughter by Wile E. Coyote. Overall, "Mexican Cat Dance" is an example of director Friz Freleng at his most derivative and least funny nature.

  • Warning: Spoilers
    . . . All-American character, Sylvester. "Speedy" and his fellow vermin ilk had better whoop it up while they can, MEX!CAN CAT DANCE suggests, because their grim Day of Reckoning is coming much sooner than they think. The illegal onslaught against Sylvester begins with him getting pierced in his rump. Sylvester then is brained THREE times with an anvil (at about 3:37, 3:44, and 3:56), before being banged behind a green door (4:44). The devious Rainbow Coalition then resorts to germ warfare against Sylvester (5:22), before burying his carcass TWICE (5:55 and 6:06). Meanwhile, the nefarious invaders are cheering every outrageous assault upon Sylvester with ever-increasing fervor. Clearly, these miscreants are taking their bogus "birthright citizenship" for granted. They obviously are also ill-versed in American History, displaying complete ignorance of the fact that Leader Trump can simply declare a "National Emergency," and revoke the alleged citizenship of all illegals allowed in under "Grandfather Clauses," and then either deport or intern them indefinitely, in accordance with the USA's winning World War Two policies. WHO will have the last laugh then? asks MEXICAN CAT DANCE.