Now Hear This (1962)

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Now Hear This (1962) Poster

In this very abstract cartoon, a hard-of-hearing old Britisher finds a red horn and uses it as a megaphone, unaware that it is really a lost horn from the Devil's forehead. The Britisher ... See full summary »


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27 December 2017 | Dawalk-1
| Left-Of-Center In Every Way.
While there have been several, other Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts that are like-minded in what they have in common (the various kinds of comedy or humor being the most evident), this just may be one of the most humorous and left-of-center LT and/or MM shorts ever made. Although there are other things featured in this besides the sound effects, the sound effects are the main focus around which this short revolves. It's so unique, it just may be one of the most unique cartoons, whether by WB or otherwise, ever made. Having both an avant-garde and psychedelic vibe to it, it surely has both of those before the latter came into full swing and it certainly fits well into the time that it was created, and released.

As other reviewers have described this, it involves three characters: the Devil, an elderly, British man in green, and a shorter man in purple and wearing a pointy hat. The Devil loses one of his horns and goes searching for it, the British man finds the horn which he mistakes for a megaphone or hearing aid, and the shorter man shows up again, and again randomly. Every time the Brit uses the horn, some thing happens that he wasn't expecting, not just with the various sounds that come out of it, but also with the various things that happen to him. Following all of those mishaps he suffers thanks to the extraordinary object, he's had enough as it caused him an abundance of trouble and disposes it. Since it's been nothing about a nuisance to him, he prefers to use his green, horn-shaped hearing aid instead, he gets that back, and as he does so, the British national anthem is played, and he's pleased with this. The Devil would eventually find his horn and put it back in place.

This is among the LT and MM shorts I remember well watching in my childhood. It genuinely is one of the oddest by Warners or otherwise ever made. One of the most different too, but it's good. It's one of the better LT and MM of the '60s, especially from the former half of that decade, when the old studio's cartoons were still considered to be high and at their best. This peculiar 'toon may not be for everyone, but I'm one of those who can handle it. All the characters in this are still interesting in the way of carrying out their actions rather than relying on and using dialogue. The actions clearly are what say it all and that's all we need, despite the plot being seemingly thin and senseless. The background scenes are mostly white, with the colors being on only the characters and the objects. Both sound effects and music are played well. The animation may be limited, but somehow it, like UPA, actually outdoes that of the Hanna-Barbera and Filmation studios' cartoons of the late '50s, '60s and '70s. I haven't gotten all that much into avant-garde music, although I've been more specifically into the avant-rock of bands like Tin Huey and one of its influences, Roxy Music. But for me it all depends, some of that I can take, others not so much. As especially some certain avant-garde music can be bad, especially if any of y'all who may be reading this fall asleep to it, it may cause nightmares. This is another grasping, experimental short directed by the late Chuck Jones, but I think I like his other directed WB cartoon short, High Note, even more, out of the two if I were to chose. Nonetheless, recommended, for those who are looking to step out of the normal zone and into the abnormal. Abnormal and abstract are just exactly what they are about it.

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