Chilly Willy (1953)

Passed   |    |  Family, Short, Animation

Chilly Willy (1953) Poster

A schooner anchors at the South Pole, and the skipper goes ashore and leaves the ship's mascot, a St. Bernard dog, to stand watch and guard the ship. A small penguin, Chilly Willy (the only... See full summary »


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21 July 2017 | TheLittleSongbird
| Chilly Willy's first cartoon is hardly a "chilly" effort
Chilly Willy's best cartoons were perfect examples of how a potentially one-joke character and concept could end up actually being a perfect mix of the cute and the funny with a lot of colour and good comic timing to go with it.

There may be better Chilly Willy cartoons, like the Tex Avery-directed ones which were among the best he ever did, but for a first cartoon 'Chilly Willy' was pretty darn good and hardly a "chilly" effort. The animation is not always as smooth as it could be in the drawing, which is likely down to budget reasons, and the timing is not quite as flawless as in Avery's efforts. Every series has to start somewhere, but 'Chilly Willy' is among the better first cartoons for a cartoon character.

Even if the animation in Avery's cartoons was more refined and imaginative, it is still bright and colourful with some beautiful backgrounds. The music is full of lively bounce and character, with luscious orchestration. It not only adds to the action and visuals but enhances them too. Love Chilly's song, or opening sequence, what could easily have come over as whiney and self-pitying was actually pretty funny.

The writing is witty and amusing and there are some very well timed, nicely varied and incredibly funny gags, which are accentuated by the great chemistry between Chilly and the dog character and the adorable but hilariously anarchic Chilly. Along with Pingu, it was Chilly that contributed towards my lifelong love for penguins.

Voice acting is solid.

Overall, very impressive cartoon debut even if Chilly went on to better things (and admittedly worse, sadly not all his cartoons are great but the character is). 9/10 Bethany Cox


Release Date:

21 December 1953



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