25 July 2017 | TheLittleSongbird
Chilly Willy and Smedley in Balancing Rock Canyon
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.
While 'Hold That Rock' is not quite as good as Tex Avery's two Chilly Willy efforts (particularly the masterpiece 'The Legend of Rockabye Point') it is to me a great cartoon and one of Chilly's best early cartoons and perhaps overall. Story-wise, it does follow a formula and sometimes with predictable results, but it is one of the funniest early Chilly Willy cartoons.
The animation is not always refined, true of most Chilly Willy cartoons though Avery's cartoons had more visual imagination in typical Avery style, though both Chilly and Smedley are drawn well, but there are some lovely colours that have real atmosphere and simple but handsomely rendered 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.
'Hold That Rock's' timing is beautifully done and near-perfect actually. There are some great gags here and even when fairly familiar many, revolving around Chilly's methods to create as much noise as possible to unbalance the rocks and Smedley's efforts to stop him, are hilarious. Particularly the joy buzzer and exploding telephone gags, and the ending is good too.
Chilly is absolutely adorable and is at his funniest thus far, due to having a concept that shows off his comedic chops, though Smedley has always been the funnier and more interesting character and that is true here. They are great foils to each other, with a lot of chaotic fun and tension between them.
Before one forgets, Daws Butler, with a voice reminiscent of Huckleberry Hound, voices Smedley marvellously.
Overall, great cartoon. 9/10 Bethany Cox