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Love animation, it was a big part of my life as a child, particularly Disney, Looney Tunes, Hanna and Barbera and Tom and Jerry, and still love it whether it's film, television or cartoons. Actually appreciate it even more now through young adult eyes, thanks to broader knowledge and taste and more interest in animation styles and various studios and directors.
As said, have loved and still do love Looney Tunes with all my heart, the best of them being animated masterpieces, being both hilarious and extremely well made. Sylvester, while not quite Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck status, to me is one of the most interesting Looney Tunes characters in terms of personality and how the humour is delivered. And have surprisingly liked quite a few of the Looney Tunes shorts from the 90s, not on the same level as prime-era Looney Tunes but a long way from being disgraces.
'Father of the Bird' is not one of the best from that period and it doesn't do Sylvester justice. Not the character as such, just that the character deserved much better.
It does have good things certainly. The animation is bright and colourful with some nice detail, a few inventive visual ideas and characters drawn with smoothness and not ugliness. Joe Alaskey, while no Mel Blanc (then again who was?), does a great job voicing Sylvester.
There are a few amusing moments, the breast-feeding comment in particular. While not action-enhancing, the music still has energy and orchestrated appealingly. Sylvester does what he can taking the laughs while also being true to personality and having well done facial expressions.
On the other hand, there is too much of a seen it all before feel, everything is too familiar and there is nothing surprising. It's not even an innovative idea in animation, certainly has been done much better, and the execution lacks freshness. It doesn't really feel like a Looney Tunes cartoon either, not just because the zaniness and razor sharp wit isn't there enough but because for a Chuck Jones-produced (not directed) cartoon there is not much of him on show and some of the gags are more suited to something like Roger Rabbit.
Dialogue lacks wit and is far too talky, Sylvester has never talked this much and it doesn't work because what made him as good a character that he was was the physicality and how he reacted to the situations and what was happening to him. By all means give him a fair share of lines but give him just as much physical movement and crafty facial expressions to do just as much of the talking. The laughs aren't really enough, because of the over-familiarity and tiredness, and the ending is pure stupidity beyond belief. June Foray is another voice acting legend and she is wasted with next to nothing to do.
In summary, alright but it is hard not to feel disappointed. 5/10 Bethany Cox
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