The beginning of Chilly Willy and Maxie's friendship
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.
Paul J. Smith's first Chilly Willy cartoon, the character's debut 'Chilly Willy', was great and among the best Chilly Willy cartoons, but generally his 60s-onward output (there are also cartoons from Alex Lovy, Jack Hannah, Sid Marcus and notably, in terms of being responsible for the two best of the series, Tex Avery) has been nowhere near as good. Some are decent, but generally they're average at best. Luckily for 'Chilly Chums', it's one of Smith's decent 60s-onward Chilly Willy cartoons. It's not the first Chilly/Maxie cartoon but it tells of how they first met and became friends.
The animation is scrappy and constantly looks like it was done in a rush, especially in the latter half of the cartoon, it actually looks decent to begin with but it becomes more simplistic and careless from the halfway mark. The story is thin to the point of bare existence, a lot of it is very predictable and on occasions was in need of more variety. At times the timing could have been sharper.
However, some of the colours are bright and lively. Walter Greene's music is lively and rousingly, cleverly and beautifully orchestrated and fits very well. Love the opening title credits music.
Despite the predictability and lack of variety, the gags are amusing and well timed. Maxie is an amusing and likable supporting character who doesn't make one miss Smedley too much, and Clive is a suitable threat while taking the laughs well.
Chilly is adorable and is also a lot of fun, with his actions speaking far louder than words. Prefer him when silent but he still makes an impression even when speaking sparingly. He may be a nuisance to his opponents but he wins the viewer over with his cuteness and timing. Daws Butler and Grace Stafford do good jobs as ever.
Overall, decent cartoon and one of Smith's better late 60s ones. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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