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The bear and the cricket
TheLittleSongbird3 November 2017
Have been increasingly unsure what to make of "The Beary Family" cartoons as an overall series, whether to stand by my initial statement of for Walter Lantz Studios' final series it not being as bad as anticipated or judging from the awfulness of the worst cartoons to take it back. Sorry if this sounds confusing.

Due to that there are some decent or watchable "Beary Family" cartoons, especially 'Fowled-Up Birthday' and 'Mother's Little Helper' (both directed by Jack Hannah, who generally is a much stronger animation director than Paul J. Smith and his cartoons much better). However, there are also a fair share of horrible ones, 'Charlie's Mother-in-Law' being a prime example. 'Davey Cricket' is far from great and is generally mediocre but is long way from being one of the terrible "Beary Family" cartoons.

As with all the cartoons in the series, 'Davey Cricket' has its fair share of faults. Like many 60s Lantz-studio cartoons, the animation is not good. Time and budget constraints shows in a lot of the animation, which is very rushed looking in the drawing and detail wise it's on the simplistic and careless side with colours that lack vibrancy and a fair share of goofs. The story is pretty slight and contains few surprises or much imagination. Some of it is repetitive and clumsy too, while the pace could have been sharper and the way poor Charlie (the one sympathetic character in the whole cartoon) is treated is rather cruel.

Both Bessie and Suzy have very little to do and their material is neither funny or interesting. Didn't even see the need for Suzy. Other than Charlie, the only other Beary family member to have much cartoon time is Junior, who is hardly annoying but a bit bland and even with a low-pitched voice Grace Stafford's voice work doesn't fit the character.

However, the music puts one in a good mood and is rousing and lush. A great job is done with the animosity between Charlie and the cricket.

For a Smith-directed "Beary Family" cartoon, while never hilarious or innovative some of the gags do tickle the funny bone (others are clumsy and predictable though). Charlie does have moments of amusing dialogue.

While the cricket is a suitable antagonistic pest, well-meaning but havoc-causing Charlie, the most consistently easiest to relate to and funniest, is the best character. The voice acting is very good from Paul Frees, he really succeeds in making Charlie likable and has deft comic timing.

Overall, mediocre but okay enough for a one-time watch. 4/10 Bethany Cox
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