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Foot Brawl (1966)

A nostalgic Charlie is searching through his college trunk when he comes across an old photo of his football team which catches Junior's interest. Charlie passes himself off as the team's ... See full summary »


Paul J. Smith


Cal Howard


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Credited cast:
Paul Frees ... Charlie Beary / Junior Beary (voice)
Grace Stafford ... Bessie Beary (voice)


A nostalgic Charlie is searching through his college trunk when he comes across an old photo of his football team which catches Junior's interest. Charlie passes himself off as the team's star but Bessie insists he was only good at being their "water boy". Charlie, determined to prove Bessie wrong, attempts to show Junior a thing or two about the game. But Bessie was right; Charlie isn't the most experienced athlete. He dresses as a tackling dummy which leads to disaster. He also gets the football caught in his mouth several times. Finally, he attempts to kick a field goal but the football has been set up a little too close to a water spigot and Charlie kicks the latter instead! Written by Matt Yorston <george.y@ns.sympatico.ca>

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Animation | Short







Release Date:

1 January 1966 (USA) See more »

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Color (Technicolor)
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User Reviews

Charlie's football trouble
3 November 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

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, as seen with as far as previous cartoons go 'Goose in the Rough' and especially 'Charlie's Mother-in-Law'. While there are worse "Beary Family" cartoons, 'Foot Brawl' is still a noisy mess of a cartoon and closer to the horrible quality category than to the watchable one.

It is indicative of when the studio and Paul J. Smith were at their worst the cartoons were very weak at best, coming from a big lifelong animation fan who tries to be quite lenient when watching and reviewing it. Even the weakest Chilly Willy and Woody Woodpecker cartoons were as bad as the worst cartoons from this series, and some of the later Woody Woodpecker cartoons in particular were not good.

Saving graces are only a few but they are there. One is the music, which is energetic and lushly orchestrated, succeeding in single-handedly giving the little energy the cartoon has. Am liking the main theme more and more every time upon hearing it. The other is Paul Frees' voice work as Charlie, much more subtle here and he shows his ability to create a likable character with good comic timing, despite his lacking material and less than inspired situations there's something about Charlie that makes him easy to like and relate to. As indicated, the only funny, interesting or likable character here is Charlie, and he does have a few amusing pieces of dialogue.

However, Junior is all dim half-wit and no endearing good-intentioner. Worse is Bessie, her treatment of Charlie is absurdly over-the-top and cruel and makes her annoying.

Like many 60s Lantz-studio cartoons, the animation is not good, a problem in even the best cartoons in the series. 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 not much of one at all and what there is is sloppily timed and without anything surprising or imaginative, predictability is non-stop as once it is established that Charlie is not good at football you know where it's all going.

'Foot Brawl' is not funny, unlike the first two cartoons in the series directed by Jack Hannah and a few other Smith-directed efforts. There are a lot of gags, but here they are far too noisy and chaotic, irritating for the sake of it, and are memorable for their lack of taste than their wit. Hannah's efforts had none of those faults when it came to the humour. Occasionally the dialogue amuses in a cracking a small smile sort of way but it's hardly what one would call great.

In summary, a noisy mess if not quite one of the series' worst. 3/10 Bethany Cox

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