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.
For a very late Chilly Willy cartoon, 'A Gooney Is Born' is not half bad. There are worse cartoons of his, including 'Sleepy Time Bear' and 'Chilly's Cold War' and Paul J. Smith has done worse cartoons overall, such as his contributions to the unsurprisingly short-lived Sugarfoot and Maw and Paw series of cartoons. At the same time there are better Chilly Willy cartoons, especially the two cartoons of Tex Avery. There are faults here that are very much the same as those for the late Chilly Willy cartoons in general, but also things that are good.
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. The baby Gooney bird matches Chilly in the adorability factor and even surpasses him, doing it without being cloying or a brat. While he is no Smedley in comic timing he is very likable and the chemistry between the two is irresistibly sweet.
They have a good foil in Colonel Pot Shot, not reduced to a bland, underused variation and instead posing a threat and taking the laughs well. Daws Butler does a good job as ever.
Walter Greene's music is lively and rousingly, cleverly and beautifully orchestrated and fits very well. Love the opening title credits music. The ending is very sweet and the colours and backgrounds sometimes look good. The gags, while over-familiar and not particularly inventive, are still amusing with Chilly's outwitting used to full advantage. The second half is funnier than the first half.
Mainly because the first half is basically set up and occasionally a little dull. It has to be admitted that it is cute. The story is very thin and formulaic.
The animation is scrappy. Despite some nice colours it's very simplistically detailed and even more carelessly drawn. Gooney in particular is not particularly appealingly drawn which doesn't match the appealing personality. Once again, Chilly's voice is far too much of a mismatch, Chilly just doesn't sound right when not with a sparingly used high-pitched voice and made to sound older than he looks, it's like a mouse trying to sound like a tiger or something.
On the whole, not bad but unexceptional. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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