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Highway Hecklers (1968)


Paul J. Smith


Homer Brightman (story)


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Cast overview:
Daws Butler ... Chilly Willy / Maxie the Polar Bear / Colonel Pot Shot / Radio Announcer (voice)
Grace Stafford ... Woody Woodpecker (credit only)


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Release Date:

1 September 1968 (USA) See more »

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Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)
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User Reviews

Chilly Willy and Maxie on the highway
19 August 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

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 'Highway Hecklers', it's one of Smith's decent 60s-onward Chilly Willy cartoons, and worth watching primarily because Chilly and Maxie are a good team (if not as much as Chilly and Smedley) and are always watchable.

The animation is scrappy and constantly looks like it was done in a rush, especially in the first part, with flat colours, simplicity taken too far and the characters (especially Maxie) being carelessly drawn. Chilly is drawn well and some of the backgrounds, especially at the start, are nice.

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, and one does have to suspend disbelief at Maxie suddenly being able to drive and how Chilly and Maxie are out of their usual habitats.

However, as said Chilly was drawn well and the backgrounds were nice at times. 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, with some very funny moments in the second half where the momentum in particular picks up. Maxie is an amusing and likable supporting character who doesn't make one miss Smedley too much and Colonel Pot Shot is a good foil.

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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