This time on the ice is not quite a hot one, but is a long way from a chilly one
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.
'Hot Time on Ice' is one of Paul J. Smith's better later Chilly Willy cartoons and actually to me one of his better later cartoons in general (not everything Smith did was good, the worst of it pretty bad). It is not as good as Chilly's debut cartoon 'Chilly Willy', that Smith was responsible for, but compared to the previous 60s Smith-directed Chilly Willy cartoons, which were average at best, 'Hot Time on Ice' was well above average, decent even.
The animation is scrappy and constantly looks like it was done in a rush, notably in the character design for the captain (also a bit of a bland character). The story is thin to the point of bare existence and occasionally repetitive, though has far sharper timing and variety than Paul J. Smith's 1966 efforts. Chilly's voice here doesn't quite suit the character, in the spare use of words and noises of all his cartoons Chilly sounds better at a higher pitch and sounding cuter. Personal opinion of course.
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.
All the gags are rarely less than amusing and beautifully timed, some of them even are even funnier than that when violent at Smedley's expense. The chemistry between Chilly and Smedley sparkles, and it is always remarkable at what Chilly has up his sleeve and how he does it. Underneath all that irresistible cuteness he is one clever, funny and at times fairly brutal penguin.
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. Smedley shows perfectly why he and Chilly Willy work so well together, he has great comic timing with some very humorous lines and is marvellously voiced by Daws Butler in southern drawl Huckleberry Hound mode.
In conclusion, decent. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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