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Polar Pest (1958)


Alex Lovy


Daws Butler


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Credited cast:
Daws Butler ... Chilly Willy / Clyde (voice)


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Release Date:

21 April 1958 (USA) See more »

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Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)
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User Reviews

Chilly Willy and Clyde reunited
30 July 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.

To see Chilly Willy at his best, as said a few times now, look no further than the two Tex Avery efforts ('The Legend of Rockabye Point' especially is one of his best ever cartoons). 'Polar Pest' is cute and amusing, but, while a good representation of Chilly as a character, as far as his cartoons go it is a long way from being one of his best.

It's far from bad, but is not a patch on all his previous cartoons and there are far funnier and more inventive cartoons of his that execute their stories with much more imagination and variation without following too much of a formula (though admittedly a few of them were still predictable).

A lot of good things still here. The animation does have a lot of luscious colours and handsome backgrounds, Chilly is also well drawn and the setting has a nice atmosphere that suits the formula well. The music is full of lively bounce and character, with luscious orchestration. It not only adds to the action and visuals but enhances them too.

Enough of the gags do amuse and it is always remarkable at what Chilly has up his sleeve and how he does it.

Chilly is adorable and is also a lot of fun, with his actions speaking far louder than words. He may be a nuisance to his opponents but he wins the viewer over with his cuteness and timing. Daws Butler (in his Huckleberry Hound voice) delivers some solid voice acting as Clyde, making a return here and making more of an impression, stronger chemistry with Chilly and the character compels more (though he is not Smedley, Chilly's best and most frequent opponent).

However, the story is pretty weak. It is not only predictable but quite repetitive too and basically a string of gags with a sometimes random feel, this is not exactly new conceptually and little original is done with it. While the gags are amusing and are reasonably well timed they're not exactly hilarious, there have been funnier gags in other Chilly Willy cartoons with more variation.

'Polar Pest' gets off to an uninspired start, with some scrappy and less than refined animation and a pace that doesn't come to life until Clyde arrives to capture Chilly (the source of the conflict).

In summary, cute and amusing but unexceptional. 6/10 Bethany Cox

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