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Project Reject (1969)

Chilly Willy's quiet life is thrown into chaos when a military installation appears next to his home.


Paul J. Smith


Homer Brightman (story)


Daws Butler


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Credited cast:
Daws Butler ... Chilly Willy / Narrator / Smedley / Admiral Attlepate (voice)


Chilly Willy's life was very quiet and peaceful, until a military installation appeared next to his igloo. Smedley is constantly sent out by his superior, Admiral Attlepate, to investigate unidentified flying objects, and the flames from his jet plane's exhaust keep melting Chilly's igloo. A frustrated Chilly decides to take action, with an anchor and an RC airplane as his weapons. Will Chilly drive the intruders out? Written by Nathan Redmond

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chilly willy | See All (1) »








Release Date:

1 May 1969 (USA) See more »

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Color (Technicolor)
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Did You Know?


[first lines]
Narrator: Here, in the white silence of the Antarctic, Chilly Willy the penguin lived a happy, peaceful life. That is, until certain instant installations...
[military base instantly appears on screen]
Narrator: ...like this one, popped up overnight.
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User Reviews

Military chaos with Chilly Willy and Smedley
20 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. 'Project Reject' is average but unexceptional, watchable enough for the chemistry between Chilly and Smedley.

The animation is scrappy and constantly looks like it was done in a rush, especially in the earlier half of the cartoon, often looking simplistic and careless, while improving a little in the climactic gag with Smedley and the rocket. The story is thin to the point of bare existence, a lot of it is very predictable as a result of having a lot of familiar elements from previous Chilly Willy/Smedley cartoons and some of the action could have had more variety.

Didn't care for the character of the admiral, a fairly bland and forgettable character to begin with and doesn't have much comic timing or enough personality to provide conflict. His completely undeserved treatment of Smedley at the end made me dislike him even more. Chilly's voice doesn't gel with the character design, the more mature and lower tone to the usual high cute sounding sparingly used speaking voice and noises taking away from Chilly's cuteness.

However, some of the colours are bright and lively later on. Walter Greene's music is lively and rousingly, cleverly and beautifully orchestrated and fits very well. Love the opening title credits music and the scoring in the climax.

When it comes to the gags they don't blow the mind and some of the earlier ones could have done with crisper timing, but the later ones are very amusing. Especially the climactic rocket gag and when Chilly turns devil.

'Project Reject' sees the chemistry between Chilly and Smedley sparkling as always, 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 though. 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 summation, average and not much more than that. 5/10 Bethany Cox

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