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.
'Snow Place Like Home' is not one of Chilly Willy's best, nowhere near. Although Paul J Smith does have a good deal of not too good at best cartoons, the worst of them very bad, not all his cartoons are bad. Also this is the man who was responsible for the cartoon that introduced us to Chilly Willy, which was a great one. Chilly and Smedley will always be great characters and they are so watchable together, but considering that he created Chilly Willy what worked in his debut cartoon doesn't come over here.
Let's start with the good things. Do prefer Chilly Willy as a silent character, he registers more than his actions and expressions speak louder than words, but Chilly hasn't lost his irresistible cuteness, charm and fun and Grace Stafford does very well with the small amount of lines and noises heard. Smedley maintains a strong personality, helped by Daws Butler's marvellous voice acting, and great rapport with Chilly, and good comic timing, but his material has been stronger. They work very well together.
A few of the colours are vibrant, Walter Greene's scoring has moments where it's lively and characterful and the climactic moments are amusing.
However, even for a Chilly Willy cartoon from the 60s, the story is very predictable, doing very little new with a formula that has been tried and tested several times before with Chilly Willy and much better, and some of it is rather repetitive. Apart from the climactic moments, the gags could have been better too. 'Snow Place Like Home' all feels very tired and random, revolving around one thing and in a way that has not much variety to stop it from being very samey.
While Chilly and Smedley come over reasonably well, the bear is not particularly interesting or funny, a one-joke character that is not much different from other one-joke cartoon characters not wanting to be disturbed. Greene's music has moments, but the orchestration has been noticeably cleverer and more lush before and there is not much that enhances things, though it hardly jars either.
The animation quality has taken a huge nose-dive, thanks to budget and time constraints. Despite some nice colours, the animation is simplistic and looks very carelessly drawn (Chilly for example is at his worst drawn up to this point in the Chilly Willy series), while Smedley and especially the bear are drawn very poorly here.
Overall, watchable but very average. 5/10 Bethany Cox
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