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South Pole Pals (1966)


Paul J. Smith


Homer Brightman (story)


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Credited cast:
Daws Butler ... Chilly Willy / Smedley / Mr. Abernathy / Emperor Penguin (voice)
Grace Stafford ... Ms. Moneybags / Flight Attendant (voice)


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Release Date:

1 May 1966 (USA) See more »

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Color (Technicolor)
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User Reviews

Emperor penguin hunting in the south pole
10 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.

'South Pole Pals' 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 his voice and noises are done well. 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 is where it's lively and characterful, much more appealingly orchestrated here too, and the climactic moments are amusing.

However, while one credits 'South Pole Pals' for not following a tried and tested formula from the previous Chilly Willy cartoons, the story is barely existent. What there is very obvious and not quite varied enough with a dull first half, with it getting a little better once Chilly is introduced.

While Chilly and Smedley come over reasonably well, the emperor penguin is not an interesting character and is pretty annoying. As well as unappealingly drawn he is voiced like a dumber version of Yogi Bear and it jars considering that this is the character that outwits Smedley.

Despite some nice colours, the animation is simplistic and looks very carelessly drawn. There are amusing moments particularly at the end but in spurts rather than an overall whole, sharper timing and more originality in the gags would have helped things much better. Although one is still won over by him, Chilly's personality seems to have been toned down and he doesn't get as much of a chance to show off his clever outwitting side.

On the whole, another watchable but very average cartoon. 5/10 Bethany Cox

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