Was very fond of Woody Woodpecker and his cartoons as a child. Still get much enjoyment out of them now as a young adult, even if there are more interesting in personality cartoon characters and better overall cartoons.
That is in no way knocking Woody, because many of his cartoons are a lot of fun to watch and more and also still like him a lot as a character. This is going to be a reiteration of a lot of my reviews for the later Woody Woodpecker cartoons, but mainly because the later Paul J. Smith-directed cartoons have pretty much the same strengths and faults. Woody is sometimes fun and never obnoxious here in 'Fowled Up Falcon', but, like a lot of his later cartoons, compared to his original manic personality he is too toned down and subdued.
It is a good thing however that his opponents are more interesting. The falcon bags the best moments. The falconer works quite well as the boss-like character.
Starting with the strengths, the music is bouncy, energetic and very lushly orchestrated, not only synchronising and fitting with the action very well but enhancing it. There is some energy, the cartoon starts off well, the odd part is amusing and there are a few nice colours.
Voice acting is solid. Grace Stafford continues to prove why she was the best voice actor for the character and the one that understood him the most. Paul Frees is every bit as impressive.
'Fowled Up Falcon' however, is once again let down like a lot of the 1960s Woody Woodpecker cartoons by the lack of energy, the conflict not being strong enough, Woody being too subdued and also that it is not very funny, with lacklustre timing, not enough laughs and less than witty gags. Plus the story is very over-familiar, very few surprises here, and the cartoon could have done with more variety.
Just as problematic is the animation quality. Time and budget constraints shows in a lot of the animation, which is very rushed looking in the drawing and detail wise it's on the simplistic and careless side like many of Woody's cartoons from this period continuing through to the 60s.
In conclusion, watchable but average. 5/10 Bethany Cox
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