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. He's fun enough and isn't obnoxious, but this is not the manic Woody of his early cartoons. Once again, this is a pretty toned down Woody Woodpecker (which was not uncommon in his late 50s-all through the 60s cartoons), he's still fun here and a far better character than his opponent Gabby Gator but one does sort of pine for his original personality.
He has had far better foils than Gabby Gator too, foils that are better contrasts, are more formidable, more entertaining and easier to root for (like Wally Walrus or Buzz Buzzard). Found that Gabby had a few amusing moments and was well voiced Daws Butler but also more dumb and easily fooled than intelligently crafty and not particularly well drawn.
It is the animation that fares least in 'Romp in a Swamp'. Time and budget constraints shows in some of the animation, which is a little 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. Some of the action is very predictable and typical Woody Woodpecker.
On the other hand, the music however is bouncy, energetic and very lushly orchestrated, not only synchronising and fitting with the action very well but enhancing it. The whole cartoon goes at a lively pace, especially in the second half.
Most of the gags, while never hilarious, are amusing and timed well. Woody's outwitting while repetitive is fun to watch. The final outer space gag is a little strange though and doesn't really gel with the rest of the cartoon.
The voice work is solid, with Grace Stafford continuing to prove why she was the best voice actor for the character and the one that understood him the most. Daws Butler is reliable as ever.
In summation, above average but not great. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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