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. 'Room and Bored' is most interesting for the pairing of Woody Woodpecker and Smedley (better known as the friend/foe of Chilly Willy) but mostly it's a very average cartoon.
Smedley is the best thing about 'Room and Bored'. He does work much better with Chilly Willy, Woody was losing his spark in the later years while Chilly was always watchable and re-watchable and their chemistry really sparkled even in their lesser outings. However Smedley still works as a character, he has great comic timing with some very humorous lines (by far the funniest and cleverest 'Room and Bored' gets) and is marvellously voiced by Daws Butler in distinctively southern drawl Huckleberry Hound mode.
'Room and Bored' has some energy and the odd amusing moment, pretty much all from Smedley. The music is bouncy, energetic and very lushly orchestrated, not only synchronising and fitting with the action very well but enhancing it. There's the odd nice vibrant colour, and the voice acting especially from Butler is solid.
However, a number of things bring down 'Room and Bored'. Woody generally was toned down and subdued in personality at this point and this is true here, which is a large part as to why the chemistry between him and Smedley doesn't disappoint. Generally the energy is lacking, needing more of a kick and on the most part 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.
On the whole, nice to see Smedley again but this is very average stuff. 5/10 Bethany Cox
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