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 (almost all of them being in his prime era of the 1940s through to the mid-50s) and more and also still like him a lot as a character. For a late-period Woody Woodpecker cartoon, especially from the late 60s and directed with Paul J. Smith, 'Sleepy Time Chimes' turned out to be better than expected. There are far better Woody Woodpecker cartoons certainly, but to have a halfway decent late Smith-directed Woody Woodpecker cartoon was really refreshing seeing as many at this point were less than average and mostly actually very weak.
It's not a perfect cartoon by all means. The animation is not great at all, or even good. 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.
Gags-wise, mostly they are funnier and better timed than most of the cartoons from this period but there is a lack of variety and a few are not as well-timed. The story is very thin and although with a few more surprising touches than most cartoons from this era it's sometimes derivative and repetitive.
However, Woody is portrayed with a lot of energy and charisma and he is not as toned down as he tended to be from the late 50s onward. With this being said, he has had much more manic energy, especially in his glory days when there was far more risk-taking, and his material is still a bit too safe.
The supporting characters are fully competent and fun if not much special to them.
'Sleepy Time Chimes' mostly is amusing and has more energy than many late period Woody Woodpecker cartoons directed by Smith (and Sid Marcus' efforts for that matter). The pace is surprisingly lively and has more of the frenetic energy one expects from Woody Woodpecker that was generally missing in this particular period.
Further standouts are the music and the voice acting. The music is bouncy, energetic and very lushly orchestrated, not only synchronising and fitting with the action very well but enhancing it. The voice acting is typically solid.
In summary, above average but not great. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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