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. Sid Marcus is back after 'Greedy Gabby Gator' and 'Stowaway Woody', neither particularly good with the former being particularly weak, and sadly 'Coy Decoy' is not much better. It does prove to me that Woody at this point was well past his glory days and that Walter Lantz Studios had run out of ideas long before, evidenced in tired and repetitive situations, toning Woody's personality down, animation limitations, very variable opponents and even more hit and miss humour. The music and voice work were pretty much the only things that were near-consistently good.
Starting with the good things, the music is bouncy, energetic and very lushly orchestrated, not only synchronising and fitting with the action very well but enhancing it. There is the occasional bout of energy and amusing moment, and the dog is quite funny.
Voice acting is solid. Grace Stafford in particular continues to prove why she was the best voice actor for the character and the one that understood him the most.
However, the hunter is an instantly forgettable second opponent and Woody's personality once again is dulled down and nothing like when he was in his prime in the 40s all the way through to the mid-50s.
Generally there is a lack of energy once again, this is fairly routine as far as Woody Woodpecker cartoons go rather than the original manic energy and it all feels very safe when early and prime Woody Woodpecker took risks.
Chemistry in 'Coy Decoy' is bland and not much is particularly funny, with lacklustre timing, not enough laughs and less than witty gags. Very little is done to give freshness to a very formulaic story heavy in repetition.
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, very lacklustre. 4/10 Bethany Cox
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