What a rainy, rainy day! All the friends are out to play in the forest when the rain comes pouring down. Quick! Everyone hides under a leaf, including Fat Cat Mat! Squish! Bada and friends ...
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What a rainy, rainy day! All the friends are out to play in the forest when the rain comes pouring down. Quick! Everyone hides under a leaf, including Fat Cat Mat! Squish! Bada and friends may be hiding, but not our NEW friends, the Eccos. They are playful forest creatures who love nature, even the rain!
Have been increasingly unsure what to make of "The Beary Family" cartoons as an overall series, whether to stand by my initial statement of for Walter Lantz Studios' final series it not being as bad as anticipated or judging from the awfulness of the worst cartoons to take it back. Sorry if this sounds confusing.
Due to that there are some decent or watchable "Beary Family" cartoons, especially 'Fowled-Up Birthday' and 'Mother's Little Helper' (both directed by Jack Hannah, who generally is a much stronger animation director than Paul J. Smith and his cartoons much better). However, there are also a fair share of horrible ones, as seen especially with as far as previous cartoons go 'Charlie's Mother-in-Law'. There are certainly far worse "Beary Family" cartoons than the penultimate cartoon of theirs 'Rain, Rain, Go Away' but the studio had declined severely by this point and that is evident from a cartoon that's still pretty weak.
Saving graces are only a few but they are there. One is the music, which is energetic and lushly orchestrated, succeeding in single-handedly giving the little energy the cartoon has. Really like the theme music. The other is Paul Frees' voice work, much more subtle here and he shows his ability to create a likable character with good comic timing, despite his lacking material and less than inspired situations there's something about Charlie that makes him easy to like and relate to.
Bessie at least isn't as mean-spirited or extreme in her treatment towards Charlie, that's not to say though that she isn't annoying ('Fowled-Up Birthday' is pretty much the only "Beary Family" cartoon where she isn't).
Like many 60s-onward Lantz-studio cartoons, the animation is not good, a problem in even the best cartoons in the series. 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 with colours that lack vibrancy and a fair share of goofs. The story is not much of one at all and what there is is sloppily timed and without anything surprising or imaginative, predictability is non-stop (it is so obvious from as early on as the title and seeing other "Beary Family" cartoons that it is not going to be a happy outcome).
Junior has wildly varied in characterisation in the "Beary Family" cartoons, sometimes he's endearing and well-meaning, sometimes he's an annoying half-wit and not much else and sometimes he is pointless. He falls in the third category here. None of the material here is amusing, let alone funny.
It is too derivative of other "Beary Family" cartoons, and the gags generally are far too noisy, clumsily and lazily timed and chaotic, irritating for the sake of it, and are memorable for their lack of taste than their wit. Hannah's efforts had none of those faults when it came to the humour.
All in all, pretty weak but could have been worse. 3/10 Bethany Cox
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