Chilly Willy's best cartoons were perfect examples of how a potentially one-joke character and concept could end up actually being a perfect mix of the cute and the funny with a lot of colour and good comic timing to go with it.
Sid Marcus's fifth Chilly Willy cartoon, 'Ski-Napper' is not as good as 'Light-house Blues' and particularly 'Deep Freeze Squeeze' but is much better than 'Salmon Loafer' and 'Pesky Pelican'. It's not a great cartoon, but it's a decent one enlivened by the always sparkling chemistry between Chilly and Smedley. Of the two, Chilly particularly shines with more to do. Chilly and Smedley are always worth watching, being good characters in their own right, and work so well together. In fact, when Smedley isn't present he is very much missed, unless it is a character who is just as good an opponent as Wally Walrus.
Perfect 'Ski-Napper' is not. It is light on plot, with a slow start (picking up when the action properly starts once Smedley is introduced). It's a predictable and at times repetitive cartoon with a typical premise of Chilly struggling with sleep deprivation and warmth (neither new with Chilly Willy cartoons).
Smedley's boss is a rather bland character who doesn't do much, the most he does is around the end. 'Ski-Napper's' animation is not bad for a Sid Marcus-directed Chilly Willy cartoon, Chilly looks good but it does look rushed and rough in some of the drawing, Smedley has been drawn better and the boss is not particularly well drawn either.
However, the colours are bright and colourful and the backgrounds very simple but handsome enough. One just wishes that the drawing was better. Walter Greene's music is lively and rousingly, cleverly and beautifully orchestrated and fits very well if not quite enhancing the action.
All the gags are rarely less than amusing and beautifully timed. The chemistry between Chilly and Smedley sparkles, and it is always remarkable at what Chilly has up his sleeve and how he does it, even when sleep deprived. Underneath all that irresistible cuteness he is one clever, funny and at times fairly brutal penguin. With that being said, one usually feels sorry for Smedley, here Chilly is the one you feel sorry for and can relate to his troubles sleeping and his efforts to get some sleep and get warmer.
Chilly is adorable and is also a lot of fun, with his actions speaking far louder than words. He may be a nuisance to his opponents but he wins the viewer over with his cuteness and timing. Smedley shows perfectly why he and Chilly Willy work so well together. He is the slightly funnier and more interesting of the two this time.
Daws Butler (in his characteristic and distinctive Huckleberry Hound southern drawl) does a marvellous job as ever.
Altogether, pretty decent. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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