Book Revue

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jul 13, 2015

This one’s a crazy Bob Clampett gagfest. It’s just jokes-a-poppin’, and a lot of them very good ones. You wonder sometimes, with these Tashlin/Avery/Clampett kinds of cartoon. It’s not at all that they feel contempt or anything. But was the audience even a consideration? They’re out to please and amuse themselves! Not such a bad method, actually.

The book design is really lovely. Frankie! Sinatra shows up fairly frequently around this time, doesn’t he? Shows how dominant perceptions can be, even though this particular perception has almost faded completely from our minds, given how many subsequent stages he passed through. They’re always on about his malnourished appearance and physique, this time the joke is very nicely established and developed. Interesting: Daffy’s Danny Kaye imitation is just as 1945-specific as the Sinatra gag, but we don’t know, as much, what to do with this particular reference. One of the places where dated comes from, I guess.

Book Revue is kind of Silly Symphony-like, actually. It’s no masterpiece of that particular approach, but it does do some of ’em one better. They didn’t always have the courage to gag it so relentlessly. Here, instead of Disney’s threadbare, boring melodrama, the final Daffy/bad wolf conflict is completely satirical, non-sensical, and comedy-rooted. Again, if you pick the right guy, then you want them to make those films to please themselves. We’re glad to go along for the ride.