Katnip Kollege

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jul 13, 2015

As you go through the Golden Collections you’ll start to wander just a little bit off the beaten path, encountering a little more than the super-familiar standbys. This can actually be a bit disconcerting, a bit like watching a film that doesn’t use film music, or close-ups. What are we supposed to think about all this? Well, that’s a good challenge to find yourself in. Developing our cinematic self-reliance!

All the classroom doors at Katnip Kollege are dusty, except the one for Swingology. The whole intro/exposition is very nicely designed, with bright colours, pleasant comic business, funny vocals and characters. The jazz harmonies on display are really terrific. Uh-oh: there’s a square in the room! They put him in a corner in a dunce cap. This plot turn isn’t thoughtful or subtle enough to be anything but dubious, and so we go south, more than just a little bit. The pretty girl delivers the conformist, fascist message. “You can look me up when you learn how to swing.” So the boy learns, of course, from the beat of the clock’s pendulum. That one’s rather strained. The final vocal is really good though.

From the number of its appearances, here on cartoon, and in the films and popular cultural discourse surrounding, this subject is obviously in the air. This particular take on it resonates quite a bit less than the last one we looked at. Conscience, versus a job of work? Both interesting, mind you. But not equally inspiring.