August 5, 1983
When I do these summer movie retrospectives there’s usually an animated feature or two. I like that because if they’re a classic it’s a good excuse to write about them, and if they’re not it’s a good excuse to watch them. That can be painful, but I find the airballs pretty interesting, because so much loving craft still had to go into them in those days. I enjoyed reviewing ROCK-A-DOODLE, ROVER DANGERFIELD, FERNGULLY: THE LAST RAIN FOREST, TITAN A.E., and FREDDIE AS F.R.O.7, for example.
Most of those were from a weird time when Disney had become so successful it encouraged other studios to take a swing at the animated feature game, with mixed results. But the early ‘80s were that other weird time, the one when Disney had been so far out of the game that it left room for other people to try something different. For example the weird-ass Canadian sci-fi talking animal musical ROCK & RULE came out in April of ’83, and the George Lucas produced cut out animation movie TWICE UPON A TIME came out on August 1st. But I’ve already written about those, so today I’m here to discuss some of their competition. DAFFY DUCK’S MOVIE: FANTASTIC ISLAND was directed by animation legends Friz Freleng and Phil Monroe, which may sound promising, but this is what they call a “compilation film,” or in TV terms, a “clip show.” The new animation is just a framing device for edited down versions of ten classic Looney Tunes shorts. (read the rest of this shit…)