Posted: September 15, 2001
"Trapeze Please" is pretty dire. It was made during the worst period in American animation (1958-1975) when most of the great cartoon studios had either gone under or severely retrenched, and the grossly overrated Chuck Jones had parted company with the sadly underrated Michael Maltese. The line art and animation in "Trapeze Please" are pretty bad: almost as bad as they would get a few years later in TerryToons' worst series, "Deputy Dawg". "Trapeze Please" reminds me of those horrible "new" Warner Brothers cartoons which WB made at the time of the Seven Arts merger, with unfunny jokes, peculiar plots, unattractive line art, and bad animation.
In "Trapeze Please", Heckle & Jeckle have "honest" jobs as marriage brokers, or matchmakers. This is terrible miscasting: the two magpies are at their best when they have jobs which give free rein to their anarchy (such as house-wreckers), or when they go off on exotic adventures as lion-hunters or treasure-seekers. But in this cartoon, Heckle & Jeckle are stuck running a matrimonial bureau, which (no surprise) isn't doing much business.
The only other major character in "Trapeze Please" is Dimwit, the dumb clumsy hound who was well-cast in several classic Heckle & Jeckle cartoons. But here, Dimwit is miscast as a world-famous trapeze artist! He's graceful, well-dressed, successful and popular ... all the things that Dimwit was NOT in any other TerryToon.
This cartoon has too much plot and not enough action, and most of the (unfunny) action consists of the two magpies trying to persuade Dimwit to sign a marriage contract, so that their grossly unattractive female client will pay them. The cartoon has a "surprise" ending that's rather obvious, in which Jeckle resorts to fraud and disguise to get Dimwit's signature. I always laugh when Heckle & Jeckle commit violence or vandalism, but here they do something that's illegal and unethical without actually being funny or even imaginative.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I'll give "Trapeze Please" a 3 ... and I'm being charitable to this cartoon because I love so many other Heckle & Jeckles.
2 of 6 people found this comment useful