The Rain Maker
Posted: September 15, 2001
The Rain Maker
"The Rain Maker" features one of Heckle & Jeckle's most imaginative storylines. It isn't especially funny, but it doesn't try to be, and you might enjoy this cartoon just for its story. Your kids will like it too. Also, this cartoon subtly and enjoyably makes two very mature points without getting preachy. #1: If you get what you wish for, you might regret it. #2: If you cause a problem for other folks, it's your duty to fix it.
At the start of this cartoon, Heckle & Jeckle are trying to enjoy a picnic, but the rain is coming down too hard. Their picnic basket contains a roast chicken; apparently these two magpies eat poultry. Heckle & Jeckle grab the chicken's wishbone and get ready to make a wish. Jeckle says: "I wish it would stop raining FOREVER!" and then he gets the bigger piece of the wishbone. His wish is magically granted. The rainstorm stops in mid-raindrop, and the two magpies do a cheerful little song and dance: "It's never going to rain a-gain, a-gain!"
But now a clever gag sequence, neatly parodying a news broadcast, shows the horrible consequences of Jeckle's wish: there is no more rain ever, anywhere on Earth. Global drought ensues. For once, the magpies are willing to take responsibility for their own actions. Heckle & Jeckle have got to make it start raining again. The way they accomplish this is quite imaginative and visually interesting, though not especially funny.
A minor character in this cartoon jumps out of a TV set to remind Jeckle that the worldwide drought is HIS fault, caused by Jeckle's wish: not Heckle's & Jeckle's fault together. So it's nice to see Heckle helping his buddy Jeckle to restore the rain, instead of letting Jeckle take the rap alone.
There is one very brief scene which might upset small children, up in the air aboard Heckle & Jeckle's two-seater plane, when the magpies snatch a little-girl raincloud who clearly doesn't want to be snatched, and she struggles as the magpies stuff her into their plane. The raincloud is anthropomorphised to resemble a small girl ... and, when the cloud bursts into a rainstorm, some kids watching this cartoon might wonder what happened to the "little girl". This is the only upsetting incident in what's otherwise an excellent cartoon.
"The Rain Maker" (that title ought to be plural) rates at least a 7 out of 10 ... maybe more, if you realize that (for once) the TerryToon gang were trying to tell an interesting story instead of just throwing gags at us.
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