Blue Racer (1972-74) (17 Cartoon) (DVD)
Unlike other high-velocity cartoon characters, nothing about DePatie-Freleng‘s supersonic Blue Racer could be described as “streamlined.” While surely speedy, this lisping reptile is definitely not slick and ranks as more of an Everysnake who loses more battles than he wins, most of them to a philosophical Japanese Beetle. The DePatie-Freleng artists, while dubious ethnologists, still display their knack for extended physical comedy and squash-and-stretch action scenes in this surprisingly popular skein that bucked the contemporaneous trend toward limited animation. Never consigned to any indigenous natural habitat, the Blue Racer vacations in Tokyo, winters in Alaska, even emigrates to Ireland with a wanderlust echoed by the films’ producers, who outsourced one of the entries to Sydney, Australia and another to Barcelona, Spain.
List of shorts:
HISS AND HERS • SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SERPENT • NIPPON TUCK • PUNCH AND JUDO • LOVE AND HISSES • CAMERA BUG • YOKAHAMA MAMA • BLUE RACER BLUES • THE BOA FRIEND • WHAM AND EGGS • KILLARNEY BLARNEY • BLUE ACES WILD • FOWL PLAY • FREEZE A JOLLY GOOD FELLOW • SNAKE PREVIEW • ACES AND SNAKES • LITTLE BOA PEEP
DVD Extras Include:
Two documentaries by Greg Ford and William Hohauser: “DePatie-Freleng’s Range Rovers” and “Art for Art’s Sake” (a tribute to brilliant DePatie-Freleng multi-hyphenate Art Leonardi), featuring Mark Arnold, Jerry Beck, Barbara Donatelli, Will Friedwald, Art Leonardi and layout artist Martin Strudler. | Audio commentaries for selected films by author Mark Arnold, director Bob Balser (archival audio), animation historian Jerry Beck, filmmaker Greg Ford and cartoon writer William Hohauser.
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