Saturday, February 8, 2014

Mr. Bug Goes to Town (1941)

Throughout my studies of animation history, sometimes I come across terrible animations.  Like really bad.  What I'm talking about is the feature Mr. Bug Goes to Town, also known as Bugville, or Hoppity Goes to Town.  It is so terrible that the Fleischer Brothers were fired by Paramount and Famous Studios was born.  Fleischer Studios produced many quality shorts, but they always fell flat when trying to make a feature.  Why this is historically important is, even though it's terrible, this story is the basic inspiration for A Bug's Life (1998), one of the first fully computer animated films (after Toy Story).
The story is a village of various insects live together in a vacant lot.  A skyscraper is going to be built on their land, which will drive them out of their homes.  Hoppity, a grasshopper with the most annoying voice ever, loves Honey Bee and wants to take her family away to safer ground.  Oh no! But evil Mr. Beetle thwarts his plan and forces Mr. Bee to give his daughter away in marriage to him.
Meanwhile, two humans waiting for a royalty check are afraid they are going to lose their home.  They decide to buy the penthouse in the new skyscraper instead.  Oh yeah, sure, when we were broke and lost our first home we totally had enough to buy a fucking penthouse.  The only reason they didn't get their check is because the evil Mr. Beetle hid it.  However, Hoppity finds it and gives it to the humans.  In return, all the bugs go live in the rooftop garden.  Which, they climb up the skyscraper to get to!  Yes, the tiny insects climb up a skyscraper and don't get blown off.
The worst part about this film is the voice acting.  It is just terrible.  I can't recommend this film to anyone.  Only if you want to see the inspiration for A Bug's Life for comparison purposes should you ever see this film.  I will give it a 2/10.

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