330. The Hole Idea – Robert McKimson

song-of-the-prairie

SUMMARY: A hen-pecked inventor invents a portable hole, which is then stolen and used for evil by an anonymous villain.

WHY IT’S HERE: Robert McKimson’s ‘The Hole Idea’ was the director’s “auteur” cartoon, which he not only directed but animated himself. McKimson was deeply proud of the cartoon and the result is often quite impressive although it is a tad too unfocused to stand among McKimson’s best work. Presented in a stylised fashion, ‘The Hole Idea’ is based on a clever idea by Sid Marcus. There’s flashes of greatness in Marcus’s script but it pulls in too many directions, attempting to weave in elements of the domestic cartoons that were popular in the 50s and 60s, which ultimately prove the weakest parts of the short. However, McKimson’s witty animation redeems any shortcomings in the material and ‘The Hole Idea’ is often ingenious in its visuals. McKimson was often underrated as a director but was widely celebrated as an animator and it is the latter skill which is predominant in ‘The Hole Idea’. One wonders how much greater it might have been with a little extra script work.

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