The Mechanical Man (1932)

Article 3242 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-5-2010
Posting Date: 6-30-2010
Directed by Walter Lantz and William Nolan
Voice cast unknown
Country: USA
What it is: Animated robots and skeletons movie

A mad scientist has created a robot, but its pugnacious nature convinces the scientist that it needs a human heart. He decides to kidnap Oswald the Rabbit’s girlfriend for the heart. Can Oswald save her?

It gets points for trying. This surreal cartoon throws out a nonstop barrage of strange imagery and gags so steadily that it’s hard to take it all in in one sitting. The problem is that it just isn’t funny; the gags are unfocused and arbitrary, and though I watch the cartoon with a certain amount of curiosity, I’m never once compelled to laugh. It reminded me that the very best cartoons, as wild as they might be, were usually grounded with a strong center in some regard (a theme or a plot that held it together), but that’s what this one lacks. Ultimately, it’s just mildly interesting.


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