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Trapeze Pleeze (1960)


Connie Rasinski


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Plot Keywords:

heckle and jeckle | See All (1) »


Animation | Short







Release Date:

12 June 1960 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Terrytoons See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Cinecolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

I felt sorry for the hippo.
19 August 2004 | by F Gwynplaine MacIntyreSee all my reviews

'Trapeze Pleeze' is a Heckle and Jeckle cartoon, made long after their best (and funniest) period, with a general appearance that's much less attractive than the classic Terrytoons. The animation here is better than in the Terrytoons of the 1940s and '50s, but that's the only strong point. The story is inappropriate for these characters, and the gags are unfunny.

Unlike most other cartoon characters, Heckle and Jeckle tended to have jobs... but those jobs usually gave them plenty of opportunities to wreak mayhem (for instance, as demolition men in the hilarious 'House Busters'), or at least gave them an excuse to annoy people. In 'Trapeze Pleeze', bizarrely, Heckle and Jeckle operate a marital bureau and work as matchmakers. Does that sound funny? It isn't.

Their only discernible client is a female hippo, very large and unattractive. I dislike it when humour is at the expense of an unattractive woman, or in this case a female cartoon character. The hippo has got her heart set on marrying the handsome trapeze artiste, and Heckle and Jeckle won't get paid unless he signs a marriage contract agreeing to wed the hippo. Oh, dear. I was expecting to see gags involving a hippopotamus on the trapeze.

It gets worse. The trapeze artiste is played by Dimwit, the gormless dog who was a very funny foil for the magpies in some of their earlier cartoons. Here, unbelievably, Dimwit is a graceful and confident aerialist, garbed in a leotard! Heckle and Jeckle climb up into the rigging and join him in his trapeze act, trying to persuade Dimwit to sign the contract. None of this is funny. Absolutely no use is made of the fact that Heckle and Jeckle are birds who can remain suspended in the air even if they miss a trapeze.

There is a very obvious and unfunny 'surprise' ending, with Jeckle using a very unethical ploy to get Dimwit's signature. I'm a fan of Heckle and Jeckle's cartoons from the 1950s, but this late offering is awful. I'll rate 'Trapeze Pleeze' only one point out of 10.

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