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It's a Greek Life (1936)

Mercury, the winged messenger, drops his sandals off with a centaur to be repaired. The centaur, who has coveted wings to the extent that he's used a couple ducks to help him fly, takes the... See full summary »


Dan Gordon


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Mercury, the winged messenger, drops his sandals off with a centaur to be repaired. The centaur, who has coveted wings to the extent that he's used a couple ducks to help him fly, takes the sandals for a spin, and fails to finish the repair job on time. Mercury returns; in a panic, the centaur strips the wings from a couple birds and nails them to some plain sandals, but Mercury is not fooled. He turns the centaur into a pretzel. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

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Release Date:

2 August 1936 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Van Beuren Studios See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor High Fidelity Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Although the short purports to be about Greek beings, it uses the Roman name Mercury, rather than Hermes. Furthermore, both Mercury and the centaur are portrayed as Italian. See more »


Featured in Futurama: Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Van Beuren takes on Greek mythology

Van Beuren cartoons are extremely variable, especially in the number of gags and whether the absurdist humour shines through enough (sometimes it does, other times it doesn't), but are strangely interesting. Although they are often poorly animated with barely existent stories and less than compelling lead characters, they are also often outstandingly scored, there can be some fun support characters and some are well-timed and amusing.

'It's a Greek Life', despite having one of the better and most interesting concepts of the series is not one of the worst of the "Rainbow Parade" cartoons by all means, and Van Beuren certainly have far worse overall in their oeuvre. It is a pretty mediocre cartoon however, with all the same strengths and faults of the "Rainbow Parade" series apparent. As indicated, it's far from unwatchable and has things to redeem it, but not much to it.

Saw it really as somebody who is trying to see as many Van Beuren cartoons as possible, so that is pretty much the main reason to see it.

There are strengths certainly. Really liked the animation, which has come on a lot since (human) Tom and Jerry and Cubby the Bear. Despite the character drawing lacking refinement and some garishness which does give off a primitive feel, the colours appeal generally to the eye while the backgrounds are elaborate and meticulous. Even better is the music score, it is so beautifully and cleverly orchestrated, is great fun to listen to and full of lively energy, doing so well with enhancing the action.

Some neat synchronisation here and there and some sweetness and charm. The cupid is a quite nice character and it is agreed that his early successful flying attempt was one of 'It's a Greek Life's' better moments.

Unfortunately, there is a good deal wrong, and there is much more to it than baring little resemblance to Greek mythology (Mercury being out of place, due to being the Roman messenger of the gods, Hermes was the Greek one). The content is pretty thin, not much to it, and not only are there not enough gags as such but any absurdist humour or surrealism present in some of Van Beuren's earlier work is completely absent. What there is largely fails. The cartoon is too saccharine and very cutesy in characterisation, some of the sugar excessive.

While there is actually nothing to be offended by, the characters are bland and not with a whole lot of personality, the stereotypical accents giving the cartoon an out of kilter strangeness. The story is non-existent with little in terms of events and conflict to be engaged by, and the pace never really comes to life.

Overall, mediocre but an okay one-time watch. 4/10 Bethany Cox

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