The Terrytoons are oddly interesting, mainly for anybody wanting to see (generally) older cartoons made by lesser known and lower-budget studios. They are a mixed bag in quality, with some better than others, often with outstanding music and with some mild amusement and charm and variable in animation, characterisation and content.
1937, like all the other years for Terrytoons, saw a hit and miss batch, more so than the other years even. Of which 'The Saw Mill Mystery' is one of the better ones ranking it in correlation with the rest of the Terrytoons and one of the better 1937 cartoons. It is an unexceptional but above average cartoon that has the same amount of problems as it has the amount of strengths. 'The Saw Mill Mystery' is also very watchable, completest sake is the main reason to see it but it's not the only reason.
Best asset is the music, which predictably is incredible. It is so beautifully and cleverly orchestrated and arranged, is great fun to listen to and full of lively energy, doing so well with enhancing the action. The ambitious, elaborate detail in the backgrounds is still great to see, as is more fluidity and visual appeal than usual, and some synchronisation is neat.
Enough amusing moments and there is zest and natural charm. The characters are not personality deprived and appeal.
However, there is an at times incomplete look to the drawing and transitions, like agreed there was more content intended but there were things left out in editing.
Likewise, the story is paper thin and formulaic, not much new. Gags could have been more and a few better organised and developed more. A lot of it is pretty predictable and occasionally a bit cutesy (not as much as other Terrytoons though).
In conclusion, decent. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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