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.
1942, like all the other years for Terrytoons, saw a hit and miss batch, though slightly more consistent than previous years, with some decent hits, a lot of watchable but average or slightly above cartoons and a few mediocre misses. 'Shipyard Symphony' is one of the average-middle ones (average-middle and slightly above average was the most common standard that year) ranking it in correlation with the rest of the Terrytoons and one of the middling 1942 cartoons. It is an unexceptional, nothing exactly special cartoon, being generally average, and has the same amount of problems as it has the amount of strengths. 'Shipyard Symphony' is watchable but unexceptional, completest sake is the main reason to see it.
'Shipyard Symphony's' best asset is the music, which cannot be faulted, essential to the impact of a cartoon and like a character of its own. 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 other big merit is the animation, the ambitious, elaborate detail in the backgrounds is still great to see, as is the comparatively improved fluidity of drawing and movement and increasingly smoother transitions. The synchronisation in movement and sound is neat.
There is some zest and natural charm and a few amusing moments, and parts of it and the basic set up are nicely done.
The story is paper thin and formulaic with not an awful lot to it (like the cartoon in general) and doing little with a premise that's hardly new.
Gags aren't enough, and most are not that memorable or funny. There is definitely once again a sense of the studio having run out of ideas and just re-treading old premises and material. Parts are repetitive and the characters have too little personality or distinction to properly engage.
Altogether, worth a one-time watch but not much special. 5/10 Bethany Cox
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