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.
'Golf Nuts' is mainly to be seen for completest sake, for me that is true for Terrytoons' filmography in general and is my reason for watching and reviewing them, but is a more than tolerable cartoon quality-wise. It is though one of those again watchable but unexceptional Terrytoons which was the general standard of their 1930 batch.
Best component is the music, not surprising as it was true for all of Terrytoons' output, which is outstanding. 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 backgrounds are detailed enough and show a studio that were aiming for ambition and succeeding in some aspects.
Pacing is neither too hectic or dull in the very well done first half, there is a natural charm and the first half has some well timed amusing gags. The characters are amiable enough and have personality even if they have no development to them whatsoever (not unexpected).
It is sad however that, like 'Monkey Meat' (another Terrytoon from the same year), 'Golf Nuts' loses steam too early and goes from good to lacklustre, almost like it had run out of ideas. The pace slackens, the gags are fewer and very different tonally being more saccharine than absurdist, any hint of a story is completely lost and it's all very repetitive and vague, almost like extended filler.
All the effort that went into most of the animation isn't matched by the typically primitive character designs on the whole. Synchronisation (neat in parts and sloppy in others), pacing (lively in the first half, dull in the second) and quality of gags (well done in the first half, lacklustre at best in the second) are uneven and the story, already thin on the ground, runs out of gas halfway through and then neglected in the second half.
Overall, uneven but watchable. 5/10 Bethany Cox
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