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Way Back When a Nag Was Only a Horse (1940)


Dave Fleischer


Joe Stultz (story) (as Joseph Stultz)


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Animation | Short







Release Date:

8 March 1940 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fleischer Studios See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Selling ads in the stone age
14 August 2019 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

It is not as if there is any bias against Fleischer Studios. Far from it. Actually like to love quite a lot of their work, being very fond of Koko, Betty Boop and Popeye, and some of their "Color Classics". By 1940 or so the studio was in decline, their quality decreased quite drastically and their output came nowhere near close to their earlier work. This was obvious in most (not all) of the Gabby cartoons and the "Stone Age" and "Animated Antics" series.

'Way Back When a Nag Was Only a Horse' is the second "Stone Age" cartoon, but the first 'Way Back When a Triangle Had Its Points' doesn't seeem to be available so it's going to be the first one under review. As indicated already, the "Stone Age" cartoons were not a good representation of Fleischer and instead is a representation of how the studio had declined. Something made all too clear in 'Way Back When a Nag Was Only a Horse'. Just to say, the idea for the series was not a bad one, it was the execution where most of its cartoons was bad in.

The best thing about 'Way Back When a Nag Was Only a Horse' is the music score. Not one that will stick in the head for days, but it is suitably merry and lush and dynamic with what's going on.

Also thought that the voice actors did the best they did with their meagre material, with no signs of phoning in. Did like the turtle iron and sheet music chiselled on tablets touches.

Nothing else in 'Way Back When a Nag Was Only a Horse' works. The two primary problems being that it is very dull and it is also pretty unfunny. The cartoon really lacks energy and the non-existent plot feels stretched out. The gags agreed are very tired and completely lack imagination and the running gag, not an interesting one at all to begin with, gets repetitive fast. If the narration was meant to entertain and teach, it failed at both, found it very corny.

On top of that, the characters have very little personality and were quite unappealing. Even the animation, which actually was usually a strength in Fleischer's cartoons, wasn't great, tending to be quite crude and very basic.

Summing up, very weak. 3/10

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