Friday, July 5, 2013

Lucky Luke: Daisy Town

Daisy Town; animated western comedy, France/ Belgium, 1971; D: Rene Goscinny, S: Marcel Bozzuffi, Pierre Trabaud, Jean Berger, Roger Carel  

A wagon caravan stops somewhere in the Wild West and builds a new settlement, Daisy Town. The inhabitants are starting a new life there, but the town also starts attracting shady gangsters. Luckily, a fast drawer shows up, too, Lucky Luke, who accepts the position of a sheriff and brings law and order. However, a new challenge shows up when the four Dalton brothers show up and wreck havoc. Luke manages to banish them, and they are arrested, but instigate a conflict with the Indians. Thanks to Luke and the cavalry, the Indians give upon attacking the citizens. In the end, the news of gold in the mountains leads to everyone abandoning Daisy Town, so Luke leaves.

The first feature film about Lucky Luke, "Daisy Town" is also the best films featuring the beloved comic book hero by Morris, a clever, fun and (especially in the first half) very stylish animated comedy that spoofs the western cliches. The opening 35 minutes are a tour-de-force example of satire, topping even Rene Gosciny's own "Asterix", from the small gags revolving around a guy carrying a ladder with a man in a wheelchair up to Luke beating up outlaws in the saloon, which is so meticulously choreographed that it works almost as smooth as good ballet (Luke beating up a gangster by holding his suspenders, so that he bounces like an attached ping-pong ball; throwing a ladder on several gangsters climbing up the stairs). When the Daltons show up, the story is still running, but once they run for the elections in the town, the story slowly runs down and even gets stuck while lingering too much with their direct clash with Luke. The constant panning from the shortest to the tallest Dalton quickly becomes an old joke, whereas the inventive touch gets lost until the last third becomes just a tiresome finale with no sizzling jokes anymore. Overall, though overstretched, "Daisy Town" is still a refreshingly pure and good-spirited examples of 'good old school' film making at a time when the sole storyline was more important than flashy effects and "make up".


1 comment:

Christopher Sobieniak said...

At least you didn't mention the English version voiced by one guy, Rich Little!