HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
You Don't Nomi
Man from the Alamo, The
Vast of Night, The
Furies, The
Days of the Bagnold Summer
Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975, The
Apartment 1BR
1776
Parasite
Looking On the Bright Side
Take Me Somewhere Nice
Simon
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  Hugo the Hippo Woe The Water Horse
Year: 1975
Director: Bill Feigenbaum
Stars: Burl Ives, Robert Morley, Paul Lynde, Jesse Emmett, Ronnie Cox, Percy Rodrigues, Len Maxwell, Marie Osmond, Jimmy Osmond, Don Marshall, Frank Welker, Nancy Wible, Jerry Hausner
Genre: Animated, Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: This is the story of how humans can exploit animals, both by putting them to work and then by putting the blame on them when things go wrong. Our tale begins in Zanzibar, an island off the coast of East Africa where the trade was instrumental in providing great riches for the population, but mostly the Sultan (voiced by Robert Morley), although he didn't do anywhere near as much work as his subjects did. However, one day their whole operation was thrown into jeopardy when a school of sharks showed up and began eating the workers...

It seems even the most obscure cartoon features - and Hugo the Hippo was not a success by any means in its day - can gather a following simply by dint of the fact that somewhere some child will be growing up with a copy they will have recorded off the television or had purchased for them to keep them quiet in front of the box, which one way or another gets watched multiple times. Such was the case with this, a Hungarian-American production designed to take advantage of the East European animation studio, but in effect not making enough of a hippo-sized splash on the international market.

Yet while not too many saw it in its cinema format, it was released on home video and shown occasionally on television, which made for some powerful memories in those who are now grown up, but do remember Hugo and his colourful adventures. In fact, there are those who were mildly traumatised in some cases, not because some of the songs were trilled by Little Jimmy Osmond, but because director Bill Feigenbaum (in his sole film credit) did not skimp on the scenes of the baby hippo getting victimised, and even seeing his whole family and friends slaughtered about halfway through the plot - Disney at their darkest would not have gone that far in their cartoon features.

Before we reached that unhappy event, Hugo and his chums had to be rounded up because the Sultan believes they are precisely what his community needs to get rid of the (biker headgear-wearing) sharks. And it turns out he's right, but not before more trauma which sees the hippopotami turfed out of their lake home and tied up by a giant robot cowboy on horseback (huh?), then dumped in the channel to beat up the rampaging fish. The Sultan and the islanders are delighted, but it's not enough for us to end there on a relatively cheery note as thereafter they don't know what to do with the animals and don't even feed them, leaving them to munch on scraps from the garbage.

If you hadn't noticed, there was an environmental message being put across here, though that was the case with plenty of cartoons from the seventies and beyond, and at least here it's not overly heavy handed. The animation itself was imaginative enough to cope with the fluid style, so if it was not of the highest level it was sufficiently captivating to make it perfectly tolerable. What it was depicting, on the other hand, may not have been so palatable, as the Sultan's right hand man (unmistakably Paul Lynde) sees to it that hungry, hungry hippos are exterminated from Zanzibar and Hugo is the only survivor, ending up on the mainland where he befriends a young boy - and makes enemies of the adults for trying to satisfy his appetite for their fruit and veg. More troubles are on their way for Hugo, and it seems he can't catch a break, though no matter how depressing his story became, it was still colourful and populated with catchy songs also performed by Jimmy's sister Marie Osmond and narrator Burl Ives. The off-kilter quality is not a dead loss, odd enough to be memorable.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2106 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: