Monkey Rag (2014) – By Philip Smolen

“Monkey Rag” is an enchanting and charming three and a half minute cartoon short from young, talented animator Joanna Davidovich. It tells the whimsical story of a vivacious redhead named Mitzi who romantically pursues a tall, dapper rabbit-like creature named Spanko through a myriad of colorful cartoon landscapes all while the fantastic Dixieland flavored title song by The Asylum Street Spankers plays in the background. If you grew up on classic hand animation like me, this gem’s style will have you grinning from ear to ear as it recalls the madcap antics of great animators like Tex Avery and Bob Clampett. It’s wild and crazy and impossible to resist. In fact, it’s probably one of the most gorgeous pieces of animation I’ve seen in years. And it’s so much fun that I think I’m going to write to the American Psychiatric Association and let them know that “Monkey Rag” should be listed as a treatment for chronic depression. It’s infectious, amazing and guaranteed to work. And unlike traditional medications, it comes with no side effects, except maybe for pure unbridled joy.

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