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YMMV / Woody Woodpecker

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The shorts

  • Archive Panic: 198 classic theatrical shorts (only 90 of which are on DVD) and 53 modern TV episodes (each of which are split into three segments, and exactly one episode has seen a DVD release), and that's not counting tie-in materials such as the comics.
  • Designated Hero: Woody is shown to be this as he is always the protagonist of the shorts but he's also not above heckling and harassing whomever he encounters and he will get away with it.
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  • Dork Age: Pretty much all of the cartoons from 1955 onward, where the animation and art direction not only took a nosedive, but the humor of the cartoons degenerated into boring, witless filler, with the perpetually-deteriorating direction of Lantz veteran Paul J. Smith during this period often exposing or exacerbating these issues further. Likewise, the conversion of Woody into a bland-as-wheat everyman (a process rooted in several of Dick Lundy's late-40s shorts yet accelerated and normalized during the fifties) as opposed to the roguish trickster or comically irresponsible, destructive interloper his most well-received '40s appearances often characterized him as, further diluted the series' former comedic energy into successions of generic antics. Some even argue the decline began even earlier, right after 1949, when the last Woody cartoon directed by Dick Lundy was released before the Lantz studio was briefly shut down until the next year, but even the early fifties cartoons, despite their relatively spartan animation and cruder design work relative to the lusher, more Disney-esque articulation of the '40s, are held in higher esteem (chiefly due to director Don Patterson's oft-striking layouts and use of color composition) than their successors.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: That creepy Badger from the new episodes.
    • Gorgeous Gal, a female, rich and older bird who fell in love with the Woodpecker instantly. She flirted, kissed him many times, chased after him, tried to seduce him, and finally trapped and marrying him (all against his will).
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Woody is very popular in South America, especially in Brazil, to the point where all of his cartoons are still aired there to this day (even the post-1955 ones)! Brazilian TV Record even has become infamous for having the toons frequently in their programming, as the sole feature of their children's block, and particularly before the night news (it got worse as the Woody Woodpecker reruns aired after - and at times instead of - their 2012 Olympic Games coverage). He even got a live action/CGI hybrid film that was released theatrically in Brazil!note 
  • Growing the Beard: The early shorts were fun, but sloppy attempts at imitating Looney Tunes. Things started improving when Shamus Culhane came and improved the direction and art of the cartoons, but the series truly reached its peak when Dick Lundy began directing.
  • Genius Bonus/Fridge Brilliance: Woody Woodpecker being the star of the video game Crazy Castle 5 seems bizarre considering that Bugs Bunny was the star of the previous four games—but when you're familiar with the history of both characters, and know that the "Proto-Bugs" from shorts like "Porky's Hare Hunt" was quite similar in personality to Woody (even having a non-sped up take on his famous laugh) and that both characters were (initially in Woody's case) voiced by the same actor and that both Woody and the Proto-Bugs had Ben Hardaway on board for them, you could say that things came full circle.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Two of the major characters in the series are named Woody and Buzz.
    • From the short "Pantry Panic", "Winter Is Coming!"
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • People have noticed that Kellyanne Conway's infamous Gucci coat has a similar color scheme to Woody's plumage, whigh has led to numerous joke pics about "Who wore it better?"
    • On par with the Germans Love David Hasselhoff status the shorts enjoy in Brazil, the Running Gag in "Niagara Fools" (the people in yellow raincoats cheering whenever the guard goes over the falls in a barrel) has this status there. Became an Ascended Meme in a promotional action for the 2017 movie.
    • For some reason, the line "If Woody had gone right to the police, this would never have happened." from "Bunco Busters" has become a minor meme among fans of the series.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Woody's famous rat-a-tat laughter.
  • Name's the Same: "Bats in the Belfry" is a name that is shared with a Harman and Ising one-shot cartoon from the 1940s. "Hassle in a Castle" is also very similar to the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! episode "Hassle in the Castle".
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: Woody Woodpecker Racing for the Game Boy Color is a surprisingly good kart racer game, with plenty of content, good design and challenge.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Férias Frustradas do Pica-Pau for the Sega Genesis is terrible in many ways. The GBA game Woody Woodpecker In Crazy Castle 5 is a really mediocre game as well.
  • Seasonal Rot: As mentioned above, the series went into a steep decline after the mid 1950's.
  • Tear Jerker: "Born to Peck", featuring an elderly, possibly dying Woody reminiscing about his childhood, is a really stark contrast to a series otherwise loaded with comedy. And the ending even has him attempt suicide!
  • Values Dissonance: "The Screwdriver" has Woody dressing up as a rather politically incorrect depiction of a "chinaboy" with carriage for a gag.
    • Chinese, American Indians and other racial caricatures have been featured in more than one shorts such as "Scalp Treatment", "Barber of Seville" and The Screwdriver.
  • The Woobie: Mr. Woodpecker, Woody's father, considering "Born to Peck" establishes that his wife left him with their daughters to raise a wild uncontrollable son all alone.

The 2017 film

  • Audience-Alienating Premise: The idea of a film centered around a cartoon character that is now virtually unknown (at least in the US, not so much in Brazil) due to the fading popularity of his cartoons didn't exactly appeal to many people. This wasn't helped by the trailers indicating that it would be a Cliché Storm like previous cartoon-to-live-action film adaptations.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Woody's short rap about himself. It's there for no reason other than reviving the classic song from his starring debut "Everybody Thinks I'm Crazy".
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The premise is not so lighthearted with the amazon rain forest fires effecting local tribes and wildlife.
  • Memetic Psychopath: Due to his over-the-top antics and the film's inability to create a world where cartoony humour can work, this version of Woody recieves this treatment.
  • Tainted by the Preview: The trailers for the film... weren't well-received, due to showing that the film would be a generic Human-Focused Adaptation like Alvin and the Chipmunks, such as including Toilet Humour.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: Timothy Omundson as Lance Walters. Ditto Eric Bauza, whose Woody is often considered one of the film's only redeeming qualities.
  • Uncanny Valley: Who thought it was a good idea to give CGI cartoon characters realistic irises?
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: Woody Woodpecker singing a hip-hop version of his classic song "Everybody Think's I'm Crazy".


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