3/18/10

RVOD100 Mr. Moto Takes a Walk

(1960s-ish, Educational/Short, color)

Riffers:

Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy

Mr. Moto will return in Mr. Moto Takes a Dump.

Rating: **1/2

In a Nutshell:


Mr. Moto is a monkey who looks at animals in the zoo.

Summary:

I expect Mr. Moto pooped on her shoulder at some point, forcing them to halt production so that she could change.A timidly voiced zookeeper idly strolls the zoo with Mr. Moto, a monkey on a leash. Their goal? Visit one animal for each letter of the alphabet. Aardvarks, bears, camels and so on. Somewhere around the middle of the tour, Mr. Moto escapes to continue on his own while the zookeeper continues to narrate. (“Presumably, Mr. Moto related this to her after the fact,” says Kevin.) They take care of U with an oddly-named breed of sloth, skip W for some reason (what, no walruses?) and then X as well. The zookeeper finally catches her escaped charge with a well-placed letter block outside the zebra pen.

Thoughts:

So, bears were cuddly in the mid-twentieth century? For both Gregory the skunk and Mr. Moto, these huge, hairy omnivores are playful, harmless animals. You can just scamper on up and honk their noses, no big deal. I mean, it’s not as if they’re irritable, sedan-sized predators or anything. But should they come into contact with some other predator (dogs for Gregory, jaguars for Mr. Moto), look out! Instant life-threatening situation. How did campers survive before people learned to be afraid of bears?

And speaking of Little Lost Scent, I seem to recall wondering if all nature programs were pointless and meandering by nature. Well, now I’ve seen Mr. Moto take his walk, I’m just about prepared to say “hypothesis confirmed.”

A few favorite comments: Early on, Kevin describes the monkey/zookeeper pair as “Chris Kattan and his girlfriend.” When Mr. Moto escapes, the zookeeper suddenly remembers what letter comes next, prompting Mike’s comment, “What kind of person ‘just remembers’ the alphabet?” As Mr. Moto scampers madly about, Bill says, “Someone help! That bizarre food guy is trying to chill and eat my brain!” It’s an okay short with okay mockery, but it lacks the vicious energy of Little Lost Scent or the dizzy, mind-altering quality of Moose Baby.