The daily publication Film Daily called the short a "fine fantasy", and gave it the following review:
"The story takes place in a library, with all the characters coming to life from well known works of fiction, both classical and modern. Rip Van Winkle is the center of interest, as he cannot continue sleeping with the noise. Finally he gets "The Hurricane" to blow all the noise-makers back into the covers of their books again, and he goes peacefully to sleep. The final titles show the pop book, "Gone with the Wind." Produced by Leon Schlesinger. Story by Jack Miller. Animation by Ken Harris. In Technicolor."1
The caricature of Alexander Woollcott in this short is a human version of the owl caricature in another Tashlin short, "The Woods are Full of Cuckoos", which was released the year prior, and had similar mannerisms. The theme of the short is similar to another 1937 Tashlin short, Speaking of the Weather.
After this film's initial release, Alexander Woollcott requested that his caricature as "The Town Crier" in this cartoon be cut for reissue after his death. The cuts are as follows:
After the cuckoo clock sounds and the camera pans over the library, the shadow of the Town Crier appears, which then fades out to the books being presented.
The cartoon ends after Rip van Winkle eliminates the fighting cowboys and Indians into a book called "Hurricane", and then the then-recent book "Gone with the Wind" pops up, with a fade out.
On TBS, in addition to the above cuts made for the reissue, the following scenes were cut:
Caricatures of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson tap dancing in a book called "The 39 Steps", and the immediate next scene of Cab Calloway singing "I've Got Swing For Sale" (which was recycled from the 1937 Censored Eleven cartoon Clean Pastures. The scene's unedited appearance on Cartoon Network makes it the closest a Censored Eleven cartoon has ever made it to airing on American television)
Rip van Winkle twice stealing scissors from "The Valiant Little Tailor" and using them to cut Uncle Tom's hair to use as ear plugs (the second time resulting in Uncle Tom punching Rip van Winkle in the face and cutting his beard off).
Note that all these sequences are present on the DVD release "Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 2".