The Mice Will Play

“You’re correct. Absolutely correct.”

Supervision by Fred Avery; Story by Jack Miller; Animation by Sid Sutherland; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on December 31, 1938.

There was a brief period during the ’30’s, where the renowned Tex Avery directed a trio of cartoons starring cute, widdle mice. What’s odd and noteworthy is the fact that these cartoons are, dare I say it, a tad Disney-esque. It may sound un-Avery, but he still manages to stick in a good number of amusing gags. This picture was the last of the three.

We open in the medical lab of Dr. I.M. Nutts. Nobody is around, so a bunch of mice decide they might as well do whatever they please with this equipment. It would be very dangerous in the wrong hands, but hey have paws. So we’re good. We’re good. Really, what harm can happen when looking through a microscope? It just allows you to see a football game between red and white corpuscles, clucking chicken pox, and whooping, coughing, whooping cough.

Other mice listen to a heartbeat with a stethoscope. If you know as much about mice as I do, then you know that that heartbeat is just too slow. Taking a heart pill helps bring things up to speed, and irritate some eardrums in the process. Still, for as much fun as these guys are having, Susie mouse in the next room, isn’t. She begs and pleads for someone to help her escape from her cage. Seeing as the label on it lists her as a test subject, she has every right to do this.

But that can wait until the climax. What other gags are there? An x-ray that reveals mice are nothing but cheese and a clockwork brain. (Better than most people I know.) One mouse deciding to chug down some liquid neon. (Not what I’d consider the brightest idea, but he ends up glowing, so I guess I can’t talk.) And three mice taking things a bit too far, seeing as they are aiming for one of their companion’s rumps. (Actually, maybe they hate this guy. I can’t fault them for that.) Regardless, he’s saved by an audience member.

Okay, climax time. Susie happens to have a piece of paper, and sends a rescue request. Her message can turn into an airplane, and that’s how she send it out. It is found by a mouse named Johnny, who immediately rushes to her aid. It may be sudden, but her x-ray doesn’t lie, she loves her savior, and the two immediately wed. (Exchanging vows with woodwind instruments. Strange, but I suppose I shouldn’t question mouse customs.)

By the way, a cat has been skulking throughout the cartoon, taking his time on getting ready for a feast. (I like that his whiskers form the stereotypical bad guy mustache.) When he finally arrives, he happens to overhear Susie comment that with this marriage done, it seems that there will be plenty of fat, little mice in the future. (Odd way to describe your offspring. But again, mice live differently than you or I. I’m sure Walt said the same thing about Mickey.) With this theory made, the cat decides his meal can wait awhile. (20 days, I’d wager. Might want to grab a snack.)

Favorite Part: Johnny asks Susie why she is acting so weird. She tells him she loves him, and not only is he pleased, but he points out that she should’ve just said so. Thank you! If only female humans acted this way, I could save myself a good amount of embarrassment.

Personal Rating: 3

The Tree’s Knees

“Ain’t that cute?”

Animation by Isadore Freleng and Rollin Hmilton. A Looney Tune released in August, 1931.

The occupation of the day is lumberjack. Bosko makes a fine lumberjack. He has an axe, and that’s all that is necessary. He locates a fine group of trees and prepares to kill them all. (He’ll probably make them into paper! Or firewood! Or mulch! Isn’t it fun to imagine what a living thing’s demise will lead to?) Before Bosko can make even one chop, the trees reveal theri sentience. It seems to be a family, as the smaller ones plead with Bosko to cease his upcoming violence.

They call him “Big Hearted Bosko” for a reason. He spares the family of trees. In fact, to show that he’s truly sorry, he pulls out his harmonica. What a treat! Bosko is willing to share his musical prowess with those less fortunate than him! Such gaiety! Too bad one of the tree’s is still a prick. Even after Bosko decided to let them keep on living, it has the balls (or knees, I suppose) to blow a razz berry. Bosko chases the color-changing tree, and actually manages to tear the brat’s bark off. Turns out, it’s the human equivalent of clothes, not skin. So the little monster is just cold and embarrassed, rather than bleeding sap profusely.

They call him “Big Hearted…” oh, you know what I mean! Bosko returns the plant’s hide, and it still is an a-hole, giving Bosko a kick in his own knees. (The little son of a beech.) At least there are nicer trees in this forest. Some of them actually act as a nanny for the nests of bird chicks that rest in their branches. (They tend to get a little too carried away rocking them, but it’s a far cry from what I’ve seen thus far today.) Bosko also forgets the number one rule of the woods, which is: don’t stand under a bird without an umbrella. Oops. Too late.

Don’t worry. It’s not what you think. Even though it IS white, it was just bird tobacco. (Why does a creature with no teeth partake in the act of chaw? The real question is: why does he need pants?) Perhaps it would be wiser for Bosko to interact with less salivary animals. Like a beautiful butterfly! Bosko happily gives chase, and finds something else amazing to his music loving soul. Apparently, if trees are thin enough, and close enough to each other, they can be used exactly like a harp! (They also don’t move around. Different breed)

Heck, why doesn’t nature join in Bosko’s merrymaking? One tree uses the vines on his body as a makeshift violin. It sounds rather nice to me, but the obligatory weeping willow joke seems to disagree. (And if you needed at least two willow puns, we also get an appearance of the pussy variety.) Some more Mickey clones are even here, enjoying this lovely day while playing with a discarded saw. (That’s numbers 516 and 729, for you. They laugh in the face of Disney lawsuits. I mean, danger.)

Realizing there’s more fun to be had with a (see) saw than that, the two of them cut out a wood disc and find it works just like a record; their bodies working like a phonograph. The music is so wonderful, that even a tree wouldn’t be able to keep itself from dancing. (Which would have been more surprising if we HADN’T spent the last six minutes seeing mobile shrubbery.) I can only guess that Bosko is going to need a change of career after this. I doubt he’ll ever be able to look at a credenza the same way again.)

Favorite Part: Clone 516 falls in a puddle and begins to drown. 729 jumps in to save his pal, but finds the water is as shallow as a puddle. At least, the left side is.

Personal Rating: 3

Bonanza Bunny

“This gon’ be fun, you bet!”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Tedd Pierce; Animation by Tom Ray, George Granpre, Ted Bonnicksen, and Warren Batchelder; Layouts by Robert Gribbroek; Backgrounds by William Butler; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on September 5, 1959.

You’ve no doubt heard of the Klondike Gold Rush. That time when a good number of folks headed up to Alaska for the sake of a “get rich easy scheme.” (Humans. Always looking for an alternative to the hard way.) Such commotions, its no wonder boom towns are springing up. Such as Dawson City. It will be our setting for today’s picture. It’s a tough looking place. It’s got at least three saloons!

It was in saloon number three, the Malibu Saloon, where our story takes place. Everybody is minding their own business, when a stranger walked in. Well, a stranger to everyone but us. We know him as Bugs Bunny. He’s got little caps on both of his ears! That’s precious! He came round these parts because he heard talk of karats. Sadly for him, all he managed to find was a bunch of rocks. Sorta yellow in color. Odd. And yet, everyone seems interested. Still, Bugs plans to keep them as souvenirs. He’ll only part with the one the bartender is using as payment.

Enter our villain. A French-Canadian Yosemite Sam named, Blaque Jacque Shellaque. (And if you think that’s a rather low blow on my part, he eventually was revealed to be Sam’s cousin on “The Looney Tunes Show.”) I guess McKimson wanted his own character to take Bugs in a saloon setting. Still, he was clearly also inspired by Nasty Canasta, revealing himself nearly shot for shot the same as in “Drip-along Daffy.” He wants Bugs’ bag but is willing to gamble for it.

It will be settled via a game of 21. Bugs is willing to stop at one card, much to Blaque’s amusement. He seems pretty happy with the two cards he drew, both tens. As you’d expect, Bugs wins because he happened to draw the 21 of hearts. (The card box threatens to fade out of existence, but gives up because hardly anyone is noticing.) Jaque isn’t happy to lose and refuses to accept his defeat. Besides, those guns of his say he doesn’t have to take this sort of abuse. Bugs isn’t scared. In fact, he claims another guy in the next room, who is much more tougher. (A gag you may recall him using in “Hare Trigger.”) Said “man” is Bugs, and though he might wield a pop gun, it’s enough to get the job done.

Bugs is able to get rid of Shellaque, by handing him a bag of gunpowder instead. So happy is the canuck, that he fails to notice Bugs making an incision on the bag. Nor does he notice the trail of the stuff following him as he takes his ill gotten gains off to the distance. So, naturally, he also doesn’t notice that Bugs lit the trail. The explosion truly rivals the Aurora Borealis. Bugs can now happily enjoy his rocks. And I’m not just being coy. This whole time, they really were just rocks Bugs painted, . (Hey. A guy’s gotta pay for his drinks, somehow.)

Favorite Part: During our tour of the town, we see the “Rigor Mortis Saloon.” (Come in and get stiff? Seems a bit too personal for my taste.) In case that place isn’t for us, a sign also directs us to the “Band-Ade Saloon.” (Come in & get plastered? That’s more like it!) Two bad puns in the span of one minute. We are spoiled.

Personal Rating: 2 (Too many reused gags. If you haven’t seen as many cartoons as me, you might think this picture is worth a 3)

Touché and Go

“Personally, I prefer girls.”

Directed by Chuck Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Richard Thompson, Ken Harris, and Abe Levitow; Layouts by Maurice Noble. Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on October 12, 1957.

Being the guy who paints a stripe down the middle of the road isn’t the best job to have. Then again, any job can be pleasant if you are allowed to sing. It really is a beautiful day. The sky is blue, the sun shines, and dogs chase cats. In particular, one cat we like to call Penelope is in the middle of one such chase. Being the smaller of the two creatures, she is able to slip under the painting device with only a stripe down her back. The dog crashes into the man, and he angrily kicks the dog repeatedly. Finally free of trouble, the cat goes down to the beach. (A cat heading towards a large mass of sand? I guess she almost got the sh*t scared out of her.)

So, where’s Pepe? We all know he’s coming. The French title, his name in the credits, the painted cat. Nearly all the ingredients are here. Pepe is on a boat. When the sailor sees exactly what is on the rope he is pulling, he runs off in fright, leading Pepe to land in the water. Good thing he can see out of his tail, as he is aware of the female on the beach, and rushes to her side. She doesn’t like that. In fact, she tries to escape. Pepe pretends he doesn’t want her for all of about 24 seconds before he chases her down once more.

You wouldn’t want to hang out on this beach. The sand leads straight to a cliff. (Which in turn leads to the water. A literal high dive.) Pepe was too caught up in his chase to notice the lack of land, and he falls over the side. If Penelope plays her cards right, she could potentially be rid of him early for this picture. So where does she hide? At the base of the cliff. (It’s not her brains Pepe admires.) He finds her, looking quite pale, so he rushes off to get her a glass of water. She’s gone by the time he gets back, so he just empties it on the rocks. Never touches the stuff. (Pepe is not a carbon based life form. Confirmed.)

Seems Penelope is desperate enough to hide underwater. She has the foresight to hook up an oxygen tank, but Pepe has no need for such things. As a skunk, he can hold his breath for a long time. (That raises questions. Is he aware of his odor? Is he proud of it? I suppose it is a better weapon than most, as people will flee, even if you miss.) The lack of air may not be a problem for him, but the ocean is full of predators. Including the dreaded Saber-toothed Tiger shark. A beast I always thought only lived in Ralph Phillips imagination. Is Pepe also part of Ralph’s fantasies? Could I be as well?

Ever the gentleman Pepe sticks his love in a clam. (Aww! Even if he rushes into relationships, he really is a sweet guy.)The shark chows down, but regrets his action almost immediately. Considering how powerful his sense of smell is, I’m not surprised to see the poor fish opt to take his chances on land. In the commotion, Pepe loses Penelope and he heads back toward shore looking for her. That was just what she wanted, and she heads in the opposite direction. Seems she’ll have to rapidly evolve into a saltwater catfish if she hopes to survive.

Fine. She could also head for the nearest island. (Why won’t anybody ever give my science fiction a chance?) She comes ashore, and yes, Pepe is already waiting for her. The locals call this place heart island. That doesn’t mean any romance is going to entail, the place is just shaped like the card suit. (It’s the world’s most over hyped honeymoon location.)

Favorite Part: The fact that the shark doesn’t fear Pepe at first. And why would it? Has any shark ever in the history of Earth, ever encountered a skunk? It’s a subtle touch, but it’s there.

Personal Rating: 3

Dog Tired

“He’s killing me!”

Supervision by Charles M. Jones; Animation by Phil Monroe; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on April 25, 1942.

I’ll only say this one more time: The brown dog is going to be named “Charles” and the white one will be “Joe.” Next time, I’ll just drop the names I’ve given without any reminder. Remember this well!

The last short of their careers and where are the curious puppies two? Digging a hole of course. All of a sudden, a motorcycle appears out of nowhere and scares them away from their work. I can relate. Motorcycles are on my list of things I can’t stand, but for some reason, I seem to be the only person who does. (If you’re really curious, here’s an abridged version of that list: youtubers bringing their boyfriends/girlfriends into their videos, youtubers letting their cats in their videos, and Squirrel Girl.)

They flee into the nearest place: the local zoo. A strange zoo, where only half the animals are in any sort of enclosure. Sure, it sounds like half the animals have it good, but it’s just going to spell trouble for everyone, guests and exhibits alike. Charles enters by leaping the wall, and lands in a kangaroo’s pouch. Mr. Jones does what might be his first joke with fake Latin and labels the marsupial as “Leapadopterus Rex” (Which almost translates to butterfly/moth king, but not quite.)

Joe, meanwhile got in by squeezing under the front gate. The first animals he comes across are a pair of lovebirds. They begin to get on my nerves, with the male endlessly babbling on about how much he loves his mate. It makes one want to vomit out your duodenum while simultaneously rolling your eyes. But then, the male turns it all around by insulting the dog, and demanding the two get some privacy. (Finally! Someone who recognizes that certain things should only happen between only two! Birds are smarter than humans, confirmed.) Joe meekly leaves, in the process, he trips up a stork who is trying to balance on one leg. (That will be one of our running gags for the evening.)

Charles, meanwhile, is going for a rather bumpy ride. When the kangaroo stops for a flower break, he makes a break of his own. Unfortunately for him, he continues to hop, right into a pipe, doling out some rather amusing pain. Oh, I don’t mean I find dog abuse funny! But the local hyena does. (He laughs to hide his insecurities.) Back to Joe. He sees a bone that is just to his liking. It’s in a lion’s cage, but his moment comes when Charles comes into the big cat’s view. It roars and sends the canine straight up a tree, much to the hyena’s continued delight.

Charles barks at the giggling feliform, but this alerts him to the tree’s other occupant: a monkey. He just stares. That’s all he does. The situation is awkward enough, that Charles tries to leave of his own accord. He lands on the back of a passing porcupine, and slides right back up. The monkey continues to stare. (I always wondered what my spirit monkey looked like. A lifetime quest: completed.) Joe, meanwhile has indeed gotten the lion’s bone and heads off to bury his ill gotten gains. He buries it atop of the creature who was already using the hole: an… ostrich…

Okay. Tirade time. Let’s get this said: OSTRICHES DON’T DO THIS! You might be saying, “Of course they don’t. It’s animation.” Yes, but the fact that it is depicted at all means people believe there’s some modicum of truth there! It’s insulting to these majestic birds! Sure, they aren’t the smartest animals on the planet, but no creature is dumb enough to think that hiding your head is enough to keep you safe. Ostriches are fast, powerful, and possess excellent eyesight! If there’s a blackface of the animal kingdom, then this is it. I’m sorry I had to be the one to label it as such.

The ostrich runs off with the bone, but trips and it lands on a turtle’s back. Joe leaps upon the reptile and the resulting wrestling match has the dog with the shell, and the turtle with the bone. (Naturally, the hyena is beside himself with laughter.) As Charles is still up the tree, the monkey finally gets rid of him by shouting. (A howler monkey is my spirit monkey? The quest shall continue, methinks. That doesn’t correlate to me at all.) Charles dives back into the kangaroo’s pouch. Now, BACK to Joe, (I’m starting to get dizzy) he tackles the turtle, causing the bone to end up in the hippopotamus’s enclosure. (What luck. It’s asleep.)

Joe rushes in, but accidentally ends up going through the hippo’s yawning mouth. Judging by all the splashes, it sounds very wet inside the big animal. (As it should be. If humans are 60% water, I don’t see why a much larger animal would be any less if not equal.) Joe escapes, and likewise, Charles once more exits the marsupial. His leap has him landing in a pelican’s bill. (That hyena can’t recall a time he’s had more fun.) I think it’s time to tie everything all up.

Joe builds up some speed, and runs back to the bone. The hippo yawns again, and the little dog ends up launching off the inclined mouth and crashing past other animals he’s inconvenienced today, like the aforementioned lion and stork. (And you wonder why zoo animals dislike pets so much) His rolling continues and he ends up dislodging his companion from the pelican, and I guess they continue to roll all around the zoo’s perimeter, as they end up back in the kangaroo pouch. Somehow, the hyena is in there as well, still laughing away.

Favorite Part: That monkey. His silent, unwavering stare. It’s so awkward, you can’t help but laugh. (Unless you’re the hyena. For some reason, the monkey’s subtle humor just doesn’t reach that guy.)

Personal Rating: 3

The Two Curious Puppies

Talk about obscure! (That, I intend to do.)

Only the most diehard Looney-tic’s will even be aware of the existence of these two. On your left, a boxer. On the right, some type mixed breed, I think. (Surely you don’t expect me to know everything. I believe it’s at least part beagle.) As the title suggests, these two are curious. Curiously peeking into all manner of places like homes where they don’t belong.

At least, that was the shtick in their first two cartoons. Upon appearance three, they became more akin to adversaries, with the big one trying to keep the smaller one out of an amusement park. Later shorts would have the two both trying to keep a bone all to themselves, but constantly losing hold of it.

They don’t have names. (They don’t even talk) They need names. Names that shall be hereafter be canon. I think I’ll call the bigger one: Charles. Now, you may think this is rather uninspired and weak, but actually, I’m naming the fellow after my dead Grandfather whose name was Charles and-yes, I’m naming him after his director. For no other reason then because I want to name the other one, Joe. (Now I’m being clever.)

These two aren’t all that funny, but they are amusing and cute. (Like dogs are.) Plus, they were paired with Proto-Bugs once, so they at least have some sort of legacy. They get my vote for most obscure characters that meet my five appearance rule. Ah, well. At least they had more of a film career than I did. (Hey, one commercial was all I needed to feel special.)

Big Man from the North

“Get your man!”

Animation by Isadore Freleng and Robert Edmunds. A Looney Tune released in February of 1931.

No, the title isn’t referring to someone like Santa or Michael Moore. We mean “big” in the figurative sense. Bosko is a member of the “Mounted Police.” He may be small, but he’s also timid. (Which makes him braver than I.) Who might the villain of this picture be, anyway? Some fellow who looks a little like a cross between Peg-leg Pete and a homeless ursine. (What do you want from me? I’m “creative clever”, not “funny clever.”)

Snow time like the present! (I’m ashamed I said that.) Bosko heads out to serch with his mismatched dog sled team. Yuppy, Yoppy, and Yahoopy. They may not be the best dogs around, but they don’t give up. Don’t matter how bad the weather gets! They stay on their course, despite all the contortioning their bodies go through. Even getting smushed against a building and becoming one single, horrendous, abomination creature doesn’t faze them all that much. (I’m so proud and nauseous.)

Said building is a saloon. Seems like there’s people inside it too. Looks like Bosko will have to suck in his fear, and check to see if his adversary has chosen such a place to hide out. Why! This place isn’t scary! In fact, I’d say it’s downright merry! Everybody is smiling, dancing, and enjoying the entertainment that Honey is providing. And since Bosko IS dating her, he has every right to hop up next to her and perform a little as well. (You’ll never find a better hand-blower-player in the world. I’ll see to it.)

Unfortunately, all that did was whet Bosko’s appetite for applause. Time for some ivory tickling! (He even has some backup provided by the angriest beavers this side of Nickelodeon.) Either nobody wanted to hear Bosko play, or they just knew his music would attract an antagonist. Either way, they leave just in time for Leg’s a peg Zeke to waltz in like he owns the place, and fire every which way. This looks like a job for the Mounted Police! Bosko has a gun at the ready, and a hand that can change from black to white. (I wish I could do that. Ladies can’t resist such a cute trick) Too bad his gun is a pop gun. Things look bad.

BLACKOUT! It really is Bosko’s only option. Dousing the lights gives him a bit of advantage, as his chromatically challenged skin blends in perfectly with the absence of light. (Zeke however, is a rather bright shade of black, so he is always visible. Can’t you see him?) With the thug disoriented, Bosko is able to get a hold of a machine gun and unload it into the big guy’s posterior. Then, all it takes is a little action with a sword, and a rifle to reveal that under his fur, he was as naked as the rest of us. With his source of power gone, the brute flees into the distance as everyone conveniently comes out of hiding to cheer Bosko on. (Including Mickey clones 540 and 176. They might be my favorites.)

Favorite Part: That sword I mentioned? Bosko doesn’t just poke the guy. He freakin’ impales him with it! Seriously, I don’t think it could go in any further without sticking out the other end! The Mounted Police don’t f*ck around.)

Personal Rating: 2

Robot Rabbit

“I’ve got a pest I want contwolled.”

Directed by I. Freleng; Story by Warren Foster; Animation by Virgil Ross, Arthur Davis, Manuel Perez, and Ken Champin; Layouts by Hawley Pratt; Backgrounds by Irv Wyner; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on December 12, 1953.

(I like the off-kilter theme song. It sure sounds like something robot themed.)

Farming is hard enough work as it is. You’ve got to wake up too early, work constantly, and even then a lot of your production is up to pure chance. If you grow terrible crops, you will get no profit. Growing delicious ones just attracts pests. So we find farmer Elmer, irate about the rabbit eating all of his crispy, mouth-watering, glowing, orange carrots. (It’s funny how often we perceive Bugs as the protagonist.)

Elmer is not giving up. He gives the ACME pest control company a ring, and learns about their newest means of dealing with pests. It’s all robotic. You’ve got your basic, build-able robot body, and all the instructions it requires is a picture. Just stick one in the slot, and it will remove the problem itself. (Barring a few mistakes. God shouldn’t have given donkey’s long ears if he didn’t want them mistaken for lagomorphs.)

The robot does catch sight of Bugs and manages to give him a pretty decent punch to boot. He even excavates Bugs out of his hole. (And the animators forgot to animate Bugs’ mouth while he speaks here. Oops.) Could this thing actually be the one who can put a stop to Bug’s mischief? (Chelonians notwithstanding, of course) You might think so, but like many an early model of robot, this one can’t abide water. It’s too bad that Bugs leads him for a merry chase through the sprinkler. Stuck with rust, the bot must wait for Elmer to give him some oil before he can continue the chase.

Drag time! Using a bucket, and an old pot-belly stove, Bugs makes a rather fetching fembot. Pesty sure thinks so! He even offers “her” a box of nuts. In turn, Bugs throws a literal wrench into things, thus sending the robot to pieces. (I’ve never seen a guy take a break-up so hard. Because I don’t have any friends.) Once he pulls himself together, the robot chases Bugs onto a construction site. Surprisingly, BOTH of them avoid getting smashed into pieces. At least at first.

For you see, back at home, Elmer wonders how things are going. If Bugs returning a bucket of scrap metal is any indication, A.I. was no match for the real deal. (Mother Nature: 1, Father Tech:0)

Favorite Part: Bugs fakes his death on Elmer yet again. Unlike every other time, Elmer is ecstatic, and even shares a dance with Bugs before catching on. (Always good to shake up the formula.)

Personal Rating: 3

 

Dog Tales

“Now, here’s a Newfoundland. With his grandfather, an Oldfoundland.”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Tedd Pierce; Animation by George Grandpre, Ted Bonnicksen, Warren Batchelder, and Tom Ray; Layouts by Robert Gribbroek; Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas. Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterizations by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Milt Franklyn. A Looney Tune released on July 26, 1958.

I’ve said it several times before, dogs are amazing animals that deserve all the adulation they get and more. (Lots more.) And I’ll continue to say that. (With the loss of a Grandfather in my imminent future, my dog is likely the only thing that will keep me going.) With that said, I can’t really fault McKimson for releasing a gag-centric short full of reused and obvious canine jokes, but as late as 1958? Was there any demand?

Not only are the jokes pretty tired, but we aren’t even given a lot of original dogs to carry the gags. This does lead to a fun game of “Which Looney Tune did I hear that one in?” (Not now, not ever with a home edition.) Not only that, but the animators even sneak in half the cast from Disney’s “Lady and the Tramp!” Lady, Jock, Peg, Boris, Pedro, Bull, and Dachsie all appear to illustrate a small sampling of the various “flavors” the wonderful animals can come in. (All with a slight paint job, so Disney’s lawyers don’t get too upset.)

Those gags? They’re the kind of ones you’d see in a Kindergarten level joke book. The Chihuahua shivers because he really IS cold. The French Poodle is a canine Casanova. (Mel uses his Speedy and Pepe voices for them, respectively.) A Pinscher pinches Private Doberman. (A “Sergeant Bilko” reference? That’ll hold up great in reruns!) Heck, Charlie Dog makes a cameo even! (Sadly, doing a near word for word repeat of his “50% various breeds” bit from “Often an Orphan.”)

I won’t lie, I do get a sick sense of pleasure seeing a boy drop a cat into a dog show. (Leading to ANOTHER cameo. This time of the large mass of hounds who chased Bugs in “Foxy by Proxy.”) And before any of you say it, that child looks NOTHING like me. (I don’t wear hats.) So, how should we end a mediocre short full of mediocre table scraps that even your loyal dog would feel insulted to be offered? Another obvious joke! How about the one about the dog who travels across the entire United States, not to reunite with his family (that live several time zones away for what reason, I’m not sure, exactly) but to get a bone buried under a tree? (It’s a classic.)

Favorite Part: The narrator unable to tell if the dog on screen is a “setter pointing,” or a “Pointer sitting.” Ultimately showing a “Pointsettia” instead. (I honestly can’t say I’ve heard that one before.)

Personal Rating: 2 (I’d give it a one if humanity didn’t love dogs so much. So I think every Homo sapiens on the planet will agree with my rating.)

Porky’s Hotel

“Hello.Where’dyagetthefunnylookin’foot?Gee,that’sthefunniestlookin’footinthewholeworld. I beeet’cha.”

Supervision by Robert Clampett; Animation by Norm McCabe and John Carey; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on September 2, 1939.

If you’ve ever driven through the scenic two-toned gray lands of America’s navel, you might have seen a bumper sticker for Donut Center. It’s not important enough to be listed on any maps, and most people who have heard of it, tend to erase it from their memory as soon as something slightly more exciting occurs. It gets to a point where a good number of people start to wonder if it wasn’t just some mass hallucinogenic…hallucination. It’s out there, though. You just need to keep your eyes open at all times. No blinking.

Apologies to Alex Hirsch. It’s hard not to be inspired by his world.

Donut Center is a quaint little town. It’s only got one hotel, but the guy running the place is Porky. No rebuttal. Porky is already a great guy, he naturally has a great hotel. (And it’s small enough for him to run it all himself. No employees.) During his mid-morning sweep, he sees a fancy type car approaching, and it looks like it’s making a beeline for his establishment. Of course it is! No questions. The car’s occupant is a goat. He has gout. Good thing his name is already Gouty, or I’d be calling him that myself. (No guilt.)

Old Gouty wants a rest. Porky’s hotel is the best. It’s logical that he would come to this hotel above all others for his need of a calm getaway. While Porky attends to the goat’s luggage, Gouty makes himself comfortable. All too soon, conflict rears its infuriating head. (No peace.) Enter Gabby the goose. (I think. He’s at least some member of the anatidae family.) If you are one of the highest types of cool, and watch every Warner Bros. cartoon in chronological order, you’ll be aware of this kid. He’s made a couple of appearances before this, his…swan song. (No laughs.)

Gabby is suitably named. (Though if his dialogue is any indication, it’s not his birth name.) The kid does not shut up. (No shortage of breath.) He talks and gabs and yaks and blabs until you are all for Gouty trying to scare the little turd off. (I have my own Gabby at work. Even if the pest calls me “Daffy” I still want his vocal cords gone. No speaking.) It fails. The only way one is going to get rid of Gabby is if something else catches his attention. Thank goodness for bees. The kid grabs a hammer and tries to end the threat to his status as “Alpha Vex.” (No mercy.) I wonder what comedic escapades this might lead to?

Lunch time! Porky’s hotel may not have the five stars it deserves, but the food doesn’t lie! Mouth watering options like lamb, turkey, and coconut custard are but a sampling of the journey’s your taste buds can expect to endure. Can’t decide? Porky recommends the blue plate. Even Gouty is interested, and requests some for his midday meal. Oh wait. He’s a Toon goat. He’s just going to eat the plate, isn’t he? (No calories.) Oh well, if there’s one guy I trust to make ceramics delectable, it’s Porky. (Gouty loses half of his mouth when he chews Old age can be such a b*tch.)

BANG! Of course! You knew it would happen! Gabby, in his bee is for blood lust, has just brought the hammer down on Gouty’s poor foot. He’s been pleasant for far too long. The kid must die. No objections here. The chase begins, but things start to get out of control, as Gouty, Gabby, and a door I’ll name Gertie, all end up on a collision course with the wall up ahead. Even knocking Porky into the bill of the pelican he is escorting. (The poor bird has been to Katz Hotel? I wonder if they ever got that spider problem fixed.) The crash ends with the two rivals’ heads caught in a painting. Fittingly, Gouty’s head plays the part of executioner, while Gabby plays executionee. (No greater joy.)

Favorite Part: During Gabby’s bee chase, he gets a door slammed on him by an oblivious Porky. If only I could do the same to my “Gabby.” (And if you think I’m being too harsh, the guy is clearly in his mid-thirties. I’m not hating some overly obnoxious child.)

Personal Rating: 3 (I don’t really have a problem with this Gabby, despite what I may type.)