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 thinh 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.)

Buddy the Detective

“Ahhh! Such beauty!”

Supervision by Jack King; Animation by Paul Smith and Don Williams; Music by Bernard Brown. A Looney Tune released on October 17, 1934.

I really want to like this short more than I do. The atmosphere is full of macabre merriment and a decent villain to boot. We’ve seen this guy before, (since blogging in chronological order would have made too much sense) in “A Cartoonist’s Nightmare.”  where he was going by the alias of “The Mad Doctor.” (Because if you’re going to change your name, you might as well be inspired by one of Mickey Mouse’s best works.)

Why is this musician mad? Well… I guess he kind of sucks at his profession? I think it sounds rather nice, but I will admit the tree is doing a better job than he is. Of course, maybe if he bothered to practice, he could improve. Instead, he uses hypnotism to get others to play in his stead. (Which makes you the complete opposite of a musician, but hey, at least we get to see a frog play the piano.)

(Who knew originality was so hard?)

It may be specific, but I suppose what he’s doing IS illegal. Even if it isn’t, he must have broken out of some sort of prison, seeing as we randomly cut to some girl reading such a headline in the paper. Enough exposition, who’s the Mad Musician going to force to be his next performer? He’s literally going to pick a name at random from the phone book. (After all, he is a MAD musician. Rational Musician doesn’t have any kind of catchy ring.) The name he has selected is: Cookie! (No last name given.) You’re the next contestant on: “Hypno-Tease”! Come on down to our studio, now! (And don’t think I didn’t see Clampett’s name in the book as well. I’d love to see what he could have done with this picture.)

M.M’s powers don’t need eye contact. He can summon you over the phone. (Does hypnosis make a sound?) Either way, the girl who is only Cookie in name falls to his “charms” and begins making her way to his place for some piano practice. (Really though. That’s Cookie? Why the redesign? She looks like a a five year old girl!) Buddy, meanwhile, is actually in the cartoon as well. He’s busy staring at a picture of the (probably underage) Cookie. (This is the real reason Buddy is forgotten today. Big, big scandal.) Her dog (that I will call “Crumb.”) alerts the creep that something is wrong and he suits up in his detective outfit, so he can save her. (It’s not really a mystery. Seeing as Crumb knows where to go, it’s more of a confrontation. See, Clampett would know better.)

He makes it there fast enough, but has to contend with…skeletons. (Well, I guess if I had an evil music obsession, and hypnosis powers, I’d reenact “Silly Symphonies” too.)

They really aren’t much of a threat. They don’t hurt Buddy or even seem to scare him much. He even follows one around instead of trying to rescue the minor he was longing for. (He’s the hero?) The skeletons have more reason to be scared, as Crumb is liking what he is seeing. (You ever think about that? Without your skin, your dog would eat you for breakfast, dinner and tea. And we let them sleep in our beds!) Oh, and Buddy jumps around the cel at one point too. (Clampett needs that director chair NOW! I won’t wait until 1937!)

I guess the hypno power wears off, as Cookie is no longer playing and screams for help. Buddy is able to get to the room she’s being held in, by use of a portable door, and the final battle commences. While they do that, I better give Cookie the character bio I promised.

Cookie

Generic love interest for bland as rice character.

And the tussle is over. Maddy isn’t competent as a fighter. As soon as Buddy gets a hold of his head, he immediately ceases any attempt to struggle, and lets Buddy toss him around. (I didn’t know Buddy had such strength.) He flings the fiend around, and gets him trapped under a foot stool. Time to celebrate with some more music! (It’s all we got. It’s the depression.)

Favorite Part: I like how Buddy enters the villains lair. He shines a flashlight through a magnifying glass, making a blow torch. The simplest solution really is the best.

Personal Rating: 2. (Animation error and clumsy storytelling aside, horror imagery is always a fun time)

Bars and Stripes Forever

“Why don’t somebody do something? Do something! Say, that’s a good idea! Maybe I can do something. Sure!”

Supervision by Ben Hardaway and Cal Dalton; Story by Jack Miller; Animation by Rod Scribner; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on April 8, 1939.

Welcome to Alcarazz prison! Thought there was no such thing as a “bad” dog? Well, I still say there isn’t, but this short is full of canines who are incarcerated for some reason or another. (Maybe this is just a pound, and this is all seen from a pup’s point of view?)

We don’t have any named characters, or at least, not yet. Our large thug of the picture shall now go by: Julius. Which naturally leaves the small comic relief as: Ben. Don’t be fooled. Ben may look innocent enough, with his tiny frame, oversized clothes and squeak of a voice. But he’s in here for a reason. He snapped Dinky Doodle’s neck! (Mostly because he was the only person small enough.) These two have a bit of a running gag: Julius does something to rile up the guard, and Ben takes the punishment, all the time, every time.

We’ve also got a warden who doesn’t factor much into the picture, but he is a caricature of Hugh Herbert. So, he has that going for him. I like him. (He’s silly.) He seems really into his job. Happily waking up the inmates, and believing their blatant lies about who dug the holes in their cells. (Mice, my tail. Rats, maybe. Groundhogs? Possibly. Capybaras? By all means!… I’m rambling again, aren’t I?) There’s even a joke about one prisoner begging not to be taken to a chair, despite being told it’ll be over very soon. (Turns out, it was a barber chair. But admit it, you didn’t know that right away.)

Still, nice as it may be inside, a prison is a prison. Julius wants out. (His crime was a lot less impressive. He just shot Scrappy in the arm.)

(Admit it. You’d do the same)

He plans a riot for 2 ‘o clock. Good thing the dogs are allowed at least two guns per person in here. They let loose at the allotted hour, and Julius uses it as a cover to make a break for it. He’s almost immediately caught. What else can he do, but sing? It actually does work! I mean, the guards don’t put up much of an effort to stop him, and they get locked up to boot, but Julius is able to wish the warden farewell to his face. (Note to self: a song can get me out of work. Acapulco, here I come!)

Scratch those plans. It works for less than a minute before Warden Paws realizes the severity of the situation. His boys set off to bring the rascal back, and they manage to do it too! All too soon, Julius is back in the can, but now with much more security to keep him inside. Still bitter, he clubs the passing guard over the head. Ben is cleaning outside the cell, and he knows that he’s going to get the punishment yet again. If that’s the way it must be, he does it his way, and punishes himself. (With behavior like that, he’ll make parole in no time!)

Favorite Part: Warden Paws. He could make Death Row jolly! (And he probably does!)

Personal Rating: 3

Plane Dippy

“Get a load of this!”

Supervision by Fred Avery; Animation by Sid Sutherland and Virgil Ross; Musical Score by Bernard Brown. A Looney Tune released on April 30, 1936.

As my tribute to dads everywhere and my love of over complicating things, I choose this picture as today’s subject, because many people consider pigs as food, I.E., fodder. (And I’ll submit to that mentality when said food flys.)

Well, what’s Porky up to this time? Enlisting in the armed forces? A noble pursuit. What sounds like a good fit for my man? Infantry? Nah, too much walking. Navy? That’s for ducks. How about the air corp? That’s the ticket! Porky heads right on in, eager to join. Too bad this is back in the Dougherty days, so I hope you had nothing planned for the rest of your life. That’s about how long one conversation with the pig will last. (Don’t try and cheat by giving him some writing utensils. His stutter affects handwriting too)

Still, everyone deserves a fair shot at things, and Porky is given a uniform and tests. Beans makes a cameo to help set up a dizziness test. (I’m sure that’s the correct term too.) Porky spins all over the room, and when he is tested on firing a gun, he takes out the whole building before even scratching the plane. Looks like he’s ready to me! (I don’t care if I’m looking at him through a fanboy’s eyes. If I could swap someone else’s eyes with mine, I would. And I’d still think how I do. Eyes aren’t brains.) The guy in charge must want my fist in his gut, as he just gives Porky a feather duster. (Prick.)

Porky’s orders have him assisting a scientist by the name of Professor Blotz. He’s got something in the works that will revolutionize the airplane: a voice controlled robot plane! It’s very easy to operate. Just speak into the microphone, and tell the plane what you want it to do. No training required. (OH! So that’s why Porky was sent here! Now he can fight! It’s no different than my dream of having a self driving car in the Indy 500.) Porky even gets to give it a try. (If Mel was here, the plane wouldn’t be shaking so much. Must we really wait another ten months for his otherworldly skills?)

Porky sets to work cleaning off the plane, but Blotz doesn’t properly secure his command console, and just leaves it on the windowsill. Coincidentally, Kitty has just noticed a dog belonging to that weird looking dog child I made fun of so many years ago. Wait… Kitty made at least five appearances, didn’t she? *sigh* Here we go again

Kitty

Another character who was often used as a love interest. (Although, she sometimes was just a friend) She was voiced by Bernice Hanson.

I don’t look forward to the day when I have to do that with Cookie…

Being the only anthropomorphic dog in the relationship, the bigger one gets to force the smaller one into doing various tricks for his amusement. Even worse, since the voice command module is still on, it picks up the children’s voices and transmits them to the plane. Poor Porky. He picked the wrong time to be cleaning the inside of it. He gets taken along for the ride, doing hundreds if not thousands of dollars in property damages to the rest of the countryside. Demolishing buildings, destroying shipments of hay, and even sending the clouds into a panic. (And even then the children aren’t innocent! The bigger dog actually sics his smaller counterpart on some non-anthropomorphic cat. Kitty is oddly okay with this.)

Things get worse before getting better, as the amusing pup attracts a whole throng of children. All of them act as inconsiderate as children usually are, and all yell out countless tricks for the innocent animal to do. Poor thing! (Never give most children a pet. They’ll abuse it.) At least large dog (who I should’ve just called Rover this whole time) decides the exhausted creature has had enough and tells him that they are going home. Luckily for Porky, the plane follows suit. (And it still looks like mint condition! Blotz, you ARE impressive.) Still, this whole experience has been quite harrowing, so Porky immediately calls it quits and reconsiders joining the infantry. (Being able to admit you can’t do something. Another very adult mindset! I’m prouder still!)

Favorite Part: We get to learn Porky’s full name in this picture! Bet you didn’t know it was “Porky Cornelius Washington Otis Lincoln Abner Eleanor Aloysius Casper Jefferson Filbert Horatius Narcissus Pig” *Sniff* So… beautiful.

Personal Rating: 3

Greetings Bait

“Don’t be so reluctant, Dragon!”

Supervision by I. Freleng; Story by Tedd Pierce; Animation by Manuel Perez; Musical Direction by Carl Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on May 15, 1943.

Fishing. A nice way to sleep and use the lack of fish biting as an excuse. Unless of course, you’re one of a rare few who actually LIKES wrenching a cold, slippery, wide-eyed, innocent animal from its natural habitat and either eating it, or mounting it on a wall. (Or the even rarer one’s who catch and release. They’re my favorite.) Our mystery fisherman of the picture is probably the “eating” type, as he sends his line down with a serving platter.

He has some bait as well. Believe it or else, this worm has a bit of a history. This short actually marks his second appearance! (Out of two.) He previously debuted two years earlier in “The Wacky Worm.” Which is why we’re going to call him “Wack” from now on. It makes me wonder why Freleng didn’t try to develop any more pictures with this worm, seeing as how this one here is an Oscar nominee.

Wack has a mustache, so in Warner Bros. fashion, he talks like Jerry Colona. Upon reaching the bottom of the water, he makes himself a sandwich. By which I mean, he makes “himself” a sandwich. He’s one of those animals who’s happy to be a part of a fishing team. Like these two were:

Of course, that doesn’t mean that Wack is suicidal. As soon as a fish tries to partake of his wacky flesh, the worm darts away, and gives the line a tug to reel in the goods. Switching out the small (but not literally) fry for a bigger catch on the way up. One fish, is that enough? Not for out mystery, fish-tory, man. Down Wack goes for part two. Fish is fish, so he has no qualms about trying to lure in one of the “lesser” varieties. This guy clearly has more mercury inside of him than a shark; if his mannerisms are any indication. He’s not even smart enough to try and take the bait. He’s gotta be fooled into thinking taking the hook is a circus act. (Seriously. Don’t put that guy in your mouth.)

As is befitting his “Wacky” name, out worm is willing to dress as a mermaid to get the fish’s attention. It works, but it isn’t his boss pulling the line up, but a crab instead. Wack almost loses the latest catch in the crab’s digestive tract, before correcting himself. The crustacean isn’t too pleased to be cheated out of a free meal, and chases the little guy. (I figured this was all taking place in freshwater, but the appearance of seahorses says otherwise. I can admit I made a mistake.)

Wack accuses the crab of only being tough due to it’s exoskeleton. (It does make up for his lack of a spine.) Good thing, that as an arthropod, he can shed it to prove the mouthy annelid wrong. Wack turns to us and admits that the following fight isn’t going to be pretty. In fact, the camera is going to return to the surface while he takes on his clawed foe. (Not cool. I had bets to pool!) After our thrashing  subsides, the loser is reeled in. Seems pride really does come before a fall, as Wack is the loser. (And our fisherman is revealed at last! Who else would make use of Colona-worm, than the human Jerry, himself?)

Favorite part: Probably what got this short it’s chance at Oscar-dom. (Oh well. Donald earned it this year) When Wack is being chased, each of the crab’s eye-stalks view him around different corners of a chest. We actually get to see what each eye sees! Wack running away from one, and closer to the other! It’s art!

Personal Rating: 3, as a whole, but the eye segment earns a four on its own.

The Pest that came to Dinner

“I thought there was a ch-chair, there.”

Directed by Arthur Davis; Story by George Hill; Animation by John Carey, Basil Davidovich, J.C. Melendez, and Don Williams; Layouts by Don Smith; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on September 11, 1948.

Before we begin, I’d just like to say that I’ve been viewing the new Looney Tunes that have been airing on HBO Max. They’re okay, but are they as good as the classics? Well, they say there are no stupid questions, but that one alone disproves it. Of course not, but they are entertaining. I’ll give them a post of their own; about a decade or so from now. I’ve got a lot of other shorts, movies, and the occasional T.V. series already planned before then.

Relaxation time! My favorite kind of time, and probably Porky’s too. But, there’s a problem: all of his best furniture disappears before his buttocks can make contact. Seems like as bad as we have it in this year, things still sucked back then. Only instead of virus outbreaks, they were stuck with the termite variety. Luckily, Porky only has to deal with one. Unluckily, that one is Pierre. The biggest, hungriest termite on the face of the Earth. And because he is a termite, he is also dressed up like an adorable lumberjack. Because he’s Canadian. Because he’s named Pierre. (And if you want to go full circle: “Pierre” sounds like “pear”, pears are sweet, sweet things are what you want to eat, eating is what a termite does.)

Pierre is also an “artiste” as the Canuck’s say, as not only does he eat the wood, but he makes it into fanciful designs as he does. Of course, Porky TRIES to kill him, but Pierre can eat his way out of any problem. (Shame that all of Porky’s weapons are made of Pierre’s favorite food.) Time to call on the professional: an exterminator by the name of I. M. A. Sureshot. (Oh boy. Another game of initial deciding. Let’s go with Ignatius McAloysius. Sureshot for short.) He’s a dog who wares less clothing than Porky (who rocks a sexy robe in this picture) and has a permanent grin on his face. (He’s either a termite in disguise, or a shark.)

He comes over to help my pig pal. He’s not actually going to do any exterminating, but he does at least provide the tools. Among their attempts: Porky tries to vacuum up Pierre. (The termite eats the handrail Porky is standing on) The two try to flood Pierre out of the wall. (He brings the hose into the room with them, flooding that) and the cartoon classic:  TNT. (Not only does Sureshot not stick around for this one, but he loses his voice for a bit. His mouth moves, but nothing comes out. What is this? Dingo Pictures?)

After the explosion, Porky shows up at Sureshot’s place. He is fed up with the guy’s help, and he and Pierre are teaming up to teach him a lesson. (Before I forget to mention, I like Pierre’s mustache. It’s probably his antennae.) They eat the dog’s desk. But how will they live together in peace? Easy. Porky opens up his own furniture store, filled with Pierre’s artistic talents. (Turning your problem into a solution. That’s quite the grown-up way of handling things. I’m proud of you, Porky.)

Favorite Part: Sureshot gives Porky some poison that is guaranteed to send the target to “Termite Heaven©.” It really works, as when Pierre redirects the spray to Porky, he gives said afterlife a visit. (24/7 wood buffets!)

Personal Rating: 3