“I don’t like campin’ anyway!”
Supervision by Ub Iwerks; Animation by Charles Jones and Robert Clampett; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on May 15, 1937. (The first of the two cartoons Mr. Iwerks supposedly directed.)
“Gabby? Who’s Gabby? I don’t remember any Gabby. You must’ve made the guy up. It sounds like you’d do.” Well, when you decide you’re done gabbin about Gabby, you can join us for my introduction to the caprine. With Porky getting some good popularity and Beans abandoned in a well, a new sidekick was apparently needed. Daffy was still barely one short in. No proof that he was coming back at all yet. Instead, Porky got the goat. Gabby Goat.
He’s not he most fleshed out character. He’s your stereotypical hothead. Short temper, almost always sulking. Almost like the W.B. saw a certain sailor duck and thought giving him horns would make him unrecognizable. People don’t really seem to like Gabby; finding him unpleasant. Unlike Donald or Grumpy, he starts off in a sour mood. (Wouldn’t you if you were raised on goat milk? That’s a joke, by the way.) The other guys either start off smiling, (giving us reason to give sympathy when the universe won’t) or prove that his dominant trait isn’t all he has going for him. (Plus, with six others who are always in a good mood, he adds some much needed comic relief.)
Guess what? The Looney fanboy likes Gabby. I don’t know, I always saw the situation like this: Gabby isn’t the most pleasant guy to be with and he knows it. Porky has the patience of a saint, and Gabby knows it. Maybe he considers Porky his only true friend because he’s the only one willing to look past his billy-goat gruff exterior? Reading too deep, sure. But who hasn’t given more backstory to a character they themselves seem to like? At least Gabby wasn’t totally forgotten after his brief three appearances. Guess who I saw in in 2018?
And now I’m finally ready to get to the story.
Porky is going camping with Gabby to celebrate the latter’s debut. The road is currently in use by a van that their car can’t get around. That’s not Porky honking, Gabby’s the one with all the horns. As they pull ahead, Gabby takes the time to yell at the other driver. Luckily, the guy has something for these kind of situations: an arm on the car that can smack problems. He’s good natured and recommends the little guy relax. He reacts the same way Petunia would. (Isn’t that the same voice clip sped up?)
Further along, another problem angers Gabby: the car stops. They’re going to have to push. (And yet, Porky pulls.) The car goes downhill and they chase, but role reverse once the car gets on a uphill slant, and comes back. Don’t worry they get knocked into the vehicle and proceed to the campgrounds without any more problems. The spot they park in is so beautiful, that even Gabby can’t help but wear a smile. (Not pants though. It’s Porky’s turn to wear them this week.) Porky sets out to set up the tent; asking Gabby to unload the car. Naturally, the goat grumbles.
While Porky works, he is assaulted by an insect. I’m guessing a horsefly. He asks Gabby to get a swatter, but the goat decides a shovel will work just as well. He swats the the collapsed canvas the two are under, giving Porky a different kind of welt then he already has. Gabby missed the target though, and the fly gets him next. (Gabby clearly knows nothing about insects as he thinks it stung him.) He tries to kill it, but only succeeds in smacking the motor out of their car. At least Porky can finish the tent now.
Looking good. He just needs a little extra bit of rope to tie it all down. Gabby grabs a piece, not aware that its part of an outboard motor. The more he pulls the more it gets revved up, until it flies through the air with the greatest of ease, and turns their tent into a slice of Swiss cheese. This thing could easily take a head off, so the two flee in the car. (The motor still jutting out, nice attention to detail.) They don’t escape much when they find themselves behind the same van from earlier. The motor causes the two vehicles to crash.
When the dust clears, Gabby finally has something to laugh about: the van driver got his comeuppance! (Gabby’s laugh sounds a bit like a bleating goat. Appropriate.) Since the van arm survived, Gabby is given another smack. (And even though I like the guy, I do think it’s funny that Porky beams at this.)
Favorite Part: When Porky asks for the swatter, Gabby doesn’t make any snide comments or angry faces, he immediately starts looking. Out of character? Perhaps, but I see it as proof that Gabby really does think of Porky as his only friend. I’m not kiddin’.
Personal Rating: 2. I don’t think many others will be able to enjoy Gabby as much as I do.