Direction: I. Freleng; Story by Michael Maltese, Tedd Pierce; Animation by Gerry Chiniquy, Manuel Perez, Ken Champin, and Virgil Ross; Layouts and Backgrounds by Paul Julian, Hawley Pratt; Musical Direction by Carl Stalling. Released in 1946
A fairy tale that everyone seems to know but no one talks about is “The shoemaker and the Elves” Here’s Warner Bros. take on the tale. (Their first one anyway)
Help is wanted at “Jake’s Shoe Repairs.” (These places don’t exist anymore do they?) But no one is coming by and poor old Jake is stuck lying in bed, sick. But wait! Elves seem to be popping out of every possible hiding place. (To “The dance of the sugarplum fairy”) They immediately get to work. One elf nails a sole onto a shoe, but it comes back to hit him and knocks all of the nails out of his mouth and just barely missing another. Other elves are using a waffle iron to make golf shoes. (I think that’s what they are. I know fish, not shoes. I can tell you about soles, but not soles) Another uses a jack to lift up a rejected 4F shoe to a beautiful 1A. All the while, Jake is watching in amazement. A Stan Laurel elf paints some shoe tongues red. (And accidentally paints the tongue of an Oliver Hardy elf.) Then, to Strauss’s “Tales from the Vienna woods,” (which we heard previously in “Corny Concerto”) a bunch of big elves (big for elves anyway) all hammer a nail while taking the occasional break to let a little elf feel like he’s helping with his tiny hammer. They eventually end up flattening him. And two moronic elves try to hit a nail into a shoe, but the one with the hammer hits his partner’s foot and ends up hitting himself in the head. Another tries to button up a boot, (to the “Chinese Dance” from “The Nutrcracker.”) but keeps finding one button left over. (I always hated that kind of thing as a kid) He does it many times and the only difference is that the extra button seems to end up on different sides of the boot. Eventually he gives up and cuts the extra off. Many elves work on an ugly old boot. (To Chopin’s “Minute Waltz”) and transform it into barely a shoe. (At least it looks pretty) And the two elf idiots are still trying to get the nail in with no success. One elf uses a pair of razor blades like skates to cut out some insoles. (Another tale form my childhood: as a kid, I always would take those out if I found any. No idea why) He ends up falling through the (leather?) into the water below. (There was a mop and bucket underneath) And then an Indian looking elf charms a shoelace to lace itself up to The Nutcracker’s Arabian Dance. (And this part was cut when shown on TV. That’s pathetic) Back to the idiot elves, they finally have an idea. The one with the hammer aims for his partner’s foot this time. He ends up finally hitting the nail much to their joy. And to Strauss’s “Voices of Spring” an elf punches out a design in a shoe. (The “Eat at Joe’s sign is a nice touch) And then we get my favorite part from “The Nutcracker,” the Russian dance. (So lively.) A big elf hits a nail into a shoe and a little one hits it back. They go back and forth a bit before the little one hammers the nail’s sharp end down and hits the big one’s head. Some more hit nails to the music while a couple dance in boots. (That’s not really helping guys) Seeing the elves have it all under control, Jake picks up his golf clubs and prepares to leave. (I can’t tell if he was faking it all along or not, but I choose to think he was. It’s funnier that way.) Unfortunately for him, the elves catch sight as he tries to leave. They pick him up and tuck him back into bed, hammering his sheets down so he can’t leave. As they leave, one little elf takes his clubs and hat as payment.
Personal Rating: 3
Don’t expect a new post on the 15th. I’m going on one last trip before summer vacation ends. And my work schedule has changed, so updates will once again be on Tuesdays