Directed by Robert Clampett; Story by Michael Sasanoff; Animation by Robert McKimson; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl Stalling. Released in 1945.
Finally get to talk about Beaky again! I love this guy! (No! Really?) But the poor bird only had four appearances in his theatrical career, so I can’t give him his own entry. (And yet, he was pretty popular in merchandise at the time.) At first, he was just called “The Snerd Bird” (Due to his resemblance to Mortimer Snerd) And he wasn’t voiced by Mel. (At first) His original voice voice actor was a talented young man named Kent Rogers. He was a semi-regular in these shorts. Being the original voice of Henrey Hawk and Junyer Bear, and voicing caricatures of Hollywood’s finest in “Hollywood steps out” (And he was only 14 at the time!) He died during some training for World War II. (Friggin’ Hitler! This is all his fault!) Another case of what could have been.
This short starts very similar to Beaky’s first appearance in “Bugs Bunny gets the boid.” Mama buzzard even telling her boys to bring back the same things she did then. Perhaps aware that this has been done before, everyone’s lines are more exaggerated. Beaky really doesn’t want to go, but is kicked out anyway. His brothers target a farm and each grab some poultry. (By the necks even! They’re not kidding around.) Beaky tries to do the same, but crashes into a weather vane. His mom rescues him, sarcastically comparing him to his father. (Am I the only one who’s curious about him?) She points out his brothers are now each carrying home a sheep. Wanting to make his mom proud, Beaky tries the same, but just pulls the wool off. (The sheep beats him for that) The brothers have moved on to even bigger game by this time. Including: a cow complete with a farmer milking her, (the farmer avoids being part of their dinner, but still plummets to his doom) a dog who really doesn’t want to die, (he desperately clings to a fire hydrant) a freakin’ horse drawn carriage complete with driver and romantic couple, (at least they’re going to die happily) and even a parade of circus elephants! (Including a cute little baby one at the end who informs Disney’s lawyers that he’s NOT Dumbo.) Mama happily shoves all the meat into the pot. Seeing as Beaky hasn’t come home yet, she figures he must be bringing home something fantastic! Well, he caught a bumblebee. (A baby one yes, but still…) The mother comes to her young’s rescue and stings Beaky. (Since she’s the queen, she can do that without dying.) While he soothes his aching tail feathers, a creature laughs at him. Seeing that he is taller than the thing that is most definitely a caterpillar or turtle, he begins pummeling and insulting the creature. Even nearly swearing, calling him a piece of shhhhhhoe leather. (I didn’t know the term even existed in the 40’s.) Unfortunately, Shorty (as Beaky calls him) is actually the head of a dragon. A. Dragon. And it’s not too happy about Beaky trying to carry it off. It roars, but Beaky tells it to stop scaring Shorty. He realizes it IS Shorty and is chased into a cloud where he is presumably thrashed. Later that night, Mama laments the fact her son is gone. (Isn’t that sweet? As hard as she may be on him, it’s because she loves him and just wants him to be strong.) Every parent’s worst nightmare is over though when Beaky shows up. Perfectly healthy, but a little roughed up. And empty handed. (No really. Look at his wings. There’s nothing there.) Happy as she is, she still scolds him for not bringing home any meat. (It’s the only way he’ll learn) It’s a shame that the short ends here. I want to see her face when she see’s the DRAGON that her son is currently holding. (And that is why I’ll never forget Beaky. He took on a dragon and won. He’s going to get all the girls.)
Personal Rating: 3, but if the beginning wasn’t an obvious repeat, I might have opted for a 4.
Bonus story time! My mom was shopping the other day and bought me a Daffy sweater. When she rung it up, the idiot stock boy said “Oh hey, Donald!” (Good thing I wasn’t there, or he currently wouldn’t be) Luckily, my mom reprimanded him. (I’m so proud of her.)