Smile, Darn Ya, Smile

“Boil, darn ya, boil!”

Animation by Isadore Freleng and Max Maxwell; Music by Abe Lyman and His Californians.  A Merrie Melody released on September 5, 1931. (This is the earliest short we know the air date of)

Yes, this is the same song the toons sing in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” and what better character to have star in a short that’s title theme was used in a Disney movie, than a guy who looks like he ran away from Ub Iwerk’s sketchbook? Remember Foxy? I’ve mentioned him before. He still looks an awful lot like a mouse. But he’s acting like a lucky rabbit. Here, he is running a trolley. (And he’s sure to have some troubles)

His first customer is a hippo. The perfect choice for making fat jokes. (sdarwkcab secnetnes reh fo lla syas ehs kniht I ,oslA) Foxy takes a pin out of her hat and stabs her. Rather extreme, but she does shrink. (Not due to a large loss of blood, but all the air she had in her.) Even though she is now compact enough to take a ride, she is cross with the fox for some reason. He couldn’t care less. He has rounds to make. And besides then he’d have to share his alone time with his girlfriend, Roxy. (Who’s not even waiting at any station. But when you date the conductor, you get special privileges.)

Life is just so grand, that they start singing the title song. (Early Merrie Melodies were like that. The title just referred to a song that would be sung) Even the ads printed on the trolley’s side join in. But the fun is short lived. As cartoon law dictates, “If you shall find yourself on tracks, then you shall find a cow blocking your way. And chances are, she’ll be really ugly.” (Look, Foxy has a cute hat now!) Even the hoboes that live under the bridge laugh at his misfortune. (When your Lyme disease keeps you from sleeping soundly, you have to find humor wherever you can.) Foxy’s trolley takes a running start, and jumps under the cow. (That’s not a typo. That’s funny.)

Now without his hat, Foxy should have no problems showing his girl a good time. But he wasn’t watching where he was going, and he is knocked out when the trolley enters a tunnel. (To quote Spyro 2: “Trouble with the trolley, eh?”) He tries to tie it down with a rope, but it just drags him back to it. Despite Roxy pleading for him to stop, it apparently has no brakes! And worse yet, the tracks lead to a cliff! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Then Foxy wakes up. It was all a dream. (One of the earlier times this cliche was used, so I’ll forgive it.) And why was that catchy song in his dream? His radio was playing it. Not amused, Foxy kills it with a bedpost.

Personal Rating: 3

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