Chimp and Zee

“Peanut?”

Directed by Alex Lovy; Story by Don Jurwich; Animation by Ted Bonnicksen, LaVerne Harding, Volus Jones, and Ed Solomon; Layouts by Bob Givens; Backgrounds by Bob Abrams; Film Editor: Hal Geer; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by William Lava. A Merrie Melody released on October 12, 1968.

A pretty late entry, and it kinda shows. Seems there wasn’t a lot of heart put into this one, as we aren’t given a lot of information. I’ll do my best to explain, but most of it is based on guesswork.

In the jungle, (the mighty jungle) a… and we already have our first guess. I’m not sure what this guy’s profession is. All he tells us is that he is looking for a blue-tailed simian. Apparently, it’s the rarest species of monkey in the world. What he won’t tell us is why he wants one. Fame? Money? An exotic pet? We’re not even given his name! I suppose this could be like a mad-lib, so I’ll “happily” oblige.

His name is “Dexter” he is a “professor” at “Lovy University” and wants a monkey so he can “have his students dissect it to learn how much in common man has with fellow primates.”

So, why the title of this short? Again, I have to guess! Luckily, this one is a bit easier to figure out. There is indeed one of these monkeys in this jungle, but he is accompanied by some type of jungle boy. Neither of them talk, so…

The boy’s name is “Chimp.” (because he looks more like an ape than the monkey does) His parents were “tourists” who were “looking for a way to abandon their offspring.” He was adopted by a “family of monkeys” who “gave him his name, due to a lack of tail.” His brother is named “Zee” because he was the “26th child” his family had.

That should do it. Let’s return to the “plot” so you can “be entertained/educated.”

Dexter takes a shot at what he believes is his monkey prize. It was only a coconut. Hey, a free snack is a free snack. Despite the college degree I gave him, he can’t seem to figure out how to open the fruit. Chimp pulls the pull tab off for him. Dexter drinks before realizing the boy has a monkey in tow. He’s not civilized, so he gets no say in what happens to his “brother” and that is why Dexter chases them down. Chimp shoots a suction cup arrow at the professor’s head, and ties the other end of the rope it is tied to, to a boulder. Dexter plummets.

As the chase gets going, the two come to a river. The camera begins zooming in on the wrong side of the screen for half a second, leaving more evidence that this cartoon was made for a paycheck and nothing more. (Which is too bad. The slapstick isn’t terrible) Zee asks a crocodile to help scare Dexter off. *Sigh* Here we go again…

The “animals” all “respect Chimp” because he has a “highly developed brain.” Therefore, they will “do anything” he or his family ask. (That, and blue-tailed simians have got to be poisonous. The blue tail has to mean SOMETHING!)

What else can fail? Dexter aims a blowgun around a boulder to shoot at them. (He gets himself. Hope there weren’t any toxins in the dart. For his sake) He reaches into a log and finds two arms exit. He bites the one that was hitting him, and finds it was his. Pulling on the other drags out an elephant. UGH!

The “elephant” lives in a “hollow log” because “her husband threw her out for daring to look at another bull.” It was a hippo, but the loophole didn’t make him any happier. (And why do the pachyderms in this jungle have gross looking pompadour-esque growths on their heads? It can’t be healthy.)

The professor’s final plan is to simply dress up as his prey. Not only that, but he will lure him out with a mating call. It works, but a little too well. He attracts every male blue-tail in the jungle, and they clearly have no qualms about initiating a 17 way with the “female.” (Although, if they are as rare as he says, it would probably make sense for the females to do as many males as they could. Gotta rebuild that population.) As Dexter flees, the title characters swing off. (Zee was “not affected by the call” because he is “gay.”)

Favorite Part: As Dexter falls off the cliff, he lands in a raptors nest before falling the rest of the way. Emptying her next of crushed eggs, she finds one intact. In retaliation for the infanticide, she throws the final one at him. (It survives, but the very idea was so dark, that I loved it)

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