“♪ I gotta sing, ’cause I’m gay…♪”
Supervision by Isadore Freleng; Animation by Cal Dalton and Sandy Walker; Music by Bernard Brown. A Merrie Melody released on January 11, 1936.
If you were a time traveler, and you used that power to just go back and watch every Looney Tune and Merrie Melody in theaters in chronological order, you’d find this cartoon to be the debut of those famous rings that you associate with these shorts. (It’s always been the perfect way to frame the many characters who came after the rings left the screen.)
Out in the woods, two black bear cubs play. (Yes, black bears can have brown fur, you racist.) I think they’re siblings, and I’m claiming they’re both female. But to be on the safe side, I’ll give them the gender fluid names “coal” and “mud”. They’re wrestling and exploring the world, skills that will serve them well should they manage to survive to adulthood. Sadly, often times learning something requires a bit of pain, and Coal learns that even without teeth, a turtle bite hurts.
This amuses Mud, no end, and Coal ain’t having it. She flings a rock at her sister’s face. Look how fast it moves! She’s already displaying great strength! But Mud has awesome reflexes and doesn’t get the stone. Their father does. (Again, assumptions. They’re sometimes right!) He wants to know who did it, and both of his girls naturally blame the other. Personally, I’d always blame the first to deny, (Coal) but father bruin decides to rely on the spit test. You spit into your paw, smack it with the other paw, and whoever the exportation lands closest to gets the punishment. Spit says: Mud.
She gets some spanks (making cries that sound to me like ones you’d hear in a Dingo Pictures “film”) as Coal walks away. Happily, Mud doesn’t seem to hold any animosity and is eager to join a game of hide and seek. She’ll count and Coal will hide. With the game underway, Coal finds a caravan and takes a look inside. Whoever owns the place never learned the most important rule of camping: PUT YOUR FREAKING FOOD AWAY LEST YOU ATTRACT A LAND BEAR! They’re getting no pity from me. I hope Coal’s insatiable lust for the human vittles doesn’t hurt her chances of having cubs of her own one day.
Coal knows all about sandwiches, and makes herself a snack. And since there’s a jug of cider, a drink as well. It’s the hard stuff, and she’s drunk not too long after. The short has been frequently cutting back to Mud’s counting and she finally calls it quits after hitting 1,000,002; leading me to believe this has been going on for weeks. (And I guess Coal was supposed to call out when she was hidden?) Mud isn’t happy to find her sister lushly singing and cavorting in a human dwelling. She hits Coal with a tomato.
Tomato’s are nature’s sobering fruits, and Coal is cured and angry. The two wrestle, and accidentally unstick the brake. Since parking on level ground is for those who aren’t snorting jugs of hard cider, the vehicle careens down the hill; it’s two stowaways doing all in their power to steer. They eventually get the idea to use the brake once more, slowing the vehicle down, sure, but also losing the wheels to extreme friction. They crash, and seem relatively fine, but the cider jug hits Mud on the head, putting her into her own kind of daze. This is exactly the situation you don’t want your-
Father comes to his cub and sees her stumbling by a jug. That’s enough evidence for him, and Mud gets more spanks. (And you thought I gave her that name because of her fur, didn’t you?) Coal decides to get out of there once again, but this time a rock manages to hit her cranium. But we didn’t see who picked it up! Was it her sister getting sweet retribution? Or her father giving her some punishment for joyriding? What’s your guess?
Favorite Part: When drunk, Coal laughs every time she hiccups. It’s adorable. As is witnessing anybodies first drunken stupor.
Personal Rating: 2. Not a lot happened, and it wasn’t as fun watching Mud get unjust punishment as you’d think it is.