“So far, life is just a mystery to me.”
Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Warren Foster; Animation by Manny Gould, Charles McKimson, I Ellis; Layouts by Cornett Wood; Backgrounds by Richard H. Thompson; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on July 10, 1948.
A mother turtle has arrived at a beach, which means she is here to lay her eggs. But she clearly isn’t a sea turtle. Which I guess explains why her eggs are already laid, and she’s just burying them in the sand? Once they’re buried and named, it’s up to the sun to do its share of the work: heating those eggs. The egg christened Clem has gotten their feet out, when the sun is blocked out by clouds. And Clem feels that the gender they identify with most is female, so they’re off to find a greater heat source. (If you’re a zoologist, you get it.)
While Clem starts their quest, their mom breaks out the heat lamp. (Lazy ball of plasma! Why’d we get stuck with such a cowardly star? Don”t take sass from those punk nimbus!) She sits down to wait for her children. (Singing with her mouth wide open when her beak should clearly be moving.) Clem’s search for heat has led them to a farm. Plenty of endotherms there! But the cow isn’t willing to cooperate, and she swats the unborn child away. (Getting some good distance, despite Clem’s egg not being round like it should be.)
By this point, Clem’s brother’s have hatched. But mother Sheloise knows she pushed four eggs out her cloaca. (You don’t forget a thing like that, trust me.) And she won’t accept the cold fact that many turtles are lucky to get as far as Tom, Dick and Harry did. She frantically searches for her missing baby, while the other three help. Singing as they do. (What kind of barbershop trio would they be if they didn’t?)
Clem’s search has led them under a dog who isn’t too fazed that he apparently laid an egg at first. One second later, he realizes how famous he’d be! (We science types surely wouldn’t just vivisect him.) A mammal laying an egg! Can you imagine? I bet even these guys would be impressed:
No, really. These guys are the toughest critics to please. Just look at those scowls.
The dog chases after little Clem, who has now found their way to a hen’s nest. The dog takes what he is sure is rightfully his, but the hen’s frantic clucking has alerted the resident rooster who takes it back. Thus begins a game of back and forth. The dog hurts the bird, and the rooster hurts the canine. Poor Clem stuck in the middle of things. By this point, the other turtles have dug up pretty much the entire beach. Hope you weren’t planning on vacationing there anytime soon. (And yes, I did notice Harry’s plastron change color.)
Clem bolts back to the beach, with hound and hen hubby right behind. Sheloise sees this and scoops up the lot of them with her backhoe. She then hammers the hunter’s heads and collects her kid, who really is losing patience with the whole egg thing. Put them under that lamp so we can finally get a look at them! She does just that, and Clem actually does hatch a male, if the changed voice is any indication. Despite getting what he wanted Clem has found out that he still is in a shell, and he can’t part with this one and still live. Don’t believe what any koopas tell you.
Favorite Part: While Sheloise is burying her eggs, a note informs us why she’s doing that. She admonishes it because we clearly already know. (It’s like that joke was written especially for me.)
Personal Rating: 3