Weasel Stop

“Help! Mountain lion! Bobcat! Coyote!”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Ted Pierce; Animation by Keith Darling, Ted Bonnicksen, and Russ Dyson; Layouts and Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Music by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on February 11, 1956.

Quiet days are boring. They are in desperate need of a weasel to liven things up. I’m fresh out of weasels at the moment. Would a stoat do? Fine, fine. Don’t give me that eye roll look. McKimson’s crew are on the ball with their weasel character that my “Looney Tunes 300-piece Fantasy puzzle identifies as “Willy”. Not the worst name, but kinda makes him sound like a mascot for a pizzeria. He shouldn’t be anything to worry about because the local chicken farm has a barnyard dog on duty. The only problem? That’s not Barnyard Dawg.

What the crap? What happened? Where’s my beloved basset? Who does this poser think he is? Granted, there’s nothing wrong with giving the formula a little variety, but Barnyard Dawg is an established character by this point! You think audiences would have liked Chuck’s boys making another rabbit/duck season picture without Elmer? Even if it was good, it’d always be remembered as the freak short of the quadrillogy. I just want to know if there’s a reason, since Farmyard Doug never came back.

Well, dogs is dogs, and roosters are their natural pranksters. Doesn’t help that Foghorn is a little irritated to find the guy supposed to be protecting them from certain death is sawing logs. Whittling, that is. Doug loves his whittling. Foghorn blows the weasel alarm in his face, then sends him on a wild goose chase. Weasel chase, that is. Doug crashes into a fence that Foghorn painted a hole on, and the bird claims the whole thing to have been naught but a nightmare. Sure hope it was worth crying wolf. Weasel, that is. (I’m stopping now. I promise.)

And Willy tries to carry Foggy away. Despite the screaming, Doug can’t be bothered to get up. Maybe he doesn’t believe its really happening, maybe he’s glad it is. Foghorn manages to get free when he is dragged into a low-hanging branch. Now aware of what happened, he’s not worried. Despite Willy still trying to gnaw on him. Foghorn points out the little guy is after a good eating chicken, and that’s all the permission Willy needs. He goes after another one, but Doug wasn’t just whittling wood to waste it. He made a croquet mallet and ball, and sends Willy away.

Foghorn decides to help the weasel get even with the dog. And once the only thing keeping them safe is dead? Don’t bother with the details. Live for the moment! The plan is to send Willy floating via balloon, and drop a lit fire craker on Doug. (Hey, Foggy? The balloon string is going through your beak. Okay. You fixed it.) Doug isn’t caught unawares. He whittles his latest masterpiece: a single toothpick. Attaching that to a paper airplane pops Willy’s balloon and dreams. The mustelid lands on another board Doug was probably planning to carve into a clothespin, flinging the rock it was setting under up. Doug lights his explosive for him, Willy’s snout changes color, and gravity and the rock send weasel back to rooster for the explosive finish.

The two then sneak about in haystack disguise, carrying miscellaneous weapons. Before they can really do anything with them, Doug uses his new greatest work, a wooden hand, to turn on the hay baler. (Foghorn, buddy, now that the hay is gone, I can see your foot going through your cannon. Stop that.) After the ride, the two are stripped of their respective coats. So what’s plan C? Oh, wait. The cartoon is ending here. Okay.

Favorite Part: I like the way Willy says “Yeah.” It’s his only dialogue, but it displays more character than Doug has.

Personal Rating: 2. The team-up doesn’t start until the picture is 2/3 done, the ending gag was pretty weak, and Doug reacts too calmly to things. I think that’s why I prefer our usual Dawg. He really feels like a living, breathing, rooster-pounding animal.

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