Page Miss Glory

“Call for Miss Glory!”

Supervised by Tex Avery; Words and music by Warren & Dubin; Modern At Conceived and Designed by Leodora Congdon. 3/C. A Merrie Melody released on March 7,  1936.

Another one of the 100 greatest. The oldest one in fact.

Hicksville is a pretty slow, country town. It’s the kind of place where one can’t open their mouth without a yawn jumping out. So, the slightest event will really catch the populace’s attention. In this case, a celebrity is coming to town. Her name is Miss Glory, and since this is such a big occasion, the entire town is pitching in to make the place worthy. She will be staying at the only hotel in the place, where the staff is also prettying up for her.

The bellhop is a young man named Abner. He is excited to be a part of everything and practices bellhop manners. Everything is ready, now all we need is the guest of honor. If the clock is to be believed, several days have passed without her showing. (Pft. Celebrities.) As the time passes, Abner sleeps and dreams. In his dreams, not only is he less ugly, (Getting some clothes that actually fit, a haircut, losing his ugly buck teeth) but the hotel becomes an art-deco place of beauty. And Miss Glory is here in Abner’s dreams too.

Being a bellhop, he is asked to page the titular woman. While we are treated to the title song, we do get some gags thrown in as well. After Abner stands on a guest’s train, it tears off of her. She rolls with it and does a fan dance. (If only she was 50 years younger, it would be okay to be turned on by this) Another highlight is the patron getting served a mountain of food, but only eating a bite of an olive.

Abner is not having much luck finding the woman, and things only get more complicated as the hotel announces that Glory is at the hotel. This attracts the attention of every single man in the place, who storms in her direction. Clogging the elevators, Abner is unable to follow and perform his duties. He does eventually get in one, but the operator heads out on his lunch break. Abner decides to send himself up, but due to coming from a world where hotels are not more than one story high, he doesn’t know what he’s doing, and sends the elevator up and down at a high speed. Eventually popping out of the building, and landing him in front of a streetcar.

But that bell isn’t just part of a dream! It’s his boss! Miss Glory has finally arrived! (She must be a big deal. If the crowd is any indication, Clampett, Avery, Jones, and Melvin Millar have all shown up to catch a glimpse of her.) Abner prepares to do what he was meant to do, but the question remains: Is Glory as hot as he dreamed? Not unless you’re a pedophile. Miss is an appropriate title, as the woman in question is at max, six years old.

Personal Rating: 3

Much Ado About Nutting

“Brazil Nuts”

Directed by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Lloyd Vaughn, Ken Harris, and Ben Washam; Layouts by Maurice Noble; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling; Orchestrations by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on May 23, 1953.

A brilliant little silent short from a brilliant man who knew exactly how to tell such stories. Not only considered one of the greatest, but the picture’s star would go on to at least have a cameo in “Back in Action.”

On a lovely warm summer day, a little squirrel crosses the street and heads towards a nut store. Unlike how it usually is in these cartoons, this squirrel doesn’t speak. In fact, he acts quite a bit like a real life squirrel. For the most part. For example, I don’t think he read the sign saying “Nuts” judging by how his nose twitches, he acted like most squirrels do and simply smelled the food. Luckily for him, (I’m just assuming the squirrel is a male. Everything I’ve read about this short says so.) all humans have mysteriously vanished from the picture, so there is no one to stop him from heading straight to the peanuts. (Which aren’t really nuts. I claim false advertising)

It’s not long before he spies the walnuts for sale. (An actual nut this time. Good for them.) Since they are bigger, he doesn’t hesitate to ditch the peanuts for a more abundant food source. But there’s always a bigger fish and he ultimately lays eyes on the coconuts. (Which really aren’t nuts, but nobody cares at this point.) They’re big enough for the squirrel to just need one, so he heads back across the street to enjoy some lunch.

But here’s where the conflict really begins. Despite being a rodent, his teeth don’t make so much as a crack in the fruit’s shell. He decides to act smarter than the average squirrel, (which to be fair, is still rather smart.) and uses some tools. Seeing as he is an animal, he starts with one of the tools chimps swear by: a rock. Upon slamming it onto the fruit, the rock snaps in two. And dropping it from a tree just embeds it in the ground. Time for the human tools. (There are too many obvious jokes for me to use here, so just use your favorite one.)

First up: a saw that loses its teeth. Then a jackhammer that is weathered away by the coconut. Eventually,  the squirrel is forced to take drastic measures. It’s time to drop the thing from the highest building he can. We get some great shots here. Several fade-ins to show the squirrels progress as he slowly, but surely hoists the heavy load up the countless stairs. The poor thing! I would gladly carry them to the top. But the squirrel is determined, and does ultimately make it. And he drops his meal. Wouldn’t it be great if this worked? Instead, the fruit just makes a chunk of the street lower than the rest.

That’s it. The squirrel gives up. And he is thoughtful enough to return the thing to where he found it. (Besides, there are many more things to choose from. Those walnuts looked pretty tasty.) But just as he puts it back in place, it slips and lands back on the ground. And it finally is cracked! The squirrel hurries over and pries open his prize. Alas, this appears to be a rare subspecies of matryoshka coconut, as there was another one inside it. Adding disbelief upon stress, the squirrel passes out.

Personal Rating: 4

Rocket-Bye Baby

“Somebody goofed.”

Directed by Chuck Jones; Story by Tedd Pierce; Animation by Ken Harris, Abe Levitow, and Ben Washam; Layouts by Ernie Nordli; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Effects Animation by Harry Love; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Musical Direction by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on August 4, 1956.

Back in the year of 1954, the planets of Earth and Mars got a little too close to each other. Because of this, two babies, both of whom were heading towards the planets got intercepted and each ended up heading to the other one. (That’s right! Babies come from space. You didn’t really think a stork delivered them, did you?)

Enter Joseph Wilbur. He’s about to become a father. While nervous, he is also quite happy. So when he is called to see his new child, he is quite excited. His kid is really cute. (When Jones draws something that is supposed to be cute, it is DANG cute.) Chubby body, little eyelashes, big smile. Oh yes, and green skin and antennae. (Perfectly normal for that age. I’m sure it will clear up by his teens.)

Father is a little bit ashamed to of his offspring. But Martha, the wife, won’t have any excuses and sends the two off for a afternoon stroll. Those antennae are marvelous things! They allow the infant to communicate with insects and act as an extra pair of limbs. Perfect for taking an old ladies glasses off, and giving them a try. For some reason, the broad goes into hysterics. Maybe Dad had a reason to be so wary?

Martha also soon sees that the kid is much more different than your usual baby. He does income tax, builds molecule models, and predicts the possibilities of hurricanes thirty years into the future. You’d think most parents would be over the moon to find their kid gifted with such intelligence, but they are more in the “worried” camp. Considering we humans don’t especially like strange things that can’t be explained, it’s probably for the best that they try to make him take up more age appropriate activities: like TV watching. Seeing “Captain Shmideo” holding up a toy spaceship inspires the lad to make his own. (I’d think that the parents would freak out again, but this time they are more impressed than anything. Hypocrites.)

Later, they get a message. From Mars of all places! Turns out, they have the wrong baby. The Martians would like to exchange the two. (Given how self-sufficient the Mars variety is, they are probably going insane with all care they have to supply the Earthling with. On another note, at least the Martians bothered to give both babies names. Joseph and Martha couldn’t even be bothered to do that. So from now on, our green baby is Mot and the one we never see is Yob)

Wouldn’t it be interesting if it turned out that the Wilbur’s actually decided they loved the kid they were given? Well, that’s not happening. It’s the 1950s! What makes you think a white suburban couple would want to look after a child who dared to be part of a different race? Sign them up for the exchange! Only one problem: Mot’s ship he was building actually works, and Joseph has to chase after him. The Martians aren’t going to give him squat if he doesn’t hold up his end of the bargain. Despite Jo’s efforts, the chase ends with him missing his chance to grab the baby and falling out of a open window several stories up. Mot meanwhile, makes his way aboard the (in this case probably literal) mother ship. They got what they came for, they leave. (They’re probably just going to eat Yob)

But Joseph doesn’t die, because it was all a dream. He is back at the hospital and goes to look at his normal human baby. But before you get upset for the use of the most cliched of twist endings, do note the band on the babies wrist. It must be in some kind of foreign language. I mean, what on Earth does “Yob” mean?

Personal Rating: 4

Chow Hound

“I’ve gotta get more food!”

Directed by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Phil Monroe, Ben Washam, Lloyd Vaughan, and Ken Harris; Layouts by Peter Alvarado; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc (Bea Benaderet); Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on June 16, 1951.

One of the hundred greatest, and possibly Jones’ darkest picture ever!

Butch the cat is put out for the night after a nice steak dinner. But as soon as he is outside, he appears terrified. And he has good reason to be. A dog demands the steak that it turns out, he didn’t eat. You’d think that’d be it, but the dog (who I will name after his voice actor, John T. Smith, who we’ve seen in “Water, water, Every Hare”, “Homeless Hare”, and “Bunny Hugged”.) is not through with him.

They stop at a different house. John pretties up Butch and sends him to the door. The woman living there identifies the cat as Harold. (Which leads me to wonder what his name REALLY is. And while I’m on this tangent, if animals could talk, would they name themselves?) Despite how loving the lady sounds, she must secretly want the cat dead as she gives him some chicken bones with his dinner. He doesn’t get a bite, John takes it again.

What’s the next stop? Some crummy place where John has another animal held hostage: a mouse. Now the cat (now going by Timothy) will get another meal for his master, by pretending to be a mouser. The mouse doesn’t like this arrangement anymore than the feline, (although he actually begs to be free. Unlike the cat who just takes it) The old man living in the building gives the cat more food, the dog takes it, and the mouse is put back in the can.

The next part of the plan requires it to be daytime, as the local zoo isn’t open at night. (A very pretentious establishment, as they use the term: “Zoological Park” Nice touch guys, wanna give the animals actual environments next?) Feeding time is going on and a keeper tosses various meats to various cats. There appears to be a newly discovered species today: The Saber Toothed Alley Cattus. (Felidae chuckmeat) The keeper isn’t entirely sure about this, but he is paid to feed, not think, so the cat is given another steak. (He tries to hide a firecracker in this one, but it only registers a burp with John)

Seems this has been going on for weeks, and it’s finally getting to John. He’s not getting a conscience or anything stupid like that. He’s just annoyed with how little meat each place actually gives. (In the case of the zoo, I agree. A 10 oz. steak won’t do much for a full grown tiger) I guess this “zoological park” has a history of animals trying to find greener pastures, because they actually have a sign offering rewards for missing animals. This gets John thinking…

The four places mentioned notice their lack of cat and soon they are offering money for its safe return. Read the paper carefully. Not only does the park offer a “liberal” reward, but the first guy is apparently animator Lloyd Vaughn (living at Termite Terrace of course) and the old guy is animator Ken Harris. (Which just strikes me as hilarious for some reason) John puts his master plan into action and returns the cat to each place, and taking away when he leaves. (And these people don’t bat an eye at giving a dog money. I love cartoons) John is clearly enjoying this too, as he returns the zoo animal in the guise of a hunter. (The mouse is humiliated to be roped in again. This time as a racially insensitive pygmy. On another note, John looks awesome with that mustache.)

Success! That liberal reward really must have helped, as the dog now has enough money to ensure he never need worry about food again. His purchase? A meat market of course. Self control? Never heard of that. A cut to an animal hospital reveals that John couldn’t control himself, and ate as much as he could fit in his belly and then some. He is now nearly obese as Piggy Hamhock. The doctors leave, and the dog receives two visitors he really doesn’t need: his slaves.

See, if forcing them to collect food wasn’t enough, he was also constantly berating them for not bringing him any gravy. Well, they got plenty of it now. And John can only stare in horror as they stick a funnel in his mouth, and force feed him the stuff. Ooh! Deliciously dark! No better way to end things. (Not surprisingly, that dog never made another appearance. Dead hounds don’t appeal to many audiences.)

Personal Rating: 4 (Although if we are just grading the ending, that’s a 5)

Russian Rhapsody

“Silly, isn’t he?”

 Supervision by Robert Clampett; Story by Lou Lilly; Animation by Rod Scribner; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released in 1944. Supervision by Robert Clampett; Story by Lou Lilly; Animation by Rod Scribner; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released in 1944.

One of the hundred greatest Looney Tunes and well worth that title!

Germany isn’t doing so hot these days. (These 1941 days to be precise) All of the planes they send to bomb Moscow are being destroyed mysteriously. Could it possibly be gremlins? It couldn’t be! Not with Disney refusing to allow any cartoons about them being made at the time. Hitler is furious. (And let’s be real here, this is the funniest Hitler to ever exist. He screams, he speaks in random words with a bad German accent, and he moves like a spaz! It’s the only time I can say: “I love this guy!”) He finally decides to just send the finest person Germany has to offer: himself. As he flies to Moscow, (which, did you know, borders Berlin?) it appears that he is not alone. Several gremlins are on board and they sing a hauntingly catchy song. What’s more, they appear to be caricatures of various looney people. Tedd Pierce, Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones, Leon Schleshinger, and the man himself, Bob Clampett. They set to work destroying the plane. A “Tubby” gremlin tries to stab Hitler in the butt, one saws the plane and just barely misses his pal, a adorable teeny one smashes the dials with a hammer, and one unleashes a termiteski to devour the plane. (Unlike termites which eat wood, termiteskis subsist on only the finest of messerschmidts.) One joke that is kinda dated is replacing Hitler’s C card with an A card. (Gas rationing. C is more.) The “Millar” gremlin finally gets Adolf and the fuhrer finally realizes he has company. (Also the little one he talks to is holding a feather, that magically morphs into a hammer) They put his nose in an electrical socket, and the resulting shock turns him into a glowing swastika, skunk, and donkey in that order. He pulls a knife on them, but they scare him with a Stalin mask. (And then the short immediately jumps to him on the floor. I can’t help but wonder if a scene was cut) With him taken care of, the gremlins cut around him and he falls to earth with the plane crushing him. He pops out of the ground to comment on how “Nutzis is the cwaziest peoples.” The gremlins pound him back under his grave where he belongs.

Personal Rating: 4

A Ham in a Role

“Temper, hasn’t he?”

A Ham In A Role

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Sid Marcus; Animation by Charles McKimson, Phil DeLara, J.C. Melendez, and Emery Hawkins; Layouts by Cornett Wood; Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released in 1949.

And here we are with another of the 100 greatest. And the only one starring the Goofy Gophers. Good thing too, those guys are so underrated.

Our story begins with the ending of your classic Warner Bros. cartoon. A dog (who has no name, so let’s call him Hammy) is hit with a pie and flaps his lips. The end. It’s the brevity of this short that makes it work so well. It’s the soul of wit. All right, I’m done pretending you’re actually falling for this. In reality, he is fed up with cartoons. He thinks it’s degrading. (He is clearly an idiot. Well read, but still an idiot.) He decides to quit. (Before doing so, he is subjected to gags without even leaving the room. You’re making so many of us smile. Why would you want to quit?) He decides to pursue more “noble” acting and heads off to his country house to recite some Shakespeare. (Yeah, the man was talented, but animation is entertaining. To everyone.) It’s been awhile since he’s been here it seems, as there are gopher holes everywhere. But I suppose Mac and Tosh realized the house was empty at some point and decided to move in. Hammy finds them asleep in one of his books. He throws them out and gets to work. Not taking kindly to their forced exit, the two began planning some pranks to get back at him. And cleverly enough, they will all allude to what line the dog is reading. Mentioning “tormenting flames” results in a hotfoot. Asking to “drink the joy of life” gets him a tub of water poured on him. And when commenting on how “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” he finds Limburger cheese dropped on his head. But these are annoyances at best, the gophers next dress one of them (I can’t tell them apart. I’ll just guess it’s Mac) as a skeleton just as Hammy is lamenting on “poor Yorrick.” (Poor Hammy.) While reciting some lines from “King George and the Dragon” he dresses as a knight. Now covered in metal, the gophers have the chance to fling him around with magnets. And for their grand finale? “A horse! A horse!” Hammy is kicked out of the house and flies all the way back to the studio. They appear to have been waiting for him, as they are ready to start shooting. He opens with his best “To be…” but is silenced by a pie in the face. Welcome back to the fun side. We’ve missed you.

Okay to be fair, I don’t hate Shakespeare. Those are some really well written stories. I just don’t think it fair for Hammy to call animation “degrading.” It’s art. That’s not up for debate.

Personal Rating: 4

Dog Gone South

“I’ll take care of ya.”

 Directed by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Ben Washam, Lloyd Vaughn, Ken Harris, Phil Monroe, and Emery Hawkins; Layouts by Robert Gribbroek; Backgrounds by Phil DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released in 1950. Directed by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Ben Washam, Lloyd Vaughn, Ken Harris, Phil Monroe, and Emery Hawkins; Layouts by Robert Gribbroek; Backgrounds by Phil DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released in 1950.

Another of the “100 greatest! (I’m talking about these a lot this year, huh? And I’m planning on doing it again next week.) This is Charlie Dog’s sole inclusion on this list, and I’m glad. I love this guy. And of his five appearances, this is probably his best. You probably thought I’d choose one of the his times with Porky huh? Speaking of Porky, this is the first time Charlie appeared without him. We see the hound being kicked off of a train. He is in the south as the title suggests. Acting like most dogs would, he sets about to finding himself an owner. Colonel Shuffle is a nice pick. Really, Colonel Shuffle from “Mississippi Hare” is also in this short. (Though never mentioned by name) He’s not interested in Charlie, not because Charlie is kind of annoying, (and I mean that in the best possible way) but because he already has a dog. Belvedere, a Marc Antony styled bulldog who is so top heavy, his hind legs raise in the air when he runs. That, and Shuffle is full of Southern pride. He is not too happy to hear Charlie sing “Yankee Doodle” on his property. Keeping quiet on the Northern front? That’s simple. Getting rid of Belvedere is the hard part. Charlie starts by dressing him up in a Yankee style hat, and giving him a “North Forever” banner. Shuffle chases after him in a Confederate outfit. Seeing his chance, Charlie does the same and acts wounded. Shuffle agrees to take him in, but Charlie ruins things by suggesting a meal of Yankee Pot Roast. I guess Belvedere is forgiven then. Seeing as the Colonel hasn’t beaten him to death yet. Charlie then dresses him up in a New York Yankee’s uniform. (Which looks cute on him) Belvedere notices this and grabs a club to hit Charlie with. He hits Shuffle. Seeing Belvedere coming for him still, Charlie gets Shuffle again, who is once more beaten. That does it, and Belvedere is kicked off the plantation. Seeing as he now has no dog, Shuffle agrees to take Charlie in. Just then, another man walks by. He would like a dog, and would treat him like a king. Charlie, (proving all he really wants is a home, and could care less about who owns it) takes him up on that offer and leaps into his arms. The man in turn throws him onto a leaving train. Turns out it was Belvedere. He happily goes back to Shuffle. (Poor Charlie. Guys named Charlie are always being rejected despite being really great guys. Charlie Brown just wants love. Charlie Tuna just wants people to eat his delicious flesh. Charlie Horse just wants plastic surgery so his face will stop giving me nightmares.)

(Okay, maybe not that last one.)

Personal Rating: 3

Satan’s Watin’

“I’m not takin’ anymore chanceth with you!”

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Directed by I. Freleng; Story by Warren Foster; Animation by Virgil Ross, Arthur Davis, Manuel Perez, and Ken Champin; Layouts by Hawley Pratt; Backgrounds by Irv Wyner; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released in 1954.

Another one of the 100 greatest! And don’t let the fact that the cartoon says Tweety is the star here. He’s but a means to an end. This is strictly Sylvester’s short. While doing the usual chase thing up on a building, Sylvester skids off the edge. But by using a couple of Tweety’s feathers, he manages to fly his way back up to safety. Tweety thanks him for returning them. Without those, Sylvester plummets. While it is true that cats land on their feet, gravity is still accounted for. With that pulling down on him, Sylvester smashes into the pavement. He’s dead. I’m not joking. His soul actually leaves his body. Two different escalators also appear. Any newly deceased being would choose the one going up, but it’s roped off. Sylvester has no choice but to take the one going down. In Hell, the devil (or one of his minions shaped like a bulldog) welcomes the cat. Looking him up in his book, the devil dog finds Sylvester is indeed supposed to be here. (Why? For trying to eat? Or do all cats go to Hell? In the real world, I’m not complaining. I hate cats. But I love Sylvester! This hardly seems fair.) Seems an eternity of being mauled by satanic dogs awaits him. There’s just one catch: since cats have nine lives, nothing happens until the rest of them show up. So I guess cats just go to hell then. What if his other lives were (whatever the divine powers that be in this short) deem good? Doesn’t matter. Back on Earth, Sylvester the second comes to. He reuses to chase Tweety anymore. (Not that it matters) Satan tempts him into it though, and the chase leads right in front of a steamroller. Sylvester’s second life sits next to his first, flat as the day he died. (Shouldn’t Tweety have died there too?) Sylvester three is told by Satan that having seven lives left means he’s lucky, and he chases the bird into an amusement park and into a haunted house. He is literally scared to death. Life three remains pale as a ghost. (Sadly, this ends the lives all looking different. But I guess that would be too morbid, because…) After coming to again, the fourth reiteration of the cat chases the canary into a shooting gallery. This was a different time, as those guns fire real bullets and lives 4-7 end up wasted. Tweety hops on a roller coaster, with Sylvester waiting with a club. Failing to keep his body in the vehicle at all times is what costs him life #8. Still thinking he has a choice in the matter, Sylvester runs off vowing to give up the chase. He decides to spend the remainder of his days in a bank vault. (I guess he knows by now that he’s screwed, so he might as well make his time last. It might be boring, but at least it’ll be peaceful.) That night, some burglars come into the bank, aiming to blow open the safe with nitroglycerin. If playing Crash Bandicoot has taught me anything, it’s that that stuff is a good way to get yourself killed. Surprise! They get themselves killed. And robbing a bank was enough to seal their fate, and down they go. Unfortunately for him, Sylvester was caught in the crossfire. Whoops.

Personal Rating: 4

Wholly Smoke

“I ain’t a p-puh-puny puss!”

 Supervision by Frank Tashlin; Story by George Manuell; Animation by Robert Bentley; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released in 1938. Supervision by Frank Tashlin; Story by George Manuell; Animation by Robert Bentley; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released in 1938.

You know, you really shouldn’t smoke. It’s bad for you, makes you unpleasant to be around, and eats up funds you could be using for something more important. And don’t give me any of that: “It’s too addicting” crap. You don’t want to learn the hard way. My pal Porky did.

Another of the 100 greatest and my personal favorite from Tashlin.

It’s a lovely Sunday and Porky’s momma calls her offspring down. (Hilariously voiced by Ted Pierce) She sends him off to church with a nickel for the collection plate. (Why isn’t she going too? I guess she just doesn’t want her child to be an atheist like herself.) On the way, Porky comes across some kid smoking a cigar. He points out that it’s bad but the kid doesn’t take him seriously. Instead, he shows off some tricks he can do with the smoke. Making a target and hitting it with an arrow, creating a duck that flies, and kicking his cigar like a hackey sack and catching it again in his mouth. (Set to an ominous “Merry Go Round Broke Down”) With his masculinity threatened, Porky bets the thug 5 real cents (They’re children and this is the thirties, that’s some serious dough right there) that he is just as tough. The kid accepts and hands over his cigar, taking the nickel. (He hasn’t won yet, but he doesn’t need to stick around really. Porky is practicing.) He treis to show off some tricks with the smoke. He makes a target but hits his own behind with an arrow, creating a duck that flies and lays an egg on his face, and kicking his cigar like a hackey sack an catching the lit side in his mouth. (Set to an adorable “Merry Go Round Broke Down”) But all that tobacco takes its toll on poor Porky and he woozily blunders around, coming to a stop in a smoke shop. There he is spotted by some kind of smoke gremlin. He has the power to shrink Porky in size and wake him up with a snap of his fingers. He is a little shocked Porky doesn’t know who he is. All smokers know his name: Nick O’ Teen. (Who is one of the scariest things Looney Tunes has to offer. With his soulless eyes, magical powers, and soft voice. (Again, brilliantly portrayed by Pierce.) Nick ties Porky up and prepares to go “Pigs is Pigs” on him. With musical accompaniment. There are some singing matchsticks who look like they have blackface, (but you could say its debatable since they are extinguished) some chewing tobacco, and the three stogies. Singing a frightfully creepy version of “Mysterious Mose” about how little children shouldn’t smoke. (No one should, but they don’t want to come across as preachy.) Porky is forced into smoking more cigars, and given chewing tobacco, (which the poor guy swallows) as all the mascots come to life to scold him. (I would say it’s a nightmare version of “Foodfight”, but the original already earned that title, so this is the family friendly version by default) Bing Crosby and Rudy Vallee are there as some “Crooner” brand cigars. (Corona) Cigarettes march, snuff boxes are drums, and even a pipe cleaner gets in the fun by imitating Cab Calloway. (Taking a break from appearing in Betty Boop cartoons) Porky does manage to get free and wakes up from this trippy… “pipe dream?” (Screw you, it’s funny) Hearing the church bell, he hurries over. Except, he still needs that nickel. He takes it back from the bully, shoves the cigar in his face and goes back to church to donate it. He vows never to smoke again. (Except he did in “Rocket Squad.” And “Deduce, you say.” And “The Awful Orphan.” And… Well, at least he never smoked a cigar again. So take it from me and Porky: Don’t smoke. Or we won’t be your friend.)

Personal Rating: 4 (But if “Pigs is Pigs” never had come out, it’d get the 5.)

Scrap Happy Daffy

“What I’d give for a can of spinach now”

Supervision by Frank Tashlin; Animation by Art Davis; Story by Don Christensen; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released in 1943.

Another one considered to be one of the 100 greatest Looney Tunes. This was also the first cartoon Tashlin directed upon coming back to Warner Bros. after leaving Columbia Studios.

We open on Daffy climbing his giant scrap pile. He’s got plenty of American pride! (And cans whose insides change colors.) Would you like to make your own scrap pile? It’s easy! Their is plenty of items you can donate to help the troops, and Daffy is happy to list them all! (Although he will take a quick break to whistle at the bathing suit model painted on his fence.) This will surely get the ire of Hitler. And it does indeed. Daffy’s pile is known the world over and Hitler is furious. He wants that pile destroyed and sends one of his subs to do so. The sub has a secret weapon. The perfect way to get rid of metal in a cartoon: a goat. (I would like to point out how scientifically inaccurate this is, but I hope you already know it) The goat happily chows down, but soon comes down with a case of hiccups. A patrolling Daffy hears the noise and attempts to intimidate the intruder, before realizing he’s looking at his reflection. Finding the real source of the noise, he takes pity on the ungulate and mixes him up a hiccup cure. Not long after this, he spies the swastika on the goat’s collar and realizes what it is there for. (And calling it one of the best names I’ve ever heard: a tin termite. Brilliant.) The goat tries to strike, but Daffy takes advantage of its moral compass by wearing glasses. (Nazi goats have limits to their cruelties) All too soon though, he loses this protection and is sent flying. He wants to give up, but the apparitions of his ancestors remind him that Americans don’t give up. (Did you know Lincoln was a duck? A duck that somehow grew a beard even) Filled with some new found pride, Daffy evolves into: SUPER AMERICAN! (Two references to cartoons from the Fleischer studios based on already existing characters in one Looney Tune? It must be my birthday! No wait, that’s this Sunday) With his new abilities, Daffy has the goat running back to the sub. The Nazis fire their cannon at him, but he punches their shots away one by one. With no other alternative, they try to escape. Daffy grabs hold of the sub’s periscope before the screen dissolves to him wrestling with a faucet back at his pile. It was nothing but a dream! However, the goat and Nazis are there too, with their sub now part of Daffy’s collection. They ask to be left out of his next dream.

Personal Rating: 3