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

Eatin’ on the Cuff or the Moth who came to Dinner

“♪ Here comes the groom, straight as a broom. All purtied up with ten cent perfume.♪”

Supervision by Robert Clampett; Animation by Virgil Ross; Story by Warren Foster; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released in 1942. (This is Clampett’s last B/W short)

This short is sung to us by Leo White. (Well, he’s providing the lip movements. It’s Mel doing the actual lines. It’s always Mel.) I’ve heard this is Clampett’s answer to the Disney short “The Moth and the Flame” seeing as how he liked doing a parody of Disney every now and again. It’s also considered one of the top 100 Looney Tunes. Since the plot is in rhyme though…

“Oh, walk with me to the altar.” Said the moth to the bee.

“And a happier insect, you shall never see!”

(Though scientifically, this will not work, for many reasons why)

She loves the Moth and so agrees to give this marriage thing a try.

I like this moth, (whose voice has got that squeaky Mel Blanc style)

I’ll name him Bucky due to his cute little buck toothed smile.

The day of his wedding arrives (To the bee that I’ll name Rose)

And since he’s a moth, his diet consists of naught but human clothes.

While passing a bar, he notices a ton of pre-war cuffs.

And though this could make him late, he goes to try the stuff.

Now plump and fat, he slumps back, to rest his tired nipper.

(He liked the food, but could have done and gone without the zipper)

But time has passed and now alas, where is his dear bride?

Sitting alone, on steps (alone) and yes, ALONE, she cried.

Seeing the time, he tries his best to take off and head down.

But it seems that this bar, is part of the wrong town.

Though he may look like a fly…er, moth to our human eyes.

In the arthropod world, I guess he’s quite a prize.

For this moth (who is filled with what he’d call hard cider)

Yeah, that’s forced but still he’s spotted by a hungry spider.

Man-hungry to be precise. She’s a black widow, you see.

And she plans to look like Veronica Lake, so her prey won’t flee.

But her nose gives her away. (Besides, he’s a soon to be married man)

And I guess he’s still too full to fly, since running is his plan.

He loses her in a bowl of punch. But she’s not out of tricks, this dame

exploits his biggest weakness, he can’t resist a flame.

She’s got what she wanted, with her successful chase.

(She lacks eight limbs. That bothers me) I mean, she goes back to her place!

Rose meanwhile, heads home in tears, when she hears her “honey’s” yelp.

And making like a “Bee 19” she flies on in to help.

She brandishes her stinger, and wait a minute… what?

What is that that’s sticking out of the spider’s butt?

Why does she have a stinger too? Tell me, Clampett. Why?

I know it’s a cartoon, but still, it’s such a stupid lie.

I choose to ignore that. (As well, as Bucky’s lack of four wings)

Rose wins of course, because she goes and gives the spidery broad a sting.

“My hero.” says she. “Tweren’t nothing” says he. (Yeah, that’s true. He’s right.

He was hiding under a table, while the two ladies had their fight)

And so they moved into a vest to live happily ever after.

(which won’t be too long as they’re insects. Cue uncomfortable laughter)

So Leo ends his story ( and I end my rhyme) but can’t help but confide to us that he has no idea what that bee saw in that moth. As he feels like Bucky is a dope. The moth responds by showing how tough he can really be, and eats Leo’s pants.

Personal Rating: 4

A Tale of Two Kitties

“HEY BABBIT!”

Supervision by Robert Clampett; Story by Warren Foster; Animation by Rod Scribner; Musical Direction by Carl W. stalling. Released in 1942

This short was supposed to introduce the world to new characters who would be stars for Warner Bros. But someone else stole the spotlight. The two supposed stars are two kitties. (This is their tale) The taller one is named Babbit (Tedd Pierce) and the stout one is Catstello. (Mel) His name is never mentioned in the short, but come on. He’s a cat and if you have any idea who Abbot and Costello are, then you know who these two are based on and you’ve made the pun yourself. (That and the studio model sheets labeled him as such) It’s time to eat and Babbit tells his comrade to go get a bird out of a nest so they can eat. Catstello is reluctant even after he’s told of how small it is. (I guess they’d each get a mouthful, but I have a feeling Babbit would hog it all) Turns out hes got “Heightrophobia” and it takes a pin to his backside to finally get him up the ladder. Scared as his partner is, Babbit demands that he gives him the bird. (Catstello laments that the Hayes office is what is keeping him from fulfilling that desire. I just didn’t know the term existed in the forties) He makes a swipe at a sleeping bird but misses. This is the birthplace of Tweety. (Inspired by nude baby photos that Clampett’s mother had and he resented.) The ladder breaks and Catstello begs to be rescued. So scared is he that he doesn’t notice Babbit saving him until he is in his arms. For the next attempt, Babbit shoves his pal into a box against said pals protests. He’s also afraid of the dark. Babbit lets him out and the springs on his feet bounce him up to the nest. Here, our little baby Tweety (model sheets had him labled as Orson) utters his first words: “I tawt I taw a putty tat.” Seeing as he did taw a putty tat, Tweety has no choice but to defend himself. And does he ever! Using an arsenal of guns, clubs and even TNT sticks, he continues to beat the crap out of the poor putty tat. Catstello cries over this while unbeknownst to him, he sits on an explosive. When Babbit detonates it he flies up towards the nest again. But he flies past it. (Tweety helps himself to Catstello’s apple. Or rather, the worm that was inside) When gravity kicks in, the cat falls and is able to cling onto a telephone wire. Tweety comes over to play “this ittle piddy.” (I was lucky enough to watch this short before “Roger Rabbit” so I knew where that gag was coming from) Tweety isn’t totally heartless, as he throws the cat a rope. It’s attached to an anvil though. Said anvil crushes the cat into the ground and drags all the surroundings to wards it. This includes Babbit and his victory garden. (I really like how concerned he sounds for his friend. Turns out he really does care.) The final attempt is launching Castello with wooden wings strapped on. Wouldn’t you know it, it works. (Human beings have been trying to fly for years, and it took a simpler mind to figure it out.) Tweety calls the “fourt interceptor tommand” to report the disturbance and the cat is blasted out of the sky. He manages to avoid landing on a pitchfork in favor of his partner. (While they didn’t become the stars, they did appear in a couple more shorts after this. But they were mice. How humiliating.) Tweety is now on the ground and initiates a blackout. Seeing their chance, the two cats stalk their prey with faces that haunted my childhood. (That must be all real-world birds see cats.) Tweety doesn’t freak out though. He yells at the two to turn out the lights like he told them too. Their glowing eyes instantly dim. (As does the moon)

Personal Rating: 4

The Old Grey Hare

“What’s up, Pruneface?”

 Direction by Robert Clampett; Animation by Robert McKimson; Story by Michael Sasanoff; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. Released in 1944 Direction by Robert Clampett; Animation by Robert McKimson; Story by Michael Sasanoff; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. Released in 1944

Here’s your final entry of 2016. Everyone has already said that this year sucked. They’re right. I’d go more into it, but this blog is for Looney Tunes and Looney Tunes related things. So, let’s just agree that the year was crap, we’ll hope the next will be better and around this time next year, we’ll be saying the exact same things. Now then, with time constantly moving on, why not talk about a short that shows just that?

Elmer is crying. It’s only been four years since he started, but he’s already given up hope ever succeeding in getting Bugs. A voice tells him to keep trying. It’s never explicitly stated, but it’s kinda obvious that it’s God. (And he’s voiced by Mel. Don’t you think it would have been a bit more clever if he was voiced by Arthur Q. Bryan?) Elmer agrees that he should keep trying, but how long will it take? So God allows Elmer to look into the future to see how things will turn out. This means one of two things: either he’ll succeed, or die trying. It seems that things will come to an end in 2000 A.D. (Which is odd, I was alive by that point and I don’t recall any of this. But then, I had just discovered Cable T.V. and it was hard to pry me away.) A lot has changed. (And I don’t just mean appearance wise) The horse Bing Crosby bet on still hasn’t come in, and Smellivision replaced Television. (The paper that Fudd is reading says that Carl Stalling doesn’t think it will catch on. Guess he was right) And Elmer is now toting a “Buck Wogers Wightning Qwick Wabbit Kiwwer.” There’s no way he can lose! All we need now is Bugs. Luckily, he pops up not too long afterwards. He’s looking pretty good for being 54 years older. (All that time has passed and I only can see one grey hare.) Sure he’s aged somewhat, (less teeth, glasses, and a beard) but he still has enough strength to strangle Elmer before hobbling away. (Seems like he’s got lumbago too) Elmer fires his new weapon, and wouldn’t you know it: he shoots Bugs. He can’t believe it either. He begins reminiscing and gives Fudd a present. A photo album! It shows all their good times together, including the first time they ever met. That happened when they were babies. Even though Fudd’s picture is labeled with him being “only 3 and a 1/2 years old.” (They just couldn’t resist making that joke again. It really should say “seconds” instead of years. Wouldn’t it be funnier to think that the very first thing Elmer did after being born was go hunting?) Either way, we see this flashback. Elmer is crawling along with a pop gun and looks into a small rabbit hole. Bug’s pops up and babbles some baby talk while drinking carrot juice. (Luckily there is a subtitle for those of us older than the age of 1. But then they both start talking in English. I guess we’re just seeing things from their point of view?) They begin their first chase of many. (They stop briefly to take a nap) When they resume, Bugs is able to get away. (This proves that no matter how many times Bugs is called a “rabbit” he is really a hare, as young rabbits are born naked and helpless, whereas hares are not.) Needing to match his prey’s speed, Elmer gets a stroller and drives after the leveret. (That’s the term for a baby hare, folks.) Miming a cop, (that includes miming a motorcycle too. Something proto-Bugs did once. Leading me to believe he is Bug’s father) he pulls Fudd over and berates him for speeding. After he leaves Fudd crying in his carriage, (I think that’s a real baby cry too. Way to be authentic, Bob.) the flashback ends and we go back to the two seniors. (This is the only Bugs Bunny short where Bugs doesn’t appear once as his modern self) Elmer is devastated that he has killed his oldest and dearest friend, while Bugs starts digging his own grave. He tells Elmer to smile while he does it. (Doesn’t every dying person say that? And wouldn’t they be offended if the person they were talking to actually did?) Elmer is so distraught that he doesn’t notice Bugs switching places with him, until the rabbit (I mean hare) buries him alive. (So there’s God’s answer: Elmer is never going to win.) Elmer is unhappy, but he takes some solace in the fact that he is rid of Bugs forever. Bugs comes back to give him some parting gifts: a goodbye kiss, and a lit firecracker. (Don’t worry. Bob may use actual crying of children for sound effects, but he draws the line at blowing up the elderly. But that doesn’t stop it from rattling the “That’s All Folks!” end card once it does blow.)

Personal Rating: 4

The Stupor Salesman

“Thith guyth gonna be a tough nut to crack.”

 Directed by Arthur Davis; Story by Lloyd Turner, William Scott; Animation by J.C. Melendez, Don Williams, Emery Hawkins, and Basil Davidovich; Layouts by Don Smith; Backgrounds by Phlip DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. Released in 1948 Directed by Arthur Davis; Story by Lloyd Turner, William Scott; Animation by J.C. Melendez, Don Williams, Emery Hawkins, and Basil Davidovich; Layouts by Don Smith; Backgrounds by Phlip DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. Released in 1948

Here’s another entry on the list of The one hundred greatest Looney Tunes.

The last national bank is robbed one night. (Not in the traditional “This is a stick-up” sense. This had some thought put into it) The criminal blows up the vault and makes off. The police have identified this villain as Slug McSlug. (Who is not actually a slug) He’s not too bad of a mastermind either, seeing as he paints his Sedan just after the cops identify its color. (I’m guessing they couldn’t get his license plate number.) Driving away from it all, McSlug hides out in a cabin. (I don’t know if it’s his or not, but is that really the question here?) He covered his tracks well, but the cops still pull up right outside. But they’re not stopping. They are just dropping somebody off. Daffy to be precise. What McSlug doesn’t lack in brains, he makes up for with his lousy shooting. He can’t hit the constantly moving towards him target. (Daffy mistakes the bullets for mosquitoes) When he finally reaches the door, we find out that he’s merely a (stupor) salesman. And he’s not taking “not interested” for an answer. He demonstrates some of his wares: gun polish that makes McSlug’s gun so shiny it melts, a mini helicopter that breaks through the roof, and an elevator that crashes through the floor. Daffy refuses to leave until Slug buys something. Surely there must be something he wants/needs? Well, he could do with some brass knuckles. Daffy has those. (What hasn’t he got?) Slug tries to test them, but they break upon the iron Daffy holds to protect himself. Slug tries firing his gun at him again, but quickly runs out of bullets. Being the stand-up guy he is, Daffy offers him a free sample of bullets. When fired at again, it’s revealed that he was also demonstrating his bullet proof vest. He also has a lighter that he wants to show off. He turns on the oven and attempts to demonstrate. The darn thing doesn’t seem to work and if that wasn’t enough, Slug loses his patience and tosses the duck out. Once alone, he tries the lighter himself. (What compels him to do that? Does he just want to prove he can make it work? Did he actually need a lighter? Does he have some weird kind of fire fetish that he can’t indulge in until he’s alone?) But the oven has been on the whole time and the cabin is full of flammable gas. He gets it to work just as Daffy is coming back for another round. He’s finally got something to sell that Slug needs. A house to go with his remaining doorknob.

Personal Rating: 3

A Pest in the House

“Poor fella. Sthure is sthleepy.”

There is a labor shortage, and this means anyone will be hired. And that includes Daffy. At Elmer’s hotel a guest is checking into Suite 666. There’s just one thing to keep in mind. This man (voiced by Arthur Q. Bryan; Fudd’s voice actor; speaking in his regular voice) has quite the temper. He’s tired and demands peace and quiet. If he’s disturbed, he’ll pound Elmer. (A-hole. You paid to stay here. If it’s not comfortable enough, leave) Bellhop Daffy loads the guest up with his own luggage, and leads him to his room. All the way, yelling about how much peace they have. He then picks through the keys one by one as the man (who I’m naming Duffy) strains. Daffy finds the right key and if you pay attention, you’ll see the door was already unlocked. Inside, he tells Duffy to just drop the bags and gives him a tip. Only outside does he remember HE’S the guest. He angrily storms in to find Daffy trying on his clothes. (It’s not disturbing him while he’s sleeping, so Elmer wouldn’t be hurt in this case) But he calms down as he see’s the bed inviting him to rest awhile. He leaps in and Daffy takes his leave. But he is considerate enough to nail a “Do not disturb sign” on the door as loudly as possible. Elmer is punched. (In tune to “Pop goes the Weasel”) Later Daffy feels the room could use some fresh air and opens a window. The sound of traffic has Duffy leaping out of bed. (And getting a mild case of white ear.) To add to his problems, some drunk has starting loudly singing in the next door room. Daffy assures him, he’ll take care of it. Daffy gets drunk and joins in. Elmer is punched. Later Daffy is cleaning a window. There’s a speck on it though. (I hate when these kind of things happen) He tries scratching it off which continues to disturb his exhausted guess. (He punches Elmer through the phone this time) Some time later, Daffy hears a great joke and just has to tell it to somebody. He chooses Duffy. (I love his face as he sits up in bed. That’s the same face I wore many times in High School.) While Daffy continues to try and spit out the humor while still laughing, Duffy goes to hit Fudd again. Even Elmer’s knight helmet doesn’t protect him and Duffy goes back to his room to find Daffy finishing the joke. Too bad he forgot the punchline. (At least Duffy can supply plenty if needed) Daffy then feels the room is too cold and tries to turn the heat up. Fudd, not wanting to be hit again, muffles the radiator with pillows. It still whistles though and it looks like he’ll be punched again. But he removes the whistling part and hides it under the pillows. Safe right? Not quite. Daffy heard the whistle and busts in yelling and berating his boss for disturbing their guest.  Duffy wakes and Elmer flees for his life. He’s got a plan though. He makes it to the front desk and rings for Daffy. (Who is obviously practicing his ventriloquism. I didn’t see his beak move) Elmer is promoting him to manager and takes his place as the bellhop. Duffy arrives and makes straight for the manager. He still ends up punching Elmer in the face. (A-hole.)

Personal Rating: 4

Buccaneer Bunny

“Have a nice dip, drip?”

Directed by I. Freleng; Story by Michael Maltese and Tedd Pierce; Animation by Manuel Perez, Ken Chapin, Virgil Ross, and Gerry Chiniquy; Layouts by Hawley Pratt; Backgrounds by Paul Julian; Boice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Directon by Carl W. Stalling. Released on May 8, 1948.

He may be remembered as a cowboy, but Sam had many different occupations in the shorts he appeared in. This was his second appearance even! (Unless, you count “Along came Daffy” but there is no concrete evidence that either of the men in that short were Sam)

As a pirate, Sam is burying his treasure so that no one will know where it is. (His eyebrows turn pink. It’s that tropic sun, I tell ya.) But as he tosses it in the hole, Bugs tosses it back up. Sam decides to shoot him to keep his secret safe. “Dead rabbits tell no tales.” Bugs corrects him that it’s dead men. Sam figures he has no choice and starts to aim at his head. (Hysterical) He quickly catches on and gives chase. Bugs hops in Sam’s rowboat and rows so fast, he ends up paddling himself out of the boat and onto Sam’s ship. Seeing this, Sam swims out to the ship, grabs the oars and swims back to the boat to row. (A good gag to be sure, but it makes sense. He might needs that boat later and he’ll want the oars) Once aboard he runs into Captain Bligh from “Mutiny on the Bounty.” (Bugs of course) He gives Sam several orders and chuckles while Sam does so. He soon wises up and Bugs hides. It would work, but Sam’s parrot keeps obnoxiously pointing out the rabbit’s hiding places. Bugs shuts him up by giving it a (fire)cracker. Taking the birds place, he tells Sam the rabbit is in the cannon. BOOM! Bugs takes the crow’s nest like an elevator and is well out of Sam’s reach. Sam orders him down, and Bugs yells for him to catch him as he tosses an anvil which causes the whole ship to submerge, (save Bugs) until Sam lets go of it. After some hilarious cannon gags and the brilliant many doors gag, (Bugs enters a door, Sam is about to follow when Bugs emerges from another door and enters a different one and Sam can’t catch up) We get to undoubtedly the best part of this short. Sam comes over to Bugs who is standing by the stairs to the powder room. (By which I mean where the gunpowder is kept. It’s not a latrine. When you’re a pirate, the ocean is your latrine) Smiling like a troll, Bugs lights a match and throws it down. Sam reacts how you’d think and runs after it. He manages to get it and berates Bugs for doing that. Bugs responds by doing it again. Sam grabs it once more, but tells Bugs that if he does it again, he’s not chasing after it. Bugs does it again. (This really is one of the best gags is all cartoon-dom. I’ve yet to see it be used in any other piece of media) Sam is true to his word and tries to keep busy, but ultimately can’t take it and tries to retrieve the match. Too late. The ship is blown to pieces and Bugs and Sam are blown back to the Island. Sam chases Bugs back to his hole thinking he has him cornered. But Bug’s hole is really a buried cannon. Sam surrenders despite the Bugs claim that he hasn’t even begun the fight.

Personal Rating: 4

Ali Baba Bunny

“It’s mine ya understand? Mine! All mine!”

Directed by Chuck Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Richard Thompson, Ken Haris, Abe Levitow, and Ben Washam; Effects Animation by Harry Love; Layouts by Maurice Noble; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl Stalling and Milt Franklyn. Released in 1957

This one is a classic. I think it’s Bugs and Daffy’s best known team up, outside of the hunting trilogy. Naturally, it’s one of the 100 greatest Looney Tunes and ranks number 35 on the 50 greatest cartoons.

In (somewhere in the Middle East, I’m sure) a midget seals a cave that is brimming with treasure. He tells the guard there, (Hassan) to guard it with his life. (Because the price is life.) Poor Hassan. I bet he’s really a nice guy who wants no part in this. But seeing as he’s got no alternative, he dutifully stands watch. The midget rides away on his adorably ugly, midget camel. We then see a very familiar burrow coming along. It heads right into the cave. Having noticed this, Hassan tries to enter but can’t seem to remember the magic words. (“Open sarsaparilla? Open Saskatchewan?”) Inside, Bugs announces that they have finally made it to Pismo Beach. Or have they? As he puzzles over things, his travel buddy, Daffy notices the treasure in a way I think we all would act. (Wide eyes, licking lips/beak, and plotting to get rid of the other guy.) He claims it as his own and shoves Bugs back into the hole, before unleashing his inner scrooge. (I remember in middle school seminary class, I got to teach about the seven deadly sins. I used Looney Tunes as examples. This was greed) Hassan meanwhile has finally gotten the phrase correct. (“Open septuagenarian?” No. “Open saddle soap?” Wrong. “Open sesame?” DING!) On his way out, Daffy mistakes him for a red cap and asks for a cab. Hassan slices his cute diamond studded hat in half. (Don’t ask where he got it) Daffy flees back to Bugs asking for his help in exchange for a diamond. Bugs is too cool to care. (This story could be part of the Looney Tunes Bible. “The good su-hare-itan?”) Daffy then tells the angry guard, that Bugs is the one who brought them there and he should get all the blame. Bugs has disguised himself as a genie and offers Hassan a reward if he frees him. He does so, and Bugs grants him the treasure all to himself. (Doing an amusing chant as well) With that taken care of, Bugs heads out and thinks that maybe they’re not at the beach. But his pondering must be put on hold as Daffy has gotten himself in trouble again. Seems he took one of the diamonds that now belong to Hassan. Bugs agrees to help and gets rid of Hassan by having him climb a rope into the clouds. (Here Daffy admits that he can’t help being greedy, it’s his hobby. At least he’s honest) With the guard gone, the treasure is all Daffy’s. He loads up a mine car with all the loot, (don’t ask where he got that either.) and takes one more quick look to make sure he’s got everything. He finds a lamp and rubbing it produces a real genie. Even though, it sounds like he’s going to grant Daffy a wish, the duck’s paranoia has him assuming the genie is after his treasure and tries to shove him back in the lamp. The genie is furious, and Bugs (wisely) decides to leave. Daffy is unafraid of the genie’s wrath, and says one of the best lines in all of ever. (“Consequences, schmonsequences. As long as I’m rich.”) Brilliant. I have the feeling every celebrity ever has said that at least once. (And once Kanye is out of debt, he’ll say it again.) At the beach, Bugs muses about what happened to Daffy as he eats clams. (They must taste like carrots) He finds a pearl in one. (Or they’re oysters.) Just then, and ant-sized Daffy runs out of the hole and claims the pearl as his own. Annoyed, Bugs shuts the bivalve on him. (It’s probably dead now, so at least he won’t be digested.) Daffy doesn’t seem to mind. And why should he? The oyster is his world!

Personal Rating: 5 (If for no other reason than Daffy is probably at his best, here.)

Dough Ray Me-ow

“Louie is my friend. Yes sir, my best little pal.”

Directed by Arthur Davis. Released in 1948

One of Warner Bros. best one shots! This short stars two pets. The parrot Louie and the cat Heathcliff. (Who predates the comic strip Heathcliff by about 25 years. Speaking of, have you ever read it? It’s the most surreal bizarre comic I’ve ever seen. I can’t even tell half the time if there is a joke being told.) Back to the REAL star… Heathcliff is dumb. He’s so dumb that he actually forgets to breathe! (That… is flucking hilarious. No, that’s not a typo. I’m not swearing.) Louie helps him out though, despite the fact he is clearly annoyed. (That’s so sweet.) Heathcliff (who actually did appear in “Looney Tunes back in Action”) finds a piece of paper that he wants Louie to read. Turns out, it’s their owner’s will, and when they go, Heathcliff will inheirit everything. Once he’s gone, Louie gets the dough. (Makes sense, Parrots tend to live longer than cats) Louie tells him instead of reading, that he should go on a vactaion. The cat returns half a second later due to being homesick. Looks like he’ll have to be permanently removed. Louie bribes a bulldog to kill the cat when Louie calls for help. Heathcliff is as strong as he is stupid and saves his chum while holding the dog in one paw. While the cat cracks nuts, (with the nut in his mouth and his head in a giant nutcracker) Louie tries playing a game of “William Tell.” (Which he unhappily seems to be a master at.) He rips a wire out of the wall and invites the cat to play “Radio.” You’ve never played? It’s a wonderful game! All you do is stick two live wires in your ears while they are plugged in. Music will then play. (Warning! This only applies to mammals. If you are a bird, then the basic rules of electricity WILL apply to you.) Even putting a can on the cat’s head and having walk into an upcoming train doesn’t kill him. (He should have just let Heathcliff do himself in. Besides his breathing problem, he seemed pretty close to crushing his head when he was playing with his nuts. Don’t try to find an innuendo there by the way, there is none.) Louie then surprises Heathcliff with a birthday cake. With 3 real candles, and a stick of dynamite. (It’s the thought that counts.) Heathcliff is apparently smart enough to know about numbers as he claims that he is only 3 and hands the explosive back saying it’s unneeded. (So depending on how old Louie is, he probably couldn’t wait another 10-11 years) Despite Louie claiming he IS four, Heathcliff refuses to accept it and takes the cake and runs. (Why didn’t Louie make all the candles explosive? Your face, that’s why.) After a chase scene, Heathcliff finds his birth certificate that literally says he’s four. He takes the candle back, and wouldn’t you know it, Louie’s scheme works. Heathcliff bids him farewell, as his nine lives fly up to cat heaven. But Louie just can’t keep his big beak shut, and tells him about the money he can’t take with him. Life number 9 calls the other back, and they all fly back into the body. If Heathcliff can’t take the money with him, then he’s not going. (I didn’t know death was that easy to get out of. I guess every time we sleep, we technically die, we just choose not to die yet. Death is considerate like that.)

Personal Rating: 4