The Foxy Duckling

“I gotta get a duck! I gotta get a duck! I gotta get a duck!”

Directed by Arthur Davis; Animation by J.C. Melendez, Manny Gould, and Don Williams; Layouts by Thomas McKimson; Backgrounds by Phil DeGuard. A Merrie Melody released on August 23, 1947.\

Night is probably my favorite time of day. Things are still and quiet, soothing and peaceful. Perfect for slipping into sleep and forgetting your troubles in the blissful state of unconsciousness. The only problem is when insomnia rears its ugly head. Such is the fate of poor A. Fox. (A for Adam) He can’t, and I mean can’t, sleep. He’s tried near everything too. Boxes of sleeping pills litter the floor, there’s a whole bucket of milk, and he’s tried every possible sleeping position. Even clamping his eyes shut don’t make a difference.

Falling out of bed causes one of his insomnia books to land on his face. I guess he didn’t read this one much, as it states a solution he never thought to try: a pillow full of duck down. (His is full of various metals. Not comfortable, but… actually, I can’t think of a “but” after that.) Well, if that’s what’ll help, the only solution is to get a duck. So he heads out with a mallet. (I like that he isn’t just hunting for some food. There’s already so many cartoons like that)

He finds a duckling and readies his weapon. (It’s interesting that Daffy was not used in this picture. Not bad, just interesting.) He takes a little too long to swing, so the duckling escapes to a lake. Adam follows, but is reminded that he can’t swim. (Despite the fact he should be able to, and adult ducks also have down. There you go. The two animal facts I’ll teach you today.) He tries some tricks. Blowing a duck call gets him shot by hunters, and when he throws an anvil from a boat, the bird just drags him into the firing line. (It frightens the fish, so I guess he won’t be sleeping with them either.)

Maybe this swimming thing could work. All he needs is a flotation device, and a diving board. (With all that preparation, the duck has plenty of time to aim the board towards a tree) Okay, maybe the heavy object trick could work if one was to throw it from a tree. (Since their is a rope tied to the thing, I guess it was an anchor) Duckling ties the rope to Adam’s leg, but the fox is smart enough to cut the rope. (But dumb enough to keep holding it afterwards)

The duckling climbs a strangely placed mountain, (When God gets drunk, he just places them any old place) and when Adam catches up, the duckling flies over the edge, just out of reach. (I’d tell you that the bird hasn’t yet grown the feathers for that, but I’ve already given you your two facts. Don’t be greedy.) Our fox isn’t going to have that, and begins nailing many planks together to catch up to the fowl. Once he’s out a ways, the bird saws through most of his work. It’s just barely hanging on, and Adam freezes in place to not upset it further.

Sadistic duckling that he is, the little guy plucks out a single feather, (his feet flash yellow) and lets it drops on the frightened fox. (The tension is wonderful here!) No fake outs either; once the feather makes contact with the fox, his structure collapses and he falls to his death. You’d think that now he’d be able to rest. (In peace) But forget that! Being an angel means he has wings of his own! And he’s going to use them to chase that duckling! Iris out.

Favorite part: It’s small, but a great touch. When the duckling walks around in the air with his wing/hands behind his back, he still flaps them to keep aloft. Being a cartoon, nobody would have to animate that and everyone could just accept it. But they did. I’m very proud of them.

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.

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.)

Bye, Bye Bluebeard

“T-That old bluebeard can’t scare me. Much.”

While doing some eating “exercises” Porky is tormented by a mouse that apparantley has been bothering him for quite some time. After chasing the rodent off, Porky hears on the radio that a pyschotic killer, (named Bluebeard) is at large. He boards up his house only to find the killer is already in his house. Or a mouse dressed up like a murderer. Porky begs for his life and offers the pyscho anything in exchange for his life. The mouse likes the idea of a steak dinner. As he is pleasing his “guest” Porky gets more info on the killer. Apparently he’s 6 feet eleven inches. Not 3. Porky chases the mouse intending to finish him off, but finds the real bluebeard instead. (what was he doing? lying under Porky’s table? why? was it more comfortable than standing?) He ties porky to a missile and goes to eat the food. (Porky meanwhile, continuosly pulls the fuse out of the missile) The mouse not wanting to lose food that technically WAS made for him, harrasses the guy. (Probably the most pies in the face you’ll ever see in a Looney Tunes short) The mouse gets away and noticing Porky isn’t dead, Bluebeard makes a guillotine. The mouse decides to help and right before Porky is about to become diced, announces that Bluebeard’s meal is ready. Bombs, or as Bluebeard assumes: Popovers. (Anyone know what those are?) Realizing what he ate he rushes to the medicine cabinet and makes a concoction. (In the cabinet we see such things as: uch, alky haul, frizby mixture, mckimsons solution, ted pierces medicine, jones laxatives, and maltese minestrone. Yum) He takes his tonic but blows up anyway. Now safe, Porky and the mouse are now eating buddies. (I’m giving the mouse a name too. Henceforth he shall be known as cheeseball.)

Bowery Bugs

“Sorry Mac! Me luck’s run out!”

In the only Bugs Bunny cartoon to be directed by Arthur Davis we find Bugs telling some random old man the story of how a man named Steve Brody jumped off the Brooklyn bridge. (For the record Brody was a real guy, and he survived his fall) The tale starts with Brody deciding that his life needs a lucky charm and so he goes in hunt of a rabbits foot. (Why are they considered lucky?) Bugs eludes injury by telling the fellow to visit someone known as the Swami Rabbitima instead. Brody (voiced by Billy Bletcher) goes and finds this swami. (Bugs in disguise) The swami tells him that a man with a carnation will be his lucky mascot, if he keeps him nearby at all times. Brody finds this man, (bugs in disguise) and drags him to a casino. He wins nothing and gets booted out. He heads back to the “swami” for revenge but forgets it after he is told that he will find true love. He spots a girl (Bugs in disguise…again) who acts offened and gets Brody in trouble with a cop. Back with the “swami” he asks why Brody why he wants good luck so bad. He just wants some dough. The swami tells him where he can gets lots of it. Brody ends up at a bakery, baked into a pie by the baker. (Bugs in… oh screw it) Brody realiezes that the baker is Bugs and also figures out he was everyone else too. Driven to insanity he jumps. Bugs finishes his story and the old man buys it. (literally)


Porky Chops

“Some guys don’t never learn.”

This is one of my favorite Porky cartoons. Is it popular? Not to my knowledge. Is it one of the best? No. Is it funny? Heck yeah it is! One of the reasons it’s so great is because Porky is a jerk in it. Hes a lumberjack who is trying to chop down a tree that a squirrel in it. The squirrel asks Porky to stop (since he’s on vacation) but Porky refuses and declares all out war. The squirrel is funny but he has no name. So i need a name for him. Any ideas?