“Ahhh! Such beauty!”
Supervision by Jack King; Animation by Paul Smith and Don Williams; Music by Bernard Brown. A Looney Tune released on October 17, 1934.
I really want to like this short more than I do. The atmosphere is full of macabre merriment and a decent villain to boot. We’ve seen this guy before, (since blogging in chronological order would have made too much sense) in “A Cartoonist’s Nightmare.” where he was going by the alias of “The Mad Doctor.” (Because if you’re going to change your name, you might as well be inspired by one of Mickey Mouse’s best works.)
Why is this musician mad? Well… I guess he kind of sucks at his profession? I think it sounds rather nice, but I will admit the tree is doing a better job than he is. Of course, maybe if he bothered to practice, he could improve. Instead, he uses hypnotism to get others to play in his stead. (Which makes you the complete opposite of a musician, but hey, at least we get to see a frog play the piano.)
(Who knew originality was so hard?)
It may be specific, but I suppose what he’s doing IS illegal. Even if it isn’t, he must have broken out of some sort of prison, seeing as we randomly cut to some girl reading such a headline in the paper. Enough exposition, who’s the Mad Musician going to force to be his next performer? He’s literally going to pick a name at random from the phone book. (After all, he is a MAD musician. Rational Musician doesn’t have any kind of catchy ring.) The name he has selected is: Cookie! (No last name given.) You’re the next contestant on: “Hypno-Tease”! Come on down to our studio, now! (And don’t think I didn’t see Clampett’s name in the book as well. I’d love to see what he could have done with this picture.)
M.M’s powers don’t need eye contact. He can summon you over the phone. (Does hypnosis make a sound?) Either way, the girl who is only Cookie in name falls to his “charms” and begins making her way to his place for some piano practice. (Really though. That’s Cookie? Why the redesign? She looks like a a five year old girl!) Buddy, meanwhile, is actually in the cartoon as well. He’s busy staring at a picture of the (probably underage) Cookie. (This is the real reason Buddy is forgotten today. Big, big scandal.) Her dog (that I will call “Crumb.”) alerts the creep that something is wrong and he suits up in his detective outfit, so he can save her. (It’s not really a mystery. Seeing as Crumb knows where to go, it’s more of a confrontation. See, Clampett would know better.)
He makes it there fast enough, but has to contend with…skeletons. (Well, I guess if I had an evil music obsession, and hypnosis powers, I’d reenact “Silly Symphonies” too.)
They really aren’t much of a threat. They don’t hurt Buddy or even seem to scare him much. He even follows one around instead of trying to rescue the minor he was longing for. (He’s the hero?) The skeletons have more reason to be scared, as Crumb is liking what he is seeing. (You ever think about that? Without your skin, your dog would eat you for breakfast, dinner and tea. And we let them sleep in our beds!) Oh, and Buddy jumps around the cel at one point too. (Clampett needs that director chair NOW! I won’t wait until 1937!)
I guess the hypno power wears off, as Cookie is no longer playing and screams for help. Buddy is able to get to the room she’s being held in, by use of a portable door, and the final battle commences. While they do that, I better give Cookie the character bio I promised.
Generic love interest for bland as rice character.
And the tussle is over. Maddy isn’t competent as a fighter. As soon as Buddy gets a hold of his head, he immediately ceases any attempt to struggle, and lets Buddy toss him around. (I didn’t know Buddy had such strength.) He flings the fiend around, and gets him trapped under a foot stool. Time to celebrate with some more music! (It’s all we got. It’s the depression.)
Favorite Part: I like how Buddy enters the villains lair. He shines a flashlight through a magnifying glass, making a blow torch. The simplest solution really is the best.
Personal Rating: 2. (Animation error and clumsy storytelling aside, horror imagery is always a fun time)