Martian through Georgia

“MONSTER!”

Directed by Chuck Jones and Abe Levitow; Co-Director: Maurice Noble; Story by Carl Kohler and Chuck Jones; Animation by Tom Ray, Ken Harris, Richard Thompson, and Bob Bransford; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Dilm Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc, Ed Prentise; Musical Direction by Bill Lava. A Looney Tune released on December 29, 1962.

Way, way out in space there is a planet. Even though it is yellow, I think we call it Mars. I mean, the indigenous lifeforms are called “Martians.” (I guess the universe is big enough for two Mars’s) They are really interesting. Like humans, they come in two genders: male and female. The males seem to be quite comfortable in their birthday suits, while the females are clad in purple jumpsuits. (Or they just have a purple coloration that covers their entire bodies, save for their faces.) They are a happy race. Well, except for one. And we’ll call that one: Al.

Poor Al. He is depressed. And he is depressed because he is bored. Both activities that martians typically partake in (levitating and though projection) bore him. (How can you be bored when you have constant access to pig pictures? And do martian pigs really resemble our Earth ones?) His depression must be really bad, because a woman tries flirting with him and he doesn’t give a crap. (And given by her heartbroken reaction, I think she was really into him.)

Al goes to a doctor. No martian speaks in this short, (which makes sense if you think about it. If you had thought projection abilities, what use would talking be?) so they communicate via their antenna. The doc thinks that traveling would be a good way to relieve his boredom and though Al doesn’t really think it will help, (I mean, he is still sulking as he leaves) he leaves. As he travels, he comes across a new planet. One full of simple, ignorant, life forms. (I’m stumped. What planet could that be?) Looking at this sad excuse of civilization, he finds a new purpose within him. He will shares his gifts with them! Finally feeling something close to joy, he heads down.

Things don’t seem to be off to a great start. Many people run away in fear, and those that don’t take him away for parking in a “no parking zone.” They send him to his new house, (a prison cell) but he has no time to stay. He must continue his mission! So he easily leaves. This gets everyone in a panic, and soon everyone knows of a monster that is on the loose. (The letters seem to be coming off that newspaper) Everyone except Al. When he does hear about it, he decides this is a good place to start helping these folks, and he soon finds the creature that everyone must be afraid of. I mean, it’s eaten a guy! (I think they are called “eggskahvayters”) He uses his atom re-arranger that he always had on him, and turns the beast into a cow/dragon/ cat. (Don’t worry, it’s friendly)

Satisfied, he begins to look for more wrongs to right, when a youth speaks to him. The child seems friendly enough, but he drops a bombshell: Al is the monster that everyone has been afraid of. According to the kid’s comic book, monsters are easily identified by their lack of noses. (That’s it, huh? So… birds, reptiles, fish, amphibians, mand\y mammals and every invertebrate are a kind of monster? The people of this planet are self-entitled pricks!) Al can make his antenna look like a nose, but it doesn’t change anyone’s opinion. (I think that kid is also a monster. His hands temporarily turn green) Even more miserable than before, he finds no other option. Suicide is the only answer. I mean, what else can one do when no one loves you?

Wait! Someone clearly did love him! (Although, after that cruel rejection of his, would she really still want him? Actually, the martians seem like quite the nice species. But I bet if they were both like the people on this planet, she wouldn’t give him another chance.) Realizing that as long as someone loves you, life is indeed worth living, he heads home. Seems the trip really did help him. (And that goes for non-romantic love too. No more suicide! You’re just hurting others.)

Now Hear This

“QUIET!”

Directed by Chuck Jones; Co-Direction: Maurice Noble; Story by John Dunn, and Chuck Jones; Animation by Ben Washam, and Bob Bransford; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Sound Effects Created by Treg Brown; Musical Direction by Bill Lava. A Looney Tune released on April 27, 1963.

Oh boy. This is a hard cartoon to describe. It’s kind of like if UPA directed “The Beatles Yellow Submarine.” And that just describes the style. Strange as it may be, it is an artistic masterpiece! And it was rightfully nominated for an academy award. (The last Looney Tune to get such an honor!) What could have beaten it? Another abstract short made by Mel Brooks? I suppose that makes sense, much as I hate to admit it. It’s also where we get the first use of the abstract opening that was used during the sixties. (A shame it is now remembered as part of the weaker shorts.)

So the plot. Unfortunately, the twist is spoiled as soon as it starts. (That’s pretty much my only gripe.) So we’ll just pretend like we never saw anything. An old British gentleman strolls along. Ironically, he is hard of hearing and carries around an ear trumpet. Clearly, it has gotten much use. The poor thing is battered and beaten. So we aren’t surprised to see him trade it for the red, shiny, pristine and perfect one he finds on the ground.

He gives it a test run. And not a moment too soon! Sounds like there is an automobile approaching! Or rather, it was some sort of animal. (As an animal expert, I’m saddened to find I can’t identify it. It resembles an insect, but has a telescoping neck and shoes for feet. It defies all nature.) Well, that was odd. But it seems to be working now, as the man delights in listening to a songbird. But the insanity is just getting started. Part of which is caused by some little man dressed all in pink, and lacks facial features. (Save for a nose)

I’m not sure if he is real or not, but in this short, I’m not sure if anything is real. Even our main character is started to get nervous, judging by the sounds his heart is making. And then? The scariest thing I’ve ever seen in animation. That is no exaggeration. In total darkness, the man is watched by several sets of angry eyes. That’s it. And that horrifying image is awesome. (Part of why it’s scary is that it’s a perfect metaphor for how I view the world. All alone. The only ones who look at us, silently judge.)

Why doesn’t the man just get rid of the thing causing all this trouble? He can’t! The little pink man won’t allow it! And the trumpet begins entangling the old man in music. Eventually leading up to a “Gigantic Explosion!” Happily, the old man is still alive. (If a bit bandaged.) Better yet, his old horn is still in the trash can. Tattered it may be, it still works fine, and the gentleman once more can hear the the lovely sounds the world has to produce. And the owner of the red horn? Satan. (Wish they hadn’t showed him at the beginning) At least that explains the creepy as hell imagery. He happily puts his horn back on his head, and leaves.

This short is something else. A treat for the ears as much as the eyes. (Just like the best cartoons) I think it’s one of the studio’s best, and think it belongs right up there with “Porky’s Preview” as one of the “100 best.”

Señorella and the Glass Hurache

Size 4 and 5/8.

 Directed by Hawley Pratt; Story by John Dunn; Animation by Gerry Chiniquy, Bob Matz, Virgil Ross, and Lee Halpern; Layouts by Hawley Pratt; Backgrounds by Tom O'Loughlin; Effects Animation by Harry Love; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc and Tom Holland; Musical Direction by Milt Franklyn. Released in 1964
Directed by Hawley Pratt; Story by John Dunn; Animation by Gerry Chiniquy, Bob Matz, Virgil Ross, and Lee Halpern; Layouts by Hawley Pratt; Backgrounds by Tom O’Loughlin; Effects Animation by Harry Love; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc and Tom Holland; Musical Direction by Milt Franklyn. Released in 1964

This is the last short that was produced by the old studio before Depatie and Freleng made their own. It features the new opening titles that started with “Now hear this” and have become associated with the later shorts.

At Casa de Tacos (IHOT) two guys see an advertisement for this story. The one on the left has never heard of it, so his compadre fills him in on the sad story. The girl of said story has a pretty crappy life. Not only is she bossed around by her “strap mother and strap seesters” but she has to sleep in the fireplace to actually get warm. (At least her Disney counterpart got an actual bed!) Her only friends are what the narrator calls bugs. (But I don’t because not all insects are bugs.) They’re are good “bugs” (cockroaches who help her with her cleaning. That’s nice of them to go against their nature) and bad bugs. We’re not told what those are, but they must be parasites as she scratches herself when they are brought up. This could lead them to be fleas (also not bugs) or bedbugs. (actually bugs!) I’m not too sure which they are though. She doesn’t sleep in a bed, but bedbugs are real bugs and you get a bit of fun wordplay with them. (The bedbugs are badbugs) Fish aren’t the only animals I know about. But I digress… A man named Don Miguel (Did Mexico ever have kings at any point? I’ll just say he’s a mayor) wishes for his son, Jose, to marry. But his son would rather fight bulls all day. So Don flat out states that a fiesta will be held and every eligible senorita will be attending. Well, one won’t be. As all the ladies get prettied up, our titular character looks forward to a night with the cucarachas. But her fairy godmother shows up and turns a cart into a car and the insects into burros. (Because she didn’t have anything to turn into fossil fuels I guess.) And not only does she give ‘Ella a smokin’ new outfit (complete with glass huraches) but plastic surgery too! (Why else would her nose change like that? Jose has standards, you know) And she is sent off with the usual midnight curfew. Jose meanwhile is not impressed by the army of identical clones and two uggs that dance by. (The rose is this scene really should have been a black outline or something. The petals disappear into the background) but when our main character comes out he is smitten! They dance until the clock strikes twelve and she dashes off leaving behind one of her shoes. Jose vows to marry whoever fits it! And he’s not shy about letting you know if you aren’t the girl he was looking for. As he has you leave out of the exit labeled “rejects.” At Casa de titular character, the “strap mother” does not wish for her “strap daughter” to have a chance at wedded bliss, so she dumps her into the pig pen. Jose is saddened to find his mystery mate isn’t here either, but what’s that he see’s out the window? A leg! And it fits the shoe! But could his mystery woman really be a pig? (Of course not. That’s something I would write) She is the same girl he fell in love with. (Though her clothes disapeared, her plastic surgery was permanent. (Jose has standards!) They are married and the narrator concludes his story. But wait! Why was it sad? (Other than cockroaches continuing to be mislabeled as bugs?) Oh that concerns the “strap mother.” He married her.

Goldimouse and the Three Cats

I don’t like porridge. I want a mouse!

 Directed by Friz Freleng; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Virgil Ross, Art Davis, and Gerry Chiniquy; Layouts by Hawley Pratt; Backgrounds by Tom O'Loughlin; Film editor: Treg Brown; Boice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Milt Franklyn. Released in 1960
Directed by Friz Freleng; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Virgil Ross, Art Davis, and Gerry Chiniquy; Layouts by Hawley Pratt; Backgrounds by Tom O’Loughlin; Film editor: Treg Brown; Boice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Milt Franklyn. Released in 1960

Once there were three cats. A father, a mother and a spoiled brat. They were going to eat the unknown food known as porridge, but found it’s temperature to not to there liking. They decide to go for a walk while it cools. (I guess the mother’s just out of luck, seeing as hers was too cold) Junior (In a cute looking coonskin cap) complains about his diet and whines for a mouse. Sylvester tells him no as there are no mice around. Speak of the devil, a little blonde rodent named Goldimouse happens upon their meals and eats. Full of whatever porridge is made of, she goes to find a bed to sleep on. Sylvester’s is so hard she bounces off it. The mother’s (this is the only short where Junior has a mother of any kind) is so soft she sinks into it. She finds Junior’s to her liking and falls asleep. (Wasn’t it nice of his parents to give him a mat that says “Spoiled Brat” to put next to his bed so it would be the first thing he sees in the morning?) The cats come home and find empty bowls, and mussed up beds. Junior is delighted to find a mouse on his. (I think she got bigger. Too much porridge?) She wakes up and leaps onto Sylvester in fright. This results in my favorite line Junior has ever said: “Put her on the plate, Pop! Put her on the plate!” Goldi escapes and Junior bawls. To shut him up, Sylvester pokes his head in to grab her but she mallets his skull. Junior wears a bag in shame. Sylvester tries launching an arrow, but launches himself. Junior tells his mom to bring the thing. (a plunger) He tries a blow gun but Goldi blows it back to him. (Did she shrink?) Junior tells his mom to get some band-aids. Sylvester tries to lure her out with TNT stuffed cheese. It might have worked if Junior hadn’t startled him into falling on it. He calls for mother again. (She’s no Ma bear. Even at her most deadpan, Ma was entertaining. This cat just sounds bored) Sylvester builds a hammer like device that will bonk the mouse when she exits her hole. (By this point, Junior is considering just eating the porridge) Of course, Sylvester is the one who gets flattened. While he works on his next scheme, mother and son are reading. (or faking it. Their eyes aren’t open) While he works, they silently head out to a bomb shelter. One explosion later and Sylvester returns. Junior asks if he got his breakfast. Sylvester pours porridge on his spoiled brat’s head. Bon appetie!

The Abominable Snow Rabbit

“I AIN’T NO BUNNY RABBIT!”

Directed by Chuck Jones; Co-Directed by Maurice Noble; Story by Tedd Pierce; Animation by Ken Harris, Richard Thompson, Bob Bransford, and Tom Ray; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard. Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Milt Franklyn. Released in 1961

On a snowy mountain, we see an all too familiar burrow move through the frosty ground. It’s Bugs, en route to Palm Springs. Daffy is along for the trip and heads off to go for a dip before Bugs can warn him that things aren’t quite right. Daffy ends up diving into a frozen pond. (ouch.) After consulting a map, Bugs finds they have ended up in the Himalayas. (Which Daffy corrects his pronunciation of. I don’t know why, but I like that Daffy has at least one thing he can do better.) Upset that Bugs got them sidetracked in Asia, Daffy heads off on his own without Bugs. It’s not long before he bumps into a yeti. This is Hugo. (Although he wouldn’t get his name until the TV special “Bug’s Bunny’s Bustin out all over’s” “Spaced out Bunny.” After that, his only appearance [besides Looney Tunes comics] was in “Tweety’s high flying adventure.”) There’s no need to panic though, this yeti isn’t going to eat Daffy. (Although that might be the preferred option.) He mistakes Daffy for a bunny rabbit, and names him George. (Daffy had been keeping his arms inside his bathing suit to conserve heat, leaving the sleeves looking a bit like long ears) When Daffy points out they are sleeves and not ears, Hugo spanks him for lying. (They call that tough love.) But the duck offers up the whereabouts of a real rabbit. Calling Bugs over allows the duck to escape, while the yeti happily cuddles his new George. (Daffy acknowledges the fact he’s a jerk, but at least he’s alive) Hugo then decides to sit on Bugs much like a mother hen. (oooooooooooooookayyyyyyy…) Seeing his opportunity, Bugs burrows out and goes to get Daffy back. (Who I must point out is saying some great lines that I use frequently myself. “I’m not like other people. I can’t stand pain. It hurts me.” Brilliant) Bugs claims Daffy is a rabbit. Daffy has a good idea, he asks the creature what makes a rabbit look like a rabbit. Long ears naturally. (Although now, I want to see a rabbit with dog ears or something.) Bugs ties his ears down and does the ‘ole two fingers behind anothers head routine. Daffy is chosen as Bugs escapes. Hugo is happy that he has a rabbit at last. Covered in lovely black feathers and a strong bill…wait…No mammals have feathers! Even a simple minded creature knows that! (The bill is more believable) Daffy points out the retreating rabbit and Hugo chases after him. (Daffy following because he wants to see Bugs get hurt.) Later at Palm Springs, an overheated Hugo tells a stranger of his lost love. (Bugs in disguise) Seeing Daffy coming up, Bugs slips a rabbit hood (Not the short from 1949, and not the Zelda item. That’s a bunny hood.) on his head. Hugo excitedly grabs his new pet. Alas, it’s not meant to last. For as abominable as he may be, he can’t hide the fact that he is a snowman, and he melts.

Transylvania 6-5000

Rest is good for the blood.

 Directed by Chuck Jones; Co-Director: Maurice Noble; Story by John Dunn; Animation by Bob Bransford, Tom Ray, Ken Harris, and Richard Thompson; Layouts by Bob Givens; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc, Ben Frommer, and Julie Bennet; Musical Direction by Bill Lava. Released in 1963
Directed by Chuck Jones; Co-Director: Maurice Noble; Story by John Dunn; Animation by Bob Bransford, Tom Ray, Ken Harris, and Richard Thompson; Layouts by Bob Givens; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc, Ben Frommer, and Julie Bennet; Musical Direction by Bill Lava. Released in 1963

A pretty late entry for Bugs, and the last time he’d be directed by Chuck Jones. (In the golden age at least.) Said bunny is burrowing through what he thinks is Pennsylvania. Obviously enough; by the title we can tell he’s on the other side of the world. (Tough luck on his part. Vampire pencils aren’t nearly as dangerous as humanoid ones.) He pops up and asks directions from someone who I think is the most unusual specimen (and that’s saying a lot) of all Looney Tunes. This is Agatha and Emily. (Voiced by Julie Bennet. Who was well known for voicing Cindy Bear)  I’ve read that they are supposed to be a two-headed vulture. Okay. (Vultures have BALD heads, but their necks don’t really lend itself to any other species I can think of. Vultures it is.) They don’t really have much of a point in this short. They don’t even help Bugs, they just go on talking about eating him I think. (They talk like he’s not even in front of them.) Bugs opts to go ask for help at a building he mistakes for an motel. They don’t even follow him. But they’ll be back. (Seriously, why two headed?) It’s really a castle and the sole occupant is one by the name of Count Bloodcount. (Nice name, but a little redundant don’t you think, nice name?) I like how his pupils can travel in between eyes. I bet that’s useful. He welcomes Bugs in. (He’s voiced by Ben Frommer, who you might remember as the Hitchcockian narrator in “The Last Hungry Cat.”) It’s a nice place. Complete with piano from “Super Mario 64” pictures of his relatives, (bats) and even a time when he was a leader of some Ghoul Scouts. (I hear they sell great cookies) Despite Bug’s clearly stating that he just wants a telephone, the Count shepherds him into a room saying he can do that tomorrow. Bugs eventually agrees and tries to get some sleep. But it’s no use, he just can’t fall asleep in an unfamiliar bed. (I’ve been there.) He decides to try some reading. Selecting a book that contains magic spells. He doesn’t notice the vampire just behind him. (Who doesn’t really have teeth, just teeth shaped lips. Just like Hassan. Mr. Jones, what is going on?) Apparently “Abracadabra” is indeed a magic phrase. (Even though Bugs says it as “Abacadabra” Close enough I suppose) The word changes the vampire into his bat form, which Bugs mistakes for a mosquito. (And swats.) The dazed bat flies out of the window to escape, but Bugs tries another phrase: “Hocus Pocus.” This turns him back to normal and he plummets into the moat. Bugs goes for a walk and the Count reveals his true self. Using his new tricks, Bugs turns himself into an umpire. Not wanting to be one-upped (I think that’s the reason) Bloodcount turns into a bat. Bugs does too. A baseball bat. (And he has no qualms about hitting a bat wearing glasses) The count slips under a stone and changes back to human shape. Now he has a weapon to crush Bugs with-Bugs turns him back into a bat and he is crushed. This goes on for a few more times. (At one point, the Count looks angry until he reverts to full height, at which point he just looks dizzy. Repeated crushings can’t be healthy for someone who can’t even be killed that way) Bugs then switches things up and trys out “Abakapocus.” This turns the count into a vampire with a bat’s head. Turning it around and saying “Hocuskadabra” makes him a head with Bat wings. And Newport News, (wait, that’s magical too?) Turns him into Witch Hazel. (Nice cameo. And that counts as an appearance. So she makes my five appearances rule) And it turns out Walla walla is also magical. (That must be a fun place to live.) This turns the count into… a two headed vulture. (what is wrong with one head?) Remember the female one/s? Bugs calls them over and it’s love at first sight. For the girls. The count/s is terrified (and I guess speechless now) and takes off with the lovebird/s in tow. (Ugh. It’s confusing) Bugs meanwhile has finally found a phone. He calls for his travel agent and hums the song “It’s magic” to himself. Only he puts one of those magic phrases into it. And since there’s no one there but him, the magic turns his ears into wings. (Seeing as he’s a mammal, he gets mammal wings. And seeing as how the mammal that can fly is a bat, he gets that model) He’s not bothered though. He tells the operator to cancel his call and flies home instead.

Mouse and Garden

“We’re pals, aren’t we Sylvester?”

Directed by Friz Freleng. Released in 1960 (Nominated for an Academy Award. Lost to the Noveltoon, Munro.)

Life is hard for Sylvester. If he’s not being anyone’s pet, he doesn’t get any food and is reduced to picking through the trash. At least he’s got a friend. Sam, (voiced by Daws Butler, the same person who voiced many of Hanna Barberas characters, like Yogi, Huckleberry Hound, and Quick Draw) who previously appeared with him in the short “Trick or Tweet” The two are the best of chums. And they’re always willing to share the other’s food. Sylvester takes note of a mouse. It’s small, but it’s got more nutrition than fish bones. Seeing his chance, he ditches Sam and chases the rodent into a boathouse. Unlike most mice in Looney Tunes, this one is not a clever trickster and Sylvester steps on its tail. Sam comes in and Sylvester hides his snack behind a pillar. Somehow, Sam knows about this and hammers Sylvester’s foot and replaces the mouse with a lit firecracker, which Sylvester eats. Sam hides the mouse in a bureau and when Sylvester asks what’s in it, he claims it’s nothing. Sylvester pokes his head in and comments that he’s right. Sam finds the mouse in his friend’s mouth. Now that they both know the other is aware, they decide to put the mouse in a jug (hope they don’t mind if he dies, there can’t be an air supply there) that they dangle from a rope, promising to share it in the morning. The two sleep on a bed that’s there and Sam dreams of a mouse feast. (Sylvester dreams of hitting Sam for dreaming of said mouse) Sam attempts to get the mouse but is caught in the act. Since he can’t be trusted, Sam is tied to the bed. Sylvester attempts, but Sam mallets his head. (All while still tied to the bed) Sam tries to reach the jug from the water below, using a pipe as a snorkel. Sylvester puts another firecracker down it. (Is he walking on water?) Sam spits it back up a few times, before Sylvester plugs it up. To finally stop this whole thing, the two agree to be tied together. But later, Sylvester ties more string on the line so he can get the mouse without Sam waking up. He ties Sam’s end to a motorboat, but Sam wakes up and catches him. He ties Sylvester’s tail to the boat and exposes him. Unaware that he’s now the one tied up, Sylvester announces his plans to have Sam be taken away. Sam points out that he switched the lines and shakes Sylvester’s hand/paw in farewell. The boat takes off with Sylvester, Sam, and the jug all being taken along. They crash and the two cats make it to an offshore rock. As the mouse (somehow escaped) floats back to land in the jug, the two cats continuously kick each other as we iris out.

A-Haunting We Will Go

“I told ya, there’s no such thing as a witch.”

Directed by Robert McKimson. Released in 1966

Did you ever want to see what would happe if you crossed “Broomstick-Bunny” with “Duck Amuck” and added Speedy in? The correct answer is: not really. And yet, here we are. And what an appropriate short, given the season. Someone in Bug’s witch costume comes up to Witch Hazel’s door. It turns out to be a young duck who resembles Daffy. When he get’s one look at the witch, he bolts. Back home, he tries to tell his Uncle Daffy that he saw a real witch. Daffy naturally doesn’t believe him, and drags him out to prove him wrong. Hazel (making her last appearance in the golden era, which means it’s the last short June Foray worked on) meanwhile is working on one of her brews. She bemoans the fact that she hasn’t taken a vacation in quite a while, but she is interrupted by Speedy. He wants to borrow some cheese. (Am I the only one who thinks that’s a weird phrase? You can’t borrow food. You eat it.) She refuses, but reasons that if she tinkers with the cheese, she can turn him into her double and then she can go have some fun. She hands him some, and wouldn’t you know it, it works. (Speedy fell for it? Then again, Hazel aways has been rather smart. She did catch Bugs a few times, even if he did get away in the end.) Speedy takes the whole thing rather well and the real witch leaves. Speedy messes with the brew a bit, when Daffy shows up. Speedy invites him in and pours him some brew to drink. Daffy is pretty polite here, as he drinks it desptie disliking the taste. I guess he made his point, (despite the fact his nephew isn’t with him anymore.) As he leaves, he turns into the thing Bug’s painted him into. Hazel meanwhile returns. (Wow. Short trip. Who was keeping her from leaving anyway?) and asks Speedy how it went. Speedy shows off the transforme duck. (Who is still there. I guess he found out what happened and wouldn’t leave until he was fixed up.) Hazel is angry and turns him back into mouse saying that’s all he’s good at. (Speedy seems a lot happier.) She then turns Daffy back, and declares it’s been a while since she had duck. Daffy flees, but she scoops him up with her broom. He jumps and somehow has a parachute, but the witch turns it into an anvil and he plummets. But she doesn’t look where she’s going and crashes. On the ground, Daffy’s nephew finds him and asks if the woman was a witch. Whether he just won’t admit he was right or he doesn’t want the kid scared, Daffy denies it and they head home. As they walk, Daffy turns back into his flower-headed, four-legged form.

The Wild Chase

“Vamanos! Vamanos! Yee-haa!”

Directed by Friz Freleng. Released in 1965

My four shadows are gone! Do you get it yet? I said in a few posts back, that I wondered who would win in a race between Speedy and the Roadrunner. Foreshadowing! Seems it was too subtle. Well, we might as well carry on anyway.

A race is being held for the honor of Mexico and Texas. (Okay. I always pictured the Roadrunner shorts taking place in Arizona or New Mexico) The fastest mouse in Mexico (Speedy) vs the Texas road burner (the Roadrunner). Both entrants are being watched by hungry eyes. One Wile E. Coyote, (who is for a first, NOT being directed by Chuck Jones) and Sylvester. (And this is his last starring role. He’d reappear as a cameo one year later, but that was it.) The race starts and the bird takes the lead. The coyote follows and the ” resulting smoke hides the fact that there’s no more road” gag from “Zoom and Bored” is resused. Sylvester chases his prey of choice but has to stop at the same cliff. (I guess Speedy jumped.) The Roadrunner for whatever reason, went backwards and surprises the cat to jump off and land on the struggling coyote. Both predaotrs try launching boulders at the prey, but they collide in midair and land on their respective launchers. Wile tries the “putting iron pellets in birdseed gag” that he used in the short “Wild about Hurry” with Sylvester laying cheese as bait. The racers stop for a snack. (Should I stop pointing out every time there’s a color goof? ‘Cause Speedy’s nose turns tan.) Wile sets a grenade tied to a roller skate with a magnet on it to go toward the two. It breaks in two just as he checks to see how it’s going. (Explosion) They try pushing a rock on the two, but it won’t fall until both are jumping on it, and when trying to set up a TNT plunger, it blows up before they get it set up. They decide to catch their prey by riding in a rocket car. They catch up, but the racers veer away from a tunnel that the car enters. It leads to empty air, but the car is going so fast, that they don’t plummet. Instead they pass the combatents and end up winning the race themselves. Then the car blows up. Amusing short, but I feel like this story was done better in an issue of Looney Tunes Comics. Where the racers tie… for second place. Cecil turtle won first. (Great joke and twist)

Pancho’s Hideaway

“Don’t worry. I’ll get back all the money’s.”

Directed by Friz Freleng. Released in 1964

But wait you say, didn’t you just say that in the last post that “Nuts and Volts” was the last of golden era Warner Bros. shorts to give him director credit? Yes I did. Don’t worry, all will be explained in about twenty-one letters later. That was fast. You see, by 1963 the cartoon studio at W.B. was shut down. Friz Freleng and executive David H. DePatie formed Depatie-Freleng Enterprises to keep making shorts. While they did continue to make Looney Tunes, many feel that these just simply weren’t as good as they were before. (I still think they’re pretty dang great) The studio’s biggest claim was creating the Pink Panther. But let’s move on to what I’m supposed to be talking about, hm? (And why are my four shadows even bigger than before?)

A bandit is coming to town. Named Pancho Vanilla? Oh, where did he go wrong? Winning washing machines for your mother just wasn’t cutting it anymore? You had to move on to burglary? Wait a minute… That’s Sam! Except for the fact he’s dressed up like an early version of the Frito Bandito and has a Mexican accent, It’s Sam. But for your sake, (and the fact that famed cartoon historian Jerry Beck said Sam’s last apperance was in an earlier short named “Dumb Patrol”,) he shall be referred to as Pancho for today. He robs the “Uno National Bank” and rides off. The town is all broke now. A mouse tells Speedy that this is good news. No money means they can’t afford cats right? Maybe, but Speedy points out that with no money the people will eat all the crumbs the mice typically live off. (Actually Speedy, I think they’d eat their cats. So yes, good news!… Until they run out of “gato guacamole” and move on to “mouse with mole…”) Speedy decides to go get the money back himself. (Since you’re not stealing this time, you’re actually being a real hero for once. Good for you!) He interrupts Panchos counting and claims to take it all back. Pancho has a good laugh at this and doesn’t notice Speedy take a coin away. He promises to come back for the rest, seeing as he can only carry one at a time. When he returns, Pancho is waiting and they march up to one another. Speedy is too fast and Pancho only ends up shooting his feet. (At least he’s going to heaven!… ‘Cause he’s got holy soles?…Forget I tried.) When burying mines, Speedy sneaks up from behind and shouts. The bandit flies up into the air and lands on the mine. (Land, Mine, Land mine! Almost had a gag there! Joke that is…) Pancho blocks the only way to his shack but leaves a little hole that his gun can poke through. Speedy runs through easily. (But he’s at least kind enough to give the bullet back.) A montage of Speedy succeeding constantly is played until Pancho sets up a trap to go off. As soon as Speedy comes in, he’ll be shot! But Speedy actually comes back to apologize. Seems like he took one coin too many and it actually does belong to Pancho who comes to get it. (ouch. But… didn’t he notice he was out?) Back at the bank, Speedy is counting the money to make sure it’s all accounted for. As he is in the thousands, Pancho sneaks up and shouts at him. Speedy loses his place and begrudgingly starts over.

(Don’t worry kids. The four shadow mystery will be solved next week)