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.
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.
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.
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.
Personal Rating: 1 (Mostly because the shorts it copies from are infinitely better, and Speedy really doesn’t add anything)
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)
Personal Rating: For the crossover alone, it earns a 3. But it’s real close to being a 2, due to the repeating gags.
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)
“Sorry Senor pussycat, I can’t play with you no more.”
Directed by Friz Freleng. (Interesting note, this is the last of the golden era Looney Tunes to give him director credit) Released in 1964
During one of their many chases, (in which Speedy is laughing a little TOO hard. Is it that fun?) Sylvester gets tired. (At least all that exercise is good for him.) He decides to try using technology to catch the mouse. (Why not? It’s the 60’s. Time to upgrade.) He sets up an electric eye that will sound an alarm as soon as Speedy exits his hole. Sylvester will then be launched towards him. (He crashes into the wall.) He builds a mouse disposal robot. Working the controls with a sonic viewer he spots the mouse and sends out his droid. Speedy is still much faster, so Sylvester turns up the robot’s speed as high as it will go. It crashes into the wall like he did. Round 2. Whatever that viewer is is connected to, Speedy is able to look through at the cat. The robot is sent after him but Speedy leads him into the viewers screen which somehow ends up hitting Sylvester as well. (Toon logic may be less logical than ours, but it’s more fun.) Third time’s the charm right? Sylvester warns the bot it is down to it’s last chance and unwinds its arm to place some dynamite in Speedy’s mousehole. Speedy keeps moving back, and Sylvester somehow knows to keep the arm going. Speedy leads the arm back behind the cat who can’t escape even by hiding in the robot. He tosses the thing out and grabs a club. (Ah the caveman approach. Very nice.) Speedy in turn, has gotten into technology himself, and sends a robot dog after the cat.
Directed by Robert Mckmson. (Darn it! I though he was done making a fool out of me!) Released in 1964
This short has a most fitting title. Unlike a majority of shorts, this one does not get it’s name from some form of wordplay or song title, but rather it flat out tells what the short will be about. It begins at the H.Q. of a mouse named El Supremo. I don’t really know what that entails, but he’s fat so we can assume he’s a tyrant. He needs a message delivered to his friend, General Gracias. (Interesting name) He sends out a mouse named Manuel who is denied the privilege of finishing his will. He runs out and while the other mice think he will make it, we know full well that he is going to be food. The mice mark another one down. As El ponders how to get this message through, one of his mice suggests Speedy. Supremo agrees that it’s a good idea and is glad he thought of it. I can’t stand when characters do that. Better add him to my list of annoying people I want to hurt. (Fools who say Disney and Nintendo are for kids, A-holes who kill animals but don’t eat them, The cast of “The tenth kingdom”…) They send a message and Speedy arrives. El gives him his orders of how he must cross a desert, climb over mountains, cut through a jungle to get to Alcapulco. Speedy runs over the waiting Sylvester and leaves behind some flames and runs along the road making it bend much like the Roadrunner does. (I wonder which of those two would win a race. And on that note, why do I suddenly have four shadows?) Sylvester is smart enough to chase him in a car but Speedy stops for lunch break and Sylvester crashes. Next they’re in the jungle. (Either nothing interesting happened in the mountains, or Speedy ran around them) Sylvester takes aim from a boat in the river, but hits his head on a branch and shoots the boat instead. He ends up running from Caimans. (Hey, we’re in Mexico. There’s no way those are alligators.) He sets up a snare trap and catches a…I’ll be honest; I have no idea what that is. It looks kind of like Sam Sheepdog, the Tasmanian Devil, some green paint and some periods were all thrown in a blender. Maybe it’s just a radioactive jaguar. I can’t tell. Sylvester is eventually able to lasso Speedy, but the mouse drags him into a tree and ties him up. He delivers the message which turns out to be a simple birthday poem. What’s more, it looks like Supremo only needed someone to distract the cat so he could come over with cake. Speedy is rightfully annoyed and lets Sylvester go. The cat chases the two fat fish craps (you know, bass turds) into the distance. Speedy makes no effort to hide the fact that they will soon be eaten.
There’s a food plant, and where there’s edible goods, you’re bound to attract mice. Good thing whoever owns the place has Sylvester on guard duty. Speedy almost immidiately comes by and offers to help the mice get some grub. He actually manages to run in and out the first time, without Sylvester noticing. When he does become aware, he chases the mouse onto one of the conveyer belts. While Speedy compliments how much easier it is running this way, (and barely misses being chopped up) Sylvester is chopped up. Speedy greases the floor and Sylvester slips into a vat of tobasco sauce. Sitting on ice cools him down somehow. (He’s not even licking it, not that it would help, was the sauce being cooked?) While Speedy looks at some soda bottles, (I don’t know what’s in there, but they say “es bueno” on the side. That’s good enough for me) Sylvester comes back and actually grabs him. (2 posts in a row? New record!) But the bottlecap machine caps him and blinds him simultaneously. (He must be really small) He manages to get it off with a bottle opener, but Speedy surprises him and he jumps back up into it. Speedy’s inner troll emerges and he takes it away. Sylvester blindly swings a bat around and doesn’t notice he’s running into the dehydrator. (It appears to belong to a someone named Gomez. Or maybe that’s the machine’s name? We’ve found Selena’s dad!) He shrinks and is now able to get the cap off. Seeing Speedy, he runs off in fear. (After years of chasing Hippety Hopper, he’s finally found a real giant mosue)
In this short Sylvester chases Speedy through the house of J. C. Mendelez. (Him again? Sylvester! Don’t associate yourself with the man who voiced snoopy. Okay, I’m harsh. Let’s just take out his vocal cords and call it good.) Nautarally, Speedy is too fast to catch, and Sylvester wears himself out just by climbing the stairs. There is a knock at the door. Why, it’s none other than Slowpoke Rodriguez! Haven’t seen him since “Mexicali Shmoes.” If you translate his song, you find out he’s singing about a cockroach who lacks marijuana. (Don’t you dare say he’s an evil stereotype. From what I hear, he’s very popular in Latin America. ) Turns out he’s Speedy’s cousin and the cat gleefully lets him in. Slowpoke lives up to his name and plods in. (I like his hat. It changes color with every step he takes.) Speedy grabs him in the nick of time and brings him back to his hole. Slowpoke wants food. (Also, he’s not voiced by Mel. It’s a man named Tom Holland. Who I’m 96% sure is not the same Tom Holland who directed “Childs Play) Speedy offers to get it as he is faster. He brings back some sustenance. He forgot the tobasco sauce though and races back. While he’s getting the sauce, Sylvester puts some glue on the ground. Speedy comes back, and Sylvester’s trap actually works. He grabs the mouse, but really should have removed the sauce as it gets poured down his throat. Slowpoke has enjoyed the food, and wonders about dessert. (Speedy remarks about his appetite with “Holy frijoles!” which translates to holy beans. Is this a common expression in Mexico?) Sylvester has set up a net which Speedy rushes through. When the cat tries it, he is cubed. That night, Slowpoke is hungry again. I don’t know if he’s trying to let Speedy rest or if Speedy is refusing to go out, but Slowpoke decides to head out himself. Speedy tells him not to, but Slowpoke admits that he is slow. (Not that way. I meant speed wise) Still, he is not helpless. (Remember his gun?) Sylvester grabs him but Slowpoke has a different tatic. (Perhaps Peta told him to stop shooting cats?) Making a face that I will undoutedly see in my nightmares, he hypnotizes the feline. (Unlike in the Pokemon games, this slowpoke can learn hypnosis. Come to think of it, don’t girls have this power too? I mean no dissrespect but, I’m pretty sure that if a woman makes that face, the male she is looking at shuts up and obeys her.) Now under his control, Sylvester is forced to fan the mice as they have another feast.