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)

Nuts and Volts

“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.

A Message to Gracias

“To cousin Speedy, everyway is the shorts-cut.”

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.

Chili Weather

“All these foods and not a crumb to eat.”

Directed by Friz Freleng. Released in 1963

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)

Mexican Boarders

“When do we eat? I’m hungry.”

Directed by Friz Freleng. Released in 1962

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. 

The Pied Piper of Guadalupe (And a summary of my vacation)

“Don’t go Armando! No! Don’t go!”

Directed by Friz Freleng. Released in 1961

Hello again one and all! I, Dr. Foolio, have returned from my trip. Normally I wouldn’t bother telling you about it on a blog that is focused on Warner Brothers animation, but a fan requested I speak. I’m still getting used to the fact I have a fan(s), so I figure a quick summary couldn’t hurt. I just went to southern Utah. Nice place. Very Warm. Pretty Dry. Hotel was okay. It had a bed, that’s all I needed. I don’t watch tv. Although “Cloudy with a chance of meatballs” was on, but I can’t watch that anymore. It reminds me of someone who I worry about every day. My family and I had either Ice cream or frozen custard every day. We saw “Shaun the sheep” Nice movie. Funny, heartwarming, for lack of a better term, cute. We ate at my favorite place, Olive garden. (That same person really loves their chicken and gnocchi soup…) We hiked and found a pool of tadpole shrimp. (To be fair, my dad found it and said they were tadpoles. I believed him. Some frogs live in deserts. But after awhile I looked closer and saw they were crustaceans. Back at home I showed my dad a picture in one of my books proving that when it comes to animals I’m always right.) We also saw a musical. It was called “When you wish” The plot was simple. A girl goes to bed and dreams about various Disney songs. They had songs from movies you’d expect. The little mermaid, Beauty and the beast, Aladdin, and Marry Poppins. And some from less known films. (Tarzan, Pochahontas, Hercules, Newsies) They did not sing the entirety of “Be our guest”, “I’ll make a man out of you”, or “zero to hero” which are my favorite songs from their respective films, and for whatever reason, Baloo was dressed as Uncle Remus. (?) But it was enjoyable over all. (Although, is it racist to have African Americans play gorillas?) Okay, that’s enough. Let’s get this blog back to the topic it’s meant to be about.

Another Academy nominee? Speedy sure got a few of those didn’t he? So what did it lose to? (google search) A Croatian short where everything is infalatable? At least that sounds creative. I should view it sometime. Sylvester it seems, has really lost his touch. He can’t catch any mice. They’re fast and they carry demeaning signs and smack him with planks. Thinking in front of a book sale, (one of which is apparently written by storyman Warren Foster) he spies a copy of the Pied Piper. Surely the same thing would work on mice as well as rats. After taking some lessons from J.C. Mendelez, (animator who worked on Fantasia. cool. also voiced snoopy. I hate that excuse for a dog. But you probably knew that already) he gets dressed up to play the part and begins to play his flute. The mice laugh at his attemps, but soon stop when it works. They can’t help but dance over to him, where he knocks them out and places them in his jug. Even tying their tails to a stake can’t hold them back and soon they’re all captured. Save one. Speedy is still there. (Did he not hear the music?) He asks for the gato to release his friends or Speedy will rescue them. Underestimating him again, (Sylvester! You have to stop doing that.) he opens the jug and Speedy makes good of his word. Sylvester plays the flute and Speedy dances over onoly to smack him with a mallet. (Why is Speedy immune? That’s not fair) Sylvester ditches his cute outfit and hides in a barrel with some dyanmite. Speedy rolls the barrel along which ends up trapping Sylvester in the container with a lit explosive and a dog. He gets a motorcycle and chases the mouse, who stops short at a cliff and lets the cat careen over the edge. Sylvester eventually gets out, but Speedy next leads him into a collision with a bus. Sylvester has no choice but to go to the “El Gato Infirmary” and get some casts on his broken bones. Speedy points out he dropped his flute. (“Don’t you want heem?” No, I don’t want “heem”.”) He tells Speedy he can have it. The mouse plays and Sylvester is forced to dance after him on his broken foot. (That’s harsh.)

Cannery Woe

“I don’t he like us also, too.”

Directed by Robert McKimson. (Not. One. Word.) Released in 1961

In what I think is the mouse version of the slums, two mice wake up. As is typical of Speedy shorts, (is that a spoiler?) they have the names of Manuel and Jose. They are hungry, and I guess there either is no food for them, or they are just lazy; because they list off a bunch of people who don’t like them anymore instead of deciding on where/what to eat. But it appears to be their lucky day! Mayor Raton, (Spanish for mouse) is holding a fiesta to encourage others to reelect him. He’s even giving away free cheese for everyone. Except our main characters. They are kicked out. (Hypocrite) Despite the fact they are unwelcome, they watch from atop a wall and show their support anyway. The mayor calls for the cheese committee to bring out the goods. They look like they’ve been to war. It turns out there is a new addition to the store where they have always gotten cheese. Namely a cat. All is lost! (American mice would go on anyway. And then be eaten. Patriotic pride is no match for Mother Nature.) Jose and Manuel somehow get in without being thrown out and offer to help. Seems they know of a very fast mouse who left Jose with a whistle to blow if he is ever needed. (Speedy would turn 8 this year. He’s still not more well known in his country?) They will call him if they are granted their demands. (Which are whispered.) The mayor (and his nose that turned tan for a slight second) agrees and Speedy is summoned. Speedy goes to the store where Sylvester once again, underestimates him. Speedy runs through his legs and tears some fur off. (“Speedy was here!”) And again on his way out. (“Also here!”) Sylvester lays some tacks down. Speedy goes around and the cat runs through them after him. (Twice.) He gets stuck lighting a cannon, but Speedy helps by pulling the cord. The cannonball somehow doesn’t hit Sylvester as it is fired but lands on his head. Sylvester sets up many mousetraps inside, but ends up cornering himself. Speedy tosses a ping-pong ball at them which sets them all off. Having brought back enough cheese, the Mayor is true to his word and grants Jose and Manuel their request. To be the official cheese judges. As for Speedy? He gets to be the chick inspector. (What does that even mean? Does he judge the females on how attractive they are and refuses the ugly ones the right to stay? Who knows. Men. For the third time)

 

We regret to inform those who come by, that there will not be a new update next week. I’ll be going on a trip. We will resume afterwards. Stay Looney.

West of the Pesos

“Meo Speedito is muy loco.”

Directed by Robert McKimson. (I get it! You don’t need to keep telling me that McKimson did more than one Speedy short!) Released in 1960

I just want to say that this place has been getting fairly popular lately. I want to thank everyone who stops by. Especially those leaving comments. They really make my day. Now on with the show. Our story takes place in a village called “Veelage.” (That is probably the best name ever) In a nearby lab a one Sylvester J. Pussycat is guarding the entrance. Inside several mice await their doom. (Anyone notice that animal labs are like concentration camps? Well, this one is okay. It says “Expieramento Scienteefic” on the front. That’s reasonable) The other mice in town are worried and have set up a sign that lists the missing mice. (Two of which include Pablo Picasso and animator Manuel Perez, who ironically didn’t work on this short.) They would like to go save everyone, but they are not fast enough. Why not Speedy? Well, he’s in Guadalajara at the moment. He’d need a pretty good reason to come down. A mouse-ette named Carmella might do the trick. She gives him a call and he’s there in no time. (Men.) He agrees to help and walks up to the gate. He tells “El Poosygato” about how he plans to come in and resuce his people. Chuckling, Sylvester opens up the gate. Speedy runs, and slips right through Sylvester’s paws. (Leaving a bad case of mouse-burn I might add) Slyvester works fast and quickly sets up a snare trap. Speedy ends up dragging him through the little knot hole it’s threaded through. He brings the mouse back where he is immdiately hugged by his… wife? Maybe? (Whoever she is, it’s nice not to have all the females lusting after Speedy anymore) Sylvester waits with a rock, but Speedy surprises him and he drops it on himself. After getting more mice, they run out under a can. They hide by two more. Sylvester checks them all. The last one contains a dynamite stick. (The second one had the mice.) On the next run out, the mice dress as a dog to keep the kitty away. It works until one trips out exposing the jig. Sylvester chases but still crashes into the wall. Speedy sets some train tracks that lead into the building, and runs out pulling the mice in cars. (Speedy uses a cigar to imitate smoke) Sylvester hides behind a tunnel with his mouse open, but the train comes out through his tail. That’s the lot then. Carmella thanks him with a kiss, that sends him rocketing into the sky. (Men.)

To Beep or not to Beep

“Western Cookery”

Directed by Chuck Jones

A pretty late entry in the Roadrunner/Coyote series. (And the only one scored by Bill Lava) The Coyote is looking at a cookbook and licking his chops at hte thought of a Roadrunner dinner. His prey peeks at the book and also licks his li… beak. He “Beeps” the Coyoter into a cliff. On to the gags! He sets up a snare, but misses and pulls back leading him to fall off a cliff. The rope grabs a rock and he ties it around his waist to be safe. He still hits the ground and then the rock lands on his head.  Then he just begins to chase. The Roadrunner puts on a burst of speed which uproots some cacti and makes a bridge recoil. The coyote falls and one of the cacti lands on him. He then attaches himself to a spring attached to a rock, in order to launch himself. The rock itself springs backwards and off a cliff. He holds on, and the rock recoils and he lands on a makeshift teeter-totter which then launches him again and he ends up trapped in between a narrow space. He unstraps himself and hits the ground. (Interestingly enough, Jones wanted to do a whole short based on this one gag) After failing with a wrecking ball, we get to the main gag of this short: a catapult that refuses to work. After five tries of launching a rock (and getting smashed for it) Wile E. pulls the string from inside a manhole. Nothing happens. He cautiosly does more and more to the device but nothing happens. Not until he’s jumping on the rock does it finally launch. He realizes this a little too late and goes through a cliff face, lands in some telephone wires, gets launched back to the catapult, flung to the ground, and crushed under the rock. Why was it so faulty? We zoom in and see where it came from. The Roadrunner manufacturing Company.

The Bear that Wasn’t

“You are a silly man, who needs a shave and wears a fur coat.”

This short isn’t a Looney Tune. It’s from MGM! (*Screams*, “Withcraft!” “It’s all over.”) Indeed. Why talk about it? It was directed by Chuck Jones and based on a book by Frank Tashlin. Good enough for me. A bear takes note that the geese are migrating. He knows that this means it’s time to “hibernate.” (Bears don’t hibernate, they just sleep throughout most of winter. Hibernating means your body temperature drops as well) While he snoozes, a factory is built over the cave he is in. Eventually, Spring arrives and the bear leaves the cave. He is shocked to find what has happened. A coffee/smoke break happens and the bear gets caught up in it. When it ends, the foreman scolds him for not going back to work. Luckily, the bear speaks english and tells him that he’s a bear. The foreman doesn’t believe him. They keep going to higher authority to tell of the lazy/crazy “man” who thinks he’s a bear. Eventually they reach the president of the place. He tells him that he can’t be a bear, because bears don’t work at factories. He takes him to a zoo to confirm with the other bears. They agree that if he were a bear, he’d be in the enclosure with them. The bear goes back to work at the factory, and continues for quite some time. Eventually, Winter starts again and the bear is sad that he is a man, and therefore can’t go “hibernate.” Freezing he decides to sleep in a cave anyway. Our moral is: Just because everyone say’s you are something, doesn’t mean it’s true. A very good moral in my opinion.