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.)

Personal Rating: 3

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)

Personal Rating: 3

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.)

Personal Rating: 3

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.

Personal Rating: 3

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.

Personal Rating: 4

The Last Hungry Cat

“Sardines and milk wouldn’t have done it, you had to commit murder.”

Parody Time! It looks like “Hitchcok Presents”, but instead of a person its a bear. (I guess? It could just be a very strange hairdo) He tells us a story. In this strory a one Sylvester the cat is about to break into Granny’s house and eat tweety. Once grabbing him he loses his balance on the stack of furniture he is standing on and collapses. Tweety uses this time to escape. Sylvester comes to and seeing the feather in his mouth deduces that he ate Tweety. Hearing Granny he makes his leave happy to have escaped. The narrator works his nerves up by calling it murder. It dosen’t help when Sylvester walks by a newspaper hunting a criminal known as “The Cat.” He hides in a building. (I assume it’s his house) He tries to relax by listening to the radio and reading but both things just add to his guilt. So he resorts to smoking and coffee drinking. (To calm his nerves i guess? I don’t think coffee does this, anyone care to explain?) He stays awake all night. While taking a sleeping pill shower he breaks down sobbing. The narrator tells him to give himself up and Sylvester agrees. Upon arriving back at the scene of the crime he finds Tweety alive and well. His happiness soon turns to hunger, when Granny whacks him for trying to eat her bird. The narrator ends his tale and Sylvester throws a brick at him.

Personal Rating: 3

The Adventures of the Road Runner

Yeah, i know i said i’d take a break from these, but im a liar pure and simple. Besides, this is not just a regular short… this is a tv pilot! that never got a show afterwards. (friggin stupid thing if you ask me) I have no idea why no one thought this would not be a good show, but at least the pilot is still awesome. After a few gags, the coyote starts talking and telling us that he films everything he does, so he can analyze them, and figure out his mistakes. We also see that this pilot is also being watched by ralph phillips and his unknown friend. Ralph says that he feels like sometimes hes a roadrunner, and tells his freind of other things he imagines himself as, as “from a to zzzzz” plays. After that, they also get an answer as to why the coyote wants the roadrunner so much. (After this, i really want to eat one too) Its funny, original, and its a looney tune. What’s not to love?

Personal Rating: 3