Wild Over You

” Le ha-ha.”

Directed by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Ken Harris, Ben Washam, and Lloyd Vaughan; Layouts by Maurice Noble; Backgrounds by Philp DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling; Orchestrations by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on July 11, 1953.

Before we begin, a couple notes.

1. I met the nicest woman at work the other day. She really knew her Looney Tunes. We spent a few fun minutes quoting them. There was only one thing that kept me from asking her out. (It wasn’t because she was married. We could have worked around that) No, it was because she was at least 40 years too old for me. Such a shame.

2. I ask you to raise a glass in honor of Richard Williams. Possibly the greatest animator that will ever grace this planet. His work on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” is right up there as one of the pinnacles of human creation. He will be missed and never replaced. (And he shouldn’t)

Thank you for your time. Let’s get the 500th post underway.

Back in 1900, when the world still had world fairs, (man, it would be fun to attend one of those. It’s too bad we don’t really have much good as a species to show off, anymore) one was held in France. Even by this time, zoos were nothing new, but a chance to see exotic animals is always a sure way to draw in the crowds. (And my lord, the cages here are horrifying. The giraffe is poking out of the top. The elephant is pressed against the bars! Aushwitz isn’t being topped here, but things are close.)

Such horrible living conditions, its no surprise to me that one of the animals has made their escape. It’s a wildcat, and although that’s not the worst case scenario of animal escape, the crowds go into panic. (Probably smart. Fear, while often an overreaction, does keep us alive) Immediately, a zoo keeper and dog begin the hunt. Poor creature. She means no harm, but a lifetime of imprisonment is hers unless she can find someway to avoid detection. What ho! Could those cans of black and white paint be the answer?

One coating later, the answer is yes. Decked out in the years finest skunk model, she has the hunters fleeing. This is usually the time in Warner Bros. shows that Pepe shows up. Right on cue. He’s quite happy to find not only find a female, but a LARGE female! (Bigger is better!) He makes his move, but seeing as how this time his target is a much more dangerous animal, he gets a bit mauled. (Now, obviously, this is meant to show sadomasochism as a good thing. That’s why Pepe is so into it. Why would we be expected to just think its funny? Cartoons ALWAYS have deeper meanings to them)

The chase begins. You know the classic formula, chasee hides and chaser is already there. Like in a fortune telling booth. The feline is told she is to meet the male of her dreams. (Nightmares are technically dreams) When she flees, she finds this man. (He looks an awful lot like that swami. Could they be… brothers?) There’s a good number more places to hide inside. Wax statues, (the cat hides as Marie Antoinette’s stole, Pepe as Daniel Boone’s cap) a suit of armor, (the cat’s mauls rearrange it into something you’d see in a modern art museum) and a replica of Madame Pompadour’s carriage. (Where Pepe asks himself if this is all worth it. And answers himself that it is worth it.)

The chase continues, but it seems that the cat is starting to wear out. No longer is she fleeing as fast as she once was. Pepe is using this to his advantage, taking his sweet time to catch up. There’s clearly only one option: escape via hot air balloon. She leaps in, cuts the ropes, and says farewell to dwelling on terra firma. Sure, it will quite the adjustment. (She can no longer stalk prey, but the sky is full of birds and water particles, so she won’t want for sustenance) In fact, the only downside I can see is the lack of company. Good thing Pepe also made it aboard. She can maul him all she wants, he’s not going anywhere.

Favorite part: the fortune telling bit. Especially when Pepe calls her existence drab. How come when I tell girls they have the same problem, I get hit?

Mouse Warming

“Dear Cat (Pal)…”

Directed by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Ben Washam, Lloyd Vaughan, and Ken Harris; Layouts by Robert Gribbroek; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling; Orchestrations by Milt Franklyn. A Looney Tune released on September 8, 1952.

I won’t lie; this cartoon is cute. Luckily, it’s balanced out quite nicely by some good comedy to keep you from losing your foot to diabetes.

Moving day is an exciting time in any young person’s life. Mice included. Mr. and Mrs. mouse have just moved into the neighborhood with their young daughter. (Who, for lack of a better name, I’ll call Alice.)

Shut up, it wasn’t my idea. (Although, it’s possible that this could be an origin story)

Moving into a new home, not only gives you new surroundings and the chance to make new friends, but also, new potential boyfriends! What luck! Here comes one now! He even has his own car. (The humans of the house don’t seem to mind sharing toys. In fact, they never feature in this picture.) Boy mouse, (who might have a name, but I couldn’t tell since he never speaks) is smitten by the cutie he sees in the window. Sure, they’re judging strictly by appearances, but maybe it’s pup love. (Mouse joke, there.)

Boy mouse intends to go right over and say hi. (Which will be hard, due to him being mute) He’s a bit shy though, so he pretends to be in need of sugar. (He appears to live alone, which makes him hitting on the teenager kinda creepy. But then, mice live by different standards than I.) He doesn’t make it too far before being intercepted by Claude. He manages to escape, but now there is a cat blocking the way to eternal happiness. (Something cats do that I’ve always been aware of.)

Claude begins to take note of how odd the male is acting, and sees why. It’s not only adorable, but it’s fodder for a very dastardly idea. Claude decides to write a love note to the boy. Setting up a fake rendezvous in the kitchen. The little mouse takes the bait, and arrives to find his dream girl waiting. (Actually a puppet. To be fair, she makes a cute puppet too.) Upon seeing the cat attached, he takes the girl and escapes. (He finds out off screen that she was fake, good thing as I don’t think I could stand to watch his teeny-weeny heart break. Or worse, living out some fantasies that a puppet can’t object to.)

Plan A obviously didn’t work. Claude tries another letter, but he’s not dumb enough to expect his target to fall for it a second time. No, this time he sends a letter to Alice’s father. Or rather, a threat that says the boy is coming over to steal their home. Father readies his human sized gun. (When protecting your family, you want to make sure the enemy stays dead.) To further mess things up, Claude puts up a sign asking for a boarder. The boy mouse falls for it again, (Love truly clouds judgements. I’m pretty sure the parents wouldn’t rent a room to someone who clearly just wants their daughter.) He flees for his life again. (Accidentally making a quick detour into Claude’s mouth. In turn, the cat gets the bullet)

The young mouse seems to have caught on to this chicanery, and he writes his own note to Claude. Rather than messing with one’s romantic feelings. (something only cats would be low enough to try) the mouse instead makes it from the dog outside who wishes to befriend the cat. In fact, why not he come over for a game of Canasta? Claude is all for it. In fact, he not only brings the table, but the refreshments. (Swell guy, that Claude.) The dog is confused, but still beats him up. And the lovebirds? They finally hooked up and went on a date to the coolest place around: the fridge. Aren’t they sweet? (I guess they straitened things out with the father already)

Favorite part: Definitely Claude’s first letter. Where he not only says that the girl is 16…months, (Which would make her middle-aged as a mouse) but according to her friends she’s “not unattractive.”

Feather Dusted

“What-ah say, what you need boy, is somethin’ more excitin’!”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Charles McKimson and Sid Marcus. Animation by Rod Scribner, Phil DeLara, Charles McKimson, and Herman Cohen; Layouts by Robert Givens; Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc (and Bea Benaderet); Music by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on January 15, 1955.

Prissy is off to a party and is leaving her son at home. You may know this guy by sight already, but his name is Egghead Jr. (Although, nowadays he seems to go by Eggbert. Probably to differentiate himself from that other guy.) He doesn’t actually have a name in any of the three shorts he appeared in. Foghorn just calls him boy, and his mother tends to just calls him Junior. Speaking of Foghorn, he feels bad that the hen is telling her kid to just read while she is gone. (Also interesting is that she isn’t fawning over the rooster like pretty much every other time. Seeing him as a lazy oaf who could be a bad influence on her son) Well, since she isn’t going to be around to witness anything (and her son probably won’t tell anyway) Foghorn steals him away to play some typical little boy games. (Typical of the fifties. Mario Kart still needed a couple of decades to exist)

To start: a game of croquet. You may think that Foghorn has an unfair advantage, but you also might think that a kid named “Egghead” will at least be able to get some good shots in. He does indeed. Taking copious notes, he is able to figure out a way to hit the ball so it will pass through every wicket in one shot, and net him victory. Foghorn tries to point out how impossible the whole thing was, but he can’t argue with Jr.’s notes. (I mean, no matter how you look at it, the outcomes remains “I win.”)

Okay, how about cops and robbers? (I’ve only played that once. Is it more fun to be the cop?) Foghorn tells the boy to arrest him as he robs a bank. I love Jr.’s methods. He alerts the actual cops. (They’re all off screen because I doubt we could take the popo seriously if we saw them apprehending a chicken) Then, just to prove his intellect, Jr. marks out the spot Foghorn will emerge when he digs his way out of prison.

Playing pirates might work. (They’re both on the same side in this game.) Foghorn orders the kid to fire a cannon and the lad aims it in a rather unexpected way. Foghorn decides to fire it where he wants regardless, and the ricocheting cannonball comes back to bite him. Since they are already at a pond, why not go for a swim? Egghead refuses to get in, but does take up Foghorn’s challenge of trying to sink him. (He’s pretending to be a battleship) He unleashes a fleet of windup ships that take fire at the big bird.

Egghead is forced to fish him out, and that is where his mother finds him. Soaking wet, with an unconsciousness, wet, older man. (Always hated when that happened to me as a kid. It only looked so bad, because they were missing the context) She scolds her kid, and Foghorn too. She knows his tomfoolery won’t end well for him. He agrees, seeing as he is full of holes.

Favorite part: Foghorn first coming up to the kid and offering to play. He asks if it sounds fun. Egghead shakes his head without even looking at him. (Brother, can I relate)

Hare We Go

“A-nobody believes-a the world, she’s round.”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Warren Foster; Animation by Phil DeLara, Charles McKimson, John Carey, Rod Scribner, and J.C. Melendez; Layouts by Cornett Wood; Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on January 6, 1951.

Christopher Columbus has a new theory! The planet we live on, is not flat as many people suspect, but round! (Although, didn’t most people by 1492 KNOW it was round, but thought that the opposing side was nothing but danger water? Correct me if I’m wrong. Please. That means someone reads these) The king of Spain (who has a voice that I’m guessing helped inspire McKimson to create Speedy) is one of those “flatters” and throws Chris out of his palace.

Bugs is just outside, and he believes Chris. (All his underground traveling has taught him much about the globe. Did you know it is composed of layers?) In fact, he can prove it! He just throws a baseball over the horizon, and waits for it to come back adorned with various stamps. (A trick he must have learned from Porky who did the same thing in “Kristopher Kolumbus, Jr.”) The queen herself is a little more believing than her husband, promising Chris plenty of riches should he succeed. 3 ships with crews later, and they’re on their way.

Since Bugs was the first to believe, he is made mascot and brought along. For some reason, this gets the crew upset. Rabbits are jinxes?

 

Huh. Whod’ve guessed?

Chris is the man in charge though, and he says the rabbit stays. They’re good luck! (Well, their feet are. The rest is just tasty.) The days go by and the crew only grows more restless. Surely the lack of land is because of the mascot. It’s not like the ocean is a really big place. Actually, that probably isn’t true at all. Columbus is certain that they will reach land by the ‘morrow and Bugs relays the news. The crew is elated.

Weeks later…

Oops. A little miscalculation. Still no land. And since the mascot was the one saying that, guess who the crew blames? Someone has gotta leave the ship, and Bugs is too beloved by the rest of the world, so the crew better know how to swim. Using a painting of an island, Bugs is able to get all of his pursuers off the ship. And the other two ships leave. Bugs says they were fired. Chris isn’t too happy with this, but Bugs is confident that the two are more than enough people required.

With no other crew, Bugs takes up the job as cook. Since they’ve been at sea this long, the food is rather slim. (I guess they ate all the rats. Should’ve left a couple to keep breeding, boys.) Bugs serves a bean, and tells Columbus that imagination can help. Chris tries it. Apparently, imagination also makes rabbits look like poultry.

     

Wow. I’m learning so much today!

The two are so caught up in the chase, that neither one notices they actually HAVE hit land. Naturally, Columbus takes all the credit. Cool as he is, Bugs lets him have it. (No use changing the history books. Bugs is a time lord)

Favorite part: The debate Chris had with the king. He claims the world is round like his head. The king smashes it and claims it is flat like his head.

Weasel While you Work

“That boy’s as strong as an ox. And just about as smart.”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Warren Batchelder, Tom Ray, George Grandpre, and Ted Bonnicksen; Layouts and Backgrounds by Robert Gribbroek; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by John Seely. A Merrie Melody released on August 6, 1958.

Ah, Winter. A beau… actually, it’s rather ugly. Everything is cold, wet and damp. A peace… actually, the stillness is so pronounced that it could lead to a nervous breakdown. A fu… ACTUALLY, it isn’t fun either! It just makes one tired, listless, and irritable. So why would Foghorn enjoy such a miserable season? Well, it does give him the opportunity to try out some different tricks on old Barnyard Dawg. (Rolling him up into a snowman to be precise.)

Their usual rivalry is cut short by a third party: a weasel. This guy has actually appeared in a  few of Foghorn’s shorts, with this one being his final appearance. He’s pretty much just Taz. Doesn’t say much, salivates at every moment, and desperate for food. Also, he’s tiny! Maybe it’s just how he looks when compared to the giant rooster that is Foghorn, but he looks severely malnourished. Which could also explain his never-ending hunger. (Makes him look less like a mustelid, and more like a shrew.)

Teeny weeny weasel begins gnawing on Foghorn’s leg, but he offers up something even better: venison! (But there’s no deer around. Just the dog… Ohhhhhhh.) Placing a small pair of antlers on the dog is enough to fool the creature, and he tries to feast once more. Dawg automatically knows who is to blame for this, and gets the weasel to change his mind on some chicken for dinner. The dog freezes Foggy in a block of ice and leaves him in the company of the weasel and his axe.

Foghorn escapes that somehow. (I guess it was too boring to waste time animating.) For his next move, he dresses up his adversary as a seal and has the weasel carry him off. (All this talk of gourmet meat is driving my stomach crazy! But with 200 lbs. and counting, I don’t think a snack is such a good idea.) When the dog breaks free, I guess that’s the deciding point, as once the weasel has Foghorn in a pot, he won’t be swayed by any more suggestions. Good thing Foghorn has a giant ice sculpture of himself on standby. (When did he carve that? I’m sure I know why.) Weasel takes the bait and starts eating. (Don’t worry, it’s low calorie.) Foghorn tries to pull one more over on the dog, but the hound foresaw this, and tied a fake tail to a firecracker. So it seems that chickens DO fly when it snows in July!

Favorite part: B.D.’s spelling lesson. R-A-T spells chicken.

 

Unnatural History

“One of the most difficult birds to train, is the pigeon.”

Directed by Abe Levitow; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Ben Washam, Richard Thompson, and Keith Darling; Layouts and Backgrounds by Bob Singer; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on November 14, 1959.

As an animal lover, I can’t help but notice the parallels between us and them. It all boils down to one question: Are humans animals? Or are animals human? Our host, Dr. Beest Lee, (That’s really his first name? The X-Men weren’t around yet, so nobody in his childhood took him seriously. Well, he’s shown them all! He hosts this!) is here to guide us through several gags. It’s up to us to decide.

The most intelligent animal is  a good place to start. A chimpanzee is taking part in an experiment where he has to make use of boxes to get a banana. He is more clever than the unseen researchers give him credit for. Not only does he make it to the fruit, he saws around it in order to get at the fridge that was on top. (Actually, that was probably part of the test. Who puts a fridge on a chimp cage, and doesn’t expect it to get stolen?)

Chickens tend to live in factories these days, and some bits of technology are sure to rub off on them. Namely, laying cube-shaped eggs. And they show that old gag about the man trying to prove his dog can talk, but only asking questions whose answers sound similar to a basic dog call. That’s a little weak. What other gags we got?

Chibi-Bugs is being sent into outer space as some sort of… experiment?  What exactly is this supposed to accomplish? I suppose they were just trying to crossbreed lagomorphs. The bunny comes back with his Martian bride and offspring. And what of rodents? A groundhog is a natural meteorologist. (Although he now uses several pieces of high tech machinery to get info) A beaver damns a river. (Probably the best joke here.) And porcupines kiss despite the pain. (Also, that skunk looks a lot like Pepe. What is with all these cameos? Is the featured subject not strong enough to hold our attention?)

A chameleon is capable of changing color. Being from the 50’s, he is still under the illusion that he can match any background instantly. (Not plaid though, a lizard has his limits) And throughout the whole short, we’ve seen a poor dog waiting dutifully for his master to return. Luckily, we’re not given the “Jurassic Bark” treatment, as we see the reunion unfold. It’s not that cheerful. (The dog is irate to have been left alone for as long as he was. 3 years is nearly a third of his lifetime!)

Favorite Part: That beaver was pretty funny, but I like the elephant gag better. After a mouse gets some kicks terrifying one, he himself gets some comeuppance by an even smaller elephant. And you know what that means: Teeny procreated!

Punch Trunk

“I did see an elephant in my birdbath.”

 

Directed by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Lloyd Vaughan, Ken Harris, and Ben Washam; Layouts by Maurice Noble; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on December 19, 1953.

Welcome. New year. Yadda-yadda. From this time on, I’ll be listing my favorite part of each short. We’re getting into the territory of cartoons I’ve seen few times or not at all.

At the harbor, a ship has just come in. (I like that it’s called the “S. S. Michael Maltese.” You have no choice but to remember the name now.) But there is something stirring in the bananas. Normally, it’s a rat or a wandering spider, but for once, it’s an elephant. He’s a full grown bull, but he’s only five inches tall! He’s adorable! Evidently though, people don’t seem to agree as the bulk of this short’s jokes are seeing how everyone freaks out at the sight. Doing what introduced species do, he heads off to explore his new home. (Seeing as how there is only one of him, he probably won’t do TOO much damage.)

A man spots the petite pachyderm in his birdbath and calls the police. The elephant meanwhile is acting like an elephant at a crowded watering hole, and hogs it all. (How’d he even get up there?) The police in turn sent some people from the psych ward to take the man away. A different man walks out of the optometrist with a new pair of glasses. Seeing the little guy, he heads back in to give a punch. (No trunk)

Nights are sure to be unpleasant, so it’s not surprising to hear the elephant makes his way into a penthouse. (Okay, how did he get up there? Did a falcon pick him up and drop him?) A little girl discovers him and christens him Teeny. (Which is a cute name. I’m declaring it canon.) Due to her childhood innocence, she is not afraid of him and even tries to fill his tummy. (Elephants eat cake, right? It’s like 45% of their diet.) Because of the fainting mother though, Teeny continues being a drifter.

A really good joke is next. A drunk stumbles out of a bar and sees the animal. (And a great detail is how the background is drawn warped and surreal. Like we are seeing the way he is.) Seeing the animal doesn’t make him scream, faint, or lose his sh*t in any way. Instead, he just scolds the beast for being late. (Also musing about how he isn’t pink this time. Genius.)

Even his own kind freaks out at the sight of him. Finding a circus, he joins a parade of elephants. (Okay, maybe not his own kind as that would make these Asian elephants, but they look just like him, only bigger. Seems ole Chuck doesn’t know as much about elephants as moi. On another note, Teeny is just as cute dangling off the ground.) Even those who are trained to handle fears aren’t immune, as a psychiatrist (or psychologist. I’m pretty sure they’re interchangeable) switches places with his patient upon seeing the cutie.

People all over the city now have claimed to see the beast. So, is it really there? Scientists say no. In fact, one goes on TV to explain why it isn’t real. He doesn’t go into the fact that an elephant could not survive being so small. (Freezing to death I mean. Not being eaten by a cat) Instead, he just blames our troubled times. (Considering my parents weren’t even born as of his saying this, I’ll have to ask Grandpa if the times were really that bad.) Not very happy to be told he doesn’t exist, Teeny takes the microphone away. (If this short has taught me anything, it’s that if science could make a teacup elephant that could survive at such a size, I would get one.)

Favorite part: It’s not especially funny, but it IS sweet. A woman is doing her laundry and Teeny comes over and HELPS! He hands her the clothespins! So precious! Keep up the good work, sweetie!

Sleepy Time Possum

“I’d know’d I’d get some action!”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Tedd Pierce; Animation by Charles McKimson, Rod Scribner, Phil DeLara, Emery Hawkins, and John Carey; Layouts by Cornett Wood; Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on November 3, 1951.

Attention everyone! Opossums are NOT possums. They live on entirely different continents! Apart from both being marsupials, they are only distantly related! Look…

Possum. Poss-um.

Opossum. O-poss-um.

Now, why do I bother so much? Because as the Lorax speaks for the trees, I speak for the animals. Since they can not tell when someone is using the wrong name, (that ironically, humans gave them) I will have to do so. And today’s picture is full of this kind of mistake.

The mailbox at the beginning is the only time the creatures are given the correct name. Seeing as how they all have American accents, they are clearly opossums. Though, honestly, you can’t really tell. The two parents look like some subspecies of kinkajou and their son looks like Hippety Hopper. (  At least he’s another marsupial)

Speaking of the son, his mother is upset to find him sleeping. (I am also upset. Opossums DON’T sleep upside down! They don’t even hang that way! They’re too heavy to do so!) Her reason is a lot more poignant. He’s got chores to do! But the kid is so lazy, that as soon as he hangs down, he sleeps again. (I understand his motives at least. The best part of life is being unconscious.) Ma threatens to sic his father on him, but Junior doesn’t care and sleeps once more.

Ma makes good of her word and tells Pa. He agrees that their son needs some discipline, but reasons that talking will net no results. Good thing he has a hunting dog costume on standby. (Don’t we all? I can’t count all the times I’ve needed to dress up as a dog.) One session of son scaring will keep the kid awake for days! Seems to work too, as one look sends Ma into hysterics and has Junior running for his life. Still, lazy as he is, he doesn’t go far before he stops to sleep once more.  Run and sleep, run and sleep. It goes on like that for awhile before Pa gets his son cornered.

Junior decides to try something opossums actually do, and plays dead. Seeing as how he is one himself, Pa doesn’t fall for it and instead ties his offspring to a firecracker. (Wait, what is the point of this? I though you were trying to stop his nap habits, not KILL him.) Either way, Junior ties the rope around his dad’s ankles when he’s not looking and escapes again.

Finding him at the top of another tree, Pa ties another one down with a rock so he can use it as a bridge to get to his sleeping son. Of course, said son cuts the rope just when his dad is crossing and flings him miles away. Pa proves his Olympic training was worth the effort, and he runs back immediately to catch his kid.

Back home, Pa tells his wife that Junior is finally doing the potato peeling he was supposed to be doing this whole time. The scare tactic didn’t work, so Pa just tied a balloon around his son. Now, forced to be upright, Junior can’t fall asleep anymore.

The Hole Idea

“Inventive genius makes great discovery!”

Directed by Robert McKimson (One of his favorites, in fact); Story by Sid Marcus; Animation by Robert McKimson; Layouts and Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc (June Foray); Music by Milt Franklyn. A Looney Tune released on April 16, 1955.

Of the many great scientists that have existed throughout time, (and for that matter, the ones who have yet to exist throughout time) I think the greatest is: Calvin Q. Calculus. Because he specializes in making paradoxes a reality. In the past, he’s made everything from dry water to round squares. (There wasn’t much of a market for them, so they can no longer be found today, but it’s fascinating to imagine) And he did all of that without the support of a loving wife. (Gertrude is not the patient type. But she has good qualities. I mean, there must be SOME reason he married her)

His latest breakthrough is really a wonder: portable holes! (And it’s hard to be impressed in the crazy city he lives in. I think one of the bridges has a row of buildings on top of it) Nevertheless, he is granted instant acclaim! This hole thing is really a marvel! You can duck out of responsibilities, cheat at golf, and get the children you locked in a safe, out before the authorities arrive! (That’s an interesting picture on the wall. Not really a picture, but random farm related words and even a math equation. 4×4=4, huh? Math never was my best subject.)

Calvin has only one hope for his invention: that no one shall use it for nefarious purposes. (Minor mistake, but his award pokes out of the screen he is projected on. Minus one point) Ah, but you see, temptation is a powerful thing. And if there is an easier way to get what one wants, you can bet at least one person will try and ruin things for everyone. In this case, a (Man? They could be a very ugly lady.) person takes the professor’s case of holes while he sleeps and begins committing crimes. Using the holes for easy access into banks, jewelry stores, and Fort Knox. They begin calling this mystery person “The Holey Terror.”

They eventually move on to living targets, and break into a burlesque house. (Based on how sexuality is, that still gives no concrete evidence to the gender) But the cops are on their tail, and the thief is running out of holes to use. Down to one left, they use it to escape through a wall, just as the cops grab it. Said wall lead into a prison. (Never panic in these situations, it’ll always spell your undoing) Calvin is pleased to see things right in the world. (His sleeves are red in one scene then white in the next. Minus two points) Gertrude is still being a b*tch, and her husband finally decides to be rid of her. (Love his smile.) He tosses a hole in her path, and it must have been pretty deep. She ends up in hell. Satan sends her right back. (Even he doesn’t want to put up with her crap.)

 

Much Ado About Nutting

“Brazil Nuts”

Directed by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Lloyd Vaughn, Ken Harris, and Ben Washam; Layouts by Maurice Noble; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling; Orchestrations by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on May 23, 1953.

A brilliant little silent short from a brilliant man who knew exactly how to tell such stories. Not only considered one of the greatest, but the picture’s star would go on to at least have a cameo in “Back in Action.”

On a lovely warm summer day, a little squirrel crosses the street and heads towards a nut store. Unlike how it usually is in these cartoons, this squirrel doesn’t speak. In fact, he acts quite a bit like a real life squirrel. For the most part. For example, I don’t think he read the sign saying “Nuts” judging by how his nose twitches, he acted like most squirrels do and simply smelled the food. Luckily for him, (I’m just assuming the squirrel is a male. Everything I’ve read about this short says so.) all humans have mysteriously vanished from the picture, so there is no one to stop him from heading straight to the peanuts. (Which aren’t really nuts. I claim false advertising)

It’s not long before he spies the walnuts for sale. (An actual nut this time. Good for them.) Since they are bigger, he doesn’t hesitate to ditch the peanuts for a more abundant food source. But there’s always a bigger fish and he ultimately lays eyes on the coconuts. (Which really aren’t nuts, but nobody cares at this point.) They’re big enough for the squirrel to just need one, so he heads back across the street to enjoy some lunch.

But here’s where the conflict really begins. Despite being a rodent, his teeth don’t make so much as a crack in the fruit’s shell. He decides to act smarter than the average squirrel, (which to be fair, is still rather smart.) and uses some tools. Seeing as he is an animal, he starts with one of the tools chimps swear by: a rock. Upon slamming it onto the fruit, the rock snaps in two. And dropping it from a tree just embeds it in the ground. Time for the human tools. (There are too many obvious jokes for me to use here, so just use your favorite one.)

First up: a saw that loses its teeth. Then a jackhammer that is weathered away by the coconut. Eventually,  the squirrel is forced to take drastic measures. It’s time to drop the thing from the highest building he can. We get some great shots here. Several fade-ins to show the squirrels progress as he slowly, but surely hoists the heavy load up the countless stairs. The poor thing! I would gladly carry them to the top. But the squirrel is determined, and does ultimately make it. And he drops his meal. Wouldn’t it be great if this worked? Instead, the fruit just makes a chunk of the street lower than the rest.

That’s it. The squirrel gives up. And he is thoughtful enough to return the thing to where he found it. (Besides, there are many more things to choose from. Those walnuts looked pretty tasty.) But just as he puts it back in place, it slips and lands back on the ground. And it finally is cracked! The squirrel hurries over and pries open his prize. Alas, this appears to be a rare subspecies of matryoshka coconut, as there was another one inside it. Adding disbelief upon stress, the squirrel passes out.