Inki and the Minah Bird

“ROAR!”

Supervision by Charles M. Jones; Animation by Robert Cannon, Shamus Culhane; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released o November 13, 1943.

That title is no typo from me. For whatever reason, the bird is labeled as a “Minah.” (Unless that is his actual name. Minah the Mynah. I’ve heard of worse names.) Whatever the reason, this continues the trend of shorts being nothing more than the characters’ names even though it wasn’t their debut.

It’s a beautiful day in the jungle. Even the annelid snake is frolicking. (And it takes a lot to get that guy to show any joy. It’s hard being the only one of your species.) Oop. Spoke too soon. Such a beautiful day means one should take advantage of it, and hunt some game. That’s Inki’s plan, and he just barely misses the earthworm squamate by that much. (It really would have made a cute trophy.) Sure, he could try and hunt literally any other animal in the jungle, but a certain something in the distance sends them all packing. Whatever it is, it shakes the very ground it walks on. None who tangle with it ever survive. When you hear the accompanying music, if you’re smart, you’ll run in whatever direction is opposite of the commotion, and you won’t look back once. You’ll only pray that you aren’t the unfortunate soul who is unlucky enough to suffer the creature’s wrath. It is simply known as: The Mynah Bird. (goosebumps.)

Inki initially takes cover too, but either he isn’t aware of this bird’s otherworldly power, or he really just wants to be the guy who stuffed it. (Or he’s suicidal. It’s not ideal, but it’s a possibility.) He’s got a color changing spear, so why not take a “stab at it?” (I won’t apologize. That pun was worth your time.) He takes his trusty weapon in hand, and heaves towards the bush the bird hopped into. Success? The spear hit something. Might as well see what was hooked. Ah. It appears to be a lion. (Which means if this is Africa, that explains the terror the bird caused. Invasive species are ruthless.)

The big cat doesn’t seem too injured by the weapon, but he is understandably peeved. Inki runs home to get a peacemaker. The steak in the fridge will do nicely. (Why so shocked? People who live in huts can still have modern amenities. Stop being so judgmental.) The lion is happy to eat, but the bird was in his mouth and takes it for himself. The lion is so upset that not only does his hair change color with stress, but his eyes disappear. The bird has gone too far! So the lion gives chase. The bird would probably kill it, but he just ate, so he just hops into some hay. And it shrinks away into nothing before the lion’s eyes!

Things really aren’t going his way. When he beats on a tree in anguish, Inki falls into his paws. (It was still a decent hiding place.) The original chase resumes, but eventually, the lion sees the hay reappearing. The bird is back, and the cat shall have its vengeance! (Warner felines are great at achieving that, right?) Still not giving a d*mn, the bird just hops into a hole. The lion tries to catch him as he comes out, but finds Inki instead. (That was an ever better hiding place! This bird just screw everyone over.) The trio all pull the dust cloud running fake out, (Impressive. Usually, only one of them tries that at a time.) then the bird finally takes the lion and makes him disappear. Inki is saved. He’s a good kid, and offers to shake hand…wing…limbs with the bird.

Rookie mistake! That bird hates being touched, and he brings the lion back. A tussle breaks out, with Inki being the first to run for it. The bird meanwhile, ends up stealing the lion’s teeth for himself. (Now the whole planet is doomed. The only way this bird could any more powerful, is with internet access!)

Favorite part: it was a dang good short all around, but I give props to the lion crying after his steak is eaten. Normally, crying in media annoys me, but it sounds great here. Kudos!

Hobo Bobo

“Bobo felt very hurt when he fell down on his… first attempt.”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Warren Foster. A Merrie Melody released on May 17, 1947.

India is a delightful country. I’ve never actually been there, but the awesome Asian elephant can be found there, and that’s enough for me. Because they aren’t the more temperamental African variety, these ones can and have been used for manual labor. This doesn’t set very well with one little fellow. The calf, Bobo by name, is still in that small and impossibly adorable phase where he is mostly head. It doesn’t matter, he is SO CUTE! I want to hug him! (I guess I’m just a sucker for small elephants.)

As he is such a smart species of animal, little Bobo knows that just because he only has easy logs to haul now, they are going to get bigger as he does. A lifetime of work? That’s no way to live! It will make Bobo a dull calf! If only he could live at the circus. That’s where Uncle Jumbo lives. He’s a performer that everyone loves, and he is on the…baseball team. The circus elephant baseball team. Uh, oh yeah! The Pachyderm Pirates! Twelfth in the league… and… uh… no. It’s just weird. (Lord, I love cartoons.)

You know, why not? And since there are no circuses in India (or here anymore, for that matter) Bobo decides to board a ship for the states. However, the human supremacists won’t let someone of Bobo’s species on their boat. (Four legs bad, two legs are fine, but no birds either.) Bobo tries sneaking in on various ways, but they either fail to get him on board, or get him evicted on sight. Enter a mynah bird. Correction: THE mynah bird. A character from Chuck Jone’s Inki cartoons. (Who I’ve yet to discuss because I’m not capable of having a schedule that makes sense. In fact, I’m gonna just call it right here: I probably won’t summarize any of those shorts until, let’s say, 2024. See you then!

Oh yeah, I’m not done here. The bird has a grand idea: Bobo should just paint himself pink. People will see him, surely, but they won’t admit it. Being so young, naive, innocent, (and cute. Did I mention that yet?) the little elephant has no idea why everyone is suddenly so accommodating to him, but it’s suits him just fine. They even share there meals and beds with him. (I would. I don’t care if it would cost my bed its life. Beds are replaceable, Bobo’s aren’t.)

Land ho! Welcome to New York! I guess the people there had yet to accustom to  the wacky shenanigans on a daily basis, because everyone is still acting like they don’t see anything. Poor Bobo. It hurts to be ignored. (They’re not even giving him any freebies anymore.) As he mopes though, a street sweeper comes by, and washes off his pretty, pink paint. Suddenly, EVERYONE takes note that there is an elephant running around. (While I won’t lie calling the authorities would probably be wise, I do think everyone is overreacting. Just a tad. As long as his mother isn’t around, I think it’s safe to pet him.)

Well, he’s arrested. (Sure. When it calls for punishment, everyone is HAPPY to treat him like a human. If only I could say we’ve come so far.) Standing before the judge, Bobo awaits his verdict. He is sentenced to life. In the circus that is! Oh, happy day! Bobo is finally going to achieve his dream at last! He even makes it as the team’s bat boy. However, turns out that doesn’t make him happy at all. Finally speaking, he shows his distaste. After all that, he still has ended up carrying logs. Wah-wah-wah.

Favorite part: Such an adorable picture! I’d like to say any part with the main character was my favorite, but by my own rules, that’s cheating. I award the honor to the baby who throws out his bottle upon seeing the pink elephant. (He’s never going to trust his mother again.)

The Mouse-merized Cat

“Sleep! Sleep!”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Warren Foster; Animation by Arthur Davis, Don Williams, Richard Bickenbach, and Cal Dalton; Layouts and Background by Richard H. Thomas and Cornett Wood; Effects Animation by A.C. Gamer; Voice Characterization: Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on October 19, 1946.

Remember Babbit and Catstello? Even if Tweety managed to get their fame, the two still managed a couple more pictures as mice. (Thus making them the only Warner Bros. characters to change species.) It’s clearly them and not just some lookalikes, the names are the same, the appearance is familiar, and they are still voiced by Pierce and Blanc, respectively. Still, for whatever reason, they only got two shorts as rodents, with this being the last of them.

Catstello, (which is a rather odd name for a mouse, but not THE worst. That distinction goes to Mortimer.) is excited to see us, the audience, but Babbit has more important matters to attend to. He’s reading a book about hypnotism, and he plans to entrance the chubby mouse, so said mouse will forget any fear of a cat, and get food from the deli in which they reside.

Naturally, the loss of free will is not something that Catstello wants any part in, and refuses to participate. Starting out by simply pretending it worked. He gives himself away when he refuses to mallet his own hand. Babbit refuses to accept that either hypnosis doesn’t work that way, or that his little pal could just be immune. (And why should he accept either one in a cartoon?) Still, Catstello tries to avoid the powers, protecting his eyes, and ducking. It’s no use though, Babbit finally gets him and now its time to test these powers.

It wouldn’t be a Warner Bros. Picture if they didn’t caricature some of the most popular people of the day, so Babbit starts by making his pal be Crosby, Sinatra, Durante, and Rochester. But any Warner character could do those, so the real test is to become a chicken. Sure enough, not only does Catstello cluck, but he even somehow lays and egg. (Or he just took it off a shelf. They are in a deli.)

Okay, how about we see this cat that’s in the title? Catstello is commanded to be a dog, and sent out to get the cat. His barking sends the cat into hiding, but upon seeing its just a mouse, the feline loses any and all fear. He even snaps Catstello out of the trance. The mouse flees in fear back to the hole, but Babbit rehypnotizes him out. In turn, the cat studies some hypnotism of his own and tries sending him back again. (He doesn’t just eat him because fat mice are high in cholesterol)

This goes on, but somehow in between the dueling hypnotists, Catstello is able to get his own will back and holds two mirrors out. Now they’ll see how funny hypnosis can be! With them caught in their own trances, Catstello can get them to do anything. He decides on the cat being a horse, and Babbit being a cowboy. With that done, he sends them out to hunt some varmint, and he is finally rid of them. With the whole place to himself, he does what anyone would do with an empty deli: eat.

Favorite Part: One of the ways Catstello resists the hypnosis. He reads a book entitled: “How to resist hypnotism.”

Brother Brat

“The situation is supernatural!”

Direction by Frank Tashlin; Story by Melvin Millar; Animation by Art Davis; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on July 15, 1944.

By this point in history, the U.S. has been part of World War II for a while now. All the men are off fighting, so it’s up to the women to make the weapons we need. Being just as capable (if not more so) then males, the women of the country have a solution for nearly every problem. The big one at the moment that still needs some answering: who will watch my child while I work?

Such a conundrum is a problem of some large woman. She answers it pretty quickly: the one guy who children adore and as such, didn’t go to the war: Porky! (Of course, she kinda guilts him into it. Saying this is the only way the planes are going to keep being produced.) Still, being the swell guy he is, Porky isn’t all that upset and prepares to be the best sitter he can be. Should be a cinch since she lent him a child psychology book. First step is easy: ask the kid his name. (Why not? Babies are people too.)

I take it back. This probably isn’t going to go too well, since the first time we see the kid he is playing solitaire. Well, he’s got to have a name at any rate. Fittingly, it’s Butch. (He also mocks Porky’s manner of speech. Keep it up, ugly, and I’ll murder you in your sleep. Don’t tempt me, how do you think George Carlin died?) Butch also hands Porky an anvil, and the pig ends up in the basement. So far so bad, what’s the book’s next suggestion?

Give the kid a cat? Oddly specific, but unless you’re me, it might be able to melt his heart’s rough exterior. (And immature it may be, I can’t help snickering when Porky tells the kid to play with a pussy.) I guess Porky already had a pet? I hope he didn’t go buy one just for this kid. (He’s so generous! It gets me right here.) Hey, maybe Butch isn’t so bad a kid after all, he’s playing jump rope with the cat! (Ah, the fun I had when I did that as a child. It’s probably why I had to see a psychiatrist.)

Butch also reads Esquire Jr. (Plenty of (literal) babes in there) He also does not want to be told that he is too young for this. When Porky makes this mistake, the kid bites a finger and holds on tight. The book is being no help, so Porky has to shake the little terror off. Seems that was the tipping point, as he declares war and chases my amigo with a cleaver. (You know how parents tend to defend their kid’s actions? I wonder how she’d talk her way out of this one) We won’t get any answers to that, but she at least does come to the rescue and ask why he didn’t use the book. Obviously, he did, but she shows that he was using it wrong. She meant it to be used for spanking. (No pity for Butch. He’s earned this)

Favorite part: Butch wolf whistling at his magazine. (Because a baby being horny is funny.)

Busy Bakers

“We must work fast before he wakes, and fill his store with pies and cakes.”

Supervision by Ben Hardaway and Cal Dalton; Story by Jack Miller; Animation by Richard Bickenback; Musical Direction by Carl Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on February 10, 1940.

Before I begin with the summary, I insist that you watch this:

One brilliant person made this work of art, and if you come here, then you’re the kind of person who’d enjoy it. (I was only going to put this up with permission, but I was told to just do it regardless. I guess civility really IS dead.)

Back to what I normally talk about on Sundays…

Poor Swenson the baker. He’s got no customers, because he’s got no products to sell. He can’t sell any products, because he has no ingredients. He can’t buy more, because has no funds. Funds that could be given to him by the customers he doesn’t have. (A vicious cycle) I’m not sure how things ended up this way. Maybe he spent all his dough (tee hee) on the premises. Or he could just be terrible at his chosen profession.

Enter an old man. He appears to be blind, hunchbacked, and nearly toothless, so clearly, he’s seen better days. (Figuratively, what with being blind and all) He asks for some crumbs. Even if Swenson is the world’s worst purveyor of pastries, he is a kind man and gives his sole patron the last doughnut. Free of charge. (Not like selling it would be much help anyway. He’d probably be able to afford half a stick of butter at most) Still, the old guy is grateful for the kindness and heads out.

As it turns out, this was all a test. In reality, the old man is… some random old man dwarf. He lives with others of his kind in what’s left of Disney’s “Old Mill.” (Which is the greatest Silly Symphony says I. Go watch it to celebrate the series turning 90 this year!) Because of Swenson’s generosity, the dwarfs are going to supply him with their own ingredients, and bake him a stores worth of goodies. (They will do it while he sleeps. Not only because surprises are fun, but people who run failing businesses tend to force smaller beings into being slaves. This is why cobblers no longer exist.)

So, we get gags about making pastries. They’re…honestly, not the best Warner Bros. has cooked up. (Tee hee) They put egg shells into batter, try squeezing whole pumpkins into pie crusts, and get trapped under unrolling jelly rolls. I don’t know if I’d want to eat their wares. What does one put into dough to get it to stick to a table like that? It may look pretty, but the eyes can be deceived. (I once tried to eat a poison dart frog because it was beautiful. It dissolved my colon)

Despite the mix ups, the little guys seem rather adept at what they are doing. Still, noise is noise, and Swenson wakes up and sees what is going on in his kitchen. With the jig up, the dwarfs flee. Word travels fast, as the store is already packed with people wanting to purchase the pastries. Since they weren’t made with high fructose corn syrup, I’m not surprised to see them sell like hot cakes. (Tee hee) When the day is done, Swenson has a good amount of gold coins in his possession.

Now comes the true test! The old man comes back to once again beg for scraps. (Gotta see if success has changed the baker for the worse.) Happily, he is still a rather nice fellow, and gives the beggar a whole pie. (Maybe he knows the old guy is related to his booming business somehow, and doesn’t want to lose his luck. A little food for thought. (Tee hee.)) However, when Swenson mentions that there is a five cent deposit on the pan, he gets the pie heaved in his face. (I don’t understand. Doesn’t that mean if the old guy returned it, he’d get payed? Why so angry?)

Favorite part: Like I said, the gags were sadly a little weak. (Though the art is very nice) I suppose my favorite part is the song they sing while they bake. It’s catchy.

The Foxy Duckling

“I gotta get a duck! I gotta get a duck! I gotta get a duck!”

Directed by Arthur Davis; Animation by J.C. Melendez, Manny Gould, and Don Williams; Layouts by Thomas McKimson; Backgrounds by Phil DeGuard. A Merrie Melody released on August 23, 1947.\

Night is probably my favorite time of day. Things are still and quiet, soothing and peaceful. Perfect for slipping into sleep and forgetting your troubles in the blissful state of unconsciousness. The only problem is when insomnia rears its ugly head. Such is the fate of poor A. Fox. (A for Adam) He can’t, and I mean can’t, sleep. He’s tried near everything too. Boxes of sleeping pills litter the floor, there’s a whole bucket of milk, and he’s tried every possible sleeping position. Even clamping his eyes shut don’t make a difference.

Falling out of bed causes one of his insomnia books to land on his face. I guess he didn’t read this one much, as it states a solution he never thought to try: a pillow full of duck down. (His is full of various metals. Not comfortable, but… actually, I can’t think of a “but” after that.) Well, if that’s what’ll help, the only solution is to get a duck. So he heads out with a mallet. (I like that he isn’t just hunting for some food. There’s already so many cartoons like that)

He finds a duckling and readies his weapon. (It’s interesting that Daffy was not used in this picture. Not bad, just interesting.) He takes a little too long to swing, so the duckling escapes to a lake. Adam follows, but is reminded that he can’t swim. (Despite the fact he should be able to, and adult ducks also have down. There you go. The two animal facts I’ll teach you today.) He tries some tricks. Blowing a duck call gets him shot by hunters, and when he throws an anvil from a boat, the bird just drags him into the firing line. (It frightens the fish, so I guess he won’t be sleeping with them either.)

Maybe this swimming thing could work. All he needs is a flotation device, and a diving board. (With all that preparation, the duck has plenty of time to aim the board towards a tree) Okay, maybe the heavy object trick could work if one was to throw it from a tree. (Since their is a rope tied to the thing, I guess it was an anchor) Duckling ties the rope to Adam’s leg, but the fox is smart enough to cut the rope. (But dumb enough to keep holding it afterwards)

The duckling climbs a strangely placed mountain, (When God gets drunk, he just places them any old place) and when Adam catches up, the duckling flies over the edge, just out of reach. (I’d tell you that the bird hasn’t yet grown the feathers for that, but I’ve already given you your two facts. Don’t be greedy.) Our fox isn’t going to have that, and begins nailing many planks together to catch up to the fowl. Once he’s out a ways, the bird saws through most of his work. It’s just barely hanging on, and Adam freezes in place to not upset it further.

Sadistic duckling that he is, the little guy plucks out a single feather, (his feet flash yellow) and lets it drops on the frightened fox. (The tension is wonderful here!) No fake outs either; once the feather makes contact with the fox, his structure collapses and he falls to his death. You’d think that now he’d be able to rest. (In peace) But forget that! Being an angel means he has wings of his own! And he’s going to use them to chase that duckling! Iris out.

Favorite part: It’s small, but a great touch. When the duckling walks around in the air with his wing/hands behind his back, he still flaps them to keep aloft. Being a cartoon, nobody would have to animate that and everyone could just accept it. But they did. I’m very proud of them.

Saps in Chaps

“Go west, young man!”

Supervision by I. Freleng; Story by Sgt. Dave Monahan; Animation by Manuel Perez; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on April 11, 1942.

What a time it was expanding the west! There was so much untapped land just waiting to be claimed. (I’m pretty sure there weren’t already PLENTY of people living there, otherwise I’d feel guilty for living where I do.) Things were plenty different back then. Not only were the states in more irregular shapes, but every president on Mt. Rushmore was still a baby.

Not everybody had the luxury of crossing via covered wagon. A few had to make do with crawling desperately through the desert. It was dangerous too! Hungry vultures kept their eyes peeled for any living being that couldn’t cope with the heat. Luckily for the guy we’re following, he comes across a fill-up station that is happy to supply him with water. (His thirst may be quenched, but he is still stuck crawling the rest of the way.)

Towns seemed to grow like fungi, and the people who populated them all walked with a dumb cowboy gait. Even the horses. Even the mice! (When they aren’t being hunted by lasso twirling cats, that is.) At a nearby saloon, you could not only escape the midday heat, but converse with other people. You had to watch out though. Villain types came in rather frequently, and you were pretty much dead unless you were the hero type. (The one who can laugh off gun shots. I wish I could be so bass)

Entertainment? Sure, rodeos exist. Where the men show off how tough they are by riding animals that DO NOT want to be mounted. One of which in particular throws everyone out of its pen. Still, as tough as he is, he can’t cope with an audience, and quietly slinks away to get his much needed privacy. Oh! I nearly forgot! Mail was delivered via pony express in those days, but that doesn’t mean everyone was suited for the job. What to do if you just can’t mount the horse? Simple. Let HIM ride YOU. (It’s good for the back)

Favorite part: During the rodeo, one horse is told that he can’t throw off his rider. He bluntly grabs the man and throws him down. (Sticking his tongue out at the narrator)

Porky’s Hired Hand

“Yuh can depend on me!”

Supervision by I. Freleng; Story by Dave Monahan; Animation by Richard Bickenbach; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on November 30, 1940.

Porky’s farm has seen better days. Lately, a fox has been stealing a good number of hens, and Porky has had enough of the robbery. Good thing that the Cornstalk Employment Agency has sent him some assistance. Gregory Grunt. He looks like Goofy got hit by a severe case of swine flu. And if I’m allowed to judge by appearances, (which I totally am) he doesn’t really look like the best man for any job. I’m guessing the agency was just sick of him and wanted to make the guy somebody else’s problem. Porky’s a better man than I’ll ever be, and gives the lunkhead a chance.

Despite the very clear instructions of “do not fall asleep”, Gregory does just that. Enter the fox. He’s got some clothing, so it’s not like he’s just a wild animal trying to find an easier solution, he’s just some random a-hole who would rather steal than work. (And he dies if he crosses my path. Nobody messes with my pal) With the guard asleep, the fox helps himself to the choicest morsels. He’s even willing to take babies! (Dipsh*t! If you don’t leave anything to repopulate your theft, you won’t be able to return next year. And then where will you be?) He’s all ready to leave, but someone bars his path: Gregory?

Well, it appears I have to eat my words! (Good thing I write so tastefully) Looks like Greg was just pretending to sleep in case the fox was stupid enough to come back. (Thieves should really never hit the same joint twice.) Of course, the other possibility is that the fox just woke him up. (So that means I can upchuck my eaten words) Told to put the birds back, the fox laments that the two of them can’t be partners. I mean, clearly Gregory is a master businessman who could help make a chicken monopoly. Yeah, Gregory is all for it, but what about Porky?

And there’s a random fade out to what seems like half a second later, but the fox knows Gregory’s name by now, so I have no clue what we missed. Either way, he convinces Greg that Porky would WANT him to succeed and stealing from him is a good start. (That’s what I did while working at my local zoo. Strangely, no one wanted to come see penguins in my backyard, and now I’m out of goldfish) Give the fox some credit, he’s even willing to let Gregory’s name go first in their company’s name. (That explains why I haven’t given the fox a name. According to himself, his name IS Fox. I guess his last name is Mc Loud. I mean, he DID wake Mr. Grunt)

Telling his new partner to grab some feed, Fox makes an exit. It was a scam all along! (You know, going into business might still be a good idea. Just some chicken for thought) In his rush to escape, Fox didn’t look where he was going. It wasn’t the exit he left through, but the incubator! He fears for his life as he is no doubt going to roast! (The birds he has don’t seem to mind. They’re not even moving…oops. That’s going to set Porky back a bit) Being a nice enough, dumb guy, Gregory tries to help his partner get out. Unfortunately, his head isn’t hard enough to break the door down.

Still, his banging does alert Porky to all this, and he brings his gun down to investigate. Maybe Gregory IS a little smart, because he refrains from explaining his “business partner” is trapped, and refers to him as a fox once more. Giving him the gun, Porky instructs him to shoot as soon as the door is open. He does, but they didn’t get the fox. Seems he was aiming a bit too high. Being in the incubator so long, Fox has shrunk. (His tail didn’t though. And I’m sure it would fetch a decent price. Heh heh heh!)

Favorite part: Fox is describing the things that Gregory will obtain from this partnership. Including a secretary to sit on his lap.

Fresh Airdale

“Good old Shep.”

Directed by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Ben Washam, Lloyd Vaughan and Ken Harris; Music Direction by Carl Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on August 25, 1945.

What a crummy Halloween. As per the usual, I dressed as Porky and nobody knew who I was. Their guesses ranged from one of Disney’s three little pigs, to Patch Adams. (I’m not joking.) Nothing I ever do gets appreciated.

Cʜᴇᴇʀ ᴜᴘ, ᴅᴀᴅ.

Are you still here? I thought I threw you into my pile of failed experiments, that include my Youtube channel and Deviantart account.

Yᴏᴜ’ʀᴇ ɴᴏᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ᴏɴʟʏ ᴏɴᴇ ᴡʜᴏ ɢᴇᴛs ɴᴏ ʀᴇᴄᴏɢɴɪᴛɪᴏɴ, ʏᴏᴜ ᴋɴᴏᴡ.

I suppose you are right. Today’s short is a perfect example of that.

As anyone who has talked to me for at least four sentences knows, I think rather highly of dogs, and not at all of cats. Dogs are loyal, cute, lovable, silly, smell nice, have a good sense of smell, and love everyone. Cats… well, they probably taste good. I’m sorry, but I’ve never got the appeal for those things. I don’t think they are cute, they stink worse than any animal I’ve encountered, (and I’ve worked at a zoo before.) they’re the only animals that gross me out (hairballs.) and they killed my fish.

This short is like something I would have directed. A man has two pets: Shep the dog, and a cat who doesn’t deserve a name. So we’ll call him: Boy.

I’ᴅ ᴄʀʏ ɪꜰ ᴛʜɪs ᴅɪᴅɴ’ᴛ ʜᴀᴘᴘᴇɴ ᴏɴ ᴀ ᴅᴀɪʟʏ ʙᴀsɪs.

As I was saying, this man knows how things should work. Shep is given a large piece of tasty meat, while the cat has to make do with a fish skeleton. But that is not enough to fill Shep’s belly, and he steals the man’s dinner too. Boy saw this, and tries to show compassion by giving up his skeleton. The man is not pleased to see this, figuring the cat stole from him. (He definitely would have, in the meantime, he put a bacteria laden corpse on his plate) He throws the useless thing (the cat. the bones could fertilize) outside. (Seriously though, why does he keep the thing if he is just going to berate it? Does he just like having something to punch?)

Shep proves he is the better animal, by offering up his beaten up bone. The man is so moved by this, he gives his faithful dog another piece of meat. Shep is too full for some reason, and tosses this second dinner outside. Boy, now in possession of the meat, tries to return it. (He has some kind of collar. And I thought “The Hep Cat” was the only short where a feline had clothing shaped anatomy.) The man rightfully gets angry, and assumes the cat only is returning the meat out of guilt. (Which he definitely  would have, in the meantime, he is trying to feed his owner some meat that touched the filthy ground.) Before the cat can get another deserved kick, Shep defends him. Proving that he is a better animal. Because of this show of kindness, the man relents. Boy thanks his savior, and is kicked away. (Stupid cat. You live with this dog. You should have known that he doesn’t like touching.)

When the master leaves the house, Shep is the one who guards the place. But since he is such a friendly guy, he allows the suspicious type to try and break in. (Provided that the price is right) Boy notices this, and attacks the trespasser. The worthless creature gets knocked out in the scuffle, so Shep decides it is up to him to have the credit. He puts the cat in a garbage can to rest (where he belongs) and makes it look like he did it all. Shep is now lauded as a hero.

He enjoys his glory, but there is one small hiccup: there is another dog in the paper. And he is the no. 1 dog! (Originally, he was supposed to be FDR’s dog, but then the man went and died right as this short was going to be released, and it just didn’t seem like it would be in very good taste) Shep can’t have that, and he heads for (probably still) D.C. to cement his position. Boy follows, no doubt trying to ruin the poor dog’s already hard life.

Upon arriving, Shep tries to get rid of not Fala. (That’s just dogs being dogs) Boy ruins his plans, and sends the canine tumbling into a lake. Shep can’t swim, so the Scottish Terrier comes to his rescue. But since Shep is a much bigger dog, the little one passes out upon reaching the shore. Shep wakes up first, and makes it look like HE is the one who saved the day. Shep is now the most popular creature in the world! Doing interviews and getting parades! And Boy has to watch it all. Even getting some mud in the face. Serves him right.

Lights Fantastic

“It’s Swell!!”

Supervision by I. Freleng; Story by Sgt. Dave Monahan; Animation by Gil Turner; Musical Supervision by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on May 23, 1942.

Light is pretty fantastic stuff. I don’t mean the natural kind you can get from the sun. (That stuff causes cancer!) I mean the artificial kind that people use to give nature the finger, and turn night into diet day. And apart from Vegas, I’d say the best place to experience such a marvel, is New York City. What types of gags might we find just marveling at billboards?

One ad is typed out to us as if on a typewriter. But whoever is in charge of things, sure as heck can’t spell “stewpendaus.” And while you’re enjoying the sights that are lights, why not take a trip to Chinatown? (The bus is built like a rickshaw. At least it’s not as racially insensitive as it could have been.) One ad gives a free sample of what it’s promoting: an eye test! Being able to read the first line means you’re average. (Crap. I can make it out, but I can’t read that mess. Guess I need new contacts.) The next one means “above average” and the one below that is “exceptional!” And if you can read the bottom one, you clearly are a foreigner. (Who would bother to learn another language?)

What would a “Merrie Melody” be without a song number? (Still entertaining.) The ads come to life to serenade us. The featured song is “My High Polished Nose.” (“My Wild Irish Rose”) Next on the playbill: “Laugh, Clown, Laugh” performed by the mascot of Clown cakes and cookies. And as many can jokes as they can make! Coffee cans doing the can-can, while frequently showing off their cans! (Can there be anymore? It just can’t be! So I better can it, lest I get canned.)

One ad tries too hard. It tries to grab your attention with as much neon as they can afford. All for a tiny “Eat at Joe’s” message. (Freleng would use a similar gag in “Holiday for Shoestrings.” (Even using the same music piece.) And since this wasn’t the most story driven short, what better way to end it than with a music party? The dripping of coffee, the shaking of peanuts, and the dinging of a cowbell make an irresistible beat that has the rest of the ads dancing. Ending up with the same shot we began with. (What a bright idea.)