Country Boy

“♫Teacher’s gonna get’cha cause she’s not a fool…♫

Supervision by Isadore Freleng; Animation by Bob McKimson and Paul Mith; Musical Score by Norman Spencer. A Merrie Melody released on February 9, 1935.

Morning time is the time that all well behaved bunnies go to school. (To learn how to make clothes. Living naked is a sin!) So, for fun’s sake, let’s look in on the one naughty rabbit. You can tell he is naughty because he tries to avoid school by hiding amongst the poultry. That and his name is Peter. The universal name for naughty rabbits. Yes, this is essentially a retelling of the classic story. More importantly, Beatrix Potter was still alive at this time of time. And I wonder, did she ever watch cartoons? Was she a fan, with how much she loved animals wearing clothes, and having adventures beyond the typical mate/survive/end up dead lifestyle they usually have?

Yeah, yeah, off topic. Peter heads off after being caught by his mother, but on the way, he spots a delicious looking garden. But before he can sneak in and have a feast worthy of the best salad bars, he is caught by three of his goody-goody classmates. (Heck if I know the genders. Bernice Hansen uses the same voice for all of them. And girls don’t wear nothing but dresses.) They warn him that not only will he end up as a stew ingredient should he trespass, but they will do the most horrible thing they can do to him: tattle. (All in song form, too) Before things get too ugly, they hear the school bell and rush off. Clever little Peter, though, he doubles back at the last moment and heads off to what I want to call “Vegetable Valley.” (If only it was a valley.)

He starts with the carrots, and then heads to the peas. Well, at least they seem like peas. Really, they’re jumping beans. (Which makes me wonder what they were originally, before the farmer just gave up and let the animals rule this part of the garden.) Maybe he should stick to things his body can actually digest? Beets! Even the bull is feasting here. (Is the farmer okay with that?) A tug of war between the two herbivores ends with the bovine in the well, and its cries alert farmer McGregory of the intrusion. Chase time! (Just like in the original stories, he never questions how a rabbit was able to make/purchase clothing and put it on without hands or a complex brain.)

Peter could run, but why not take the mower? Not only does it mean he can run without using energy, but he can tear up the area. (That’ll teach that farmer for his lack of sharing! Sucks to your hard work!) Still, it doesn’t end especially well for the rabbit. He ends up flying through the farmer’s syrup harvest, and his hen house. Once more, he can hide amongst the poultry. And if he wants to keep his body unstewed, he’s going to have to. (If this Peter wasn’t a child, I’d say this is the untold story of how Peter Sr. ended up in a pie. Mcgregory: “Why does this chicken taste like rabbit?”)

Favorite part: The rabbit children’s song. (It’s catchy)

One Step Ahead of my Shadow

“Me show you Melican way!”

Animation by Isadore Freleng and Max Maxwell; Music by Frank Marsales. A Merrie Melody released on February 4, 1933.

With a title like that, I’d assume our picture would take place in the land of the rising sun. I guess China is a close enough choice. We dumb Americans think all Asian cultures are one and the same. Considering the time period it’s coming from, should we expect plenty of stereotype jokes? Yes, but luckily most of them seem pretty subdued. Seems the animators were more focused on “the Chinese have long braids of hair” jokes, over the classic “they have freakishly large teeth!” ones. (Though there is one of those in here.)

Although, really, we shouldn’t make fun. The people there are not that different than you or me. They have traffic, folks who quote “Amos N Andy,” and Mickey clones, just like we do! (Numbers 704 and 251, to be precise.) And who is our hero of the day? It’s a young oriental boy named…I won’t lie. I’m afraid to supply him with a name, in case I somehow choose something offensive. I’ll just go with Craig.

Craig sings the title song, while on his way to pick up his girlfriend for a date. If it isn’t Fortune Cookie! (And if it isn’t, it must be her sister, Fortune Wafer.) The two enjoy some swinging. (That’s not a music joke. They use a literal swing. Do couples still do this sort of thing?) Let’s step away from the two for minute and look at another character. Some fat guy who you’d probably expect to be the antagonist, at first glance. Not only does he treat his rickshaw driver as a horse, (but then, he IS neighing. Why do they keep doing that?) but he also has claws, and takes joy in finding the meter go down to zero after hitting a bump. (Actually, that one is rather relatable.)

He heads into a building, and they start swinging. (That’s not a literal description. They play some music) The building in question is right next to where Craig and his gal pal are playing, so they go inside and have more fun. Now we’ll meet the antagonist. A dragon that is in captivity. (It’s easier to worship something when it doesn’t run away.) It has fire breath, (which these type of dragons don’t normally do, so maybe this one IS just a zoo exhibit.) and it is able to melt the bars of its cage and escape. It begins terrorizing everyone, but Craig has the rather brilliant idea of shoving some fireworks down its throat. This doesn’t kill it, but it does succeed in blowing off all the skin and organs within.

Favorite Part: While Craig paddles his boat along the Yangtze (I’m sure there are other rivers in China, but its the one I’m declaring canon) he sees a quacking goose eat some fish. The last fish is big enough to turn the tables.

Buddy’s Trolley Troubles

“All aboard!”

Supervision by Isadore Freleng; Drawn by Ben Clopton and Frank Tipper; Music by Norman Spencer. A Looney Tune released on May 5, 1934.

I don’t know what it is about trolleys, but if you drive one, there will be trouble. Doesn’t matter if you’re a lucky rabbit, a fox, or a purple dragon. Then again, it wouldn’t be very entertaining if nothing happened. Then again, (again) if the main character is Buddy, it probably still won’t be TOO entertaining. (I love ya, Buddy. But you are rather boring.)

One fine day, Buddy awakes wearing that same wide smile he always wears. Isn’t life swell? Nothing can go wrong, and if it does, one can solve any problem with a sunny disposition. Golly! Aren’t we in for boatloads of fun! Buddy keeps his trolley in his garage, and gets it to the tracks by using his fence. (Yeah, that is pretty clever, but it must be a pain to replace each day.) Be it that it’s a nice trolley, or the only trolley, Buddy gets some riders. A fat lady, (always has to be at least one) and a guy who hangs on to the outside before getting in. (And it must be larger on the inside, because we never see the two again. Then again, (part 3) I never did see Buddy eat breakfast today…)

The passenger Buddy is most happy to pick up, is his girlfriend. He even has a scissors lift installed so he can reach the floor of the building she lives on. (And he just…stares at her. It’s rather creepy, but she seems to enjoy it. I’ll never understand couples.) This causes trouble for Buddy, as he holds up traffic. (Go on then, show us that smile!) The cop isn’t too patient with him, punching him in the face, and telling him  to shut up. (Something I’m sure many of us would love to do.) They get moving.

As they ride along, they eventually come to a part of track that a convict is hiding under. A trolley would be just the thing to cut the chain on his ball and chain. It works, and Buddy hops out to see what the damage is. The smart thing to do in this situation is to lay low, maybe disguise yourself. Then again (I’m saying again) this guy probably got arrested in the first place for charging people for a game of punch the cop’s balls. (Fun game, disastrous consequences.) So it doesn’t surprise me to see him take off with Cookie in tow.

Buddy manages to chase the brute down with a hand cart, and even get some licks in. He even gets Cookie back without too much of a struggle. Still, he might want to look into a new line of work as the thief can’t slow down in time, and hits a truck of dynamite stuck on the tracks. (Yep, that’s Dumbasp Mcgee, all right. What a pathetic excuse for a criminal)

Favorite part: Me being me, I like what Buddy uses to ring his bell: a cat. (I’m probably going to hell)

Count Me Out

“I’m a professional prize fighter!”

Supervision by Ben Hardaway and Cal Dalton; Story by Melvin Millar; Animation by Herman Cohen; Musical Supervision by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on December 17, 1938.

This is actually a rather important cartoon for the good ole’ WB. You may not notice it right away, so I’ll just tell you. It’s all on the piece of mail Egghead is reading. This was the first appearance of ACME! The greatest “sell anything” company since… well, I suppose it was the first, and nobody else has ever been crazy enough to sell such content. That makes them number one to this day!

Back to business, the ad Egghead is reading promotes some boxing lessons (equipment included, ACME cares about its customers). What really hooks Eggy, is the ad challenging his masculinity. He can be a man or a mouse, and mice don’t box, do they?

Then I guess Egghead doesn’t have to prove anything. But what fun would that be?

He orders the kit and almost immediately gets it. (The delivery man would have been there sooner, but the bridge was out.) Time to get to work! There’s all sorts of nifty gear to make you the champion boxer of the neighborhood! Instructions relayed to you by a Mel Blanc narrator. The most basic rule of boxing is knowing how to punch, so that’s a good starting point. Egghead may not look like he’s got a lot of strength, but he can really hit that punching bag! In fact, it won’t stop swinging when Mel tells him to stop. (Egghead has no choice but to shoot it)

Like any sport, you can’t have offense without defense. (Otherwise, you’d just be getting payed to bully others) Next, will be lessons on dodging. The kit comes with a nice wall of gloves that will try and give you a good socking. Dodge them! Egghead does just that, and the instructions deem him ready! He’s a real boxer now, and real boxers right real matches. (Believe me, I’m tempted to put in joke about real Boxers (the dog breed), but I can’t make such a bad joke if you’re expecting it!)

He must have the right kind of connections, because Egghead is booked to fight the world champion, Biff Stew. (Oddly enough, Egghead is the only person in this short who isn’t an anthropomorphic animal. Then again, I’ve never been entirely sure that he wasn’t a hooded seal.)

(Uncanny.)

The referee is being played by Tex Avery. (Doing that oh, so enjoyable laugh he does. You can’t help but join in.) And the fight begins! Egghead does have some agility on him, and he lands several jabs, but it’s kind of like a grasshopper hitting an ox. No fazing is going to happen. It’s not long before Egghead is getting his rear handed to him. (So dazed is he, he thinks he is Charlie McCarthy at one point and takes a seat on the champ’s lap.)

He can’t just quit. Oh, don’t think he wouldn’t try! Biff is just not going to give him that luxury! They are fighting to the death! Biff might have overdone it on that last punch though, as after stretching the ropes as much as possible, (Egghead comes close enough to kiss! Any desperate people in the audience tonight?) he comes back and knocks Biff off his feet, and onto Eggy’s body. Only one way to get that lummox off, a bite! The galoot flies up, and comes down, the impact dragging the rest of the ring down with him. Could Egghead go down too?

If he was actually there! Turns out Egghead was knocked out by his dodging wall, and dreamed the whole thing up. Dream or not, he’s convinced that a fighter’s life is not for him and he throws everything out. (Except the wall, which gives him one more punch.)

Favorite part: After a grueling exercise, Egghead pants. The record tells him to not have his tongue hanging out, because we’re watching him. (Glad I didn’t have to say it.)

Big Hearted Bosko

“Bruno, where are you?”

Animation by Isadore Freleng and Rollin Hamilton. A Looney Tune released on March 5, 1932.

Really, that doesn’t sound too healthy. Is it like a tumor? Or maybe he just has bad cholesterol or-OH! It’s meant figuratively! And here I thought it might be a clue as to why we don’t see Bosko much anymore.

As I’ve stated many times before, I don’t get the love for the cold. So I really can’t fathom why Bosko would want to be outside in it. (I guess it really doesn’t bother him any. He’s not wearing anything different than his usual get-up.) Bruno has tagged along for this trip, and the two spend some time skating on ice. (They have the whole pond to themselves as nobody else seems to want to skate on ice that has large holes in it. Cowards.)

Okay, sure. Bruno nearly falls in a couple of times, but that doesn’t mean he will-oh, d*mn it. Bruno! How are we to enjoy your escapades if you end up in the death water? I suppose you best be saving him, Bosko.

Bosko is afraid he is too late, as his dog doesn’t surface. He’s fine, though. He comes out via a frozen log. Angry that his dog could have actually died, Bosko throws a stick in frustration. A stick? Bruno loves those! He goes to retrieve it. The stick landed next to a basket, and there must be something inside because noise is coming from within. (It’s a little known fact, but baskets don’t make noises.) This is clearly a job for a man! Or better yet, a talk-ink kid! We’ve got one of those! Bosko is hesitant, but he takes a peek. Why, it’s a baby! Whoever left it out here to die is long gone, but Bosko won’t be viewed any better if he just leaves it. Better adopt the child. It’s what Jesus would do.

At home, the baby continues to wail despite Bosko’s violin playing. (Yeah, I’m not surprised this kid was left to freeze.) The only thing that seems to cheer it up ever so slightly, is a frustrated Bruno being unaware that the seat he is taking is a hot stove. (Clever way of dousing the flames. Pouring the water IN his body. Haven’t seen that method. I should try it on this spare cat I have.) Obviously, burning dogs is something even Satan wouldn’t stoop to, so we need an alternative plan. Music didn’t work before, maybe we should try it again.

Hey, what do you know, that seems to be working! (I guess the child just hates violins and flutes. All the cool babies listen to piano music.) Bruno even decides to keep being entertaining, and puts a lamp shade on like a skirt. Even Bosko’s dinner squawks a note. (Chop the freaking head off, man. What’s the matter with you?) Yes, I think this family just might work out after all. Even if Bosko’s dancing has ended with him getting his head stuck in the fish bowl.

Favorite Part: When Bosko asks the kid what the matter is. Surprisingly, the kid responds. It’s “Crying for the Carolines.”

Buddy the Gob

“I’ll save you!”

Supervision by Isadore Freleng; Animation by Jack King and Ben Clopton; Music by Norman Spencer. A Looney Tune released on January 13, 1934.

“The gob of what?” you might be saying. I can’t blame you. You have a habit of cracking awful jokes. (Which is my job.) Gob means sailor, and that’s because they are full of phlegm. (I hope you aren’t taking me seriously.) This might be one of Buddy’s better pictures, but that isn’t saying too much. We start up with some basic early thirties fare: things bouncing to music.

Buddy (the gob) is just doing some laundry. (Nice of it to help out by drying itself) What’s on the horizon? China! I guess Buddy is allowed to go visit, but I think he’s just shirking his duties. Why wash clothes when you can go gawk at a culture that isn’t your own? Isn’t everyone strange? All this stereotyping sure makes Buddy’s lack of a personality seem great by comparison, huh?

There’s a local that is reading a sign out loud. (In painfully bad fake Chinese. I don’t care how many decades later it is: on behalf of my country, I’m so sorry!) Being a simple gob, Buddy can’t make out what is written there. Lucky for us, the sign briefly translates. Looks like it’s the 150th birthday of THE sacred dragon! Wow! That IS reason to celebrate! What are the plans? A parade? Sounds good. Music? It wouldn’t be a party without that. Human sacrifice? Ummm… Is that a metaphor for anything by chance?

Nope. It’s really part of the celebration. The girl who is set to be food doesn’t seem too excited, but everyone else is all smiles and cheering. Who am I to question someone else’s culture? I’m just visiting. Buddy doesn’t share my mentality and tries to rescue her. He is easily detained. However, he finds another way to get in, and it is pretty clever. He takes a gate, see? And he pulls back like it was a bow, launching the rungs into a wall, making a staircase. Pretty cool. Makes my jackhammer look barbaric in comparison.

Buddy has arrived in the nick of time. The girl is chained to a wall, the guard has swallowed the key and left, and there is a dragon just waiting to be let out of its cage. (Wait, that’s THE sacred dragon? What a letdown. He doesn’t look like anything I imagined. He’s too fat.) Buddy’s got a plan. Since he isn’t strong enough to rip a chain off of a wall, he’ll knock on the door to get the guard back in, slam a barrel over him to keep him contained, and kick the key out! It works, but the dragon is let loose, forcing the two to escape out the window. (I guess it HAS to be a female sacrifice? THE sacred dragon doesn’t seem too interested in eating the guard)

Buddy and (forgive me for this name, but the pun is too perfect, if not accurate) Fortune Cookie flee via rickshaw. The rest of the population isn’t pleased with this, and gives chase. (The guy pulling their ride is cool with it. His mother was probably the last sacrifice)  With a bridge to cross, Buddy cuts it away so they can’t be followed. He still gets a spear thrown at his butt, though. (The short just ends here, and that’s probably good since Buddy just started a war. We need to get these guys in our good graces. They’d make great allies, and it seems like there’s there’s some other war coming up.)

Favorite part: While the two flee, they lose their rickshaw at one point and have to ride their driver as a horse. He even whinnies! (It’s not much, but this IS a Buddy cartoon.)

The Miller’s Daughter

“Hiya, Big Boy!”

Supervision by Isadore Freleng; Animation by Rollin Hamilton and Charles M. Jones; Music by Norman Spencer. A Merrie Melody released on October 13, 1934.

Two little statures decorate a room. It’s not the most exciting job, but with a lovely (whatever gender you, the reader, is attracted to) by your side, things can’t be all bad. Wait, there’s a cat in the house? Okay, things CAN be all bad. My proof? The cat tries to get at the bird in the room, (Okay, that one’s on the owner. Never put predator and prey together unless you WANT one to die. ) but he misses and ends up breaking the female figurine. The lady of the house isn’t pleased, but there’s no use in crying over split statues, so she scoops up the pieces and takes them to the attic. (I guess she intends to fix her. She just leaves, though)

Little boy shepherd statue (and sheep) do not like to be separated from their soulmate, and head off to rescue her. She’s found and the damage doesn’t look that bad. Just a couple of broken legs. The common procedure is a little glue, and who better to perform the operation than your boyfriend/husband/brother/best friend/co-worker/neighbor to help you piece your life back together after a break-up? This is a couple who sticks together! (Ever the gentleman, he averts his gaze when she glues her rump back in place. Maybe someday she’ll let him touch it.)

Well, I think we’ve gone long enough without the title song playing. The duo dance while other attic dwellers provide the music. A spider on the piano, the three (monkey stooges on vocals) and some pretty silhouettes on a lampshade. The girl statue starts getting a little more frisky and does some conga dancing, while the boy conducts a bunch of clocks. (Why are their so many clocks in this attic? One or two, sure, but eleven? Are clock fetishes real? I’m staying away from this lady’s house.) There’s even a rotoscoped couple in a picture. Fascinating.

Remember the sheep statue I’ve barely mentioned? She (I’m just guessing, but the lack of horns point toward the fairer sex) has disturbed a lion statue, and is now on the receiving end of a hunt. (Hold everything! This cuckoo clock lady knew not to keep the artificial predator/prey  apart, but leaves the ones capable of bloodshed together? I’m sending the ASPCA to this lady’s house) The resulting chase has the sheep going through a pipe and coming out black, and they resist the temptation to have it call for “mammy.” Impressive. (Although, is it wrong that I feel they should have made it cry “lammy”?)

Boy statue fires an arrow on loan from a cupid statue. (Why are there so many statues in the attic? Because they are clearly seasonal. Cupid for February, Angry Lion for March, etc. I have SOME answers) It gets the felines attention, (although, do ceramic lions feel pointy objects?) and it gives the trio a chance to make a get away. (The lion crashed into the door and crumbles.) They get back to their spot, but break a lamp in the process. The clock fetishist is not pleased. (And doesn’t notice the repaired statue or the black sheep.)

Favorite Part: The lady blames the cat for the lamp assault, and chases after it broom in hand. Sooooo…maybe I’ll wait a bit before calling those authorities.

Sunday Go to Meetin’ Time

“Get your hands off me.”

Supervision by Isadore Freleng; Animation by Bob McKimson and Paul Smith; Music by Norman Spencer. A Merrie Melody released on August 8, 1936.

Here we go. The first one of the censored 11 I’m featuring here. Is it worthy of that title? In some spots, yeah, but there’s SOME good things in here.

As it is Sunday, (as I type this and in the short) it’s also time to go to church. Everyone in the community puts on their finest clothes and heads for some sweet, sweet, gospel. (I won’t lie. I’m a little uncomfortable seeing young children having their heads shined like shoes. Luckily, that’s probably the worst this picture has to offer. The big lips hardly phase me after witnessing that.)

One lady is set to go, but has misplaced her husband, (Or he could be her son. It’s never established.) Nicodemus. Since he’s black, the cartoon thinks that he’d most definitely rather be playing craps than going to church. (I’ll just pretend that it just happens to be his favorite game.) He’s found and dragged off to the building. (Talking in that kinda dopey tone of voice Hollywood was fond of having black people use. The tone that I doubt was ever THAT noticeable? Okay, okay. I’ll stop. )

Once there, he of course ducks out. All that talk of the bible can make a guy hungry, and since everybody is at church, nobody can catch him trying to take a chicken. (I love how he tries to prove to the bird that he isn’t holding anything in his hand. The bird ain’t fooled.) Giving chase, he hits his head on a fence post and Nicodemus begin to see things that will scare him straight.

Now standing before a judge, he has his life history looked over. Seems he sinned plenty. All stereotypical sins no less. (The craps, and chicken snatching weren’t obvious enough. That’s why he was also had to be guilty of watermelon theft.) Fate’s sealed, he’s going to hell. Satan and his demon minions are quite happy to have a new soul to torture. (Satan and his followers also have uncomfortably large lips. I’m not sure how I feel about this. Isn’t making fun of Satan totally fine? Then again, those lips aren’t really funny on anybody. I’m conflicted.)

As the imps began his torture with some pitchfork pokes, he wakes up to find the chickens pecking him. With the threat of hell fresh in his mine, Nicodemus repents and heads back to church without further hesitation. I knew he was a good guy, deep down.

Favorite part: Say what you will about the visuals in this cartoon, but the music is awesome! Very catchy and a treat for the ears.

 

Ups ‘N Downs

“On your marks!”

Supervision by Rollin Hamilton and Paul Smith. Music by Frank Marsales. A Looney Tune released in April, 1931.

If you know me, (and I doubt you do, as nobody talks to me) then you’ll also know that I’m not fond of those ugly color remakes of old cartoons. There is nothing wrong with black and white. I think it adds character! Anyway, the reason that I have included one of these atrocious retreads, is because the ending got tweaked! I figure for the sake of being thorough, I have to give you the option to watch it if you choose to. (I’d rather you didn’t. If you choose to, please be honest. It feels wrong to be disappointed because of a lie.)

A whole paragraph and still yet to get into a plot summary. It’s race day! I can’t say for sure if such things attract the kinds of crowds this short suggests, because I’ve never attended one. (It takes away time I could be spending watching more cartoons. You can see the bind I’m in.) As is typical of extremely early Looney Tunes, Bosko is also there. He’s a hot dog vendor. (It’s not the only time he took this career up.) Despite the name, (or maybe because of it) a dog comes to partake of his wares. Sadly, the sausage he bites has blackface. (“Race” day! Not “Racist” day!) The good news is that the two recognize each other as long-lost family members and they skip off together. (I’m sure the next week at most will be the best of times.)

Back to those crowds. The… cow on skates on the railroad track (I just had to type that. *sigh* “You love cartoons. You love cartoons!”) is carrying excited patrons over. (Including a couple more Mickey clones. Numbers 86 and 602 to be precise.) Some of whom are so excited to see some horse v horse action that they are sneaking in. (More clones? I guess these are numbers: 655, 710, 522, 327, 716, 349, 579, 601, 32 and 700. In case you’re wondering, there were 782 total clones of Mickey Mouse made before Disney finally put a stop to it. The majority of them inbred with each other and this indirectly led to the birth of the Minions. I never saw their movie, but I’m sure they told you the exact same origin story.) Back to business!

Bosko is also a participant in the race. The competition looks tough. These jockeys are the to horse racing, what soccer moms are to parenting. How can a simple purveyor of processed meat snacks ever hope to stand a chance competing with those guys? Cheating of course! Bosko has a mechanical horse which he hopes can help him stand a chance. But it still won’t be easy. (Especially if the large bully-type you always see in these type of stories has any say. Wouldn’t it be an interesting twist if there was a sports story where the opponents were good sports who wished the best of luck to their opponents? It’d send a good message to the children.)

After a bit of a shaky start, Bosko manages to make his way through the ranks (even passing clone # 766) to second place. Thanks to support from his biggest fan. (You see, it’s funny because said fan is a hippo.) If Bosko is going to cheat, (and it’s not like he’s hiding it) then so will the first place bully. Spitting at his competition doesn’t do much more than switch their positions. (I didn’t know Bosko could carry his mount. Those rubbery arms are much stronger than they appear.) So he moves up to an actual grenade! Here is where the cartoon splits into different endings, depending on whether or not you are watching in color. Choose your own ending!

If you are a purist and are watching the original, go to pg. 23. (You sound like my kind of guy/gal!)

If you are a traitor to my beliefs, and chose to watch the color crap, turn to pg. 46. (You make me sad.)

If you prefer to live the rest of your life living in suspense, and don’t want to choose, you might as well close the book and go outside. (What are you even doing on my website?)

Pg. 23 The grenade does blow up and turn Bosko’s horse to pieces, but they reform upon hitting the ground. Using the horse’s extendable neck, Bosko wins the race.

*Where are they now: After winning the race, Bosko finally proposed to Honey. The two moved to Alberta, Canada, and went on to father Bosko Jr., Musky Joe, and the child formerly known as Hannibal. The horse went into retirement and spent the rest of it’s days at a penny arcade. It would spring into action one more time. The bully character fell into obscurity and tried to pass himself off as Peg-leg Pete. Nobody fell for it.

Pg. 34 You wake up to find your whole life has been a dream. Nothing is how you remember it, and the person you thought would love you forever is just a roast ham. (And it’s starting to smell) I’d recommend trying for a better ending, but the rest of the story was also part of said dream, so I guess you are pretty much stuck. Why not look around here? Lovely place.

*Where are they now: You lost the game (or book as it were) and didn’t know what to do with yourself. If you had a genie, you might have some sort of starting point, but you don’t and the best you can hope for is working at McDonald’s for the rest of your life. As for the race, the winner was Jackie the jaunty, jockey with jaundice and her horse, Johnny. They later appeared on a box of Wheaties.

Pg. 46 I can’t believe you actually wanted to watch that color crap. I thought we were friends! Ugggggghhhhh! What happens here, is the grenade DOES destroy Bosko’s horse, but the explosion catapults him forward [looking at physics equations] not sure how that works, and knocks bully guy off his horse. Bosko rides it to victory.

*Where are they now: Bosko may have won the race, but the horse was another participants. So it was decided to be a draw. Bosko then began selling out and endorsing all sorts of terrible products, sacrificing his relationship with Honey. When he lost all his money due to various lawsuits, he had no one to turn to and started drinking. His depression hit a high point when his offer to cameo in “Who famed Roger Rabbit” was declined. The Bully actually lived quite comfortably and wrote the best selling book “Horse racing to victory: How you too can make it big on the racetrack!” It has been at the top of the New York Time’s best seller list for 88 years now. The robo-horse died. Nobody came to mourn him.

Favorite Part: The Bully heaving a grenade at Bosko. He went from 0 to whatever the max was, pretty fast.

*I hope I don’t have to tell you I made this up.

The Village Smithy

“Get out of the scene now!”

Supervision by Fred Avery; Animation by Cecil Surry and Sid Sutherland; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on December 5, 1936.

Still relatively early in Avery’s career, and yet this short is comic gold! This guy really knew what he was doing! (If only all directors did the same.)

What can be said about a village smithy? Well, as the poem dictates, he is a mighty man. A strong man. And kind of a dope. I like him. He is kinda like that doofy uncle we all have. The short wastes no time in getting the jokes started. From everything falling into the scene, to awesome fourth wall jokes that don’t let up through the picture.

The smith has an apprentice/assistant, my all around favorite guy, Porky. He’s a bit clumsy, but eager to be of assistance. All we need to get the story underway is a horse. (A camel from one of their foreign legion pictures shows up. Is that a reference to “Little Beau Porky”? Very Clever, Tex!) Time to get to work! Smith measures the horse’s hooves and instructs Porky of the size. Porky gets the right size, but wrong material and begins hammering a rubber horseshoe. (It’s always good to have some around a blacksmith.) He ends up hitting his head when the hammer bounces off the shoe. (In accordance with the law of the Tooniverse, he stops once he has a helmet on.)

Let’s get this thing on the horse. Or the smith, that works too. It certainly puts a spring in his step! (I’m not sorry. The short didn’t make that joke, so it was up to me.) He rips it off, but has a hard time getting rid of it. Every throw just brings it back to his head. His solution is simple: shoot the freaking thing. It works, but Porky is banned from getting more. Instead, he is told to heat a new one up at the forge. Prepare yourself, the last bit of the cartoon is one wild and funny gag!

Porky trips with the searing horseshoe, and drops it on the poor creature. As it runs in pain, it hits the smith and drags him along. Their destination: all over the countryside! They destroy a great many of the surrounding landmarks. Demolishing a general store, a bank, and nearly running over a digger in the road. Horses have a goodly amount of stamina, so unless something can stop it, it’s probably going to keep on going. Luckily for the smith, a fence acts like a rubber band and sends them back, all the way home. (Reversing the footage they already had. Brilliant, Avery! One can only imagine what your future projects will contain!) Back at the beginning, the smith is shaken, but apart from some color changing eyebrows, he’s fine. He would like to know how this all happened, though. As Porky explains, he accidentally repeats his screw-up, and the whole thing starts over again!

Favorite part: Well, obviously, the ending gag is the best part, but it is the little touches that really brings it together. As they run, the smith pauses the action to comment on the situation. (A common Avery gag.) Even better, when they reverse everything, he speaks backwards. That clever Avery! Death should have given him a pass.