Porky the Gob

“All hands on deck!”

Supervision by Ben Hardaway and Cal Dalton; Story by Melvin Millar; Animation by Gil Turner; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on December 17, 1938.

“The Gob of…” Wait, I’ve already made that crummy joke once before. It’s interesting that two different characters each got a shot at the title. Too bad it quit here, because I’d have loved to see ‘Sniffles the Gob’, ‘Inki the Gob’, and ‘The Tasmanian Devil the Gob’ as well.

Well, we’re already going to get more of the gob experience than Buddy ever gave us, as Porky’s short takes place just as shore leave is over. Back to your stations, gobs! We’ve got a navy to run here! Our captain goes by the name of Skid. He’s sleeping, and that raises an interesting question. Namely: if you dream about your legs disappearing, does that cause the same reality? My guess is yes. When he wakes up, we see he’s the usual type of commander. All gruff and guff and stern-type stuff. Smacking his crew if they’re not up to snuff.

Mess call! Skid, cruel as he can be, let’s everyone know that the last one in will be, and I quote, “a softie.” Game on. Captains have fragile egos, so he demands everyone freeze while he gets to the front of the mob. This is how winners get made. One guy can’t go eat because he is in charge of getting the incoming messages. (I didn’t see him actually enter the mess hall. Ladies and gentleman, I give you our softie.) There’s bad new afoot. There’s someone dangerous in these waters who has a bounty of fifty grand. The dreaded pirate, submarine.

Sorry. I just meant the pirate submarine. (I really did think that was his name at first.) That cash reward gets Skid excited and he orders his men to help him lay claim to it. Porky, naturally tries to go where the action is, but Skid kicks him off. The polite reason is that someone has to stay behind and guard the place, but since he is accusing Porky of rocking his plane, I think he’s using the rude reason: saying Porky is too fat. The a$$hole. Porky sulks while a certain sinister sub set on subterfuge spots the solo sailor ship. Surefire success!

Direct hit! But the ship doesn’t seem to be sinking quite yet, so Porky can fight back. (With his cute hat, he kind of looks like the Piggly Wiggly logo.) And that he does. Returning shots and letting the enemy know that yes, they’ve bitten off more than they can chew. Speaking of, one guy fights dirty by lobbing his ABC gum at Porky’s cannon. That is gross times a gross! Now with Porky’s main defense gone, they can start boarding his vessel. I hope they bought the best insurance stolen money can buy.

Porky ain’t beaten! Using a rope to swing, he kicks all the ruffians out of the cartoon and harpoons the pirate sub with a plunger, bringing it aboard. Hey! I think he’s just earned himself a reward. Fade to the ceremony where he gets his dough. Even Skid is showing proper respect now that he knows Porky can make people vanish if he’s mad enough. Before things get too serious though, it’s time to visit the mess hall again. Come on! You don’t want to be labeled as the softie, do you?

Favorite Part: When Porky is returning shots fired, a mechanical arm gives him a cigar for trying. After Porky tries again, we don’t see the results, but the arm rescinds the gift. Soreheads.

Personal Rating: 2. It’s just “Little Beau Porky” but on the sea this time.

Those were Wonderful Days

” *Laughter that sounds like the Krushas from the GBA port of Donkey Kong Country* “

Supervision by Bernard Brown; Animation by Paul Smith and Don Williams; Music by Norman Spencer. A Merrie Melody released on April 26, 1934.

The days of which they speak were those gay nineties. Back then, everyone was happier. People sang the title song. Beer flagons sang the title song. (So… does drinking out of one of those count as making out with one of those?) And, as is typical of Warner Bros. shorts, print ads sang the title song. Whatever bar we’re in offers a free lunch, so it’s not surprising that some guy takes the whole spread for himself. What might surprise you, is him using the hat of a strolling woman for a table.

Ah, but it wouldn’t be truly be such a gay time unless there was a picnic, right? That’s where most folk are heading on such a fine day as today. It’s better than the bar, because it offers free beer. I’m amazed at the self control of most of the queue. Taking one mug, and that’s that. (Mostly because there only is one mug.) The last guy in line was the smart one. With no other witnesses, he can drink straight from the tab and down the rest of the barrel’s contents. There’s swimming, and a playground, and those kind of people that make me loathe being lonely: couples.

Two of them are riding a teeter-totter. And if you’re like me, you’ll see what I saw: the one and only Snidely Backslide keeping a close eye on who I think is a combination of Cookie and Betty Lou from “Sesame Street”. (Although, they cut away from him to a shot of him coming out from behind a tree again, so it’s okay to think there’s two of him. I won’t judge.) She’s already on a date with Betty Boop’s boyfriend, Freddy, but that’s okay. When Betty found out he wasn’t faithful, she bought a dog and never looked back. The villain is able to blast him away with a firecracker, and takes Cookie Lou away in a hot-air balloon.

Fearless Fred E. fires himself up via human cannonball method, and the two rivals have a fistfight. Fred E. falls, but is able to launch himself back up via flagpole. In the meantime, S.B. cuts the basket to send C.L. to her doom. For you see, he knows she’ll never love him and he knew the only way to not obsess over her was to kill her. It’s basic logic, really. No sooner done, when Fred E. bounces back for round two. He gets some punches in, and decides to light the balloon’s spout to make sure no one else will ever risk having their lady friends taken away. Stealing his adversary’s cape, he flying-squirrels his way down to C.L. who made the balloon basket into a parachute.

The two land safely, while ole Snide falls down in a daze thanks to the whole exploding balloon thing. Fred E. clobbers him with a nearby test-your-strength mallet, but C.L. screams at this, giving Fred E. a clonk of his own. Turns out, threats on her life put her in the mood and she chooses the only man who can satisfy her in that way. Humorous, but also right the heck out of nowhere!

Favorite Part: There isn’t enough trees for S.B. to hide behind when he makes his first move, so he has to keep whistling for his hiding tree to creep back in front of him. It’s clearly devoted. He should’ve tried to kill it.

Personal Rating: 2. But if you have a problem with people choosing mates that will clearly end poorly for them, 1.

Let it be Me

“Oh, Mr. Bingo!”

Supervised by Isadore Freleng. A Merrie Melody released on May 2, 1936.

Mr. Bingo is the talk of the town. All the hens huddle around the recording studio where he sings, and the radio where his sings come out. Even the married ones can’t help but fawn over the guy, much to their husbands anger. Much like a later picture, the guy looks like Crosby in voice only. At least here he isn’t being portrayed as coward. Just a cock. He knows the ladies love him, and he’s happy to let them destroy each other to get a hold of the boutonniere he throws their way. (After watching him walk for ten seconds. Gives us plenty of time to be attracted as well.)

Well, we’ve all had our celebrity crushes, right? (Mine was Tara Strong.) What’s important is that you come to the understanding that they will never know you exist and go about finding someone you actually have a chance with. I think that’s what’s going on through Emily’s head. She’s making her first appearance and unlike the second time, she talks with that (maybe not even) Bernice Hansen voice that makes her sound 15 years younger than she probably is. She has a guy interested in her named Lem, and I think the feeling is mutual. Good to see she wasn’t always so shallow.

Speak of the crooner! Mr. Bingo is driving by and he likes what he sees. Those breasts! Those legs! It’s what catches my attention on a chicken, that’s for sure! He invites her to come along with him to the city, much to the jealousy of Clem and that patch on his overalls that can shrink. (Why do some of the other birds in this cartoon walk around in the feathered nude? Are they the ones we get to eat?) Now, if those two really were a couple, then Lem really should understand that if a lady can upgrade you, she will. There goes Emily. Good-bye Emily.

Mr. Bingo has taken her to a party. There’s plenty to drink and he offers his new friend some. Maybe he wants her drunk, maybe offering her some is the gentlemanly thing to do. Emily is hesitant, and when she indulges, she finds it too strong for her. There is a singer at this party, and if the rules of this universe apply to her as well, I’m guessing her name is Ms. Fifi-o. Mr. Bingo likes what he sees and when Emily points out what a dick move this is, he has the waiter remove her. Stuck in a city without a ride home, Emily has no choice but to adapt. She makes ends meet by selling flowers on a very familiar street corner

Good old faithful Lem! Even though his lady friend threw him aside like yesterday’s chicken feed, he still worries about her, cares for her, and keeps the picture she gave him. Since he’s not stalking her, I find the whole thing very romantic. But the biggest thing on his mind is Bingo. Just hearing that guy on the radio is enough to get Lem angry enough to march down to his recording studio and beat the gravy out of him. (And because of this, celebrities will always have protection from here-on out. Thanks, cloaca-hole.) It’s pure happenstance that he comes across Emily immediately after, but they look genuinely happy to see each other again. I support it.

Some time later, Lemily, as we should call them has started up a family. Things seem perfect, but one chick starts to sing like Bingo! No idea where they picked up that habit! (Surely, he’s old hat by now. Old shoe even!) Doesn’t matter how they learned it. Daddy is still triggered by it and throws his book at the chick. I’m sure her bones aren’t that fragile, anyway.

Favorite Part: It might be something that I’m reading way too deep into, but I like the reaction Bingo has when Emily can’t handle the liquor. Maybe he’s realizing she’s too immature for him? If I’m right, that was some great and brilliantly subtle example of showing. NOT telling.

Personal Rating: 2. I could see some people finding it a little too mean, but really, throwing away a good stable relationship for someone you barely know is worthy of a little punishment, right?

Bosko’s Mechanical Man

“Oh, suh-wish.”

Animation by Isadore Freleng and Thomas McKimson. A Looney Tune released on September 27, 1933.

It’s the final Harmon/Ising film with this studio, which means it’s also the last Bosko short with them. Coming out just a few months after a certain mouse’s “…Mechanical Man”, it feels original enough due to robots not being exclusive to Disney. (Just Blue Sky, who wasn’t around yet.)

Honey does some window washing, giving Bosko an opportunity to trace “I love you” in the water. (From the wrong side mind you. Oops.) He even picks the flowers in front of her house as a gift. Usually in cartoons, that’s what the villain trying to marry for money does. (I was hoping Honey would thank him and plant them right back.) Honey is very happy to see the kid, as he can help her wash some dishes. Bosko laughs at the very idea. I mean him? Doing a woman’s work? Let’s all laugh as the scene fades.

Fade in to see Bosko helping out like a good boy. (Love his sour face.) Of course, being a man means he’s going to eventually do something dumb to catch his crush’s attention. In this case, carrying too many plates at once and heading outside. Honey angrily stomps outside once she hears the crash and glares at him. Just glares. But she’s disappointed and that’s really the worst punishment. She’s not going to forgive this one easily.

Bosko catches sight of the daily paper which is kinda light on the “news”. The top story is just the technocrats of the world proclaiming that robots will one day be doing most of our work. (It’s like that time I made the front page predicting that everyone older than me was likely to die before I did.) It doesn’t matter if I think it’s a waste of ink and trees, Bosko’s got an idea. And he doesn’t even need any sort of engineering degree to put it together. Just a some irons here, a stove there…

Honey demands he get back inside which is confusing. Wouldn’t she want him as far away from her china as possible? Like in China? But Bosko is sure about about this. His positivity is instantly challenged when Bosko Jr. is brought to life. It’s got no reason to be, but angry and murderous it is. It runs amok and you’d be smart to lock your doors, but only if you lived in Fort Knox. It can break down doors. Piano music can calm it, but only if you keep playing. And why would Bosko do that if his life depended on it? He’s got no future at Warners.

Honey to the rescue! She realizes that what this robot needed all along was a phonograph in its butt. Why are you making that face? Do you need to read the sentence again? She realizes that what this robot needed all along was a phonograph in its butt. Happy? He sings along to the record, but it has a crack and he skips a lot. He’s not placated and chases the two out of the house. They pass the sleeping Bruno (Who’s just been outside the whole time. Guess they just wanted to show him one last time, too.) but the robot stops to shock the dog awake letting the doorbell wiring go through his body. And he has pupils now. (And your eyes would dilate too if you had what he had crammed up there.)

The three are chased, but Bosko is able to keep his loved ones safe by hurling some dynamite down his creation’s throat. The robot is dead which is a shame since he wasn’t really alive at any point. And I’m still wondering why he was motivated to act like he did. Did Bosko program him to feel pain? I figure having a stove potbelly does give you eternal heartburn.

Favorite Part: A small thing, (as most of my favorite parts are) but I love the robot’s grinding teeth being the teeth of gears that are grinding. Clever.

Personal Rating: 2. Not a horrible film to end on. (Hint. Develop some new characters at MGM, guys. I’m begging ya 91 years late!)

Toy Town Hall

“Yowza, so help me.”

Supervision by Isadore Freleng; Animation by Bob McKimson and Sandy Walker; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. (One of if not the first to have him.) A Merrie Melody released on September 19, 1936.

We’ve all been in this situation as a kid: you’re just about to start something. Maybe the TV show airing next. Maybe another movie. Maybe your 26th round of Super Smash Bros. Whatever it is, you dread hearing those words. The words no kid wants to hear when they’re enjoying themselves: “It’s time for bed.” You beg and plead and whine that you can’t do that just yet! Your friends don’t suffer such injustices! You’ll do anything in the word to just do this one last thing! But your pleas fall on deaf ears.

So, I feel for little Sunny when his mom-arms turn off the radio before he can hear the next program, even if I’ve never been in the exact same scenario. (I wish we could see more of his matriarch. I know you should never judge a lady by her arms, but I bet she’s attractive.) Well, upset as he is, the kid still goes to bed, reluctantly. He’s got a nice collection of toys. What do you think they’d do if they were alive?

They’d imitate the biggest radio stars of the day! Fred Allen, Eddie Cantor, Rudy Vallee… What do you mean cartoons were always doing that? You want something new? Pah! Just for that, this cartoon is going to feature almost nothing except reused animation from previous Melodies! Remember, you brought this on yourself. Let’s meet our opening act! Quick cut to the same elephant lights operator from “Those Beautiful Dames” and we’ve got a lovely song performed by a Bing Crosby parrot. (Not quite a recycled shot, but he IS singing a song a different Crosby inspired bird sang in/called “Let it be Me”.)

Next up, the Eddie Cantor toy. Now with a completely different body, so we can reuse his song sequence from “Billboard Frolics“. (Rub-em-off will not be joining this time.) At least as far as I can tell, the Rudy Vallee toy isn’t being reused. He still has a different body too, though. Unless Sunny has two Rudys? Nothing wrong with that.

Oh, this next cameo is a fun one! The cockroaches from “The Lady in Red”. Sure, there is the tiniest difference in color, but that just means Sunny has toy roaches. What kid has toy roaches in the 30’s? And when did that package on Sunny’s bed appear? It wasn’t there before. But what’s inside has been on screen before! Peter the rabbit from “My Green Fedora”! He’s a toy now! Singing the same song he sang back then, and reacting to his audience likewise. All the toys dance as we return to reality. It was a dream, like in “Dames” but Sunny isn’t halluci-dying.

His mom wakes him up for the day, and I guess he’s angry that his dream was interrupted. The end.

Favorite Part: One of the toys is a balloon with feet. (Did you have one of those growing up?) After he inflates himself, he plays a flute with the air. But his mouth is down there, so that can only be one other orifice he’s playing with… Yep, his nose.

Personal Rating: 1 if you could tell everything was rehashed. If you were ignorant before, it could’ve been a 2 with a really lousy ending.

Bingo Crosbyana

“You ain’t seen nothin’, yet.”

Supervision by Isadore Freleng; Animation by Cal Dalton and Sandy Walker; Music by Norman Spencer. A Merrie Melody released on May 30, 1936.

Who just leaves a perfectly edible plate of spaghetti all alone in a kitchen? A friend of the flies, that’s who. They like this meal because teeth aren’t required to eat it. Two flies each slurp one end of a noodle, but since Disney hasn’t yet made something to parody, they just clonk their heads together. This really is a fly paradise. Sure, it could use a little rotting flesh and festering feces for the maggots, but these are yuppie flies. They’re still courting.

And the one that all guy-flies want to be and she-flies want to have is Bingo. He’s got a nice hat, a smooth Crosby voice and is a master at the one-stringed guitar. Such a happy gentleman, that you could even call a gay caballero. (Wow. Freleng beat Disney to the punch twice? If only Friz had made a theme park increase awareness. Isadore Isles… Freleng Fjords… I can see it now!) A fun song is sung, where Bingo continues to make the girls fawn, and one of the chorus singers has a brief hair dying.

But Bingo isn’t just artistic! He’s one of those animals that is such a master at what they do that humankind decided they could just be named after a verb. Like the skate and the leech. But even by fly standards can this guy fly. He’s fast, he’s agile and he can steal the buttons off your Mickey Mouse style pants. (Finally! Something that could be considered a reference at the time.) Fact is, Bingo is so talented that girls all immediately break up with the guys they promised they would always be faithful to and love forever. Bingo is just that awesome.

But he is also pretty low on the food chain. Mantids, toads, even some plants would all consider him a tasty snack. But the biggest threat (relatively speaking) is your common house spider. The kind with a Billy Bletcher laugh and only six limbs. (I’d make a fuss, but he still has more limbs than the flies so… sure.) Bingo flees, bur really, what is he supposed to do? Throw up in the predator’s face? His kind evolved their amazing aerobatic prowess to avoid danger, not challenge it. So I’m not upset he left the ladies to die.

What is deplorable is him pushing all the girls out of the roll of wax paper they’re hiding in to save himself. That’s a genuine dick move. Doesn’t help much anyway, as the spider saw him enter and tries following. If he wasn’t so big, that spider would be enjoying a Bingoburger right now. But he’s stuck, and that gives the previously rejected guy-flies a chance to prove that they’re worthy as potential mates. What does strength and talent matter when you’ve got courage and heart? The spider is corkscrewed, cork popped and cork electric socketed without the cork.

And after all that, the spider falls onto a sheet of flypaper. Oh, the irony? Yes, the irony. Now that the immediate threat is taken care of, Bingo reappears on the scene, playing cool once again. Now aware of what kind of fly he is, the others fling him into a coffee. Try flying now!

Now, if it weren’t for the voice and name, you’d never guess Bingo was actually a parody of Bing Crosby. (I know, right?) It’s worth bringing up though because the real Crosby’s attorneys weren’t very happy about this cartoon. They demanded that Warners cease distributing/exhibiting the film immediately. They also felt the need to let people know that the real Bing was NOT providing the voice and it was a poor representation of the guy. This fly was a “vainglorious coward.” (But really, I would be too if I was a fly.)

Favorite Part: While flying (read: showing off) Bingo sky-writes  ‘How’m I doin’. Totally in character, and just cheeky enough to be worth a smile.

Personal Rating: 2. It might have been funnier if the fly even barely resembled Bing.

Fresh Fish

Supervision by Fred Avery; Story by Jack Miller; Animation by Sid Sutherland; Music by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on November 4, 1939.

Well, the mice were a cute experiment, but let’s discuss more about what Avery really made a name for himself with: his blackout gag shorts. However, I’ll admit this isn’t one of his best ones. Simply because it’s full of fish puns. The same fish puns you’ve been hearing since you were in the womb. (Except maybe the one where a fish has five dollar bills for fins. It’s too old.) The fish comments made in Animal Crossing are fresher material! But maybe I’ve just heard them one time too many. You might not have. Yet.

We’re going on a glass bottomed boat ride and we’re all gonna like it! It is the best way to view the wonders of the water world, the scariest things to ever exist on Earth, the guys and gals with the gills, let’s hear it for the ichthyoids! While we enjoy the sights and tolerate the puns, the very one and the same Professor Mackerel Fishface will be manning a diving bell in search of a species that has yet to be captured by man, (and really, how else can we prove we’re the higher beings?) the Whimwam whistling shark. (Cephalosillyum wisling)

Under the sea, under the sea, there are sardines which aren’t a real species, listen to me! Really though; ‘sardine’ is a catch all term for small fish you can stick in a can. So while I understand the joke of the fish swimming in a packed together school, I can’t help but wonder if they’re actually anchovies or really herring. Then we get the expected “crab sounds like Ned Sparks” joke, a hermit crab that is very happy to be one, and a taxi crab. (Okay. That pun isn’t overdone. Yet.) And the animators try their darnedest to make a Katherine Hepburnesque sea star sexy. (Which is a very specific fetish, but to the one person into echinoderms, your life’s journey has concluded.)

Now, here’s a joke you’ve known about for about as long as ever: the electric eel that displays a neon sign. And the only reason I’m not bothering to mention that it shouldn’t be in saltwater is because the narrator himself calls it a visitor. I’m considering that a win. And then there’s the appearance of this thing:

A horrifying monstrosity of a being that must be living in constant agony. No doubt only wanting to see Mr. Ripley so it’s deformity can bring some goodness to the world. But our narrator wants nothing to do with it, and shoos it away. It will be known as a running joke. (Repeatus humorous).

There’s an octopus that has a mouth where its siphon should be and probably vice versa failing to catch a sun perch which means one of these animals is the very wrong habitat. (I’m guessing it’s the one with the spine.) And get this: a seahorse race. You get it? Cause land horses race so it’s a joke to suggest their aquatic (distant) cousins would do the same. I just wish someone would make a joke about how boring that would be. Slowest fish in the world folks. Oh yeah, I guess our monstrosity was female since it laid eggs at the narrator’s suggestion. I’m not sure how she did and I’m happy about that.

Want more fish puns? We’re swimming with them! (Nobody said I couldn’t get in on the act.) A “tiger” shark! A “hammer” head shark. A “shovelnose” shark! (Wait. That last one isn’t a shark.) At least the first two subvert our expectations with additional jokes; the tiger meows and the hammer is hitting himself. Okay, yeah. That’s funny. I need a gif of that. But wait… cartilaginous fish? Does that mean… Yes! That whistle! That’s the shark the professor was looking for! Good thing he came prepared with a net! He hauls the creature aboard his diving bell and is hoisted back aboard.

Too bad containing yourself in an enclosed space with a animal that can eat you means one of you has to die. Ah well. Sacrifices have to be made in the name of science. Let’s name an aquarium after Mr. Fishface to calm his wife down.

Favorite Part: A school of fish (sarcastic *ha*) is being taught how to get bait off hooks without, you know, getting drug to your demise. The teacher makes the mistake of showing what not to do, and the fry all cheer when they learn this means school is over for the day. (Funny because it’s true.)

Personal Rating: 2. It still looks wonderfully visually, but fish and fish puns both stink after three days.

Finally, I ask you to join me in raising a toast to “Coyote Vs Acme” a film I was really looking forward to viewing, but tragically died before it was even born. I try to adore Warner Bros. but its actions like this that make me think I should faun over different studios. It’s just one of those harsh lessons that never sinks in for me: just because you love something, doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to love you back.

A Sunbonnet Blue

“Oh, George! You’re so cuute!”

Supervision by Fred Avery; Animation by Sid Sutherland and Virgil Ross; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on August 21, 1937.

Let’s finish off Avery’s mice trilogy. This time, our short will take place in the “Snobby hatte Shoppe”. A mouse who plagiarized Porky’s blazer and tie checks to make sure there are no people or cats. Nope! Not in this picture! He calls for the rest of the gang to come out of hiding. Well, he tries to. I couldn’t find any prints of this cartoon without his line getting awkwardly cut o-

These mice aren’t here to nibble the hats, or even just to futz about with the things for their own amusement. These mice are performers! They’ve got a little song and dance number to the title song. But I can’t imagine the audience is paying them much thought. Oh, ours for sure, but also their animated one. While they sing, something far more surreal happens with a straw hat and bonnet. They get married! (Good thing there was a priest’s hat nearby.) And these things reproduce like aphids! In the three seconds the camera pans back to the mice, the hats have produced about 13 offspring. (Mrs. Bonnet? Why are you washing so many diapers? Do hats even have urinary tracts?)

Next on the docket is the three Ratz brothers. (It’s kinda weird that their introductory text is just flashed on the bottom of the screen. But then, I guess the mice already would know who they are.) These guys are the highlight of the picture and the reason I’m not rating it a two. They’re having such a fun time hamming it up, singing hat related songs, making faces, acting crazy. Basically being cartoon characters figuratively and literally. It’s a crying shame that they aren’t going to help out during the climax.

Our two mammalian romantic leads have been eyed this whole time by a rat who either has the plague or is Rat Fink’s grandfather. Using Judge Doom’s hat as cover, he is able to steal the doe. George notices immediately and rallies the troops. (I think he identified the villain as “Roughhouse Ratchet”. Which is a pretty awesome name for someone born looking evil.) They march into battle, all wearing the appropriate hats. Hats that are at human scale. They may not be able to see, who they’re looking for, but darn it, they look so cool! I’m sure George will understand.

With sufficient numbers gathered, some of the rodents… float in midair? What happened? Was this the only background available? Did the animator’s just not get to see what their cels were going to overlay? Whatever it is, it’s actually pretty unintentionally funny. Still, this oversight is an oversight, so I couldn’t let it be ignored. I mean really, you think the guy who mentions things like George’s ear being miscolored for a frame would miss a chance like that?

Seems not being able to see anything other than your feet really came back to bite these little pipsqueaks as George is the one who does all the rescuing. He flings a flattened top hat at the villain, scooping him up and loosening his grip on the girl. When the hat pops up again, Roughhouse is flung into a knight’s helmet that George locks up. Now he can ask his lady a question he’s probably been holding in all night. Happily, she agrees.

So the two non-hat romantic leads are also getting wed. Good thing we have a living priest ha-. another rodent in the priest hat. That works too. He pronounces the two buck and doe and a wedding present is presented to the two: live-action baby clothes. (Hint hint, you two. You evolved the ability to replenish your numbers to ludicrous degree for a reason.)

Favorite Part: When George panics, he let out some Daffy “Woo-hoos.” It’s funny to hear them coming out of a mouse for a change.

Personal Rating: 3, for those glory that was those Ritz Bros. I’m sorry, Ratz Bros.

Ain’t we got Fun

“3rd shelf: Things ‘n stuff.”

Supervision by Fred Avery; Animation by Charles Jones and Robert Clampett; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on April 17, 1937.

Let’s return to that strange time when Avery tried to make cute little mice cartoons. (Although, chronologically, this was the first of the three.)

It’s snowing. Isn’t it awful? I like the plan of Old man Numbles: sit in a comfortable chair in front of a beautiful fire. Only thing wrong with that? His cat beat him to the best seat in the house. Easy fix. He smacks it with his newspaper until it returns to the floor where it belongs. This guy isn’t just smart, he’s great with animals. I nominate him as my third grandfather.

As cats do, the cat falls asleep. Ever hear the saying, ‘When the cat’s asleep, the mice will creep?’ It’s playing out right now. Sentry mouse sends the word via paper airplane. Using a model that experience has told me doesn’t fly at all. Side-tangent, but if you’ve thrown the perfect paper airplane, you’ll spend the rest of your life cursing your inability to duplicate it. With the word spread, it’s creeping time. (It’s a hauntingly hypnotic creep. It’s also another great image to screen-cap for memes. When you become the trendiest person on the internet, the right thing to do will be to send me half of the money you made with this great tip.)

Cat’s out like an old fad. Feast time! While the food gags commence, the mice are smart enough to set another one on guard duty. If the cat appears, he’s to whistle. Just a suggestion, but you might want to take those crackers he’s standing in front of with you. I know mice, and I know crackers. Mice will nibble on edible things. Crackers can not be whistled through. When you put the two together, it equals trouble for your soiree.

And the giggles roust the cat. Um, you’re looking the wrong way, moron. The pantry was located to your right. His eyes have changed color, too. Maybe because if you squint as much as Numbles does, he kinda looked like Beans at first? Guard mouse can’t whistle to save his friends lives, but his ear can flash. Good thing a different mouse sees the feline and everybody flees back to the mouse hole in time. With the cat separated by wall, the stragglers hand him the food they pilfered from the pantry. Oh, Numbles! You might want to take a look at this!

The geezer ain’t happy.  Despite the cat’s insistence, he is deemed guilty and doomed to freeze outside. Strangely enough, seeing my two least favorite things together is actually making me laugh. Now the mice can really creep! In fact, things are so good that they sing our title song, with a few modified lyrics. And I think one of the singers is a doe. I mean, she’s(?) wearing a dress, but the singer’s all sound masculine. An oversight? Or an Avery joke? Guard mouse even got himself a metal whistle, so his snacking won’t be a hindrance anymore.

With less caution, the resulting noise manages to wake Numbles. The mice don’t fear him, so they pelt him with food. (I’m sure they won’t mind nibbling it off of him afterwards.) Remembering why he got a cat in the first place, he begs for it to come back inside, apologizing for the mix-up. Cat’s hearing none of it. The man can fix his own mess. It’s the mice’s taunting that convinces it to chase them back to the hole once more. Maybe now they’ll stay put. The cat claims the chair once more, andNumbles, realizing he owes him one, takes the rug instead.

Favorite Part: After smacking the cat away from his chair, Numbles throws a book at it for no real reason. Maybe you have to dislike cats like I do to get it.

Personal Rating: 3. Putting my personal view aside, I don’t think there’s too much cat abuse here for cat lovers to hate it. C’mon, he wins in the end!

Porky’s Tire Trouble

“D-D-Don’t hurt that d-d-dog!”

Supervision by Robert Clampett; Story by Warren Foster; Animation by Norman McCabe; Music by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on February 18, 1939.

Starring Porky Pig! (Look at that doofy smile he gives at the beginning. I love this dope!) And yes, it is vital to remind us, as most of the focus will be taken by Porky’s dog of the picture: Flat Foot Flookey. (Don’t you just love names that are tongue twisters? Cause I don’t.) He’s a strange looking one, as dogs go. It’s like Clampett wanted his unit to get Pluto and Goofy for a cameo in one of his shorts, Disney obviously said “Screw off.” (with that charming smile of his), Clampett managed to get a D.N.A. sample off both of them, but accidentally put the two into the same cloning jar. So why do YOU think the dog is wearing shoes?

Porky is heading off to another workday at Snappy Rubber Co. (The scenery is  jumpy today), with the loyal Flat right behind. (I’d really rather not type his entire name out again.) Porky doesn’t notice until the dog enters the building.  Porky yanks him right back out because his boss has some asinine rule that makes no sense to me: No Dogs Allowed. I mean really, what if Porky needed to hug something warm and I wasn’t around? Are you willing to be there when your employee needs you most, boss?

Okay. Tone it back. I’m letting my fanboying take over again. Rules are still rules and Porky has to tie Foot to a car. (Look at the poor dog’s face! Why would Porky do this to him?) I guess it’s a good idea; his walrus boss is another Billy Bletcher role, so he probably can be a pretty nasty foe. But he does his job competently. He uses a machine to chew up rubber trees, and pour the pulp into the giant, novelty waffle irons that Porky mans. Turning out rather handsome tires. How are they considered trouble? Porky handles them like the champ he is.

Flookey (Wait… Lessee… ‘Flat’… ‘Foot’… Aw crap.) doesn’t heed the sign because he can’t read. He digs into the factory, dragging the car along I might add. I do so hope it was the boss’s. (I kinda want to dub him ‘Bletch’ but I’d rather make less references to “The Feebles” than Disney has. He’s not getting a name.) Porky directs his dog to the exit, but the pup steps into a barrel of rubberizing solution. His body absorbs the properties, essentially making him a superhero. Eat it Krypto and Underdog! Before you both existed there was Plastic Pooch!

With the power of rubber, Plastic Pooch does the most obvious thing: turn his face into caricatures! (His Edna Mae Oliver could use some improvements in the eyes, and his Hugh Herbert’s nose changes color. Or maybe it’s just a change of the light?) He can now take on his nemesis: Porky’s boss! He’s fully aware there’s a dog on the premises now, and he aims to eradicate him. (I can tell Mel is doing the shouting for him. That guy was born shouting.) But the dog is rubber, he’s not glue, Plastic Pooch will defeat you! If you grab a hold of him, he can stretch far enough to bite your rear! If you throw him away, he’ll just bounce back! He’s. Gonna. Rub. You. Out!

The boss learns all too well that he can’t rid himself of the Tuniverse’s newest hero. Plastic Pooch ends up knocking him into Porky’s tire press. And now we’ve just witnessed the supervillain origins of P.P.’s greatest nemesis: Snow Tire! Don’t miss the exciting next issue! Our villain continues to get thwarted, and he sure is tired of that! (Wait… “He’s not getting a name!”… Mm-hm… “Snow Tire!”… … Doh!)

Favorite Part: Porky is so chipper, that he even does a little dance on his way to work. Even more adorable is mild mannered Flat Foot copying him. (Oh yeah, Porky is the only one who knows Plastic Pooch’s secret identity.)

Personal Rating: 3.