He was her Man

“Johnny! Where are you?”

Supervision by Isadore Freleng; Animation by Paul Smith and Cal Dalton; Musical Supervision by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on January 2, 1937.

Oh, boy. You thought the Censored Eleven were bad? They kind of are. This… this is worse. This was uncomfortable to watch. Hardly any humor, but plenty of… of… heck, I’ll start from the beginning.

In a world of anthropomorphic mice and birds, we find Frankie. Her name is never mentioned in the picture, but she is in a relationship with a guy named Johnny, and she does take a gun on him, so it’s appropriate. Right now though, she is trying to sell apples in the middle of winter. You know, the season of misery. Business isn’t going too well. I mean, one prick just eats it out of her hand without a cent. I’d love to defend her honor.

It’s not just being chivalrous, she’s adorable. Sure, it wouldn’t work out between us, but she really deserves better. She finally sells one, and heads back to her living quarters. She is blindly in love with Johnny Mouse. He’s… well, I’m sorry to break out the foul language, but he’s an asshole. He not only forces her to freeze outside, peddling her wares, he also does nothing to help, takes away every cent she makes, and forces her to do the cooking. And yet, she is still hopelessly obsessed with him.

Seeing as how I’ve never been in an abusive relationship, I can’t pretend I know how awful it is. I do know, that nobody deserves such an awful life, and I wish Frankie knew that. She almost gets an out, too. Johnny sees another mouse doe across the street, and falls for her on the spot. Keeping with his dick cancer ways, he leaves without telling Frankie. (I guess they weren’t married. He’s just a cock ulcer she can’t bare to part with.) Oh, wait. He did leave a note. A very brief, short note that doesn’t tell her anything.

For all she knows, he could have been kidnapped. Or killed. (Not like he doesn’t deserve it.) Still, she’s unhappy. She shouldn’t be. This is her chance to live her own life, but she wants the anus cyst. The poor thing. An unspecified amount of time passes, and Frankie now makes her living singing in a saloon, singing the title song. (The mice who are partaking of the free lunch don’t move until there’s a good shot of them on screen. Just so you know.)

Frankie is still upset. When you know who walks in? That taint scab of a mouse, Johnny. Still with his new doe. And Frankie? She’s excited to see him! What kind of Stockholm syndrome did Johnny employ? This is painful to see! Oh, but it gets better. As Frankie begs him to take her back, he…he…he smacks her right in the face! Sure, her body reacts like a cartoon would, but it isn’t funny. No matter what kind of music they play.

Frankie tries to fight back, but Johnny is relentless. He punches her! Multiple times! He grabs her neck and shakes her around! He feels no remorse either! This…this… this is f*cked up! Frankie happens to find a gun, and well, I can’t say I blame her, but she shoots the rectum tumor. And she immediately feels bad. I mean, it’s a good thing she isn’t happy to have killed someone, but she needs to get away from this guy. He’s vile, he’s awful, he’s…getting up?

Yeah, turns out the bullets just barely grazed him, so he’s still alive. At least Frankie is still angry enough to break a bottle over his head. So, how should we end such an unpleasant cartoon? Have the two switch roles. Johnny sells the apples, while Frankie lounges around. Giving her “lover” another bottle whack whenever he looks at anyone else. She really decided to stay with him. I’m going to have to believe it’s sorely to keep others safe from this fecal pus sack. I think I’ve made my point.

Favorite Part: Well, I guess there was one part that wasn’t too bad. When Frankie climbs the stairs to Johnny’s place, she seems to pass by a Porky cameo. It wasn’t really worth repeating twice more, but at least it keeps the Johnny time limited.

Personal Rating: 1. I wouldn’t recommend you watch this. Go watch UPA’s “Rooty Toot Toot,” instead. It’s a much better retelling of the tragedy of Johnny and Frankie.

Naughty but Mice

“Sleep tight, ole pal.”

Supervision by Charles M. Jones; Story by Rich Hogan; Animation by Phil Monroe; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on May 30, 1939.

If you’re from the future, you might know this but: 2020 A.D. was one of the low points in the history of years. I wouldn’t expect anyone to forget, but humanity’s stupidity never ceases to amaze. Perhaps in the future, it will be offensive to mention, and people will try and censor any cartoons that have the characters wearing face masks. The babies. Well, so you don’t forget, here’s one last film to end said year with. About illness, no less.

Chuck’s fifth film, and the debut of Sniffles. (Who apparently was never voiced by Bernice Hansen as I’ve previously stated. Blast that lack of on screen names! Instead, it seems to have been by one Margaret Hill, who also supplied the voice for Andy Panda, and a couple of Toms.) He’s earned that name, seeing as he has  a cold. He has an idea of how to go about getting a cure, and that’s by visiting the local drug store for a cold remedy. (That’s all it takes? And here I thought that the common cold couldn’t be cured. Sniffles made me look like more of a moron than I usually do.) The sign says the place is closed, but normal rules don’t apply to Sniffles. He slips in through the mail slot.

So many choices, and only about six and a half minutes to select.  Sniffles opts for the first one he comes across. It must be the best. It has “XLNT” written on the side. (Xiphosurans Love Nude Tabloids) It has another label on it that Sniffles either doesn’t see or doesn’t dignify: 125% alcohol. (Forget how impossible it is, alcohol kills viruses.) Dangerous enough, but Sniffles proceeds to take a human sized dose. (Does being dead count as being cured? I mean, the virus will go with you.)

That puts some fire in the belly! Sniffles cools himself down with a drink from a random glass. It works, so I guess it was some form of dairy. Now, the drunken stupor. But before things get too crazy, Sniffles runs into a friendly face. A living, electric razor. (Not too crazy.) Since the mouse is plastered, this could possibly be a hallucination, but I doubt it. Too much evidence contradicts that later. The razor (should we call it Buzzy? We should call it Buzzy.) has sympathy for Sniffles, who has something to share too: his cold.

What a worthless remedy. If it can’t immediately solve a problem, why even bother with it? Either way, whatever pathogen that can give a mouse cold-like symptoms, can also infect Buzzy. (So, humans don’t have a chance.) Sniffles is a good guy, and goes to get more tonic for his new friend to take. The machine must have some sort of digestive tract, as he can take the tonic, and get just as drunk as his mouse pal. His stupor barely lasts before he passes out. Sniffles treats him as one of the deceased. (Since he’s drunk, it’s cute.)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               There’s a cat in the store, and he or she finally shows up, taking note of the still drunk Sniffles. Before it can nab him, Sniffles falls into a claw game. That has no ceiling? (Someone could easily reach in there and take many goodies. Not me, though. I’m an angel.) Cats always carry change, so the feline decides to take a chance, and win dinner. (It’s a pretty sweet machine. Prizes range from perfume to a camera. And all for only five cents! (Which I guess would now be 92 cents as I type this. Still…)

After only three tries, the cat wins the desired prize. (Those games aren’t rigged, but only select few are allowed to win. The gods make sure of that.) Buzzy comes to, and notices what fate is to befall the heroic soul who healed him! After infecting him. (Still a hero in my book.) Attacking as only a razor can, Buzzy shaves the cat of nearly all its fur. The cat flees, meaning Sniffles will live until tomorrow, barring his illness getting worse. As he thanks his savior, he sneezes again. The force sending him back into the machine.

Favorite Part: Buzzy’s manner of speech. He only talks in the sounds a razor can make, and yet, I have no trouble understanding him. It must be heard to be believed.

Personal Rating: 3

Believe it or Else

“I don’t believe it!”

Supervision by Fred Avery; Story by Dave Monahan; Animation by Virgil Ross; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on June 25, 1939.

You ever hear of “Ripley’s Believe it or not”? It’s a bit obscure. Newspaper comics, books, museums, and more: all to inform you of things you might just claim as false. I mean, a little boy named Chalres Schulz getting a drawing published? Preposterous. I’m sure he never went anywhere, did anything, knew anyone.

So yeah, obscure it may be, it was still worth a parody in a Warner Bros. picture. Brought to us by the master of gags: Tex Avery. Imagination is limitless, so we’re guaranteed a good time! Egghead is also here, but he’s going to play the role of doubting thomas. (Which isn’t fun to be. Be warned, children.)

What sort of oddities, strangeities, and weirdities could we possibly be shown? Example: a man has been drinking fifty quarts of milk a day for two years. Would you believe that all those calories didn’t kill him? It just makes him unleash a good lowing. (Which is odd. Cows give milk, they don’t drink it. Would eating enough apples make you act like a tree?) There’s a snake charmer, (Whose hood looks more like a shell than anything. Cute gag though.) and a man who builds ships in bottles. (You might not be impressed, but I am. I couldn’t even fit my head in one.)

A man calls pigs from several states away, (you don’t believe that most of our states are just misshapen blobs? We said “Believe or else!”) another hasn’t left his room in years. (Jails frown on that, you know.) There’s even a human basketball! (I’m not jealous. You’re jealous.) Keeping in “Ripley’s” style, there’s even some demonstrations on brain tricks you can play with your friends. (If I had friends, you know I’d give it a try.)

Take a look through the telescope. There’s life on Mars you know. (Warner cartoons with martians? No!) Well, it’s really just “Buck Dodgers.” (What a bad pun. Why isn’t he named “Duck?”) And he’s an over the top gay stereotype. The third I’ve seen this year. Okay, there’s life on Mars. Is there any on the Moon? Nope, and we’ll check to prove it- Hey! There’s men on the moon! Men who sing! I wouldn’t have thought that possible, what with the lack of an atmosphere and all, but I guess I’m just wrong about everything.

With what we’ve seen, is there any reason to return to Earth and see what wonders are still there? I’d say so. There’s a wishing well that responds to the wishes made. It doesn’t grant them. Technology isn’t there yet. There’s even a device that allows us to hear the ants talk. (Must be a newly discovered species, as our narrator identifies it as a male, but I see no wings.) Last up, we’re going to see the classic trick: sawing a person in half. Egghead still doubts, despite all he’s experienced, and offers himself as a test subject.

Believe it or Not! (By Dr. Foolio)

Today, a one Egghead Penner found out that the human body can survive in two halves! His head and torso stayed in one location, but his waist and legs walked off by themselves!

This drawing of a nose was submitted by Bradley Daniels, of Annapolis, Maryland.

TRY THIS TRICK!

Draw a square. Cut the square in half. Magically, you now have two rectangles! Amaze your friends!

 

Favorite Part: Seeing the berth of a baby, for the first time on screen. (It’s much more funny when you hear it spoken, as opposed to reading it.)

Personal Rating: 3

 

Buddy the Woodsman

“Take it away!”

Supervision by Jack King; Animation by Paul Smith and Don Williams; Music by Bernard Brown. A Looney Tune released on October 20, 1934.

I feel like I should warn you, that clip has clearly been cut. (Heh. Logging joke) It was the only copy of this cartoon I could find. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be dignifying it with a viewing. Tell you what. If someone can get me a full copy, I’ll happily redo this post in case I missed any important details.

Woodsman, nothing. Woodsmen abound! Buddy isn’t the only one, as he has a whole team. (Or rather, he’s part of the team. I’m not quite sure.) So, we’ll start with some sawing gags. (See those two guys? Yeah, the ones who phase off the cel and to the right. I don’t trust them.) Some of Buddy’s teammates include those who saw logs while sawing logs, (sleeping.) another jab at homosexuals, (Really, Buddy? You’re making this kind of joke, again? It wasn’t funny the first time.) and one who cuts a tree with a deli slicer. (Or, forest slicer? Does it need to be in a deli to qualify?)

There’s Buddy. I swear, he’s smiling even more than usual. It makes me want to deck him. (It’s rare for a day to go by where I don’t feel that way towards somebody.) He takes part in some of the jobs, but seeing as how it would be boring to watch him just do one task, he does a little bit of everything. Mowing trunks into toothpicks, cutting another tree with a saw jump-rope,  and kicking a goat. Oh, that has a purpose. He’s going to trick the goat into cutting some boards for him with its horns. (I must say, I had never wanted to see Buddy smack his @$$ before. And I don’t now. I’m not into this!)

RANDOM SHOT OF TWO GUYS CHOPPING A TOTEM POLE!……….Jerks.

You know, working isn’t too bad when you have music. (As a librarian, I’m always grumpy for this reason.) Buddy makes a xylophone out of some logs, and the music is so great, that a totem pole breaks into segments so it/they can all dance. (Was that why we got that shot earlier? I think we’d have still accepted it had we not established it existed) CHOW TIME! As lumberjacks that are okay, sleep all night, and work all day, it only makes sense that they would also possess huge appetites. They all rush for some grub.

Some girl is their server. I want to say this is Cookie, but the hair is wrong. (And it makes her look like a seven-year-old.) I suppose I’ll have to name her something similar. Let’s call her Biscuit. Either there is two of her, or there was another cut scene. She can’t be behind Buddy, then carrying the food simultaneously! The food must be quite delicious, as the aromas attract the attention of a tree bear. (You know, kind of like a black bear, or a brown bear, but not.) It comes to dinner and gets rid of pretty much everyone. (They just fall into the floorboards.)

RANDOM CIRCLE WIPE! I don’t know what we missed, but I can play detective. The bear startles the racially insensitive cook, then we cut to said bear eating something. There’s only one place that cook could possibly be now. (Such violence! Maybe the cut was necessary after all.) Biscuit gets some credit. Upon seeing the ursine she doesn’t scream, or do anything over the top. She tells it to scram. She hides under the table after it licks her. (Good move. The chef would agree if he could)

Buddy? You want to take care of it? Sure, the bear seems friendly enough, but the smart thing really, is to remove him from the premises. You shouldn’t be interacting with wild animals in such a manner. Buddy freakin’ punches the bear! (And that’s why we call him “Bear Puncher.” He earned that title) The bear isn’t too pleased, especially as the punch sends him into a stove, and gets a pipe stuck on his snout. Buddy uses pepper! (I don’t know why they bothered to label it as “hot.” They don’t make any mention of the Scoville heat units, it may possess. They just do the sneezing bit normally associated with pepper.)

Biscuit has a gun! She’s also a pretty good shot! Gets that bear right in his rump, she does. Buddy helps too. He uses a piano stool to raise the bear up, break through the ceiling, and flee back to the safety of the forest. Is a bear scared sh*tless in the woods? You bet!

Favorite Part: The first shot of a tree falling down. Such perspective shots are something you don’t see in cartoons that often. At least not in these days.

Personal Rating: 2

Porky and Daffy

“I’m so crazy, I don’t know this is impossible.”

Supervision by Robert Clampett; Animation by Robert Cannon and John Carey; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on August 6, 1938.

After slapstick, there’s no truer sense of comedy, then the kind you find in the straight man/ funny man duo. Laurel and Hardy. Abbot and Costello. Or maybe my favorite: Daffy and Porky. (Bet you thought I was going to title drop today’s short, didn’t ya?)

They’re living together in this picture, because Daffy is a boxer and Porky is his manager. (So naturally, Porky gets the better mailbox. Helps hold his fan mail. Only 99% is from me.) The paper delivers some decent news. (Wouldn’t that be a nice change? Aren’t cartoons the best?) Looks like there’s a champion boxer who is willing to take on anyone who’s willing to get in the ring with him. This is the break “Porky and Daffy” (Supervision by Robert Clampett) have been waiting for!

Porky rushes to deliver the news to his client, but Daffy is asleep. Quite the heavy sleeper at that. Porky knows what to do! (I love his little idea face. I’ve been copying it ever since I first saw this cartoon back in 2010.) Using only a pan lid and a spoon, Porky wakes his champion fighter up. Let’s skip to the match, shall we? I doubt the training could be half as fun as the fight. Seeing as that’s our next scene, I think Clampett’s team agrees with me. (What’s that white shape in the crowd shot? It’s so conspicuous.)

Who is this champ anyway? That scrawny, skinny, nothing of a rooster? He’s struggling to breathe! Anyone could take this guy. I could take this guy. (To Popeye’s, preferably. The chicken shack, not the sailor man.) Porky puts his pugilistic pal in the ring. This should be a short… uh-oh. Seems the champ was struggling to breath, because his robe was too tight. It had a lot of muscles to cover up. Well, we might as well get started. In this corner: the champ. In the other: Daffy. In the middle: our pelican referee.

Now, this fight might look pretty one sided, but don’t forget: Daffy is a nut. He doesn’t take anything seriously, so he has no fear. (His neck stripe also seems a bit more jaggedy today. Must be mating season.) Okay, I lied. He has plenty of fear and tries to flee. What’s a good manager to do? Talk to your fighter. Use words he can understand. Porky suggests that Daffy get on his bicycle. Being Daffy, he is able to mime one that is fast enough to outpace the terrifying champ. Even run him over. That’s one point! (Boxing uses points, right?)

Wait. Daffy is gone! I may be wrong about the points, but I do know that you can’t leave the ring mid-match. Is Daffy disqualified? Oh, he’s still in the ring. In fact, he’s in something else. The pelican’s bill. This means the poor ref gets some of the punches that were aimed at Daffy. Daffy manages to get away, still avoiding the wrath of the champ. Time to exploit the weakness that every living being, human or toon shares: candy. He offers Daffy a generously sized candy cane. (Daffy: “How’d you know I like lollipops?”)

It’s a trap! A trick! A tricky trap! However you say it, the champ beans Daffy with the confection and this keeps him from escaping once more. He censors his actions, (Awww! Now where will I get my bloodshed fix? Happy Tree Friends hasn’t been entertaining for at least a decade now) and it looks like Daffy’s out for the count. Good thing the ref takes his sweet time counting out the seconds. (I haven’t been this anxious for the count to reach ten, since I last played “Punch Out!!”) Porky begs, pleads, a third synonym for his fighter to reawaken. Oh, look it’s the return of his idea face!

He runs home, as fast as his trotters can carry him. He grabs the secret weapon and hurries back. The count has just passed nine when Porky once more bangs the lid over his duck’s head. Daffy is up and raring to go! The poor champ doesn’t stand a chance now! (As the ref is passed, the speed gets him stuck in his own bill. A joke we would later see shot for shot again in “Porky’s Hotel.” The pelican even looks exactly the same, save for a hat. Must have been his  ex-wife.)

A frantic fight follows, but the champion loses his title. Daffy is our new winner, and by extension, Porky is, since the manager always walks away with accolades. (Just like in that famous movie about boxing, “Mickey.”) I think Daffy must have hit the poor ex-champ a little too hard, because now he is suffering from a nasty case of “Daffy-itis.” (I don’t care if that’s not the correct suffix. It is on my site.)

Favorite Part: The referee asking who wants to fight. Seeing as how he didn’t clarify, he gets no end of thugs wishing to thrash him.

Personal Rating: 4

Porky’s Garden

“That’s a some-a nice garden.”

Supervision by Fred Avery; Animation by Sid Sutherland and Elmer Wait; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on September 11, 1937.

Big prize at the fair! If you’ve got a home-grown product, and it’s big enough, then you could be the lucky recipient of $2,000.00! (And we have to adjust for tax. You’ll still get to keep a buck.) Porky has plans to win with his produce. His Italian neighbor, (who I get to name Carlo because nobody else has in 83 years) also plans to win  with his chickens. There can only be one winner, who do you think will take it?

The two rush home. Porky does something I’ve never seen him do before: use his tail to poke holes in the ground. It looks… unnatural. (Does he ever make use of that appendage again?) His neighbor already has most of his work done, as his chickens have reached the adult stage. It couldn’t hurt to give them a bit more nutrients. Mixing up a mess of vitamins and minerals, he expects the birds to gobble it down. However, even though they have less than 500 taste buds, they still hate the stuff.

Porky has a secret weapon. A substance that can cause living things to grow really big, really fast: hair tonic. It works all right. The plants immediately age from seeds to full grown seed producing plants of their own. Just like that! Porky’s earned his rest. He goes inside. Luckily for him, Carlo didn’t see his growing methods. Unluckily, he does see a bounty of food that his hens could feed upon. Logically, anything that grows that big has got to be good for you. Should promote bone growth, muscle strengthening, and probably more of a sex drive.

The birds dive in. Food gags! (And yes, sometimes, food, gags.) One chicken sucks the juice out of all the tomatoes. Another squeezes peas right out of the pod. A third isn’t interested in salad, and just pries a worm out of an apple. (She knows what happens to chickens that go to fairs.) Porky becomes aware and tries to chase the birds off his property. (I notice one seems to disappear before my eyes. It must be a poultrygeist. I don’t care how many people have made that joke before me.)

(It’s a million, isn’t it?)

Porky, rightfully so, asks his fat neighbor (yes, I went there) to collect his birds. He asks them to come back. They don’t. Clearly, he’s done all he can do. (He’s also not too sad. Contests are more fun if your victory is assured, you know.) Porky mopes. Wait, what could be on the end of this vine? *Gasp* A pumpkin!  Granted, I’ve seen larger, but as long as they aren’t at the fair, Porky could still win! The chickens aren’t satisfied, and try to eat this last gourd too. Good thing Porky played football in high school. He makes it past the chickens, and runs off to the fair because I guess the contest is today. (He’s so excited that he phases to the right for a millisecond.)

Carlo calls the birds back proving that he was screwing with Porky earlier. (That fat b@$$turd! Yes, I went there!) The fair seems really popular this year, they’re even playing “The Merry go round broke down.” (Because it’s a funfair.) Since they are free range, the chickens just walk behind Carlo as he strolls to the contest. They pass a barker who has an interesting product. Reducing pills. His sign promises they will make you thin, but his demonstration is a bit more confusing. He gives one to an elephant, and granted, it shrinks. Into a mouse. Wait.

Okay, I looked at the taxonomic chart my species has created. That doesn’t add up, it’s just Avery having fun. Oops! A bottle has spilled open and the pills are spilling in front of the chickens. They still have room to spare, and gobble the pills. (Except one that fades away. So many goof-ups today!) Porky is just about to win, when Carlo shows up. (His hens look much more large than they did half a second ago.) The judge takes Porky’s prize away. (Yeah, um, the contest was clearly over if you were handing  out the prize, and why such a large bag for one dollar? Is it given in pennies? Jerk.)

Oops! The pills kick in. The birds shrink. Back to pullets, back to chicks, back to eggs! Iris out.

Oh wait, things need to be set right. Porky is on top of things, and reverses the ending a bit to grab what is rightfully his.

Favorite Part: Even though the chickens are supposed to be a team, one refuses to share a watermelon with a chick. The little one sobs, but finds some spinach. Not only does this make him stronger, but actually turns him into a Popeye caricature! Speech style included!

Personal Rating: 3

Buddy’s Showboat

“Hello sweetheart!”

Supervision by Earl Duvall; Animation by Jack King and James Pabian; Music by Bernard Brown. A Looney Tune released on December 9, 1933.

Yippee. Joy. Another Buddy short. And? It just might be the worst one. My verdict is still out, but it’s in the running.

Look at that boat maneuvering. That, combined with Buddy’s obnoxious smile tells me that the guy is high as a cirrus cloud. I mean, you know you’ve got a goofy look on your face when even I want to beat you up. Just a little. Buddy’s the captain, which means his lady must have a pretty important job as well. I mean, a potato peeler? That’s got Nobel Prize written all over it. Rounding out our crew, is that fattish guy we saw in “Buddy’s Beer Garden.” (Or it could be one of his identical sextuplets. Probably the most successful one.)

Actually, I don’t know if he works on the boat or is just some free (wide) loader. I don’t know, do employees normally cut their toenails with knives? Looks uncomfortable to me. Do you ever get tired of the constant racist jokes found in early cartoons? Well, here’s something different to feel uncomfortable about: a gay joke! See the smaller boat next to Buddy’s? You know how we know it’s homosexual? Because it’s a ferry! Ha! That’s… not really all that funny. I usually enjoy puns to some capacity, but that was just weak. I guess giving it wings would have been too obvious?

Okay, Buddy. What’s your plan? Oh, you’re docking to show off your entertainment. A parade full of oddballs and weirdos, playing music, making fools of themselves, and other ways one advertises your showmanship. Seems like the crowds have bought the pitch, as they come by the ferry-load to attend the show. As one would expect, Cookie is our main selling point. But before any of you horny, lonely, nobodies think you might have a chance with her, remember that she is already dating the captain. They even send kisses over the phone! (It’s rather nauseating. One of the few times I’m ecstatic to be single.)

Let’s see this entertainment! The couple doing a song and dance with a chorus line behind them. That’s it? I’m still not sure I’ve gotten my money’s worth. (Also, those other women are either several feet in the distance, or I’ve once again forgotten how short Buddy and Cookie really are. Maybe both? I like it when the answer is both.) Next up, more racist imagery! Chief Saucer-Lip. Yes, really. *Heavy sigh* That’s degrading. Buddy, you degrade people. At least he can do a fairly decent Maurice Chavalier impression. (He might still be able to get a career after the last of his dignity is used up.)

Cookie watches from backstage. Finally, this cartoon gets  a bit sexy! Panty shot! What won’t we do to offend? I hope it’s worth it for when the Haye’s code serves our heads on squeaky clean platters! Blimpy uses this opportunity to nab her. He doesn’t make it too far before the captain catches on. Surprisingly, the big lug doesn’t stand much of a chance. He lands a decent punch, but Buddy flies right back and sends his puncher into the ships power switch, giving him a shock.

Buddy knows he can’t punch worth a dime, so he swings a boat into the man. This sends him into the trained walrus cage, who treats the man as a toy. (Um, everyone knows that a walrus doesn’t have six flippers, right? We all know? Good. I was worried.) With the big guy pretty much defeated, Buddy uses the boat’s crane to lift the villain onto the paddle-wheels. A great many spankings is just what he needed.

Favorite Part: Blimpy tries sending a kiss to Cookie via phone, like Buddy. She sends him back a punch.

Personal Rating: 1

The Mice Will Play

“You’re correct. Absolutely correct.”

Supervision by Fred Avery; Story by Jack Miller; Animation by Sid Sutherland; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on December 31, 1938.

There was a brief period during the ’30’s, where the renowned Tex Avery directed a trio of cartoons starring cute, widdle mice. What’s odd and noteworthy is the fact that these cartoons are, dare I say it, a tad Disney-esque. It may sound un-Avery, but he still manages to stick in a good number of amusing gags. This picture was the last of the three.

We open in the medical lab of Dr. I.M. Nutts. Nobody is around, so a bunch of mice decide they might as well do whatever they please with this equipment. It would be very dangerous in the wrong hands, but they have paws. So we’re good. We’re good. Really, what harm can happen when looking through a microscope? It just allows you to see a football game between red and white corpuscles, clucking chicken pox, and whooping, coughing, whooping cough.

Other mice listen to a heartbeat with a stethoscope. If you know as much about mice as I do, then you know that that heartbeat is just too slow. Taking a heart pill helps bring things up to speed, and irritate some eardrums in the process. Still, for as much fun as these guys are having, Susie mouse in the next room, isn’t. She begs and pleads for someone to help her escape from her cage. Seeing as the label on it lists her as a test subject, she has every right to do this.

But that can wait until the climax. What other gags are there? An x-ray that reveals mice are nothing but cheese and a clockwork brain. (Better than most people I know.) One mouse deciding to chug down some liquid neon. (Not what I’d consider the brightest idea, but he ends up glowing, so I guess I can’t talk.) And three mice taking things a bit too far with a syringe, seeing as they are aiming for one of their companion’s rumps. (Actually, maybe they hate this guy. I can’t fault them for that.) Regardless, he’s saved by an audience member.

Okay, climax time. Susie happens to have a piece of paper, and sends a rescue request. Her message can turn into an airplane, and that’s how she send it out. It is found by a mouse named Johnny, who immediately rushes to her aid. It may be sudden, but her x-ray doesn’t lie, she loves her savior, and the two immediately wed. (Exchanging vows with woodwind instruments. Strange, but I suppose I shouldn’t question mouse customs.)

By the way, a cat has been skulking throughout the cartoon, taking his time on getting ready for a feast. (I like that his whiskers form the stereotypical bad guy mustache.) When he finally arrives, he happens to overhear Susie comment that with this marriage done, it seems that there will be plenty of fat, little mice in the future. (Odd way to describe your offspring. But again, mice live differently than you or I. I’m sure Walt said the same thing about Mickey.) With this theory made, the cat decides his meal can wait awhile. (20 days, I’d wager. Might want to grab a snack.)

Favorite Part: Johnny asks Susie why she is acting so weird. She tells him she loves him, and not only is he pleased, but he points out that she should’ve just said so. On behalf of every socially awkward male, Thank you! If only female humans acted this way. I could save myself a good amount of embarrassment.

Personal Rating: 3

The Tree’s Knees

“Ain’t that cute?”

Animation by Isadore Freleng and Rollin Hmilton. A Looney Tune released in August, 1931.

The occupation of the day is lumberjack. Bosko makes a fine lumberjack. He has an axe, and that’s all that is necessary. He locates a fine group of trees and prepares to kill them all. (He’ll probably make them into paper! Or firewood! Or mulch! Isn’t it fun to imagine what a living thing’s demise will lead to?) Before Bosko can make even one chop, the trees reveal theri sentience. It seems to be a family, as the smaller ones plead with Bosko to cease his upcoming violence.

They call him “Big Hearted Bosko” for a reason. He spares the family of trees. In fact, to show that he’s truly sorry, he pulls out his harmonica. What a treat! Bosko is willing to share his musical prowess with those less fortunate than him! Such gaiety! Too bad one of the tree’s is still a prick. Even after Bosko decided to let them keep on living, it has the balls (or knees, I suppose) to blow a razz berry. Bosko chases the color-changing tree, and actually manages to tear the brat’s bark off. Turns out, it’s the human equivalent of clothes, not skin. So the little monster is just cold and embarrassed, rather than bleeding sap profusely.

They call him “Big Hearted…” oh, you know what I mean! Bosko returns the plant’s hide, and it still is an a-hole, giving Bosko a kick in his own knees. (The little son of a beech.) At least there are nicer trees in this forest. Some of them actually act as a nanny for the nests of bird chicks that rest in their branches. (They tend to get a little too carried away rocking them, but it’s a far cry from what I’ve seen thus far today.) Bosko also forgets the number one rule of the woods, which is: don’t stand under a bird without an umbrella. Oops. Too late.

Don’t worry. It’s not what you think. Even though it IS white, it was just bird tobacco. (Why does a creature with no teeth partake in the act of chaw? The real question is: why does he need pants?) Perhaps it would be wiser for Bosko to interact with less salivary animals. Like a beautiful butterfly! Bosko happily gives chase, and finds something else amazing to his music loving soul. Apparently, if trees are thin enough, and close enough to each other, they can be used exactly like a harp! (They also don’t move around. Different breed)

Heck, why doesn’t nature join in Bosko’s merrymaking? One tree uses the vines on his body as a makeshift violin. It sounds rather nice to me, but the obligatory weeping willow joke seems to disagree. (And if you needed at least two willow puns, we also get an appearance of the pussy variety.) Some more Mickey clones are even here, enjoying this lovely day while playing with a discarded saw. (That’s numbers 516 and 729, for you. They laugh in the face of Disney lawsuits. I mean, danger.)

Realizing there’s more fun to be had with a (see) saw than that, the two of them cut out a wood disc and find it works just like a record; their bodies working like a phonograph. The music is so wonderful, that even a tree wouldn’t be able to keep itself from dancing. (Which would have been more surprising if we HADN’T spent the last six minutes seeing mobile shrubbery.) I can only guess that Bosko is going to need a change of career after this. I doubt he’ll ever be able to look at a credenza the same way again.)

Favorite Part: Clone 516 falls in a puddle and begins to drown. 729 jumps in to save his pal, but finds the water is as shallow as a puddle. At least, the left side is.

Personal Rating: 3

Big Man from the North

“Get your man!”

Animation by Isadore Freleng and Robert Edmunds. A Looney Tune released in February of 1931.

No, the title isn’t referring to someone like Santa or Michael Moore. We mean “big” in the figurative sense. Bosko is a member of the “Mounted Police.” He may be small, but he’s also timid. (Which makes him braver than I.) Who might the villain of this picture be, anyway? Some fellow who looks a little like a cross between Peg-leg Pete and a homeless ursine. (What do you want from me? I’m “creative clever”, not “funny clever.”)

Snow time like the present! (I’m ashamed I said that.) Bosko heads out to serch with his mismatched dog sled team. Yuppy, Yoppy, and Yahoopy. They may not be the best dogs around, but they don’t give up. Don’t matter how bad the weather gets! They stay on their course, despite all the contortioning their bodies go through. Even getting smushed against a building and becoming one single, horrendous, abomination creature doesn’t faze them all that much. (I’m so proud and nauseous.)

Said building is a saloon. Seems like there’s people inside it too. Looks like Bosko will have to suck in his fear, and check to see if his adversary has chosen such a place to hide out. Why! This place isn’t scary! In fact, I’d say it’s downright merry! Everybody is smiling, dancing, and enjoying the entertainment that Honey is providing. And since Bosko IS dating her, he has every right to hop up next to her and perform a little as well. (You’ll never find a better hand-blower-player in the world. I’ll see to it.)

Unfortunately, all that did was whet Bosko’s appetite for applause. Time for some ivory tickling! (He even has some backup provided by the angriest beavers this side of Nickelodeon.) Either nobody wanted to hear Bosko play, or they just knew his music would attract an antagonist. Either way, they leave just in time for Leg’s a peg Zeke to waltz in like he owns the place, and fire every which way. This looks like a job for the Mounted Police! Bosko has a gun at the ready, and a hand that can change from black to white. (I wish I could do that. Ladies can’t resist such a cute trick) Too bad his gun is a pop gun. Things look bad.

BLACKOUT! It really is Bosko’s only option. Dousing the lights gives him a bit of advantage, as his chromatically challenged skin blends in perfectly with the absence of light. (Zeke however, is a rather bright shade of black, so he is always visible. Can’t you see him?) With the thug disoriented, Bosko is able to get a hold of a machine gun and unload it into the big guy’s posterior. Then, all it takes is a little action with a sword, and a rifle to reveal that under his fur, he was as naked as the rest of us. With his source of power gone, the brute flees into the distance as everyone conveniently comes out of hiding to cheer Bosko on. (Including Mickey clones 540 and 176. They might be my favorites.)

Favorite Part: That sword I mentioned? Bosko doesn’t just poke the guy. He freakin’ impales him with it! Seriously, I don’t think it could go in any further without sticking out the other end! The Mounted Police don’t f*ck around.)

Personal Rating: 2