Jungle Jitters

“Oh, for goodness sakes!”

Supervision by Isadore Freleng; Story by George Manuell; Animation by Phil Monroe; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on February 19, 1938.

It’s only number three of the censored 11 that we’ve covered, and this one just might be the most offensive. I’m getting ahead of myself, so lets take a closer look.

The picture takes place in some sort of tribal village. The natives here are black, so that means:

A.) Their lips are grotesquely huge and the whole concept is rather disgusting

B.) They have nose rings that are large enough to jump through, and that is distasteful

C.) The rings around their neck actually ARE their neck, and that’s (admittedly, kinda cool but…) ultimately, rather insensitive

D.) It’s the 1930’s so how about ALL OF THE ABOVE!

We’re just in that sort of era, I get it. Doesn’t make it any more okay.

Enter another character. A salesman of some species. (I…think?) I can’t tell what this guy is! As offensive as the tribals are, I can at least tell they are humans. This guy… Well, he kind of looks like Goofy combined with some sort of dinosaur. We’ll call him Doofy.

As stated, he’s a salesman. Selling (and I quote) “Assorted, useless, utensils.” (At least he’s honest.) If their door slamming wasn’t indication enough, the natives aren’t interested in his wares. Still, they could get SOME use out of the guy. He does look… delicious? (I’m not agreeing, but maybe whatever this guy is, is their natural prey. I seriously doubt eating him counts as cannibalism.) They place him in a cooking pot, and (giving another point to humorous, here) he looks less afraid, (or relaxed, which has also been done to death) and more, confused. In the meantime, the locals are absconding with his merchandise. (Dinner and toys? Christmas reaches all corners of the globe!)

News of the upcoming feast, reaches the queen. I would like to know how she got the position. Not only is she white, but she too is some sort of humanimal. Instead of a proper mouth, she has what looks like some sort of pelican beak, but unless it matches her skin color, than it’s inside of her lips? Excuse me, Mr. Freleng? What are you letting your unit put to screen? It’s unholy! Unnatural! I would even be inclined enough to suggest it as evil! I’m scared, and I don’t scare easily. (Unnerve, sure. But not scare!) And to make things even more disgraceful, one of her black guards has a bad, offensive, over the top, Asian accent. (It’s the culmination of unfunny stereotyping! All that’s missing is a Jewish witch doctor! Which probably was included in the first draft.)

(Wow. That’s off topic, even by my lax standards.) Queenie asks to see the meal, and Doofy is brought before her. As much as her people see a roast bird, she only sees celebrities. Even ignoring his toaster that butters the toast for you. (It’s every American’s dream! Gimmee!) She decides that they are meant to be, and organizes a wedding that would even be a record by Disney movie standards. Doofy, (still keeping that clueless look about him. It’s starting to get old.) agrees, but the deal breaker is being told he has to kiss THAT face. I don’t blame him for hopping back in the pot. He ends his life with the hope that they’ll all get indigestion from him. (I’m sure that’s fairly apt to assume.)

Personal Rating: 1. (Yeah, this might be the low point of the series.

Favorite Part: To be fair, there was one point that I found enjoyable. A bunch of the natives start riding a makeshift merry go round. As to be expected, some of the others actually whistle “The Merry-Go-Round broke down.” Always a pleasure to hear.

Buddy of the Apes

“Go get ’em!”

Supervision by Ben Hardaway; Animation by Paul Smith and Sandy Walker; Music by Bernard Brown. A Looney Tune released on May 26, 1944.

Good old Buddy. Boring, bland, basic Buddy. What’s this I hear about him being “of the Apes” all of a sudden? Well, there’s no backstory to explain any of it. Buddy lives in the jungle now. Deal with it.

You may think that a jungle is a frightening place for someone like Buddy to live, but it actually seems quite pleasant. None of the animals even seem interested in killing each other for food. Or, maybe that happens later in the day. As for right now, it’s time for nature’s morning routine. Even if he is a wild man with nothing but a loincloth and shoes, Buddy understands the importance of good hygiene, and takes a shower under an elephant’s trunk, before b-rush-ing his teeth.

As stated, the animals are there too. Crocodiles take excellent care of their dentures, using a porcupine to scrub them. Hippos, however, can’t brush properly with hooves, so they have a monkey on hand to scrub their teeth clean. And mother gorilla is giving her young one breakfast. You can’t turn your back on baby apes for more than a second. This one, for instance, starts rocking his cradle too hard, and falls out of the tree, cradle and all.

He lands in the water, and unfortunately, the current is part of a proud waterfall, that has dragged many an innocent infant to their demise.  In standard tradition, the baby is enjoying every moment of it. (I don’t like that cliche. I’m pretty sure majority of babies would not be pleased if they were out of their comfort zones) Seeing as he is “of the apes” and therefore, “for the apes”, Buddy has to make the save. He fashions a grappling hook out of his knife, and all is well. (That dancing tiger killed any chance of this being an African jungle) I’d say that was an okay picture, but that was only the first act. What’s next?

Racial stereotyping! An abundance of it! Buddy has been sighted by a native. (Is that the right choice of words? For all I know, Buddy is a native too.) He alerts his leader, and I suppose they are cannibals, as they look ready to eat the little man. (But then, I’m not sure they are the same species as Buddy. At least two of them have lips larger than any human being ever had! It’s actually kind of disgusting. Not to mentions how many jokes are being made about nose piercings as well.)

The tribe heads out, but because of his brave ape heroics, the animals side with Buddy for this fight. They don’t need so stinking weapons, they are the stinking weapons. (I didn’t see any of them bathing.) Elephants use their trunks as (elephant) guns. And hippos are being used as cannons. Even a kangaroo joins in the fray. (Now, really. Kangaroos don’t even LIVE in jungles. Why does that keep happening?)

Things really aren’t in the king’s favor, so retreating is the only sensible solution. (Fighting to the death isn’t smart, it’s brave.) Buddy sees the fleeing monarch, and swings down to beat him to a pulp. Having proven his superiority, the animals grant Buddy the kings crown. (Enjoy it Buddy. You certainly aren’t the king of cartoons.)

Favorite Part: The whole morning routine bit. I particularly enjoyed the animation of the crocodile putting his teeth back in. His lower jaw just hangs limply until he pulls it into place. That’s unusual for cartoons.

Personal Rating: 1

I Wish I had Wings

“Hi, Pop!”

Animation by Rollin Hamilton and Paul Smith; Music by Frank Marsales. A Merrie Melody released on October 15, 1932.

Well, yeah, I guess I do.A little snack would be just the fuel I need to make an amusing blog post. Whoops. That was just a title. (You were laughing though, right?) It’s morning at Bird Farm U.S.A. and the rooster wakes all the birds up. (It takes a bit of rousing.) He’s not content with just his hens being up, he wakes the water fowl too. (And he sends them off goose stepping. I knew him learning German wasn’t a waste of money.)

Now that the birds are up, it’s time for some breakfast. One hen has located a very healthy looking worm, and calls her children. Only now does she realize the problem. One worm. Eleven chicks. You do the math. (I’m not your tutor.) She has a brilliant, if rather inhumane idea: (good thing they’re birds) put the meat in a grinder! (Holy hell!) Good thing this is a cartoon. It follows this popular myth: When one cuts a worm into pieces, each piece becomes it’s own new animal. (Only here they eventually grow faces and limbs. What was in that grinder, exactly?)

Ready for a bit of plot? Chicken couple number 412 are expecting! (And if you think you’re suffering from Deja Vu, it’s probably because you saw this exact sequence in “Wise Quacks.” Only with ducks instead of chickens) The father to be is ecstatic, and calls the stork to come do his thing. (What weird farm is this? Is that stork livestock? Are stork nuggets any good?) The blessed event goes smoothly, and the rooster meets his many chicks. 29 white, (yes, I bothered to count) and one black. He is called: Otis. (Because I said)

As all new life can attest, being born is hungry work. (You got all that egg breaking, womb squeezing, budding, etc.)Otis is ready for some grub. (But he’ll settle for corn.) Being the youngest though, he is always last to the feeder and any stray cobs. He stares longingly at a garden just on the other side of a fence, and whines/sings about wishing he had wings to get him over to the edibles. (Poor guy was born with arms instead. What an awful fate for a bird to befall)

His wish is fulfilled with the corset the farmer’s wife just left on the ground. (What a b*tch. Always expecting the animals to pick up after her.) Otis uses the clothing as makeshift wings, and once up, makes a parachute out of what I presume is the same person’s panties. (She deserves it.) Ah, to be in your very own all you can eat buffet. Otis has got to be the happiest bird in the world! But I guess this garden is in Oz, because the nearby scarecrow comes to life, and threatens to…actually, what would he do besides scaring the bird? Scarecrows really aren’t all that threatening.

Otis does indeed run, but he takes care of the dummy. Not only slamming a well crank into it, (why would that hurt him?) but lighting him on fire. Defeated, (even if he’s not dead) the strawman flees.

Favorite Part: Honestly, that scarecrow. He’s a unique one in that, he doesn’t even have a face. (Makes him all the more terrifying.)

Personal Rating: 2

Porky’s Super Service

“At the sound of the gong, it will be, exactly, ten gallons.”

Supervision by Ub Iwerks*; Animation by Charles Jones and Robert Clampett; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on July 3, 1937.

*Yes. THAT Ub Iwerks. The very same man who animated Mickey Mouse’s first cartoon, all by himself. As it turns out, the studio had planned to outsource some cartoons to Ub’s studio, but he only directed two before a newly promoted to director, Bob Clampett, took over the second half. (Of course, according to Chuck Jones, the two supposed Iwerk’s shorts were directed by Chuck and Bob, themselves.) Either way, this was the second of the two.

As the title suggest, we find Porky at the owner of his own service station. I’d say he is well worthy of the “super” part of the title, as he sells gas for only three cents! (Sure, that comes attached with a tax ranging from state to unemployment to carpet, but a pig’s gotta make a living.) Porky is also quite the friendly type. He’s not afraid to ask where a gas tank is located, or let someone know of a flat tire.

It ain’t all sunshine and pleasantries, though. One customer has a bump in car that he’d like removed. Porky and his trusty hammer can remove the bump, but the cost is having it reappear elsewhere on the car. Standard procedures say to just keep hammering away at it until it is removed. This comes back to bite Porky when the bump decides to appear on the windshield. Actually, no. That’s good news. Not only does smashing it get the bump gone, but now Porky can charge the guy for a new windshield. And when Porky wins, everyone wins.

The meat of the picture begins with the arrival of a very ugly woman. She wants Porky to fix up her car, but this also means he can’t disrupt the child sleeping in the backseat. Kid’s a butt, but really, I too would be rather sore if my mother just abandoned me in a vehicle. (It’s always sad when parents don’t love their children enough to hold them.) Porky tries to do his job, but Junior isn’t making it easy on him. He plays with the various car functions when Porky is in prime “pain locations.” Turning on the ignition to give him a shock, or honking the horn in Porky’s ears. Porky can’t even proof that the little snot is responsible, as he feigns sleeping whenever the pig checks.

Until Porky checks on him from the opposite window that is! Caught, the kid rolls the window up, and gets Porky’s nose caught. Now at the baby’s mercy, Porky has an air hose placed in his pants, which lifts him up into the air, and gives the kid a target to shoot at with a grease gun. After a few shots, the gun appears stopped, and the kid takes a peek up the barrel. Karma decides to give him a dose, and he is as greased as the pig. Porky has no sympathy, but unfortunately, the mother comes back at this time, finding the two of them covered in muck, the kid in tears. It doesn’t look good for my pal.

Yep. The mother not only drives off without paying, (b*tch) but she threatens to tell the authorities. Making matters worse, her kid ties a hose to her car’s tire, and when she drives away, she ends up dismantling Porky’s whole operation. (Actually, this also works in his favor. Now he can have her charged with stealing his business. See you in court, sucker!)

Favorite Part: Apparently, even the awful woman can’t stand her evil offspring. As when she is telling Porky off, and her kid won’t shut his yap, she slaps him. (I’d watch a ten hour loop of that.)

Well, a week from now is another anniversary for here. Number 9. I’ll be continuing the tradition of adding something new to all future posts. Hope anybody is interested.

Rover’s Rival

“You old antique!”

Supervision by Robert Clampett; Animation by Charles Jones; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on October 9, 1937.

This short is very important to the history of Warner Bros, and yet, unless you’re a full fledged “Looney-tic” (like me.) you wouldn’t know that. I’ll get to why, but the summary comes first.

Porky is excited over his latest read. A book full of great tricks one can teach to their dog. Not only are they sure to build some great social bonding exercises with your hound of choice, but it surely is fun. Porky rushes to share some great times with his dog, Rover. Unfortunately, Rover is quite old and shaky. He’s at that age where one should really just let him sleep all day, or put him down. Still, Rover is as loyal as you’d expect a dog to be, and despite his lack of hearing, bad back, and possible rheumatism, he does his best to share in Porky’s joy.

Enter our titular rival. He’s chubby, he’s a puppy, his catchphrase is “Yeah, man!” so we’ll call him “Chuppy.” He’s also quite the prick. Witness event A, where Rover tries his darnedest to roll over, but Chuppy blows him back once he’s halfway. He’s also here to steal any glory he can, as he jumps through the hoop Porky is holding. He pulls it away before Rover can attempt the jump, and the old dog leaps into a washtub. (Tragic AND hilarious.)

Chuppy flat out tells Rover that he’s finished. He’s through. (Yes, both dogs can talk.) Mel even shows off his vocal prowess again, by having the little stinker imitate Rover and Porky. Porky still loves his dog, and wants to prove to everyone that he’s no has been. Why, surely he can fetch a stick. A classic! So sure of him self, Chuppy gives the old dog quite the head start before he runs off to get it himself. (Maybe he’s such a douche because his stub-tail keeps disappearing?) Porky tells the young dog to let Rover give it a try, and he half succeeds. His dentures get left behind with the stick. Chuppy retrieves both.

Porky throws again, and this time restrains the pup from stealing Rover’s thunder. Seems he threw the wrong way, as it lands next to a box of dynamite. Rover still brings it back, and Porky panics. He throws it away, and Chuppy runs after it. Rover, however, rushes to a dictionary to see what exactly this “dynamite” is. (He may be old, but the brains are there.) Chuppy, meanwhile, found the rest of the explosive stockade and brings it all back to Porky. Poor guy tries to throw it away, but the dog sends it right back. And I can’t say he just doesn’t know any better, because the little b*stard lights it all. (He’s a literal, figurative S.O.B.)

Rover finally learns the meaning of the word, and rushes to save the day. (Meanwhile, the little dog is actually laughing as Porky says his prayers. So unfair! Why’s he gotta be so adorable! Keeps me from kicking him.) Rover to the rescue! He gets the dynamite, says a silent farewell to his best friend, and gets it away from the two. Porky and Chuppy rush to his side, but it looks like they are too late. Chuppy sobs and admits that this is all his fault, and that not only CAN you teach old dogs new tricks, but he concedes that Rover is the best stick retriever there is. That’s all Rover wanted to hear, and he reveals that he’s fine. Maybe they can all be a family now.

Oh, and as for that important tidbit? This is the first time Porky did his take on “That’s all folks!” Cementing his place in Pop culture for all eternity. *salutes*

Favorite part: There was plenty of great Clampett action and comedy here, but my favorite part was when it looks like Rover died. They drew him to look like he’s been torn into pieces! There’s no blood, but it looks like there should be! Clearly neither dog has been fixed, because this picture has BALLS!

Buddy and Towser

“Hold ‘im, Towser!”

Supervision by Isadore Freleng; Animation by Jack King and Bob McKimson; Music by Norman Spencer. A Looney Tune released on February 24, 1934.

All the greatest Toons have dogs. Mickey has Pluto, Bart has Santa’s Little Helper, and Norville has Scoobert, just to name a few. And why shouldn’t they? Dogs are obedient, loyal, friendly, cute and warm. Am I biased? Sure, but it doesn’t change the fact the dog is the best choice of pet for humanity. Never let a thing like allergies hold you back. I’m rambling again.

With all those positive traits, is it any wonder that Buddy too, has a dog? Towser, (for that his the pooch’s name) has the essential job of guarding Buddy’s poultry house. Chickens and ducks don’t make you money if you have to replace them every morning, and replace them he might if the fox on the way has any say. (Looks like a non-anthropomorphic Foxy. At least this way nobody will get sued.) He’s quite the resourceful one, as he rather easily slips into the building. (Towser! You had one job!)

Actually, the birds seem to be handling themselves just fine. Eggs make great ammunition. (Umm… Please tell me they aren’t fertile.) Rather than just eating the free yolk, this is enough to make the fox leave.  Now Towser wakes up, and sounds a warning. While Buddy gets his gun, Towser gives chase around the coop. (I love how the fox just rides on the doghouse being drawn along. It’s not just humorous, but smart. Always try to tire out your pursuer. It makes escaping easier.)

With Buddy on the alert, the fox decides it’s a good idea to flee. The two could just let him leave, but it won’t guarantee him not coming back. They have to kill him. It’s the only way. Towser thinks he finds his target, but it was only a bear. He seems quite unhappy to be woken up in winter, so he gives chase. And you gotta give Buddy credit, he actually fires his gun. Strangely enough, it doesn’t get rid of the bear. On the contrary, it multiplies him. (And they all told the inventor that a bear making gun wouldn’t sell. Now who’s laughing?)

Non-anthro Foxy is still pissed that Buddy has a career (struggling, though it is) and he doesn’t, so he gets the two to chase him again. They follow him up a hill, and he makes the ever common mistake, of turning to look at them. BOOM! He crashes into a tree. Thus causing snow to fall on him and encase him in a snowball. The two try to escape, but are scooped up. When they crash and are freed, they try to clobber the fox with some fence posts, but are so dizzy that all they his is each other. Foxy escapes and his evil plans will continue! (Or, you know, they won’t.)

Favorite Part: The last time Warners does the “chick needs bathroom” bit. There’s a twist this time: the mother doesn’t want to get out of her nest, so she makes one of her older chicks take him. Look at that disgusted face, reluctance to comply, dragging the younger by the arm, and still sulking while being thanked. (Boy, is it all relatable!)

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.)