Bosko the Drawback

“Are you listening?”

Animation by Isadore Freleng and Bob McKimson. A Looney Tune released in 1933.

Tomorrow is July 4th. That day is pretty important to my country. And to celebrate that, what could be more patriotic than football? American football. The one where hands are involved. (Everyone knows we are a dumb country. It’s okay to say it.)

Game day! The crowds are eager to get inside and see some action! That includes Mickey clones 213, 514, 726, 556, and 715. (Only 751 before I’ve named them all!) As the title suggests, our hero that we should be rooting for is Bosko himself. Never again will you see the very epitome of athletic superstardom. And he’s getting one heck of rubdown. Kinda makes me uncomfortable. Actually, him too. He starts out enjoying it, but his handler really goes all in with his work.

Time for the kickoff! (I think that’s what the beginning of the game is called. Why would you think I’d know anything about any sport?) Bosko gets the ball and makes some good distance. All thanks to their dachshund play. You know the one. That play where you have a German wiener dog running in front of you in a pointed shape, thus knocking your opponents away. (Well, as long as there isn’t a pile-up of them.) Such an exciting game, that even Mortimer Mouse clone number one can’t help but cheer. (Which is hard to do with a broken foot.)

Just to remind you this is American, (I guess) we get an eagle perched atop ole stars ‘n stripes. (These were the good days, when there was only sixteen states. Let’s be real, the rest are just filler.) On the field, a caterpillar who I thought was just a member of the band, runs, despite getting tackled apart, slowly, segment by segment. And what about that crowd? Making an image of a talking head? Complete with raspberry action? Why are we paying the athletes millions of dollars?

Bosko’s got some real competition now. The hunchback of Notre Dame! (He’s may be an ape, but he earned that title.) And a random title card introduces us to the four horsemen, Boris, Morris, Loris and Porous. (Why couldn’t you announce them, Bosko? Your millions not paying enough? Entitled little…!) Bosko runs away, then in the next shot he’s running in the opposite direction. Because he’s about to pull the other classic dachshund maneuver! Using the dog to launch yourself over the goal! I think that means the game is over and Bosko’s team won. If only all sports games could finish in under seven minutes.

Favorite Part: I like the look on Bosko’s face when his masseuse (for lack of whatever the real term would be) snaps his neck. (He’s a toon! He’s fine!)

Personal Rating: 2

Bosko at the Zoo

“GET IN THERE!”

Animation by Isadore Freleng and Larry Martin. A Looney Tune released on January 9, 1932.

As someone who has loved animals from the moment he exited the womb, I’ve also always been a fan of zoos. Granted, as an adult I now know that not every one of them is on the up and up, but I still think they get a bad rap. Many of them are really trying these days, people! What I’m trying to say is, I’m envious that Bosko would rather take his girlfriend on a zoological outing rather than me. (Even if that does mean I’d have to ride on his handlebars.)

For the time being, it looks rather nice. The habitats are spacious enough, and it looks sanitary. Bosko’s nose even turns white. (That means it’s a good’un.) Honey’s a wee bit scared of the lion, (Wimp.) but she is fairly interested in the aquarium section. (Oh!… um… I… I’ll just wait for you over by the exit. I’m sorry I intruded on your alone time!) The fish inside the tank have lots of fun, playing leap-frogfish, and using an octopus as a maypole, but the sad reality is that they are just the fodder for the larger fish in the tank. (Nice touch making Bosko and Honey all wiggly. Really adds to the illusion of bent light.)

By this point, an ostrich gets a hold of Bosko’s hat. Since there isn’t any employees around, Bosko is free to chase the bird into the enclosure. He actually manages to keep pace with the bird, and grabs it. In turn, his hat is swallowed. Bosko ain’t having none of that, and forces the bird to lay an egg. Even though the black coloring suggests this ostrich is male, it manages to get an egg out, and Bosko’s hat is within.

The ostrich is upset, and probably humiliated by this, so Bosko plays a pipe to cheer it up. (Honey is just gone by this point. Either walked home, or was thrown to the bears.) This really gets the place jumping. The beavers beat their tails and the kangaroos in the same habitat, dance. (Is Bosko just in a zoo? Oh, yeah. He really is this time.) Some monkey’s scratch themselves to the beat, but they get serious when one of them really needs his friends help to remove his itch.

The friend pulls out whatever it was, and puts it on a plate. But he only pretends to eat it. So when the other monkey tries to help himself, he gets a fork in his hand. This really pisses Bosko off for some reason, and he marches into their enclosure to spank the monkey. (I still mean that literally after four years! Sheesh.) Just like the last time he did that, he angers a gorilla who shares the space. He ain’t happy and chases Bosko through the suddenly much larger area. (Watch the teleporting monkey!)

Even though I could have sworn this was on level ground, Bosko has to jump out of the enclosure, (Which just has an exit. That’s dangerous on so many levels, including ground and where we are now.) and he lands on a lion. No clue if this is the one from earlier, but it gives chase. Bosko runs along with the ostrich and walrus also in the habitat. (More fodder. On another note, that pinniped is keeping remarkable pace with the bird.) They have no choice but to stop at a wall. As zoo animals, they have no proof that anything even exists beyond it!

Bosko leaps atop the wall, and the lion crashes into the other two. In turn, the three animals are combined into some kind of horrifying chimaera that must live whatever short life it has left in bitter agony. And Bosko is quite cheery if his smile is any indication.

Favorite Part: The whole cartoon went by, and not once did they make the stupid joke about ostriches burying their heads in fright! It’s an animated miracle!

Personal Rating: 2

Goopy Geer

“Oh, goofy, goofy, Goopy!”

Animation by Isadore Freleng and Rollin Hamilton; Music by Frank Marsales. A Merrie Melody released on April 16, 1932.

You enjoyed “Lady Play Your Mandolin,” didn’t you?

What do you mean ‘it was light on story’? What more were you expecting? Leave this classroom. Everyone else is allowed to mock you on your way out.

For those of us who don’t mistake short films for novels, I’m happy to say that there is a lot of reused animation for this picture. (I’m happy to say that because I took my Zoloft.) It leads me to believe that this short is taking place in the same cantina as L.P.Y.M. was. And if you are listening to the crowd correctly, you’ll find that they are demanding Goopy Geer. He’s been the entertainment ever since Foxy got called out for ripping off a rodents style and took his girlfriend with him. Don’t worry. The three are friends.

Only close friends skip

Goopy must be a pretty talented pianuh player. Even Mickey Clone 277 wants to see him perform. You know, Goopy doesn’t do any sort of practicing. That’s how you know he’s talented. You could say he plays by ear. (They make that joke, and when the G-dog appeared on Tiny Toons, he’d make it again. It’s his favorite.) He’s also quite friendly with the clientele. He’s more than happy to accompany a trio of kittens as they sup on soup.

Never mind. Those are not any felines I’m aware of. They share a digestive tract! The first places a cracker in his mouth, the second chews, and the third swallows. It defies nature! Oh wait. I forgot that cartoons do that on a minute-ly basis, as opposed to a daily one. Another diner is a bull who is eating the world’s toughest pasta. I’ve never seen anyone need to chew spaghetti so much. (Unless it’s just a reference to how bulls normally eat?)

No meal for me, thanks. I’ve seen what goes on in that kitchen. They’ve got a naked chicken swimming in broth to make soup. I can’t believe its got its cloaca clenched tight all the time! And now that I’ve more than likely ruined the rest of your week with that image, let’s get our singer on stage! I’m guessing that it’s the character that I once named “Gigi,” so there’s no need for another one of my awesomely picked names this week. Shame, as Warner Bros. pays me a nickel for every unnamed character of theirs I christen.*

Her signing is also enjoyed by the crowd. Just look at Clone  441 applaud! (He never misses a show you know.) With singing and piano-ing combined, everyone (and a couple coat racks as well) get their groove on. Even Foxy’s horse stops by to get tanked once again. He nearly has the exact same hallucination as last time, but now he sees himself as Gandhi at the end. (Wouldn’t that be reason to cheer? If what Charlie Brown’s been telling me is true, girls are naturally attracted to zero hair. Explains my lack of love life.)

Well, as the saying goes, alcoholic horses and pianos don’t mix, and the equines explosive expectorations soon reduce Goopy’s piano to shambles. A crime punishable by limit to three cartoons max. Nice knowing you, Goop.

Favorite Part: Gigi arriving on stage with a bad pun for Mr. Geer. His reaction is quite humorous. Quite indeed.

Personal Rating: 2. It could’ve done better if a good chunk of it hadn’t been seen already.

*This is a lie. I have never even been approached. I didn’t think I needed to tell you this, but I’ve been surprised at how seriously people take me before.

Goin’ to Heaven on a Mule

“You’ll pay for this!”

Supervision by Isadore Freleng; Animation by Rollin Hamilton and Bob McKimson; Music by Norman Spencer. A Merrie Melody released on May 19, 1934.

Oh, boy. Today’s short takes place on a cotton plantation. Of course, that means everyone working is black. Well, at least they all look happy enough. Maybe we can just pretend that the harvesters are actually the ones who own the land for a change? No? Okay, if that’s what you really want. Our starting gags are relatively tame, basically just based on the fact that they are using fairly advanced techniques to harvest the cotton.

One person would rather sleep than work. (My kind of guy!) What would be a good name for this fellow? Nick? If you say so. When he’s not sleeping, Nick has quite the thirst for whatever is in his jug. (Hey for all you know, it could be sarsaparilla.) Nope. Guess it’s of the “booze” family, as an angel and a devil arrive to try and convince Nick to either stay sober, or drink up, respectively.

Now of course, OF COURSE, the angel is white and the devil is black. Chalk it up to our two-tone universe, but it still feels wrong to me. The angel actually goes ahead and wrestles with the evil side, which seeing as how that falls under the “violence” family, pretty much means the devil wins by default. Bottoms up! And man, that must have been some strong stuff, as the entire world around Nick starts to wobble, and fade, and next thing you know, Nick’s dead. (What was in that stuff?)

But you know, he’s actually in good spirits about it. He didn’t even have to die alone, seeing as how his trip to the heaven is delivered by his faithful mule, Rick. (Is it noble to die to give your friend a lift? Or is it too clingy?) They get to heaven which is called “pair ‘o dice”, (Of course it is.) and wouldn’t you know it! The only souls here are black! Now either this means that every race gets their own individual heaven, or I dunno, maybe cartoons don’t reflect reality?

Heaven looks a lot like what many parts of Earth looked like back in the 30’s, but people have wings, and that gives their streets one more dimension to travel along. They’ve even got entertainment clubs with singing, dancing, and all the watermelon you can eat. (Because of course they would!) But Nick sees something outside the place that he really likes: a gin orchard! But I’m not sure that’s a great idea; the signs also say  that this stuff is forbidden fruit. But it’s heaven! Surely you should be allowed anything your heart desires, right?

Well, while I ponder that, Nick helps himself and is caught in the act. God, or one of his valued employees, catches the rouge saint in the act and has him escorted away. (Nick is far too tipsy to care.) He is flung into an elevator shaft that is one way only, and Nick’s destination is Hades. (What no racist name for the other place? I’d offer one, but then you’d probably hate me, and I hate that.) Nick falls, and then wakes up from what was now revealed to have been nothing more than an alcohol induced hallucination. (If only there was technicolor, then he could have had the vision with pink elephants.)

Nick decides then and there, that he is done with the hard stuff and throws his jug away. Half a second later, he dives after it, and keeps it and his habit from breaking.

Favorite Part: A peddler tries to get into heaven, but is denied. Not terribly funny, but I do think we can agree that annoying salesmen are definitely NOT a part of paradise. Oh, sorry. “Pair ‘o dice.”

Personal Rating: 1. Not too funny, not creative enough to look past its depictions. Not like another cartoon I know.

Shake your Powder Puff

“I’m one of the Jones boys.”

Supervision by Isadore Freleng; Animation by Boc McKimson and Bob Clampett; Music by Bernard Brown. A Merrie Melody released on October 17, 1934.

It’s showtime over at Animal Farm! (No relation to Mr. Orwell’s locale.) Tonight we’ve got a real great variety type show at the Powder Puff Revue. To start, we have the house band playing “Zampa.” And if you think Mickey might be watching this, thinking, “I can do this much better and in color!” Then you’re wrong, because he’s a part of the band! (Okay. You caught me lying. In actuality, it’s clones 38 and 620.)

Our title song is performed by a trio of rabbits. Cuties. And they really are the perfect ones to perform this number, as they have built in powder puffs! (And boy, do we love to see them shake ’em! *Howl*) And they share the stage with Donald clones 1, 2, and 3. (I think the one in the middle is Huey, Dewey and Louie’s father.)

You’d have to be a dickhole drunk to find any problem with this performance. Which explains the booze (sic) coming from one of the audience. Why, if it isn’t Boozehound! The unlovable scamp who frequently goes to shows, just to mock the performers because he’s secretly envious that he had never had a chance to be on stage and this is how he masks his insecurities. (One could argue that he was the same guy doing this to Piggy.)

Boozy is thrown out, and isn’t going to be let back in anytime soon. Quick cut back to the stage with pigs singing the song now. Was something cut out? Cut that out! How am I supposed to appreciate these old films if they have more holes than a sea sponge? Because Boozehound has Statlernwaldorf syndrome, he has to get back into the show that he hates. And he’ll show them, he will! He’s going to pour pepper into some bellows, and spray it on the audience!

Sneezing ensues. And with the collective nostril gusts combined, the audience is able to remove the feathers off the dancing chickens. This pleases Boozehound so much, that he laughs and accidentally reveals himself as Goofy clone number 1! Busted! But then, he falls into the theater, and everyone immediately knows that he must be the one responsible for this. Since animals don’t make popcorn, it’s not surprising to find they brought produce to snack on. But they’re not adverse to pelting the drunkard with it. Get ‘im!

Favorite Part: The maestro getting a little too into his conducting. His jumping sends him through his platform.

Personal Rating:2

Along Flirtation Walk

“21! 18! 36! 32! Hike!”

Supervision by Isadore Freleng; Animation by Bob McKimson and Paul Smith; Musical Score by Norman Spencer. A Merrie Melody released on April 6, 1935.

Tomorrow is the big game! (Actual Big Game date may vary. Please consult a calendar instead of me to get your facts straight.) Good old Plymouth Rock College. So much better than that preppy Rhode Island Reds University. (Think they’re better than us, do they?) To hype everyone up for tomorrow’s event, a dance is being held. And quite the progressive one for the time period at that. Nowhere else in 1935 will you see a chicken dancing with a duck.

Sure, he’s civil when he meets her on the street.

Outside the dance is the perfect place for young couples to get some privacy. The poor bird on the end only looks like they’re lonely and alone. Actually, they’re just nervous about the game tomorrow as they’re competing. Romance doesn’t play any part in today’s story. (But it ties in so well with the title song.) Next day, game day! Our two teams are raring to go! Look at those fine specimens! The coaches should be really proud of those boys! What’s the event anyhow? Cockfighting? Crowing? Something masculi- why do they look ready to lay eggs?

Wait, those are hens? Good twist! Call me a sexist pig all you want, (I like being compared to swine.) but I wasn’t expecting an all female sports team in the 1930’s! Much less one that gets such a turnout. So that’s settles things then. The event is egg laying. Seems like something best kept private, but I should really learn to be more accepting of other cultures. But one thing that can’t be rebutted is that it looks painful. And people think women don’t want to play painful games.

So our little black hen from earlier is named by me! And I’ll name her Penelope. (Haven’t used that one yet. Not for a bird, anyway.) She wants to be on the field where the action is, buy the coach refuses. (Why is she here then? Answer me that, coach!) Comes back to bite him in the tail feathers by half-time. The opposition are leading by 58 points? Those rotten Reds! (It’s not racism, just schoolism.) And it looks like they have a sneaky way to hold on to the lead. They ingest billiard balls. (They’ll regret it tomorrow when they tear their cloacas apart. What a hemorrhoid.)

It’s working! The crowd can’t tell that eggs that look like billiards are often billiards, themselves. Things aren’t going much better for the Rocks as one of the players had a little too much fun with her boyfriend the previous night, and is now producing chicks. That’s a penalty. And it’s coming at such an inopportune time! There’s only five minutes left and the reds have such an insurmountable lead. Once more, Penelope begs to be part of the game. Seeing as how it’s one of those “nothing to lose, everything to gain” scenarios, Coach puts her in.

What an athlete! Barely on that nest for four minutes, and she’s already raised the total to 99! But the opposition has 100! Just a little more! Two hammers to the noggin equals two more eggs, (Not the Disney series. That sucked.) and thus ends the game! Up yours, Rhodes! All hail our new champion! She doesn’t need a trophy to remember this victory. Her bump will do nicely.

Favorite Part: While we’re looking along flirtation walk, we see a turkey couple ready to make out. Seeing our eager faces, the tom uses his fan as a chastity screen. Then he mocks us. (We deserve it.)

Personal Rating: 2

Wake Up the Gypsy in Me

“The fools!”

Animation by Isadore Freleng and Larry Silverman; Music by Frank Marsales. A Merrie Melody released on May 13, 1933.

I don’t know much about anything that isn’t related to zoology, so that means I don’t know an awful lot about Russia. But I do know that at the time of this short’s release, the country being portrayed here was known as the Soviet Union. With that said, I’ll still be referring to it as “Russia.”

It’s time for fun! Who likes dancing? And singing? And having a good time with their neighbors? I don’t, so I’m not sure how authentic this get together is. But everyone seems to be enjoying themselves, which is what I always thought happened in situations like this. But the festivities can’t really get started until an actual Gypsy joins the fun. Here she comes now. I’ll call her Kurabie. (Nobody else seems happy to see her. Rather they’re shocked and or appalled? Or just hungry? I’ve seen young blue tits make the same face.)

Look guys! It’s Kurabie!

While they continue to enjoy themselves, let’s follow what looks to be three kids in a trench coat, but is actually a little person and four bombs. They’re on their way to the residence of Rice Puddin’ AKA The Mad Monk. Clever name. Kids aren’t one to pick up on it, so they won’t know we’re making fun of someone who really existed. And here I thought the ire towards the guy didn’t start until 1997.

R.P. is just doing a jigsaw puzzle. A great way to spend one’s time. (And the bomb guy disappears after he gets inside. He was a waste of story if not animation.) Rice spies Kurabie and wants her. Despite the fact she looks to be about 8. These old shorts just suck at portraying age. Rice isn’t going to get her himself, though. He’s not very popular around these parts. He sends a guard to go and get the girl, while he stays behind and enjoys a cigar. (Helpfully lit by Mickey Clone number 551.)

When the girl is brought back by a completely different person, (Unless he stopped to shave off the rest of his stubble hair.) Rice sends him away (via trapdoor) so he can enjoy her “company.” If you know what I mean. Yet, she doesn’t appear into him. But why? He’s got a nice position of power. Well, I think it’s because of his run cycle. The animators really wanted to make him look like a Bauk. Lumbering, slobbering, and cackling. Such turnoffs.

But Kurabie’s calls for help were heard and a revolution was quickly formed. Rice tries to make an escape via donkey-copter, but the revolutionists were able to get at least one bomb in his attire. The resulting explosion makes him look a lot like that Indian guy, Candi. (No disrespect intended, but if Rasputin’s real name isn’t going to be used, then I don’t see why Gandhi shouldn’t get similar treatment.)

Favorite Part: Not only does Rice Puddin’ cheat at his jigsaw puzzles by cutting out the shapes he needs, but he isn’t shy of where he gets the material from. So we end up with a picture of a horse with the czar’s head on it’s butt. Political commentary!

Personal Rating:2

Egghead Rides Again

“I’m a rootin’, tootin’, shootin’, snootin’, high falutin’, tootin’, shootin’, rootin’, tootin’, cowboy, fella!”

Supervision by Fred Avery; Animation by Paul Smith and Irvin Spence; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on July 17, 1937.

For once, talking about these shorts out of order has worked in my favor. You’ve heard me talk about Egghead before, but back in 1937, audiences hadn’t. So, I’m pretty sure there were a number of people who saw this title, and figured they had missed the first one. But they hadn’t. This was Eggy’s first appearance. (And since Daffy had only had one appearance so far, and barely at that, Mel uses the duck’s voice.)

Egghead lives in the city, but really yearns to be a cowboy. His room is coated in western merchandise, he rides his pogo stick like a steed, and he yells as loud as he can. This displeases the landlord, Mr. Dadburn. So much in fact, that he evicts Egghead right there and then. And since he’s a wannabe cowboy and not a cowboy, he doesn’t have a horse to just aimlessly ride. He needs a job.

The want ad he spies has just the answer he’s looking for. They’s looking for help at the Bar None Ranch in Wahoo, Wyoming. (I’ve been to Wyoming. And I swear it didn’t look as desolate and dry as they’re depicting. Looks more like Utah’s Bryce Canyon to me. Any Wyomingians who can confirm your state looks like this cartoon?) Cow puncher sounds a bit more barbaric than cowboy, but it’s a tomayto, tuhmahto thing. Egghead mails his resume.

And the best thing you can have on a resume is experience, and since that’s something the body supplies, Egghead sends himself. He may be short, bald, have a big nose, and short, but he wants this job so much, that his voice briefly hits puberty. The buckaroos are willing to give him a shot, and let him take a shot. See, cowboys can shoot a cigarette out of someone’s mouth while they stand x feet away. Eggheads can fire a gun, but only at the near cost of the target’s life. Good thing he had his hiding hat on.

Branding is another skill that is vital to know. The terrified little calf they have for practice sessions wants no part in this, so the authentic cowboys are willing to hold it down for the noob. (Is anyone still saying that term? I can’t help it if I’m fourteen years late. My mind never matured past 2010.) Egghead, being a toon, brands every hide butt the calf’s.

The guy in charge makes the little guy a deal, if he can catch the calf that has taken the opportunity to start escaping, then Egghead can have the job. Such a deal! Egghead mounts a pony and sets off. (Looks like all those years of pogoing has paid off.) The calf is quite the tricky one. It takes the rest of the picture for Egghead to make any progress. He does manage to get it back to the pen, but the calf hogties him. Destroying his dignity, and earning jeers from the ranch hands.

But the bossman is willing to keep his word. Egghead got the calf back, so he gets the job. His position is known as the “Sanitation Engineer.” Talk about starting at the bottom! (I’m sorry. I promise to not make anymore jokes of that caliber for at least seven days.)

Favorite Part: The cowboys hear the mail arriving, and decide to ride to its drop-off point. A whole two feet away.

Personal Rating:3

Fagin’s Freshman

“Boy! This is keen!”

Supervision by Ben Hardaway and Cal Dalton; Story by Jack Miller; Animation by Rod Scribner; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on November 18, 1939.

You remember the rhyme about the three little kittens who lost their mittens? I was never a fan. Even when you don’t take my feelings towards felines into account, I always found the tune annoying, the lyrics inane, and the plot just depressing. So, this cartoon doesn’t get to a good start with me, since it starts with that precise rhyme.

A mother cat and her kittens are singing, and smiling, and just making the world that much more saccharine. I’m with the kitten sulking in the corner, Alphonse. (He says the kids call him “Blackie” but I come from a millennium where that sounds a bit derogatory. I’m not one to judge kids by the color of their coat.) Now, the radio programs that feature guns, and violence, and death? That’s more his style!

His mother is angry about this. So much so that he’s getting the ole “bed and no dinner” punishment. Pretty harsh. Sure, he interrupted her inoffensively offensive sing-along, and yes, it’s probably not great that he is so fascinated by shooting, but to deny him his meals because of that? That’s poor parenting. Hasn’t she ever tried simply turning the radio off, looking her kid in the eye, and just spanking him?

Well, as long as Alphonse is in his bed, he might as well sleep. And if he’s asleep, he might as well dream. And if he’s dreaming, he might as well dream about something related to this whole thing. So, in his dream, he spots a sign asking for boys. It doesn’t really go into any further detail, so I don’t fault the kid for knocking on the door. He’s greeted by an older cat named Fagin. He seems like a kind enough gentleman, he’s running a school, and everyone knows those are always on the up and level.

Alphonse is introduced to the other classmates, and even though they permanently scowl, they seem chipper enough. But Alphonse isn’t too keen on hearing he just agreed to go to school. But Fagin makes a good point about how education gets you farther in life. (You think I WANT to write a blog that nobody reads?) Why just look at the students that he’s tutored. (I’m a little disturbed that one sometimes goes by “Holocaust Harry.” Wh…Why would that be an alias of his?)

Alphonse is starting to get worried, but Fagin makes a good point about how he just teaches. It’s the pupils who decide what they will do with their education. And yet, the cops just don’t see things that way and knock at the door. The police (who in this dream are all dogs) are doing their best to get inside. And they’re willing to use their firearms too. Either they don’t know their are kits in there, or said kits knew what they were getting into when they signed up.

Now that Alphonse is witnessing all this firsthand, he breaks down. He’s scared, and wants out of this lifestyle. But since he’s still asleep, he’d better find something he can get tangled up in, so they can become covers upon his awakening. Falling out the window, and getting wrapped in the curtains counts. He wakes. And now that he knows that being shot at is no fun, he joins in his families singing.

Favorite part: During the shootout, Fagin asks for everyone to cease while he answers the phone. They comply, and after answering, Fagin relays the message to officer Hogan. His wife needs butter.

Personal Rating: 2. But it teeters on the edge of one.

Buddy’s Bug Hunt

“You’ll get yours today!”

Supervision by Jack King; Animation by Bob McKimson and Paul Smith; Music by Norman Spencer. A Looney Tune released on June 22, 1935.

Despite what the title says, we see Buddy chasing a butterfly. Which may be an insect, but is not a true bug. But fine. For today I’ll do like the common man do, and use “bug” as a catch all term for insects. (Makes me feel dirty.) Anyway, Buddy really wants this butterfly. I don’t know, maybe he’ll get a golden net if he catches it.

Rookie mistake on the butterfly’s part! In its attempt to escape, it flew right into the very place the bravest arthropods hesitate to enter: Buddy’s Bug Hun- House. Buddy gets his prize and adds it to his already extensive collection. (Buddy also sounds like a little kid in this short. A fact that makes his action’s a bit more innocent.) Along came a spider, that Buddy does spy, he grabs hold of the arachnid, it’s going to die.

Wait…. arachnids aren’t bugs either! They’re not even insects! Cheat number two for you, Buddy m’lad. But yeah, he has every intention of killing this animal. How else would a “bug” collector collect? ( Considering this spider has six legs, it’s clearly some undiscovered species. Or maybe it’s a beetle using mimicry to avoid predators?) Buddy glues the poor thing down to keep it still, and readies the ether. Yes, he has ether.

And he’s not too careful with the stuff, ether. It starts affecting Buddy, making him woozy, and dizzy and apt to getting knocked out. And down he goes. During this time, the spider has managed to get itself free and sees the threat is no more. In fact, the threat looks like it could be at its prisoner’s mercy. No time wasted, the spider sets about freeing the other animals Buddy has imprisoned. Including a…frog. Strike three! That’s not even an invertebrate!

Buddy learns how Gulliver felt, when he wakes up to find himself ensnared in a spider’s web. They could just eat him, he’d probably be enough of a feast for seven generations of spiders, but spiders don’t kill for revenge. They’re going to put Buddy on trial first. Just got to bring him down to their size. They force feed him some reducing pills, and Buddy the terror has become Buddy the peanut. (What really makes this terrifying is the glee on the animal’s faces. No malicious smiles here; it’s pure cheer.)

And so Buddy is put on trial for his animal cruelty. Previous offenses include: ripping off a grasshopper’s leg, killing a butterfly’s parents, and making a widow out of…I guess another spider? She has even less legs than the others and has antennae to boot! But what else could they use for a black widow joke? Scarlett Johansson wouldn’t even be a sperm for another forty-nine years.

Buddy’s found guilty and is sentenced to what passes as the electric chair at this scale: a cigarette lighter. (Ironically, this is exactly how the majority of people who know about Buddy, wanted to see him go.) But it was all a dream of course, and the pain on Buddy’s backside is due to sunlight shining through a magnifying glass. Naturally, Buddy sets everyone free. Just in time, as the clubhouse collapses. (Which is the second most wanted way of Buddy’s demise.)

Favorite Part: How the judge reacts to the butterfly’s testimony. His “Ooh, is that so?” Just sounds so sarcastic. “Really? That’s really the extent of your misery? That other guy lost a freakin’ leg! It’s never going to grow back! And you have no parents? You, a butterfly, an animal whose parents never even witness their eggs hatch, blames this monster for your lack of a mom and dad? Well, I guess we have to give him the chair now!” (That’s all subtext, you understand.)

Personal Rating: If you’re like me and love the kind of stories where someone gets put in the place of some animal they’re harming in some way, then I think it’s 3 worthy. Otherwise, it’s stuck at 2.