Wild Over You

” Le ha-ha.”

Directed by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Ken Harris, Ben Washam, and Lloyd Vaughan; Layouts by Maurice Noble; Backgrounds by Philp DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling; Orchestrations by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on July 11, 1953.

Before we begin, a couple notes.

1. I met the nicest woman at work the other day. She really knew her Looney Tunes. We spent a few fun minutes quoting them. There was only one thing that kept me from asking her out. (It wasn’t because she was married. We could have worked around that) No, it was because she was at least 40 years too old for me. Such a shame.

2. I ask you to raise a glass in honor of Richard Williams. Possibly the greatest animator that will ever grace this planet. His work on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” is right up there as one of the pinnacles of human creation. He will be missed and never replaced. (And he shouldn’t)

Thank you for your time. Let’s get the 500th post underway.

Back in 1900, when the world still had world fairs, (man, it would be fun to attend one of those. It’s too bad we don’t really have much good as a species to show off, anymore) one was held in France. Even by this time, zoos were nothing new, but a chance to see exotic animals is always a sure way to draw in the crowds. (And my lord, the cages here are horrifying. The giraffe is poking out of the top. The elephant is pressed against the bars! Aushwitz isn’t being topped here, but things are close.)

Such horrible living conditions, its no surprise to me that one of the animals has made their escape. It’s a wildcat, and although that’s not the worst case scenario of animal escape, the crowds go into panic. (Probably smart. Fear, while often an overreaction, does keep us alive) Immediately, a zoo keeper and dog begin the hunt. Poor creature. She means no harm, but a lifetime of imprisonment is hers unless she can find someway to avoid detection. What ho! Could those cans of black and white paint be the answer?

One coating later, the answer is yes. Decked out in the years finest skunk model, she has the hunters fleeing. This is usually the time in Warner Bros. shows that Pepe shows up. Right on cue. He’s quite happy to find not only find a female, but a LARGE female! (Bigger is better!) He makes his move, but seeing as how this time his target is a much more dangerous animal, he gets a bit mauled. (Now, obviously, this is meant to show sadomasochism as a good thing. That’s why Pepe is so into it. Why would we be expected to just think its funny? Cartoons ALWAYS have deeper meanings to them)

The chase begins. You know the classic formula, chasee hides and chaser is already there. Like in a fortune telling booth. The feline is told she is to meet the male of her dreams. (Nightmares are technically dreams) When she flees, she finds this man. (He looks an awful lot like that swami. Could they be… brothers?) There’s a good number more places to hide inside. Wax statues, (the cat hides as Marie Antoinette’s stole, Pepe as Daniel Boone’s cap) a suit of armor, (the cat’s mauls rearrange it into something you’d see in a modern art museum) and a replica of Madame Pompadour’s carriage. (Where Pepe asks himself if this is all worth it. And answers himself that it is worth it.)

The chase continues, but it seems that the cat is starting to wear out. No longer is she fleeing as fast as she once was. Pepe is using this to his advantage, taking his sweet time to catch up. There’s clearly only one option: escape via hot air balloon. She leaps in, cuts the ropes, and says farewell to dwelling on terra firma. Sure, it will quite the adjustment. (She can no longer stalk prey, but the sky is full of birds and water particles, so she won’t want for sustenance) In fact, the only downside I can see is the lack of company. Good thing Pepe also made it aboard. She can maul him all she wants, he’s not going anywhere.

Favorite part: The fortune telling bit. Especially when Pepe calls her existence drab. How come when I tell girls they have the same problem, I get hit?

Mouse Warming

“Dear Cat (Pal)…”

Directed by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Ben Washam, Lloyd Vaughan, and Ken Harris; Layouts by Robert Gribbroek; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling; Orchestrations by Milt Franklyn. A Looney Tune released on September 8, 1952.

I won’t lie; this cartoon is cute. Luckily, it’s balanced out quite nicely by some good comedy to keep you from losing your foot to diabetes.

Moving day is an exciting time in any young person’s life. Mice included. Mr. and Mrs. mouse have just moved into the neighborhood with their young daughter. (Who, for lack of a better name, I’ll call Alice.)

Shut up, it wasn’t my idea. (Although, it’s possible that this could be an origin story)

Moving into a new home, not only gives you new surroundings and the chance to make new friends, but also, new potential boyfriends! What luck! Here comes one now! He even has his own car. (The humans of the house don’t seem to mind sharing toys. In fact, they never feature in this picture.) Boy mouse, (who might have a name, but I couldn’t tell since he never speaks) is smitten by the cutie he sees in the window. Sure, they’re judging strictly by appearances, but maybe it’s pup love. (Mouse joke, there.)

Boy mouse intends to go right over and say hi. (Which will be hard, due to him being mute) He’s a bit shy though, so he pretends to be in need of sugar. (He appears to live alone, which makes him hitting on the teenager kinda creepy. But then, mice live by different standards than I.) He doesn’t make it too far before being intercepted by Claude. He manages to escape, but now there is a cat blocking the way to eternal happiness. (Something cats do that I’ve always been aware of.)

Claude begins to take note of how odd the male is acting, and sees why. It’s not only adorable, but it’s fodder for a very dastardly idea. Claude decides to write a love note to the boy. Setting up a fake rendezvous in the kitchen. The little mouse takes the bait, and arrives to find his dream girl waiting. (Actually a puppet. To be fair, she makes a cute puppet too.) Upon seeing the cat attached, he takes the girl and escapes. (He finds out off screen that she was fake, good thing as I don’t think I could stand to watch his teeny-weeny heart break. Or worse, living out some fantasies that a puppet can’t object to.)

Plan A obviously didn’t work. Claude tries another letter, but he’s not dumb enough to expect his target to fall for it a second time. No, this time he sends a letter to Alice’s father. Or rather, a threat that says the boy is coming over to steal their home. Father readies his human sized gun. (When protecting your family, you want to make sure the enemy stays dead.) To further mess things up, Claude puts up a sign asking for a boarder. The boy mouse falls for it again, (Love truly clouds judgements. I’m pretty sure the parents wouldn’t rent a room to someone who clearly just wants their daughter.) He flees for his life again. (Accidentally making a quick detour into Claude’s mouth. In turn, the cat gets the bullet)

The young mouse seems to have caught on to this chicanery, and he writes his own note to Claude. Rather than messing with one’s romantic feelings. (something only cats would be low enough to try) the mouse instead makes it from the dog outside who wishes to befriend the cat. In fact, why not he come over for a game of Canasta? Claude is all for it. In fact, he not only brings the table, but the refreshments. (Swell guy, that Claude.) The dog is confused, but still beats him up. And the lovebirds? They finally hooked up and went on a date to the coolest place around: the fridge. Aren’t they sweet? (I guess they straitened things out with the father already)

Favorite part: Definitely Claude’s first letter. Where he not only says that the girl is 16…months, (Which would make her middle-aged as a mouse) but according to her friends she’s “not unattractive.”

Hare-Breadth Hurry

“Actually, I can’t run this fast.”

Directed by Chuck Jones; Co-Director: Maurice Noble; Story by John Dunn; Animation by Tom Ray, Ken Harris, Richard Thompson, and Bob Bransford; Backgrounds by William Butler; Effects Animation by Harry Love; Film Editor: Treg. Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Bill Lava. A Looney Tune released on June 8, 1963.

Wile E. is going through one of his many chases. The “beep-beep” indicates he’s chasing his usual prey, the Roadrunner. Odd. I figured that with Bugs appearing in the opening credits, and that pun-ish name, this short would contain, you know, a rabbit. Actually, it does! Wile E. IS chasing Bugs. You see, our usual roadrunner sprained a giblet. (I don’t want to know how that happened, but I’m sure the end result contains pain we mortals can’t begin to imagine.) So, Bugs is filling in for the bird.  I really love this premise. It’s technically a crossover! Wouldn’t be cool if more were made in this style? Like Sylvester hunting Tweety and Speedy? Or Taz trying to catch Hippety Hopper? Or Beaky trying to eat Foghorn? (So, all my ideas are chase related.) Also of note, this was the last time Bugs and Wile E. starred together. Also, since this is “technically” a Roadrunner picture, Wile E. does not talk like he normally does as Bugs’ co-star.

That roadrunner is a little too fast for Bugs to match speed with naturally, so he takes vitamins to meet the requirements. They work great! As Bugs runs, the road can’t handle his speed and morphs accordingly. The good times can’t last forever, and Bugs soon runs out of speed. He solves this dilemma by drawing out a square in the road. When his pursuer steps on it, it becomes a pitfall. (And since they weren’t on a cliff, it can only lead to hell)

The advantage of chasing a rabbit over a bird, is you can bait a fish hook with a carrot. (Ever tried putting seed on a hook? It’s not worth the effort) The disadvantage to trying to catch a rabbit with a baited hook, is that you run the risk of attracting a large fish. (Environments don’t matter.) Also, since Bugs talks, he can explain when he is giving the predator more of fair shot. Or so he claims. Those pills certainly work wonders, as Bugs adds a bunch of pipe to Wile E’s gun in to time at all. (Don’t let your curiosity follow said pipe. It will only lead to a bullet in the face.)

All too soon, our final gag is upon us. Bugs has spread glue on the road, but Wile E. is going too fast to stop. His momentum carries the upper half of his body forward, and it’s a good thing too, as there’s a phone ringing up ahead. And it’s for him. Bugs hands him the device, just in time, as now the momentum has launched the coyote backwards. (Ripping the chunk of ground he is glued to up as well) He is flung off a cliff and hits the opposing side. He’d fall if he didn’t have a phone to hold on to. If only he’d paid his bills! Then Bugs wouldn’t have had to cut the service. Society is so cruel.

Favorite part: Wile E. drops an anvil towards a target that Bugs is standing on. Thanks to his speed pills, Bugs runs up behind him and holds the target over his head. The magic anvil heads to its destined mate, and the conk sends Wile E. over the edge. Bugs drops the anvil after him, but believe it or not, the anvil misses! (Wile E. is then run over by a van.)

Punch Trunk

“I did see an elephant in my birdbath.”

 

Directed by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Lloyd Vaughan, Ken Harris, and Ben Washam; Layouts by Maurice Noble; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on December 19, 1953.

Welcome. New year. Yadda-yadda. From this time on, I’ll be listing my favorite part of each short. We’re getting into the territory of cartoons I’ve seen few times or not at all.

At the harbor, a ship has just come in. (I like that it’s called the “S. S. Michael Maltese.” You have no choice but to remember the name now.) But there is something stirring in the bananas. Normally, it’s a rat or a wandering spider, but for once, it’s an elephant. He’s a full grown bull, but he’s only five inches tall! He’s adorable! Evidently though, people don’t seem to agree as the bulk of this short’s jokes are seeing how everyone freaks out at the sight. Doing what introduced species do, he heads off to explore his new home. (Seeing as how there is only one of him, he probably won’t do TOO much damage.)

A man spots the petite pachyderm in his birdbath and calls the police. The elephant meanwhile is acting like an elephant at a crowded watering hole, and hogs it all. (How’d he even get up there?) The police in turn sent some people from the psych ward to take the man away. A different man walks out of the optometrist with a new pair of glasses. Seeing the little guy, he heads back in to give a punch. (No trunk)

Nights are sure to be unpleasant, so it’s not surprising to hear the elephant makes his way into a penthouse. (Okay, how did he get up there? Did a falcon pick him up and drop him?) A little girl discovers him and christens him Teeny. (Which is a cute name. I’m declaring it canon.) Due to her childhood innocence, she is not afraid of him and even tries to fill his tummy. (Elephants eat cake, right? It’s like 45% of their diet.) Because of the fainting mother though, Teeny continues being a drifter.

A really good joke is next. A drunk stumbles out of a bar and sees the animal. (And a great detail is how the background is drawn warped and surreal. Like we are seeing the way he is.) Seeing the animal doesn’t make him scream, faint, or lose his sh*t in any way. Instead, he just scolds the beast for being late. (Also musing about how he isn’t pink this time. Genius.)

Even his own kind freaks out at the sight of him. Finding a circus, he joins a parade of elephants. (Okay, maybe not his own kind as that would make these Asian elephants, but they look just like him, only bigger. Seems ole Chuck doesn’t know as much about elephants as moi. On another note, Teeny is just as cute dangling off the ground.) Even those who are trained to handle fears aren’t immune, as a psychiatrist (or psychologist. I’m pretty sure they’re interchangeable) switches places with his patient upon seeing the cutie.

People all over the city now have claimed to see the beast. So, is it really there? Scientists say no. In fact, one goes on TV to explain why it isn’t real. He doesn’t go into the fact that an elephant could not survive being so small. (Freezing to death I mean. Not being eaten by a cat) Instead, he just blames our troubled times. (Considering my parents weren’t even born as of his saying this, I’ll have to ask Grandpa if the times were really that bad.) Not very happy to be told he doesn’t exist, Teeny takes the microphone away. (If this short has taught me anything, it’s that if science could make a teacup elephant that could survive at such a size, I would get one.)

Favorite part: It’s not especially funny, but it IS sweet. A woman is doing her laundry and Teeny comes over and HELPS! He hands her the clothespins! So precious! Keep up the good work, sweetie!

Martian through Georgia

“MONSTER!”

Directed by Chuck Jones and Abe Levitow; Co-Director: Maurice Noble; Story by Carl Kohler and Chuck Jones; Animation by Tom Ray, Ken Harris, Richard Thompson, and Bob Bransford; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Dilm Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc, Ed Prentise; Musical Direction by Bill Lava. A Looney Tune released on December 29, 1962.

Way, way out in space there is a planet. Even though it is yellow, I think we call it Mars. I mean, the indigenous lifeforms are called “Martians.” (I guess the universe is big enough for two Mars’s) They are really interesting. Like humans, they come in two genders: male and female. The males seem to be quite comfortable in their birthday suits, while the females are clad in purple jumpsuits. (Or they just have a purple coloration that covers their entire bodies, save for their faces.) They are a happy race. Well, except for one. And we’ll call that one: Al.

Poor Al. He is depressed. And he is depressed because he is bored. Both activities that martians typically partake in (levitating and though projection) bore him. (How can you be bored when you have constant access to pig pictures? And do martian pigs really resemble our Earth ones?) His depression must be really bad, because a woman tries flirting with him and he doesn’t give a crap. (And given by her heartbroken reaction, I think she was really into him.)

Al goes to a doctor. No martian speaks in this short, (which makes sense if you think about it. If you had thought projection abilities, what use would talking be?) so they communicate via their antenna. The doc thinks that traveling would be a good way to relieve his boredom and though Al doesn’t really think it will help, (I mean, he is still sulking as he leaves) he leaves. As he travels, he comes across a new planet. One full of simple, ignorant, life forms. (I’m stumped. What planet could that be?) Looking at this sad excuse of civilization, he finds a new purpose within him. He will shares his gifts with them! Finally feeling something close to joy, he heads down.

Things don’t seem to be off to a great start. Many people run away in fear, and those that don’t take him away for parking in a “no parking zone.” They send him to his new house, (a prison cell) but he has no time to stay. He must continue his mission! So he easily leaves. This gets everyone in a panic, and soon everyone knows of a monster that is on the loose. (The letters seem to be coming off that newspaper) Everyone except Al. When he does hear about it, he decides this is a good place to start helping these folks, and he soon finds the creature that everyone must be afraid of. I mean, it’s eaten a guy! (I think they are called “eggskahvayters”) He uses his atom re-arranger that he always had on him, and turns the beast into a cow/dragon/ cat. (Don’t worry, it’s friendly)

Satisfied, he begins to look for more wrongs to right, when a youth speaks to him. The child seems friendly enough, but he drops a bombshell: Al is the monster that everyone has been afraid of. According to the kid’s comic book, monsters are easily identified by their lack of noses. (That’s it, huh? So… birds, reptiles, fish, amphibians, mand\y mammals and every invertebrate are a kind of monster? The people of this planet are self-entitled pricks!) Al can make his antenna look like a nose, but it doesn’t change anyone’s opinion. (I think that kid is also a monster. His hands temporarily turn green) Even more miserable than before, he finds no other option. Suicide is the only answer. I mean, what else can one do when no one loves you?

Wait! Someone clearly did love him! (Although, after that cruel rejection of his, would she really still want him? Actually, the martians seem like quite the nice species. But I bet if they were both like the people on this planet, she wouldn’t give him another chance.) Realizing that as long as someone loves you, life is indeed worth living, he heads home. Seems the trip really did help him. (And that goes for non-romantic love too. No more suicide! You’re just hurting others.)

Now Hear This

“QUIET!”

Directed by Chuck Jones; Co-Direction: Maurice Noble; Story by John Dunn, and Chuck Jones; Animation by Ben Washam, and Bob Bransford; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Sound Effects Created by Treg Brown; Musical Direction by Bill Lava. A Looney Tune released on April 27, 1963.

Oh boy. This is a hard cartoon to describe. It’s kind of like if UPA directed “The Beatles Yellow Submarine.” And that just describes the style. Strange as it may be, it is an artistic masterpiece! And it was rightfully nominated for an academy award. (The last Looney Tune to get such an honor!) What could have beaten it? Another abstract short made by Mel Brooks? I suppose that makes sense, much as I hate to admit it. It’s also where we get the first use of the abstract opening that was used during the sixties. (A shame it is now remembered as part of the weaker shorts.)

So the plot. Unfortunately, the twist is spoiled as soon as it starts. (That’s pretty much my only gripe.) So we’ll just pretend like we never saw anything. An old British gentleman strolls along. Ironically, he is hard of hearing and carries around an ear trumpet. Clearly, it has gotten much use. The poor thing is battered and beaten. So we aren’t surprised to see him trade it for the red, shiny, pristine and perfect one he finds on the ground.

He gives it a test run. And not a moment too soon! Sounds like there is an automobile approaching! Or rather, it was some sort of animal. (As an animal expert, I’m saddened to find I can’t identify it. It resembles an insect, but has a telescoping neck and shoes for feet. It defies all nature.) Well, that was odd. But it seems to be working now, as the man delights in listening to a songbird. But the insanity is just getting started. Part of which is caused by some little man dressed all in pink, and lacks facial features. (Save for a nose)

I’m not sure if he is real or not, but in this short, I’m not sure if anything is real. Even our main character is started to get nervous, judging by the sounds his heart is making. And then? The scariest thing I’ve ever seen in animation. That is no exaggeration. In total darkness, the man is watched by several sets of angry eyes. That’s it. And that horrifying image is awesome. (Part of why it’s scary is that it’s a perfect metaphor for how I view the world. All alone. The only ones who look at us, silently judge.)

Why doesn’t the man just get rid of the thing causing all this trouble? He can’t! The little pink man won’t allow it! And the trumpet begins entangling the old man in music. Eventually leading up to a “Gigantic Explosion!” Happily, the old man is still alive. (If a bit bandaged.) Better yet, his old horn is still in the trash can. Tattered it may be, it still works fine, and the gentleman once more can hear the the lovely sounds the world has to produce. And the owner of the red horn? Satan. (Wish they hadn’t showed him at the beginning) At least that explains the creepy as hell imagery. He happily puts his horn back on his head, and leaves.

This short is something else. A treat for the ears as much as the eyes. (Just like the best cartoons) I think it’s one of the studio’s best, and think it belongs right up there with “Porky’s Preview” as one of the “100 best.”

Much Ado About Nutting

“Brazil Nuts”

Directed by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Lloyd Vaughn, Ken Harris, and Ben Washam; Layouts by Maurice Noble; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling; Orchestrations by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on May 23, 1953.

A brilliant little silent short from a brilliant man who knew exactly how to tell such stories. Not only considered one of the greatest, but the picture’s star would go on to at least have a cameo in “Back in Action.”

On a lovely warm summer day, a little squirrel crosses the street and heads towards a nut store. Unlike how it usually is in these cartoons, this squirrel doesn’t speak. In fact, he acts quite a bit like a real life squirrel. For the most part. For example, I don’t think he read the sign saying “Nuts” judging by how his nose twitches, he acted like most squirrels do and simply smelled the food. Luckily for him, (I’m just assuming the squirrel is a male. Everything I’ve read about this short says so.) all humans have mysteriously vanished from the picture, so there is no one to stop him from heading straight to the peanuts. (Which aren’t really nuts. I claim false advertising)

It’s not long before he spies the walnuts for sale. (An actual nut this time. Good for them.) Since they are bigger, he doesn’t hesitate to ditch the peanuts for a more abundant food source. But there’s always a bigger fish and he ultimately lays eyes on the coconuts. (Which really aren’t nuts, but nobody cares at this point.) They’re big enough for the squirrel to just need one, so he heads back across the street to enjoy some lunch.

But here’s where the conflict really begins. Despite being a rodent, his teeth don’t make so much as a crack in the fruit’s shell. He decides to act smarter than the average squirrel, (which to be fair, is still rather smart.) and uses some tools. Seeing as he is an animal, he starts with one of the tools chimps swear by: a rock. Upon slamming it onto the fruit, the rock snaps in two. And dropping it from a tree just embeds it in the ground. Time for the human tools. (There are too many obvious jokes for me to use here, so just use your favorite one.)

First up: a saw that loses its teeth. Then a jackhammer that is weathered away by the coconut. Eventually,  the squirrel is forced to take drastic measures. It’s time to drop the thing from the highest building he can. We get some great shots here. Several fade-ins to show the squirrels progress as he slowly, but surely hoists the heavy load up the countless stairs. The poor thing! I would gladly carry them to the top. But the squirrel is determined, and does ultimately make it. And he drops his meal. Wouldn’t it be great if this worked? Instead, the fruit just makes a chunk of the street lower than the rest.

That’s it. The squirrel gives up. And he is thoughtful enough to return the thing to where he found it. (Besides, there are many more things to choose from. Those walnuts looked pretty tasty.) But just as he puts it back in place, it slips and lands back on the ground. And it finally is cracked! The squirrel hurries over and pries open his prize. Alas, this appears to be a rare subspecies of matryoshka coconut, as there was another one inside it. Adding disbelief upon stress, the squirrel passes out.

Rocket-Bye Baby

“Somebody goofed.”

Directed by Chuck Jones; Story by Tedd Pierce; Animation by Ken Harris, Abe Levitow, and Ben Washam; Layouts by Ernie Nordli; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Effects Animation by Harry Love; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Musical Direction by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on August 4, 1956.

Back in the year of 1954, the planets of Earth and Mars got a little too close to each other. Because of this, two babies, both of whom were heading towards the planets got intercepted and each ended up heading to the other one. (That’s right! Babies come from space. You didn’t really think a stork delivered them, did you?)

Enter Joseph Wilbur. He’s about to become a father. While nervous, he is also quite happy. So when he is called to see his new child, he is quite excited. His kid is really cute. (When Jones draws something that is supposed to be cute, it is DANG cute.) Chubby body, little eyelashes, big smile. Oh yes, and green skin and antennae. (Perfectly normal for that age. I’m sure it will clear up by his teens.)

Father is a little bit ashamed to of his offspring. But Martha, the wife, won’t have any excuses and sends the two off for a afternoon stroll. Those antennae are marvelous things! They allow the infant to communicate with insects and act as an extra pair of limbs. Perfect for taking an old ladies glasses off, and giving them a try. For some reason, the broad goes into hysterics. Maybe Dad had a reason to be so wary?

Martha also soon sees that the kid is much more different than your usual baby. He does income tax, builds molecule models, and predicts the possibilities of hurricanes thirty years into the future. You’d think most parents would be over the moon to find their kid gifted with such intelligence, but they are more in the “worried” camp. Considering we humans don’t especially like strange things that can’t be explained, it’s probably for the best that they try to make him take up more age appropriate activities: like TV watching. Seeing “Captain Shmideo” holding up a toy spaceship inspires the lad to make his own. (I’d think that the parents would freak out again, but this time they are more impressed than anything. Hypocrites.)

Later, they get a message. From Mars of all places! Turns out, they have the wrong baby. The Martians would like to exchange the two. (Given how self-sufficient the Mars variety is, they are probably going insane with all care they have to supply the Earthling with. On another note, at least the Martians bothered to give both babies names. Joseph and Martha couldn’t even be bothered to do that. So from now on, our green baby is Mot and the one we never see is Yob)

Wouldn’t it be interesting if it turned out that the Wilbur’s actually decided they loved the kid they were given? Well, that’s not happening. It’s the 1950s! What makes you think a white suburban couple would want to look after a child who dared to be part of a different race? Sign them up for the exchange! Only one problem: Mot’s ship he was building actually works, and Joseph has to chase after him. The Martians aren’t going to give him squat if he doesn’t hold up his end of the bargain. Despite Jo’s efforts, the chase ends with him missing his chance to grab the baby and falling out of a open window several stories up. Mot meanwhile, makes his way aboard the (in this case probably literal) mother ship. They got what they came for, they leave. (They’re probably just going to eat Yob)

But Joseph doesn’t die, because it was all a dream. He is back at the hospital and goes to look at his normal human baby. But before you get upset for the use of the most cliched of twist endings, do note the band on the babies wrist. It must be in some kind of foreign language. I mean, what on Earth does “Yob” mean?

Chow Hound

“I’ve gotta get more food!”

Directed by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Phil Monroe, Ben Washam, Lloyd Vaughan, and Ken Harris; Layouts by Peter Alvarado; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc (Bea Benaderet); Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on June 16, 1951.

One of the hundred greatest, and possibly Jones’ darkest picture ever!

Butch the cat is put out for the night after a nice steak dinner. But as soon as he is outside, he appears terrified. And he has good reason to be. A dog demands the steak that it turns out, he didn’t eat. You’d think that’d be it, but the dog (who I will name after his voice actor, John T. Smith, who we’ve seen in “Water, water, Every Hare”, “Homeless Hare”, and “Bunny Hugged”.) is not through with him.

They stop at a different house. John pretties up Butch and sends him to the door. The woman living there identifies the cat as Harold. (Which leads me to wonder what his name REALLY is. And while I’m on this tangent, if animals could talk, would they name themselves?) Despite how loving the lady sounds, she must secretly want the cat dead as she gives him some chicken bones with his dinner. He doesn’t get a bite, John takes it again.

What’s the next stop? Some crummy place where John has another animal held hostage: a mouse. Now the cat (now going by Timothy) will get another meal for his master, by pretending to be a mouser. The mouse doesn’t like this arrangement anymore than the feline, (although he actually begs to be free. Unlike the cat who just takes it) The old man living in the building gives the cat more food, the dog takes it, and the mouse is put back in the can.

The next part of the plan requires it to be daytime, as the local zoo isn’t open at night. (A very pretentious establishment, as they use the term: “Zoological Park” Nice touch guys, wanna give the animals actual environments next?) Feeding time is going on and a keeper tosses various meats to various cats. There appears to be a newly discovered species today: The Saber Toothed Alley Cattus. (Felidae chuckmeat) The keeper isn’t entirely sure about this, but he is paid to feed, not think, so the cat is given another steak. (He tries to hide a firecracker in this one, but it only registers a burp with John)

Seems this has been going on for weeks, and it’s finally getting to John. He’s not getting a conscience or anything stupid like that. He’s just annoyed with how little meat each place actually gives. (In the case of the zoo, I agree. A 10 oz. steak won’t do much for a full grown tiger) I guess this “zoological park” has a history of animals trying to find greener pastures, because they actually have a sign offering rewards for missing animals. This gets John thinking…

The four places mentioned notice their lack of cat and soon they are offering money for its safe return. Read the paper carefully. Not only does the park offer a “liberal” reward, but the first guy is apparently animator Lloyd Vaughn (living at Termite Terrace of course) and the old guy is animator Ken Harris. (Which just strikes me as hilarious for some reason) John puts his master plan into action and returns the cat to each place, and taking away when he leaves. (And these people don’t bat an eye at giving a dog money. I love cartoons) John is clearly enjoying this too, as he returns the zoo animal in the guise of a hunter. (The mouse is humiliated to be roped in again. This time as a racially insensitive pygmy. On another note, John looks awesome with that mustache.)

Success! That liberal reward really must have helped, as the dog now has enough money to ensure he never need worry about food again. His purchase? A meat market of course. Self control? Never heard of that. A cut to an animal hospital reveals that John couldn’t control himself, and ate as much as he could fit in his belly and then some. He is now nearly obese as Piggy Hamhock. The doctors leave, and the dog receives two visitors he really doesn’t need: his slaves.

See, if forcing them to collect food wasn’t enough, he was also constantly berating them for not bringing him any gravy. Well, they got plenty of it now. And John can only stare in horror as they stick a funnel in his mouth, and force feed him the stuff. Ooh! Deliciously dark! No better way to end things. (Not surprisingly, that dog never made another appearance. Dead hounds don’t appeal to many audiences.)

Fresh Airdale

“Good old Shep.”

Directed by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Ben Washam, Lloyd Vaughan and Ken Harris; Music Direction by Carl Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on August 25, 1945.

What a crummy Halloween. As per the usual, I dressed as Porky and nobody knew who I was. Their guesses ranged from one of Disney’s three little pigs, to Patch Adams. (I’m not joking.) Nothing I ever do gets appreciated.

Cʜᴇᴇʀ ᴜᴘ, ᴅᴀᴅ.

Are you still here? I thought I threw you into my pile of failed experiments, that include my Youtube channel and Deviantart account.

Yᴏᴜ’ʀᴇ ɴᴏᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ᴏɴʟʏ ᴏɴᴇ ᴡʜᴏ ɢᴇᴛs ɴᴏ ʀᴇᴄᴏɢɴɪᴛɪᴏɴ, ʏᴏᴜ ᴋɴᴏᴡ.

I suppose you are right. Today’s short is a perfect example of that.

As anyone who has talked to me for at least four sentences knows, I think rather highly of dogs, and not at all of cats. Dogs are loyal, cute, lovable, silly, smell nice, have a good sense of smell, and love everyone. Cats… well, they probably taste good. I’m sorry, but I’ve never got the appeal for those things. I don’t think they are cute, they stink worse than any animal I’ve encountered, (and I’ve worked at a zoo before.) they’re the only animals that gross me out (hairballs.) and they killed my fish.

This short is like something I would have directed. A man has two pets: Shep the dog, and a cat who doesn’t deserve a name. So we’ll call him: Boy.

I’ᴅ ᴄʀʏ ɪꜰ ᴛʜɪs ᴅɪᴅɴ’ᴛ ʜᴀᴘᴘᴇɴ ᴏɴ ᴀ ᴅᴀɪʟʏ ʙᴀsɪs.

As I was saying, this man knows how things should work. Shep is given a large piece of tasty meat, while the cat has to make do with a fish skeleton. But that is not enough to fill Shep’s belly, and he steals the man’s dinner too. Boy saw this, and tries to show compassion by giving up his skeleton. The man is not pleased to see this, figuring the cat stole from him. (He definitely would have, in the meantime, he put a bacteria laden corpse on his plate) He throws the useless thing (the cat. the bones could fertilize) outside. (Seriously though, why does he keep the thing if he is just going to berate it? Does he just like having something to punch?)

Shep proves he is the better animal, by offering up his beaten up bone. The man is so moved by this, he gives his faithful dog another piece of meat. Shep is too full for some reason, and tosses this second dinner outside. Boy, now in possession of the meat, tries to return it. (He has some kind of collar. And I thought “The Hep Cat” was the only short where a feline had clothing shaped anatomy.) The man rightfully gets angry, and assumes the cat only is returning the meat out of guilt. (Which he definitely  would have, in the meantime, he is trying to feed his owner some meat that touched the filthy ground.) Before the cat can get another deserved kick, Shep defends him. Proving that he is a better animal. Because of this show of kindness, the man relents. Boy thanks his savior, and is kicked away. (Stupid cat. You live with this dog. You should have known that he doesn’t like touching.)

When the master leaves the house, Shep is the one who guards the place. But since he is such a friendly guy, he allows the suspicious type to try and break in. (Provided that the price is right) Boy notices this, and attacks the trespasser. The worthless creature gets knocked out in the scuffle, so Shep decides it is up to him to have the credit. He puts the cat in a garbage can to rest (where he belongs) and makes it look like he did it all. Shep is now lauded as a hero.

He enjoys his glory, but there is one small hiccup: there is another dog in the paper. And he is the no. 1 dog! (Originally, he was supposed to be FDR’s dog, but then the man went and died right as this short was going to be released, and it just didn’t seem like it would be in very good taste) Shep can’t have that, and he heads for (probably still) D.C. to cement his position. Boy follows, no doubt trying to ruin the poor dog’s already hard life.

Upon arriving, Shep tries to get rid of not Fala. (That’s just dogs being dogs) Boy ruins his plans, and sends the canine tumbling into a lake. Shep can’t swim, so the Scottish Terrier comes to his rescue. But since Shep is a much bigger dog, the little one passes out upon reaching the shore. Shep wakes up first, and makes it look like HE is the one who saved the day. Shep is now the most popular creature in the world! Doing interviews and getting parades! And Boy has to watch it all. Even getting some mud in the face. Serves him right.