Bosko’s Mechanical Man

“Oh, suh-wish.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Toy Town Hall

“Yowza, so help me.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Horsefly Fleas

“As long as they’re gonna chase me anyway, I might as well get paid for it.”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Warren Foster; Animation by Charles McKimson, Phil DeLara, Manny Gould, and John Carey; Layouts by Cornett wood; Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas; Effects Animation by A.C. Gamer; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on December 13, 1948.

All work done between November 5th and December 10th continues to be lost. And I’m still in the dark about it. And I’m still UPSET about it. Any info on WHY this happened would be lovely. And you know what else? I don’t think I ever want to retype them until I get an actual explanation as to what happened.

It’s the return of A.! You remember A., don’t you? He’s that flea with the catchy song about dinner being around the corner. Yeah, that guy! Seems eating Elmer and Willoughy wasn’t a bright idea after all, as A.’s singing about finding himself a new home. (Now being voice by Mel as opposed to Sara Berner.) But he’s not alone for long. Another animal that normally feasts on mammalian blood is outside, and that’s a horsefly. (An animated horsefly. Which means he’s 80% horse.) Cars have made his “mane” food supply dry up.

Since they’re both in need of living quarters, A. invites his fellow pest to join him in the homestead hunt. The best looking land can be found in the mountains. (A dog.) They fly over and start settling. Chopping “trees” makes a mighty fine cabin, but a shelter won’t be of much use without a food source, so A. begins digging a “well”. (Never called an incision that before.) Of course, the “land” is aware of these activities, and scratches at the discomfort causing “earthquakes.” But that’s only the biggest concern in literal terms.

This “land” is “Indian” flea territory. (Really? The “land” doesn’t look like a jonangi to me.) These fleas look like Miniature Injun Joes, so you know they mean business. A. wasn’t foolish enough to try taking land without guns, and he’s a pretty good marksflea. At least five chibi Joes change up their usual diet and bite the dust. But A.’s shots are a finite amount, and he and his horsefly soon have to do what the title suggests. The chase begins and neither snow nor sleet (flea powder and… more flea powder) slows down either chaser or chasee.

You know, I think these native fleas really do have Joe’s blood in them. They have the stamina to wear down a horse fly just chasing on their feet and skis. A. and D. (Horsefly) are tied to a “tree” and a fire is lit beneath them. The “land” draws the line at this, and heads to the outdoor fountain to extinguish itself. In the panic and confusion, A. and D. escape via stolen canoe. The Joes still pursue them, but the “land” doesn’t care too much. It’s just glad to be his own “land” for once.

But not for long. The circus has just arrived! See, this “land” is actually their winter quarters. So, those little Joe’s aren’t really natives then? Well, they are now as their continued chase of A. leads all of them into the center ring. Just in time for wild west show! The “land” by this point decides to just take things in stride and enjoy the show.

Favorite Part: A. looking over the sign that warns he’s entering “Indian” territory. After doing so he comments that he probably misses out on important details being illiterate and all.

Personal Rating: 2. Light on new gags, D. doesn’t really contribute enough to warrant being part of the title, and it could be viewed as offensive today. But at least I’ve finally discussed A.’s entire filmography.

Banty Raids

“Man, you’re a weirdo chick.”

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x8llgry

Directed by Robert McKimson; Animation by George Grandpre, Keith Darling, Ted Bonnicksen, and Warren Batchelder; Layouts and Backgrounds by Robert Gribbroek; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Bill Lava. A Merrie Melody released on June 29, 1963.

Yes I can tie today’s featured cartoon into October once again! What’s Halloween without tricks? A safe and by extension boring Halloween. But it’s not a trick when I tell you this is Foghorn’s final starring role.

It’s like this, man. See, there’s this rooster on this farm, you dig? As the title suggests, he’s a bantam. What it doesn’t tell you is that he’s a beatnik as well, and likes his music loud. This gets him exiled from his place by the head rooster of the place. It doesn’t bother the bantnik too much as One: he’s too laid-back to get invested, and Two: he’s spotted another farm that is full of females. And they appear quite receptive to his musical charms, so he’s made up his mind to enter.

But this place has a head rooster of its own by the name of Foghorn Leghorn. Gonna need to slip by him to get the good times rolling. Using his body’s natural size to his benefit, Bantnik decides to disguise himself as an orphaned child. And Foghorn is all too willing to adopt, because as much fun as he has, he’s secretly also very lonely and wishes he had a junior of sorts to join him in dawg pranking. That’s the first thing he’s going to teach his new son about.

Foggy’s gone all out for the final dog smack around. He doesn’t have to outrun Barnyard  this time. (The dog making his final appearance.)  Foghorn’s attached himself to a rubber band. Once he’s given the dog some smacks, he just needs to leap off the ground, and physics will pull him out of harm’s way. Even better, the force sends his arm flying into a boxing glove he set aside, so now he can be flung right back into B.D.’s mug. Of course, his “child” has no interest in these kind of games, and we find him making out with a dead chicken that was stuffed by a taxidermist who was a big fan of Marty Feldman.

Cracks start to show in Bantnik’s plan. How was he supposed to know Foghorn would break rooster tradition and actually try to raise his kid? Bantnik and his lady friend of the half-hour have to put their dance session on hold and make it seems like the little guy was just napping in the hen house. But the horny kids hate to waste a second, and turn the tunes back up the very instant Foghorn simply LOOKS like he’s leaving. Foghorn is starting to get suspicious, and that mindset only gets stronger as he cuts into the kid’s line for make-outs.

He shows his “son” some pictures to see what sort of thing’s catch his interest. Ladies, naturally, get him going. This proves… that he likes girls, just as Foghorn thought. It’s not entirely clear if Foggy has caught on that he’s been played a fool or not. Maybe he just thinks his kid is full of testosterone. Meanwhile, Barnyard, no doubt scheming the whole time, notices Bantnik’s lust. (He’s ditched the disguise now. He’s too laid-back to worry about it, though.) Barnyard offers to hook him up with the girl of his dreams, and Bantnik sees nothing wrong with believing something too good to be true. (Have a I mentioned he’s laid-back?)

The Dawg sends a little tank towards the barn where Foghorn just happens to be. Seems he’s already forgotten about the son he loved so much. He recognizes the tank as the Dawg’s pawdiwork and ducks its shot. But that was all part of the plan! The shot hits a bovine who ends up bucking Foghorn into some (I think it’s) a hay-baler. (I don’t get why he smiles in there, but I chuckle all the same.) After a ride through, his wings are tied to his sides, and his beak has been tied too. Into a perfect kissable pout. Now we just apply some false eyelashes, a little lipstick, Oh! And we’ve got the perfect hat, wig and dress to bring it all together!

Bantnik likes what he sees! Good thing Barnyard is a licensed priest, since the little bird requests he marry the two of them on the spot. Foghorn tells him point blank that he’s another rooster, but Bantnik is progressive enough to not let that bother him. (And you thought I was just going to say it’s because he’s laid-back!)

Favorite Part: After Bantnik is kicked out of his first home, he says “Man, you’re the sickest.” Right as your brain finishes putting together that he must’ve been sarcastically complimenting his ex-boss, he pulls a gun on his suffering guitar.

Personal Rating: 3 that creeps over to the four’s territory sometimes to make itself feel bigger. Nice way to end Foghorn’s cartoons.

Shop Look & Listen

I’d like to hold a hand like that myself.”

Supervision by I. Freleng; Story by Dave Monahan. Animation: Cal Dalton; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on December 21, 1940.

There was a video game released in 2007 titled “Super Mario Galaxy.” It was a major hit with both critics and consumers and everyone agreed; they wouldn’t mind a sequel. The creators would deliver with “Super Mario Galaxy 2”, but not because of fan outcry. Rather, it was because they themselves had so many ideas for that one project that one game wasn’t enough to hold them all. I tell you this, because I think something similar happened about 70 years earlier.

Earlier in the year 1940, Freleng’s unit released a cartoon titled “Little Blabbermouse.” It wasn’t anywhere near close to being the studio’s best work. It was just one of their gag oriented cartoons using a mischief of mice taking a tour of a department store as an overlay. The title was referring to one particular mouse who’s one defining character trait was not shutting up.  (A good three years before Sniffles took up that role.) They couldn’t have thought this idea was 14K of comedy gold. But hey, all these gags means one less cartoon idea to come up with while they were brainstorming about this rabbit of theirs that seemed to be taking off.

Thus, we have this sequel short. And Blabbermouse even gets his own title card!

*Is my internal fear showing?*

Eww. I don’t like that face. It’s making him look like a child comma molester. And you know, they didn’t need to use that at all. Blabby hardly features in this feature. Gets about four and a half lines total. Hardly befitting the blabber name.

Well, our gags take place in J. T. Gimlet’s department store. A few decent gags are available on the banners outside the building. But the one about the hours confuses me a little. Oh, I get the joke “Sunday 9-6 If we were open Sundays” But why do they bother listing weekdays and Saturdays separately if they’re going to say the same hours? Either switch the times up, or list them as one. It shouldn’t be that hard.

Our host is the same as it was in the previous short. (Which I’ve yet to discuss, because it’s more fun for me to not know what surprises I will discuss each week. I hope this isn’t your first time here. What a horrible post to sell someone on.) If I can steal a name from another short, then I can call him W. C. Fieldmouse. Showing some mercy to those of us who might have seen the other cartoon, they skip the preparation of their trip and take off. (Reusing the same animation they did last time.) Essentially, they travel by a gondola that is big enough to hold a crowd thrice their size.

Fieldmouse shows them the shoe section where we get a joke that I don’t get. (Are there shoes called mules?) Then, an art gallery where we see “Whistler’s Mother” and “The Thinker” doing what their names suggest. Then we see some of the robotic devices for sale, and they demonstrate what they can do. There’s a device that snuffs out cigars for you, and another one that seems like it was built to play poker all by itself. (It couldn’t be comfortable to sit with those robotic arm attachments pressing into your chest.) It can shuffle, cut, deal, cheat and kill cheaters all by itself. Which means you’re obsolete and not needed anymore, so you might as well go home.

B.M. has been annoying W.C. sporadically during this tour, and the larger mouse threatens him with bodily harm, should he speak once more. (I do love the animation of Fieldmouse stress sweating as he struggles to contain his rage. It was worth using in both shorts.)The tour then comes to a machine that can cut lengths of ribbon for your purchasing pleasure, and wrap it up for you as well. Blabber then opens his mouth again, and Fieldmouse prepares to make good on his promise. But instead of getting his hands dirty, he just has the machine wrap the little pest up instead. I hope it was worth it, as Blabbermouse’s father is a policeman. And policemen aren’t scared of anything. They’re brave and strong. We’reluckythey’resobraveandstrongandwillingtoprotectus.Geewhiz,IwishIcouldbeasbraveasstrongasapolicemansomeday.ToobadIhavenointentionofbeingapolicemansomeday.Itdoesn’tlineupwithmypersonalinterests,butIguessI’mgladthattheoptionisalwaysavailable.That’sthegreatthingaboutbeingapoliceman,anyonecandoit.Well,Iguessnoteveryone.Womenbecomepolicewomen,don’tthey?Oraretheystillcaleedpolicemanaswell?Orwhataboutcops?Isthereadifferencebetweenpolicemenandcops?Andwhy….

Favorite Part: The first time Blabbermouse speaks up, Fieldmouse gives him a good smack on the back of the head, while reprimanding him in rhyme no less. History’s first rap battle victory!

Personal Rating: 2. It only escapes one because it had different gags than its predecessor, and therefore, you can justify showing it to your friends if you feel you need to.

Tease for Two

“If you ask me, I’d say he is a very rude duck.”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by David Detiege; Animation by Warren Batchelder, Bob Matz, and Manny Perez; Layouts by Dick Ung; Backgrounds by Tom O’Loughlin; Film Editor: Lee Gunther; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Bill Lava. A Looney Tune released on August 28, 1965.

It’s the mid-sixties, it’s a Daffy cartoon, so he’ll be partaking in his usual feud with Speedy, no doubt? Actually, he’s not the featured rodent at all! Believe it, if you would be so kind, that Daffy is facing off against Mac and Tosh! Which surprises me, no end. What are the Goofy Gophers doing making any appearances after the original studio shut down? Whatever it was, they wouldn’t do it a second time.

I guess it just makes sense to have them here, as Daffy is following a stupidly easy map to gold, and Speedy is too domesticated to live in a hole in the ground. Daffy tells them to beat it, but they refuse to. (Politely, naturally.) They’ve got an honest-to-goodness deed to the property that says they are staying right where they are. Daffy chooses to plunge them out, rubs their heads together, (I don’t get it, but the action delights me for some reason,) and sends them off via can, mockingly repeating the farewell they gave him not a minute earlier with pitch perfect accuracy. (Both gophers are voiced by Mel here. He’s doing great, but Stan was simply wonderful as the other half.)

The two burrow back into their hole and leave a lit TNT stick for Daffy to find. (Mac jumps briefly during the countdown. Giddy, perhaps?) Daffy tries to tow them out via a rope tied to lettuce, but their vegetarian diet is doing wonders for their upper body strength, and they don’t budge; Daffy’s jeep’s frame gets ripped off the wheels. And they have more explosives to spare, leaving a bomb for Daffy to vacuum up. (Of course it’s lit. What uncouth creatures do you take these gophers for?) Daffy puts what he thinks is them in a trash can with a boulder on top, and the explosion sends the can over him, and the boulder on top.

Daffy next tries to flood them out, mistakenly thinking this kind of thing always works. But being more refined than Virgil and Ross, they simply cork the hose. All the water Daffy intended to send their way quickly builds up, and when it can go no larger, bursts, sending Daffy into the stratosphere. He gets hilariously poetic, musing about the silence up here, meets a friendly, passing cosmonaut, and is smart enough to realize that his reentry is going to burn. This whole sequence has raised the rating a number.

While Daffy isn’t looking, the two simply move the land-marker rock Daffy followed here in the opposite direction. Once he notices, he packs up his shovel and tries where he figures he should have been all along. (In typical Daffy function, he doesn’t even consider apologizing.) And to show how polite they really are, the gophers even throw a nugget for him to find. Their place IS loaded with the stuff, remember. Heck! They probably made the map as a way to make new friends and share happiness! (The greedy get the piss taken out of them first.) But since greed is a sin, they won’t be giving him more than the one piece. But they will humor him, and paint many of the plain rocks the same color. Man, these guys are pleasant!

Favorite Part: If not the whole space scene, then it’s after they first show the duck the deed. Giving him the polite version of ‘Get off our property!’: “It’s been so nice meeting you!” “Drop around again, sometime!”

Personal Rating: 3. I’m honestly surprised it took so long for Daffy to get paired up with this pair. The differing personalities scream comedy. Shame we couldn’t have seen it with a higher animation budget.

Get rich quick Porky

“This land is so saturated with oil, that you can literally wring it out with your fingers.”

Supervision by Robert Clampett; Animation by Charles Jones; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on August 28, 1937.

Seen the trailer for the “Tiny Toons” revival yet? You must have if you visit this site. If my eyes aren’t screwing with me, it looks like there may be a protege for ole Gabby Goat! (Why not? Looks like Cool Cat got one. Probably called “Fab Feline”.) They could call the new kid “Chatty Capricorn” or something. (Since most people don’t know the term ‘caprine’.) All this is just my way of saying I’m reviewing Gabby’s final short today.

A businessman named Honest John Gusher (the brother of the guy who invented the fruit snack, no doubt) is preparing a scam. He’s going to fill an empty lot with oil, and pawn it off on the next saps he sees. Sadly, those two are Porky and Gabby. (I like to provide links whenever I indirectly mention a short’s title.) They’re on their way to the bank. Porky has a bag of cash that he is all set to invest despite Gabby trying to convince him to spend it and frivolously at that.

John (who is a… fossa? I think? Or some new species of mammal whose ear can vanish at will.) calls to their attention and offers to sell them the field. Even going so far as to demonstrate that it has indeed got the goods. Now, Porky is a smart pig. He knows that putting money in the bank is a great option, but oil is valuable. And if you saw a field full of the greasy gold that was being offered to you, you’d find it hard to say no to what would surely be a great payoff. He agrees and he and Gabby eagerly grab some tools and dig in.

Porky makes do with a pickax, while Gabby chooses the jackhammer. (The dirt not only changes color, but shape as well! It must be valuable too!) A dog also stops by to do some digging, but only to rebury the bone Porky unearthed. (Wouldn’t he want to chew it a bit before saving it for later? I wouldn’t ask if he entered the scene with the bone.) He has a bit of a hard time what with oil gushing out of every hole he digs. Making matters worse is a gopher that makes his bone disappear like magic. (That rodent’s appearance makes me laugh. He looks like a naked “Arthur” background character.)

John is still around and he decides to turn the oil off. Porky discovers the trick and is man enough to cry. Poor guy. I want to hug him more than usual. Since Porky is unhappy, John offers to buy the deed off of him for a whole dollar! (A-hole.) Since Porky is pretty much broke, he doesn’t really have much of a choice. But Gabby is still digging and his jackhammering has led him underground, and wouldn’t you know it, there is real, actual, honest-to-god, authentic, genuine, made from 100% dead animals, pure, perfect, not compatible with water, fresh from the ground, o-i-l, oil!

The resulting gusher carries victim and perpetrator up into the sky. Porky is obviously happy that he really is going to be a billionaire, but John’s still got a hand on the deed, and he’s not going to let go! Only a goat with a pneumatic drill could pull him away. So, after he’s pulled away and the two friends land on the ground,  Porky happily holds onto the deed! Oh, wait. It’s that dogs bone. Drat. (John probably got pulled underground and is now realizing that he will eventually become the very substance he was using to swindle people.)

But all is not lost as that gopher pops up and shows he/she has the deed. And they’re willing to give it back, as long as they can become partners. (Poor Gabby.) Porky agrees and to this day, you’ll find G. P. Richfield gas stations in every state of the union.

Favorite Part: When we’re shown Gabby is approaching some real, actual, etcetera, etcetera, it is labeled ‘oil’. After cutting back to Porky and back again, it’s labeled ‘same oil’. You know, in case we thought Gabby was heading for some different oil.

Personal Rating: 3

The Queen was in the Parlor

“I’d rather listen to ‘Amos ‘n Andy’.”

Animation by Isadore Freleng and Paul Smith. A Merrie Melody released on July 9, 1932.

Today is a day when many a people celebrate a man who is said to have died and come back to life. I’m not one to talk about religion, but I will tie that into today’s featured short, as Goopy Geer did the same thing, just taking roughly sixty years as opposed to three days. This was the last time people would see the guy alive for quite some time yet.

At the only castle in the shot, we decide to see what’s going on. Our king has returned. I call him Sir Pigguy, and so should you. He must be rather beloved as far as kings go, as he gets quite the turnout for his return and they are all singing his praises, and giving adulation. But our king has no time for such meaningless words, as he just wants to know where his wife is. The title is sung to him, and he learns that she doesn’t want to/can’t be seen. Rules don’t apply to kings, so he dismisses the singers and heads to her location.

The parlor is where the clothes mending takes place, as Queen Hippo knits a sock, and Princess Gigi patches up her father’s armor. (Methinks there’s something dishonest with the royal bloodline.) Since our king’s mood has been soured, he demands his jester entertain him. Goopy plays that part and offers to get the royal crooners, “Crosby, Columbo and Vallee”. (A cartoon I’d insert a link to if I’d blogged about it already. Chalk this up to another instance of me whining about how I don’t blog in chronological order.)

The king isn’t amused. Goopy dances for him instead. His little talking stick and hat change color. His left ear vanishes a few times. But darn it, he IS putting his all into things! And a cat fails at catching a mouse. (Something I only bring up to catalog Mickey Clone #248.) While the festivities continue, an ugly knight enters the picture and takes off with the princess. Goopy fights for her, as it’s just jester code. And he manages to hold his own fairly well, even without any proper training.

Still, as an amateur he finds himself flung into an assortment of kitchen wares. The pans, kettles, and graters make decent armor, but not great and he is punched against a pillar, knocking a stuffed ram’s head onto his own. With this new advantage, he is able to knock the opposition right out of his armor. Once the guy gets it back together, he flees. He’ll never recover from such an embarrassing attack.

Favorite Part: Goopy listening in at a keyhole and getting caught. “Are ya listening, HUH?” But I don’t get Goopy’s reply: “Yeah. I bought a windshield.” Maybe it makes sense to those who listen to “Amos ‘n Andy”?

Personal Rating: 2. It’s not such a shame that Goopy disappeared from theaters after this.

A Hound for Trouble

“What are you anyway, a dog hater?”

Directed by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Lloyd Vaughan, Ken Harris, Phil Monroe, Ben Washam, and John Carey; Layouts by Robert Gribbroek; Backgrounds Philip DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on April 28, 1951.

It’s hard to be Charlie Dog. Everybody but me seems to despise him, and he’s just been thrown off a boat. (Not for the first time if the captain is to be believed.) He finds he’s been dumped off in Italy of all places. Beauty of that being that there is still a good number of people who could be potential masters. After all, Italians are humans and humans love dogs. (If you don’t, you’re doing a bang-up job of trying to keep your cover from being blown.)

Mama Mia! None of-a de locals capishe de English! It’s a good thing that love is a universal language. Still, English praise will be easier to catch. Charlie sets his sights on on restaurant named Pasquale’s Palazzia de Spagetini. I think the lone employee we see working there is Pasquale himself. He doesn’t give any indication that he can speak a lick of English, but Charlie has made his choice. I admire him choosing a bowl to be his own. Now for the test: showing how lovable and cuddly he is.

Test failed. Although Pasquale is fairly kind in telling the dog to leave. Even if he said yes though, it would be best if Charlie wasn’t inside as Pasquale is leaving for a fifteen minute break. (Those are the best when they’re twice as long.) Then again, staying outside won’t give Charlie a great opportunity to show the guy what a great choice it would be to have an animal in the kitchen amongst the food and utensils that will be entering people’s mouths.

Charlie is now in the kitchen. (A young Brad Bird takes notes.) And just now entering is a customer ready for a feast. He orders… oh boy, here we go. He orders: na bella piatta del una cacciatore di tetrazzini cu ragu di marinara di la piazza rigotini mozzarella fina without onions. (Thank you, Wikipedia.) And I’m pretty sure that translates to a grilled cheese sandwich without onions. They don’t have that. The man settles for spaghett. Charlie serves it to him via spool, and makes sure he doesn’t eat an inch more than he’s paying for. Time for a bit of wine to wash it all down. The man leaves with whatever lunch he can keep down after seeing Charlie stomp the grapes.

Pasquale returns and is not pleased to find his customers being scared away. But Charlie has a surefire way to stay: he’s a singer! You will believe he can find a home after hearing his rendition of “Atsa matta for you?” Pasquale certainly seems convinced as he gives in and agrees to adopt the poor baby. Now, isn’t that touching? No wonder this is Charlie’s final appearance; he’s about to achieve his dream come true! But wait! That leaning tower located in Pisa is going to fall over and crush their little home! Charlie proves he’s the smarter of the two and tries to away from danger, but Pasquale makes him hold the tower while he goes for help. (Seeing as he’s bilingual and all.)

We end with Pasquale happy in his kitchen, no intent of ever going back and Charlie desperately calling for anyone to help; his pleas falling on deaf ears as they only speak Italian. That’s just cruel, Pasquale. (Mostro malvagio. Spero che tu marcisca all’inferno, lentamente.)

Favorite Part: Charlie not only can repeat the original order flawlessly, but he sticks his tongue out at all of us who doubted he could do it. How can anyone not love this dog?

Personal Rating: 3. But I give it a four for myself.

Leghorn Swoggled

“Kid don’t stop talkin’ so much; he’ll get his tongue sunburned.”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Warren Foster; Animation by Charles McKimson, Rod Scribner, Phil DeLara, and Emery Hawkins; Layouts by Cornett Wood; Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Eugene Poddany; Orchestration by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on July 28, 1951.

A total eclipse? Free of charge? Doesn’t sound like the thing Foghorn would be interested in, but he’s excited. He puts his head through the hole in the fence to see, and Barnyard slams a pumpkin on his head. He retaliates by sticking a boxing glove in a camera, and socking the hound. (And everything freezes for at least one second. Intentional?) The usual tricks and pranks are interrupted by Henery playing cowboy in order to get a chicken today. He lassos Foggy good, but the rooster sends him on his way saying the kid is too small for hunting.

Henery is sad. Even young predators have to eat don’t they? Barnyard lends a sympathetic ear and offers a deal: one bone and he’ll help him get a chicken. (Guy must be starving today. He’s normally ready to get Henery Foghorn for free.) Henery takes the deal, but as a non-vulturis bird he doesn’t know how to find a bone. He asks a familiar looking cat for help. Seeing as how this guy has appeared in at least four different pictures, I guess it’s time for me to give him a name: Fred E. Cat.

Fred knows where bones are located as all cats do, but he’s not talking until he gets a fish. (Typical cat. Always wanting something for the most trivial task.) Now, where would Henery get a fish? He’s not an osprey or eagle! The nearby mouse knows and demands cheese for the info. But unlike the other two, he actually has the decency to tell Henery where that’s located. (Good thing too. It’d be kinda awkward if Henery met a goat who’d say where the stuff is located in exchange for some food.)

I take back what I said. The mouse was clearly trying to get a potential future predator dead, seeing as how the cheese he wants is on a mousetrap. Surprisingly, Foggy stops the little guy from getting seriously hurt by trying to show how to get the goods without the pain. He fails, but Henery gets the cheese regardless. Foghorn doesn’t really care what the kid wants with the dairy, as he’s readying his next prank: building a train set that will deliver a pie to the dawg’s face. (Is it just me? It looks like Foggy should be singing as he lays the tracks. Or is that just the goofiest smile he’s ever worn?)

Weirdly enough, the mouse tells Henery where to get fish as promised, but Henery is still holding onto the cheese. He really strolled up the rodent and said: “Here’s your cheese, give me my end of the bargain! And now it’s still mine until your tip pays off.”? (Think of how many awesome deleted scenes we’ll never get a glimpse of.) Foghorn once more tries to show how it’s done and is dragged into the water. (And somehow got the fish stuck in his crop. He still gives it to Henery.)

Henery does it again! He knows where to dig for a bone, but still has the fish! What a joik! Well, he’s doing the digging right, but his shovel is adorably small. Foghorn comes to dig for him with real tools, but Henery leaves once a single bone is unearthed. Then Henery finally gives the other animals their orders. Foghorn has witnessed it, and asks why he didn’t get a present. Demanding his due, he fails to notice Barnyard about to clobber him with the bone. Once properly knocked out, Henery takes the rooster away on the toy train. Hard work and good deeds pay off in the grand scheme of things.

Favorite Part: When Foghorn is giving fishing tips. The disgusted grimace Henery gives us is just wonderful.

Personal Rating: Foggy has some great lines here, but it feels like two different cartoons got spliced together and the misjoint is felt. It’s lucky to get a 3.