Of Fox and Hounds

“Well, thanks a lot George! Thanks a lot!”

Supervision by Fred Avery; Story by “Draft No. 1312”; Animation by “Draft No. 6102”; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on December 7, 1940.

Mornings are so peaceful. So serene. So nice to sleep right through. And if you’re not allowed to do that, you try to ruin it for everyone. And so, the fox hunters blowing their ungodly horns and bringing their hounds along for a round of “kill the animal for sport.” One hound, is a bit slow. And I do mean both ways. His name is Willoughby and he is making his screen debut here. He’s packing quite a bit of meat here, (making him look an awful lot like a St. Bernard) and his coat has more white than his later years. (Huh. Usually it’s the other way round.)

Willoughby takes off after the rest, and he has some pretty decent luck, as he almost immediately finds a fox. But he doesn’t know that, and asks the fellow, (named George) if he’s seen a fox. George, (who is to Bugs what Foxy was to Mickey: a blatant ripoff.) gives him directions. Just past a stump up ahead, and on the other side of a rail fence. Willoughby takes off, jumps the fence and falls off a cliff. At the bottom, he realizes that the chap he was talking to, was actually the fox of which he seeks.

He heads back in a murderous fury, but finds another hound. It’s George in disguise, but he doesn’t know that and asks the fellow if he’s seen a fox. George, (not even bothering to disguise his name) gives him directions. He just has to pass a stump up ahead, and he’ll find the fox on the other side of a rail fence. Willought heads off, leaps over the fence, and falls off a cliff again. He doesn’t catch on this time. (I do love his little resigned sigh. Sometimes, that says it all.)

He returns to George to tell him the directions were faulty, and the little dog decides to go with him this time. But while squeezing through a log, his costume comes off and Willoughby catches on again. (The costume loses a leg for a brief second, and this scares the dog so badly, that his ears turns white.) He chases the vulpine, waking a bear in the process, and barricades off the hole George is in with a boulder. He happily tells the bear what he’s done, before realizing it’s a bear and climbs a tree. (A good safety tip. You can learn a lot from cartoons.)

George is able to move the boulder, and sees the ursine and the treed canine. Some might say it’s a conscience thing, but I think George just can’t resist the opportunity he has here, and gives the bear a hot foot. ( A great reaction I’m not spoiling if you choose to read this synopsis before the watching the short.) Willoughby tries to act cool, but faints in relief. NEXT MORNING! Those cruel hunters are at it again, and Willoughby is once more the last one out. But this time he has George with him, as the two live together now.

Still, a hound has to do what he was bred to do, and he asks George for directions towards the nearest fox. (Preferably one that he isn’t on a first name basis with.) George tells him to head for a stump, turn past it, and he’ll find the fox on the other side of a rail fence. Willoughy heads out, leaps the fence and there is no crash. The dog is learning, and this time he left some mattresses to cushion his landing.

Favorite Part: The little chuckle George gives when pranking the bear. He kinda sounds like a marmoset.

Personal Rating: 3. Sad really. I saw this one all the time back in the day on Cartoon Network, and was looking forward to seeing again for the first time in twenty-one years. I remembered it being a lot funnier, George. A lot!

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

Porky’s Hare Hunt

“I’m just a trifle pixilated!”

Supervision by Ben Hardaway; Story by Howard Baldwin; Animation by Voleny White; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on April 30, 1938.

A herd of rabbits are enjoying themselves. Not in a carrot patch, but a corn field. Points for variety! I guess they’re quite content to stay there, because gunshots don’t deter their munching at all. It takes Proto-Bugs’ (making his debut,) warnings to get them to flee. And along comes Porky. I’m guessing that was his corn they were devouring. He’s got a gun ready to roll, and begins his hunt. A “Hare Hunt” if you will.

Even though P.B. ran off to the left, he’s right behind Porky when the pig enters the scene. Said pig is accompanied by his hunting dog, Zero. (Who would go hang out with Jack Skellington upon his death. Porky is immortal.) The hare distracts the dog with a decoy and makes Porky’s gun sneeze with pepper. The resulting bang demolishes Proto-Bugs’s hiding tree, so the hare has to use another trick to stay alive. Thus, the hare remover in his paw.

Chugging the bottle makes the lagomorph invisible and intangible, seeing as how Porky’s hand goes right through where the hare is standing. (Hare remover bottles don’t just float on their own, you know.) He reappears out of a hat, and plays bullfighter when Zero charges at him. This dog lacks depth perception, and completely misses the hare every time. When P.B. plays magician and makes the mutt disappear, it’s almost a mercy act. (He brings him back almost immediately, don’t fret.)

Another thing Proto-Bugs can do? He can fly. By spinning his ears in an impossible full circle, he is capable of flight. (Humans could do this too, in theory. But we’re committed to finding the easier way.) Porky figures that since the pest flew away, he and Zero are rid of him. Wishful thinking, and Proto-Bugs lets them know it. (Laughing like Disney’s Max Hare. It’s an homage! Not plagiarism!) So, they continue the chase. Porky manages to get the drop on his prey, and P.B. gives his sob story. Seems he’s mate material, as he has photo evidence of himself with a jill and many offspring. Porky couldn’t possibly shoot him now.

Wishful thinking! (And Porky let’s him know it.) He tries to fire, but his gun won’t comply. Maybe it’s jammed, maybe it’s marmaladed, maybe it’s just out of bullets. Whatever the case, Proto-Bugs destroys the weapon that is no longer a threat and flies off again. Without a more contemporary weapon, Porky has to make do with a rock. I love the little pose he has upon throwing. That sort of “C’mon. Make it. Make it.” pose people get when they throw things. I also love P.B.’s frustrated face he makes upon getting hit. That sort of “Are you f*cking kidding me?” face humans make when they lose at Mario Party.

The hare lands, but is still able to walk any possible injuries off. (After some fake death throes. Modern Bugs had to learn it from someone.) Porky has had enough, and when he chases his target to a hole, he tosses in some dynamite. So sure is he that this will work, that he doesn’t notice the explosive is thrown right back out at him. Luckily for Porky, he gets the best case scenario, and is simply laid up in bed with a broken leg.

He’s even got a visitor. Proto-Bugs? With flowers and everything! That’s so sweet! But before you think he’s too friendly, he proves how malicious he really is, by yanking on the rope holding Porky’s foot up, undoing any healing that might have taken place. (Might be a bit too dark an ending for some.)

Favorite Part: The hare asks if Porky even has a hunting license. When Porky proves he does, the hare rips it in half. “You haven’t got one now!”

Personal Rating: 3. It’s not bad, but anything it does, “Porky’s Duck Hunt” did better. That, and I could see some getting annoyed by Proto-Bugs.

Naughty but Mice

“Sleep tight, ole pal.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Personal Rating: 3

The Goofy Gophers

“Commando tactics.”

Directed by Arthur Davis*; Animation by Don Williams, Manny Gould, J.C. Melendez, and Cal Dalton. A Looney Tune released on January 25, 1947.

*It was started by Clampett, but the man left the studio, leaving his animation unit to fend for themselves. When they were handed off to Mr. Davis, they finished the short under his supervision.

What’s this? A short named after its title characters, that also happens to be their debut? That doesn’t happen! Not here! And yet, here we are. Who would have thought?

It is indeed the first appearance by Mac and Tosh, but I’m getting ahead of myself. First, I must set the scene. Picture a vegetable garden. A lovely, pristine vegetable garden, full to bursting with mouth watering goodies. Crisp, crunchy carrots. Leafy, green spinach. Plump, dirt-covered potatoes. It’s enough to make you hunger for a Sizzler.

With such a bounty of edible treasures, you can expect thieves. Whoever owns this place has thought of that, and has a watchdog on standby. He’s a thespian. (The dogs in these cartoons usually are.) He also would like to sleep, but he hears munching in the fields. Yep. Gophers. Goofy Gophers. They’re gray and white, their eyes tend to melt into their fur, and Blanc and Freberg seem to no be entirely sure which one of the two they’re voicing. Humble beginnings, indeed.

The dog, (who will also get a name. So we’ll call him…) Ian, tries to get close to them disguised as a tomato plant. They aren’t easily fooled, and smash him with a pumpkin and a shovel, before diving back into their hiding places. Safely underground, they continue their produce pilfering. Ian lies in wait as the scarecrow, and gets dragged under too. He is returned almost immediately, as they aren’t quite privy to dog food.

As the rodents continue to munch, Ian’s paw walks over to them disguised as a rather fetching gophette. Proof that Mac and Tosh aren’t gay! (Unless they’re bi, but really, who cares? Only losers spend time considering animated characters sexualities.) The two each get a dance with the “girl.” Ever the polite ones, they don’t get jealous of the other and happily trade off between rounds.

I don’t think they were ever fooled, as they rip the puppet off to reveal what was hiding underneath. Such rude behavior, to play with their emotions like that. That deserves a mousetrap. Okay, Ian has taken about all he can. Time to blow those two to kingdom come! Disguising the explosive as a carrot is a great way to avoid suspicion. Ever the clever pair, they halt the kaboom, and supply their own with a paper bag. It’s enough to fool the dog, who feels he has finally succeeded in his task. Time for a well earned nap.

Well, if Mac and Tosh want to eat without him breathing down their pelts, they’ll simply have to get rid of him. Since he’s a heavy sleeper, it’s not too hard to load him into a rocket launcher and send him off to the moon. (It’s the always the most polite who are the most savage.) Well, now the place is all theirs, right? Not if Bugs has any say in it. Now, they’ve met their match. (His voice sounds a little too high pitched. What is in those veggies?)

Favorite Part: The gophers wearing bonnets made out of the food they’re stealing. Referring to each other as “Carmen” and “Amber” is the carrot icing on the carrot cake.

Rating: 4

Hop, Look and Listen

“I never thought just being a pussthycat could get stho complicated.”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Warren Foster; Animation by Charles McKimson, Manny Gould, and I. Ellis; Layouts by Cornett Wood; Backgrounds by Richard Thomas; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc. A Looney Tune released on April 17, 1948.

At the zoo, most of the animals are sleeping. The only one who isn’t is the kangaroo joey. Seeing as how all children think sleep is boring, he hops out of his mother’s pouch, out of the cage they share, out of the zoo they live in, and begins looking around. If you haven’t guessed yet, this kangaroo is Hippety. Making his film debut.

His exploration leads him to Sylvester’s house. The cat is doing some fishing. Er, I think you can call it that if you aren’t going after fish. His method is baiting hooks with cheese, and throwing it into a mouse-hole. He manages to get a bite, and he reels it in, but the poor little thing is just that: little. Not worthy of being of meal. He is spared today, but Sylvester still laments the lack of larger mice.

Hippety enters and gets himself in walls. (I’m honestly surprised that he can fit back there.) He gives Sylvester’s line a tug, and the cat ends up pulling out the marsupial, meeting him for the first time. He measures his catch. Yep. That’s what we in the business like to call a “bigg’un.” He runs from the house, screaming. In the yard, he blabbers to the bulldog about what he has just witnessed. The pooch isn’t pleased to hear this, and sends the cat back in to face what he fears.

Sylvester tries catching the joey in a bag. He manages to cover Hippety, but still ends up going for a wild ride. He is thrown out again. The dog, believes he is doing what is best for the cat, and sends him back in. (At least arming him with an axe as well.) Sylvester still fails, but starts thinking. If this really is a mouse, (which is definitely is. I mean, mice are well known for being at least three feet tall.) then that means, as a cat, he should be able to win. Time for a montage!

It’s brief, but it’s a montage. Sylvester does some exercises to get himself in fighting shape. Maybe he didn’t train enough. Maybe cats just can’t stand up to the awesome power of Osphranter rufus. Whatever the reason, he is thrown out once more. Looks like Hippety’s fun will end though, as his mother has come to claim him. Just then, the dog enters to take on the mouse himself. He freaks out upon seeing a “mouse” that is even larger than Sylvester saw, with two heads to boot!

He packs his things, takes Sylvester with him, and leaves. As he puts it, when you see mice that size, it’s time to get on the water wagon. (Which they literally do. Beats walking.)

Favorite Part: The final time Hippety throws Sylvester out. The background artists actually took the time to be consistent, and draw the windows from the previous throw-outs, still broken. That’s pride in your craft, it is.

Personal Rating: 3

Bonanza Bunny

“This gon’ be fun, you bet!”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Tedd Pierce; Animation by Tom Ray, George Granpre, Ted Bonnicksen, and Warren Batchelder; Layouts by Robert Gribbroek; Backgrounds by William Butler; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on September 5, 1959.

You’ve no doubt heard of the Klondike Gold Rush. That time when a good number of folks headed up to Alaska for the sake of a “get rich easy scheme.” (Humans. Always looking for an alternative to the hard way.) Such commotions, its no wonder boom towns are springing up. Such as Dawson City. It will be our setting for today’s picture. It’s a tough looking place. It’s got at least three saloons!

It was in saloon number three, the Malibu Saloon, where our story takes place. Everybody is minding their own business, when a stranger walked in. Well, a stranger to everyone but us. We know him as Bugs Bunny. He’s got little caps on both of his ears! That’s precious! He came round these parts because he heard talk of karats. Sadly for him, all he managed to find was a bunch of rocks. Sorta yellow in color. Odd. And yet, everyone seems interested. Still, Bugs plans to keep them as souvenirs. He’ll only part with the one the bartender is using as payment.

Enter our villain. A French-Canadian Yosemite Sam named, Blaque Jacque Shellaque. (And if you think that’s a rather low blow on my part, he eventually was revealed to be Sam’s cousin on “The Looney Tunes Show.”) I guess McKimson wanted his own character to take Bugs in a saloon setting. Still, he was clearly also inspired by Nasty Canasta, revealing himself nearly shot for shot the same as in “Drip-along Daffy.” He wants Bugs’ bag but is willing to gamble for it.

It will be settled via a game of 21. Bugs is willing to stop at one card, much to Blaque’s amusement. He seems pretty happy with the two cards he drew, both tens. As you’d expect, Bugs wins because he happened to draw the 21 of hearts. (The card box threatens to fade out of existence, but gives up because hardly anyone is noticing.) Jaque isn’t happy to lose and refuses to accept his defeat. Besides, those guns of his say he doesn’t have to take this sort of abuse. Bugs isn’t scared. In fact, he claims another guy in the next room, who is much more tougher. (A gag you may recall him using in “Hare Trigger.”) Said “man” is Bugs, and though he might wield a pop gun, it’s enough to get the job done.

Bugs is able to get rid of Shellaque, by handing him a bag of gunpowder instead. So happy is the canuck, that he fails to notice Bugs making an incision on the bag. Nor does he notice the trail of the stuff following him as he takes his ill gotten gains off to the distance. So, naturally, he also doesn’t notice that Bugs lit the trail. The explosion truly rivals the Aurora Borealis. Bugs can now happily enjoy his rocks. And I’m not just being coy. This whole time, they really were just rocks Bugs painted, . (Hey. A guy’s gotta pay for his drinks, somehow.)

Favorite Part: During our tour of the town, we see the “Rigor Mortis Saloon.” (Come in and get stiff? Seems a bit too personal for my taste.) In case that place isn’t for us, a sign also directs us to the “Band-Ade Saloon.” (Come in & get plastered? That’s more like it!) Two bad puns in the span of one minute. We are spoiled.

Personal Rating: 2 (Too many reused gags. If you haven’t seen as many cartoons as me, you might think this picture is worth a 3)

Buddy the Detective

“Ahhh! Such beauty!”

Supervision by Jack King; Animation by Paul Smith and Don Williams; Music by Bernard Brown. A Looney Tune released on October 17, 1934.

I really want to like this short more than I do. The atmosphere is full of macabre merriment and a decent villain to boot. We’ve seen this guy before, (since blogging in chronological order would have made too much sense) in “A Cartoonist’s Nightmare.”  where he was going by the alias of “The Mad Doctor.” (Because if you’re going to change your name, you might as well be inspired by one of Mickey Mouse’s best works.)

Why is this musician mad? Well… I guess he kind of sucks at his profession? I think it sounds rather nice, but I will admit the tree is doing a better job than he is. Of course, maybe if he bothered to practice, he could improve. Instead, he uses hypnotism to get others to play in his stead. (Which makes you the complete opposite of a musician, but hey, at least we get to see a frog play the piano.)

(Who knew originality was so hard?)

It may be specific, but I suppose what he’s doing IS illegal. Even if it isn’t, he must have broken out of some sort of prison, seeing as we randomly cut to some girl reading such a headline in the paper. Enough exposition, who’s the Mad Musician going to force to be his next performer? He’s literally going to pick a name at random from the phone book. (After all, he is a MAD musician. Rational Musician doesn’t have any kind of catchy ring.) The name he has selected is: Cookie! (No last name given.) You’re the next contestant on: “Hypno-Tease”! Come on down to our studio, now! (And don’t think I didn’t see Clampett’s name in the book as well. I’d love to see what he could have done with this picture.)

M.M’s powers don’t need eye contact. He can summon you over the phone. (Does hypnosis make a sound?) Either way, the girl who is only Cookie in name falls to his “charms” and begins making her way to his place for some piano practice. (Really though. That’s Cookie? Why the redesign? She looks like a a five year old girl!) Buddy, meanwhile, is actually in the cartoon as well. He’s busy staring at a picture of the (probably underage) Cookie. (This is the real reason Buddy is forgotten today. Big, big scandal.) Her dog (that I will call “Crumb.”) alerts the creep that something is wrong and he suits up in his detective outfit, so he can save her. (It’s not really a mystery. Seeing as Crumb knows where to go, it’s more of a confrontation. See, Clampett would know better.)

He makes it there fast enough, but has to contend with…skeletons. (Well, I guess if I had an evil music obsession, and hypnosis powers, I’d reenact “Silly Symphonies” too.)

They really aren’t much of a threat. They don’t hurt Buddy or even seem to scare him much. He even follows one around instead of trying to rescue the minor he was longing for. (He’s the hero?) The skeletons have more reason to be scared, as Crumb is liking what he is seeing. (You ever think about that? Without your skin, your dog would eat you for breakfast, dinner and tea. And we let them sleep in our beds!) Oh, and Buddy jumps around the cel at one point too. (Clampett needs that director chair NOW! I won’t wait until 1937!)

I guess the hypno power wears off, as Cookie is no longer playing and screams for help. Buddy is able to get to the room she’s being held in, by use of a portable door, and the final battle commences. While they do that, I better give Cookie the character bio I promised.

Cookie

Generic love interest for bland as rice character.

And the tussle is over. Maddy isn’t competent as a fighter. As soon as Buddy gets a hold of his head, he immediately ceases any attempt to struggle, and lets Buddy toss him around. (I didn’t know Buddy had such strength.) He flings the fiend around, and gets him trapped under a foot stool. Time to celebrate with some more music! (It’s all we got. It’s the depression.)

Favorite Part: I like how Buddy enters the villains lair. He shines a flashlight through a magnifying glass, making a blow torch. The simplest solution really is the best.

Personal Rating: 2. (Animation error and clumsy storytelling aside, horror imagery is always a fun time)

Hobo Bobo

“Bobo felt very hurt when he fell down on his… first attempt.”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Warren Foster. A Merrie Melody released on May 17, 1947.

India is a delightful country. I’ve never actually been there, but the awesome Asian elephant can be found there, and that’s enough for me. Because they aren’t the more temperamental African variety, these ones can and have been used for manual labor. This doesn’t set very well with one little fellow. The calf, Bobo by name, is still in that small and impossibly adorable phase where he is mostly head. It doesn’t matter, he is SO CUTE! I want to hug him! (I guess I’m just a sucker for small elephants.)

As he is such a smart species of animal, little Bobo knows that just because he only has easy logs to haul now, they are going to get bigger as he does. A lifetime of work? That’s no way to live! It will make Bobo a dull calf! If only he could live at the circus. That’s where Uncle Jumbo lives. He’s a performer that everyone loves, and he is on the…baseball team. The circus elephant baseball team. Uh, oh yeah! The Pachyderm Pirates! Twelfth in the league… and… uh… no. It’s just weird. (Lord, I love cartoons.)

You know, why not? And since there are no circuses in India (or here anymore, for that matter) Bobo decides to board a ship for the states. However, the human supremacists won’t let someone of Bobo’s species on their boat. (Four legs bad, two legs are fine, but no birds either.) Bobo tries sneaking in on various ways, but they either fail to get him on board, or get him evicted on sight. Enter a mynah bird. Correction: THE mynah bird. A character from Chuck Jone’s Inki cartoons. (Who I’ve yet to discuss because I’m not capable of having a schedule that makes sense. In fact, I’m gonna just call it right here: I probably won’t summarize any of those shorts until, let’s say, 2024. See you then!

Oh yeah, I’m not done here. The bird has a grand idea: Bobo should just paint himself pink. People will see him, surely, but they won’t admit it. Being so young, naive, innocent, (and cute. Did I mention that yet?) the little elephant has no idea why everyone is suddenly so accommodating to him, but it’s suits him just fine. They even share there meals and beds with him. (I would. I don’t care if it would cost my bed its life. Beds are replaceable, Bobo’s aren’t.)

Land ho! Welcome to New York! I guess the people there had yet to accustom to  the wacky shenanigans on a daily basis, because everyone is still acting like they don’t see anything. Poor Bobo. It hurts to be ignored. (They’re not even giving him any freebies anymore.) As he mopes though, a street sweeper comes by, and washes off his pretty, pink paint. Suddenly, EVERYONE takes note that there is an elephant running around. (While I won’t lie calling the authorities would probably be wise, I do think everyone is overreacting. Just a tad. As long as his mother isn’t around, I think it’s safe to pet him.)

Well, he’s arrested. (Sure. When it calls for punishment, everyone is HAPPY to treat him like a human. If only I could say we’ve come so far.) Standing before the judge, Bobo awaits his verdict. He is sentenced to life. In the circus that is! Oh, happy day! Bobo is finally going to achieve his dream at last! He even makes it as the team’s bat boy. However, turns out that doesn’t make him happy at all. Finally speaking, he shows his distaste. After all that, he still has ended up carrying logs. Wah-wah-wah.

Favorite part: Such an adorable picture! I’d like to say any part with the main character was my favorite, but by my own rules, that’s cheating. I award the honor to the baby who throws out his bottle upon seeing the pink elephant. (He’s never going to trust his mother again.)

Personal Rating: 3

At Your Service Madame

“Can’t you ever try and behave yourself like the others?”

Supervision by Isadore Freleng; Animation by Don Williams and Cal Dalton; Music by Norman Spencer. A Merrie Melody released on August 29, 1936.

You know, my grandparents once bought me a DVD set that was said to contain all of Porky’s cartoons. Looking at the cover, I could tell it wasn’t a licensed product. But hey, a gift is a gift and I DID want to see every Porky cartoon. Sadly, it was shoddily made. First off, it was clear that whoever made this, did so by just filming Cartoon Network. Therefore, some of the cartoons had jokes edited out, and ugly recolorings of black and white shorts. The idiot even left snippets of the episodes of Toonheads that were airing certain cartoons. Second, he didn’t include “Dime to Retire” (I only was able to notice this, because it was one I saw as a kid and was looking forward to seeing again) Lastly, (and the reason I’m bringing this story up at all) two of the cartoons didn’t star Porky at all. Instead, it was Piggy Hamhock.

Moral: Don’t lie to a Looney Tune fanatic. You’ll get caught.

Now then, on this day every year, we salute all mothers for what they do for us. However, sometimes, even they need a little help. Such is the case of Mrs. Hamhock, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Our story begins on a tranquil morning. The Hamhock matriarch calls her children to breakfast. One of whom, is Piggy. (This is before his more well known short, “Pigs is pigs.”) He pretty much behaves the same way we last saw him, but he wears pajamas this time around. (Ironically, his mom doesn’t wear anything under her apron. And that makes me uncomfortable)

Enter our villain of the short. Why, it’s W.C. Squeals! Making his first appearance as well! He’s a bum here, that gets his news by reading street newspapers. What a headline that captures his interest! Mrs. Hamhock is a widow with a fortune. (R.I.P. Mr. Hamhock, Piggy Sr.) Well, when you you live on the streets, and are a bachelor yourself (and your nostrils light up, and your snout changes color) wooing a lonely (rich) lady is the gentlemanly thing to do. Good thing he’s right outside their house.

The Mrs. (who, if my logic is correct, (and it always is) is named Fluffy) is happy to let some random person she doesn’t know, but knows who she is, into her house. She maybe well versed in manners, but it was her husband who had all the common sense. Squeals admires her home. To his credit, he doesn’t try to marry her on the spot or anything. Instead, his plan is to distract her while he robs the safe. Asking for a little piano music, he serenades her with the title song, using the noise to drown out his safe opening.

Piggy may be a piggy, but he isn’t one to let his mother be swindled. Squeals keeps pushing the kid away, so he has to get some help from his siblings. They are quite the team, and manage to not only rough Squeals up a bit, but eject all the money from his pockets as well. She is quite grateful and gives them all kisses. (Although she never thanks Piggy. This is why he had to steal her pies later on) Having been caught, Squeals has no other option but to be on his way. He acts rather calm though. Much like Nixon did, he leaves with dignity.

The Hamhocks themselves were planned to have a series of cartoons. Each of the children were going to have one where they showed an example of one  of the deadly sins. Only the gluttony one made it. With how deliciously (hee hee) creepy it was, I’m saddened to know there could have been more.

Favorite part*: When one of the piglet’s pajamas comes undone, another one helps put it back into place. Helps enforce the fact that they are family, and will jump in to help each other when needed.

*(An honorable mention goes to Piggy pretending to brush his teeth by wetting his toothbrush. A tactic I used to pull as well)

Personal Rating: 3