Weasel Stop

“Help! Mountain lion! Bobcat! Coyote!”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Ted Pierce; Animation by Keith Darling, Ted Bonnicksen, and Russ Dyson; Layouts and Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Music by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on February 11, 1956.

Quiet days are boring. They are in desperate need of a weasel to liven things up. I’m fresh out of weasels at the moment. Would a stoat do? Fine, fine. Don’t give me that eye roll look. McKimson’s crew are on the ball with their weasel character that my “Looney Tunes 300-piece Fantasy puzzle identifies as “Willy”. Not the worst name, but kinda makes him sound like a mascot for a pizzeria. He shouldn’t be anything to worry about because the local chicken farm has a barnyard dog on duty. The only problem? That’s not Barnyard Dawg.

What the crap? What happened? Where’s my beloved basset? Who does this poser think he is? Granted, there’s nothing wrong with giving the formula a little variety, but Barnyard Dawg is an established character by this point! You think audiences would have liked Chuck’s boys making another rabbit/duck season picture without Elmer? Even if it was good, it’d always be remembered as the freak short of the quadrillogy. I just want to know if there’s a reason, since Farmyard Doug never came back.

Well, dogs is dogs, and roosters are their natural pranksters. Doesn’t help that Foghorn is a little irritated to find the guy supposed to be protecting them from certain death is sawing logs. Whittling, that is. Doug loves his whittling. Foghorn blows the weasel alarm in his face, then sends him on a wild goose chase. Weasel chase, that is. Doug crashes into a fence that Foghorn painted a hole on, and the bird claims the whole thing to have been naught but a nightmare. Sure hope it was worth crying wolf. Weasel, that is. (I’m stopping now. I promise.)

And Willy tries to carry Foggy away. Despite the screaming, Doug can’t be bothered to get up. Maybe he doesn’t believe its really happening, maybe he’s glad it is. Foghorn manages to get free when he is dragged into a low-hanging branch. Now aware of what happened, he’s not worried. Despite Willy still trying to gnaw on him. Foghorn points out the little guy is after a good eating chicken, and that’s all the permission Willy needs. He goes after another one, but Doug wasn’t just whittling wood to waste it. He made a croquet mallet and ball, and sends Willy away.

Foghorn decides to help the weasel get even with the dog. And once the only thing keeping them safe is dead? Don’t bother with the details. Live for the moment! The plan is to send Willy floating via balloon, and drop a lit fire craker on Doug. (Hey, Foggy? The balloon string is going through your beak. Okay. You fixed it.) Doug isn’t caught unawares. He whittles his latest masterpiece: a single toothpick. Attaching that to a paper airplane pops Willy’s balloon and dreams. The mustelid lands on another board Doug was probably planning to carve into a clothespin, flinging the rock it was setting under up. Doug lights his explosive for him, Willy’s snout changes color, and gravity and the rock send weasel back to rooster for the explosive finish.

The two then sneak about in haystack disguise, carrying miscellaneous weapons. Before they can really do anything with them, Doug uses his new greatest work, a wooden hand, to turn on the hay baler. (Foghorn, buddy, now that the hay is gone, I can see your foot going through your cannon. Stop that.) After the ride, the two are stripped of their respective coats. So what’s plan C? Oh, wait. The cartoon is ending here. Okay.

Favorite Part: I like the way Willy says “Yeah.” It’s his only dialogue, but it displays more character than Doug has.

Personal Rating: 2. The team-up doesn’t start until the picture is 2/3 done, the ending gag was pretty weak, and Doug reacts too calmly to things. I think that’s why I prefer our usual Dawg. He really feels like a living, breathing, rooster-pounding animal.

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.

Of Rice and Hen

“WHAM-A-DOODLE!”*

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Warren Foster; Animation by Herman Cohen, Rod Scribner, Phil DeLara, and Charles McKimson; Layouts by Robert Givens. Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on November 14, 1953. *(I friggin’ love that line.)

Guess who’s finally getting married? Yep! My younger brother! Explains today’s short choice perfectly!

All the local hens are proud mothers who love nothing more than raising their chicks. Excluding Prissy, of course.  She has zero. And not only do the hens know this lack of poultry progeny makes her miserable, but they delight in telling her that she’s the lucky one, because they know that bothers her. They can’t even have the decency to let her be friendly with their brood. (Don’t bother eating their drumsticks; they’re too bitter.) And the hurtful insults are the tipping point. Prissy is opting for what is always the worst option: suicide. (Briefly suffering wing loss as she does.)

Luckily for everyone involved, Foghorn spotted her just as she was about to jump and saves her to boot. She’s smitten. There’s just something about a guy who saves you from a dangerous situation that you put yourself in. Too bad her kiss only confounds him. Oh well. Time for the daily dog beating. Barnyard isn’t even tied up in this short, so Foggy has to slam a gate on him to avoid getting pounded back. After this bit of fun, Prissy returns, doing a sexy flamenco dance. (I honestly had trouble recognizing her without her signature bonnet.)

Foghorn is finally able to catch on, and tells her that he is not interested in as polite a manner as he is capable of. For you see, being married would interfere with his ‘sticking the dog with T.N.T. stick’ shtick. Which fails this time because it was the Dawg’s time to win. (But look closely! While Foghorn checks to see if the hound is asleep, Barnyard clearly looks him right in the eye! Does Foghorn just think he’s tied up in his house? Or was that just a bit of a mistime on the animator’s parts? It all depends on if you want to see the Toons as living beings or not.)

And Prissy is still at it. Now trying to buy Foghorn’s affections with confections. He has to put his talons down and tell her point blank that he has no interest in her. She understands. Saying the saddest version of her catchphrase, she departs. Give Foghorn some credit. At least he knows he was being a jerk. But that Dawg gets to her and plans to help her, as it would be the ultimate victory for him. (Plus, he’s written several shipping fanfic’s about the two. He has secrets.) He says the secret to getting your man is playing hard to get and when she tries it, the results are instantaneous.

What really steams the rooster up though, is seeing the Chinese knock-off version of him, Fog Horn Capon, putting the moves on the hen. (Really just that Dawg in disguise.) Foggy fights for her, and Barnyard is quite the method actor, willing to take some punches and ultimately throw the fight to sell the scene. Even the other ladies witness Prissy having two suitors fight for her, so that really boosts her self esteem. Foghorn quickly claims his prize and rushes off to Church’s Chicken… I mean Chicken Church, and has the deed done.

He celebrates his victory before things really start sinking in. Only now does he realize that one can win the fight, and still lose the war.

Favorite Part: Probably the most savage roast I’ve heard and probably ever will: “Gal reminds me of a highway between Fort Worth and Dallas: no curves.”

Personal Rating: 4. Top form writing.

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.

Feather Bluster

“… I prefer, I say, I prefers to dish it out.”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Tedd Pierce; Animation by Ted Bonnicksen, Tom Ray, George Grandpre, and Warren Batchelder; Layouts by Robert Gribbroek; Backgrounds by Bill Butler; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc. Musical Direction by Milt Franklyn and Carl Stalling.

I knew it! I frigging knew it! Foghorn and the Dawg were really friends deep down! See? They’re they are, clearly in their 70’s (in respective dog and chicken years) and playing a friendly game of checkers. The horseplay of yesteryear is carried on through the younger generation, as Foggy’s grandson paddles the Barnyard’s grandson, runs to the limit of his rope, and tells him to shaddup. Wait… that puppy looks famil- OH MY BOB! THIS! He’s the answer to the question I asked nine years ago! I finally figured it out!*

Foghorn can’t believe how today’s youth behaves, but B.D. reminds him that they used to get up to the same kind of pranks. Flashback time! Wait, is this another clip show short? COCKDOG IT! At least we’ve got a fairly interesting framing device to tie it all together. And yes, I understand why these kind of shorts were necessary in a pre-Bugs Bunny Show era. But they really don’t give me too much to talk about that I wouldn’t rather say later or earlier.

They reminisce about “Henhouse Henery,” and the time Foghorn painted a fence and carved a bat. Next, they remember that time that was high and flighty. When Daffy sold Foghorn a trick bone? Well, these two remember it differently. In their version, Foghorn just got the bone in the mail. Why would you want to scrub your mind of Daffy Duck? He hadn’t yet embarrassed himself chasing Speedy yet. And then a pipe trap from “All Fowled Up”. But this is just small stuff, as Foghorn remembers what he considers his coup de grace. Another memory from “Henhouse Henery” that ended with Barnyard having a green tongue.

Unfortunately, since the window was open this whole time, the kids heard it all. (How old is chibi-Foghorn exactly? He’s got adult plumage and a comb.) Seems you can’t beat the old classics, but you can reinvent them. Foghorn the third starts a game of doctor to get Barnyard Dawg the third to open his mouth. Thus giving him access to his canvas. (Where are their biological parents, anyway? KFC and Petco?)

Favorite Part: Foghorn didn’t need any encouraging from Barnyard to start scolding his grandson for teasing the puppy. Shows how much he’s matured since 1946.

Personal Rating: 2. I’m sorry, but the only clip show I’ve seen that ever had a chance of being more than just a lazy cop out wouldn’t happen until “Phineas and Ferb” took a crack at it 55 years later.

*Actually, I figured this out about four months after I wrote that post. I decided to never say so because I know how people like to act. We feel a need to inform and correct anyone/anything that can be found online to make ourselves feel a little less insecure about our own mistakes. Who am I to try and spoil that for you?

The Leghorn Blows at Midnight

“Ask a silly question; get a silly answer.”

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7xmnr2

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Warren Foster; Animation by Charles McKimson, Phil DeLara, Rod Scribner, J.C. Melendez, and Emery Hawkins; Layouts by Cornett Wood; Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on May 6, 1950.

Foghorn is enjoying a game of solitaire, I think. (I’m not an expert on card games. You can only expect so much of me.) He’s also cheating. Which the universe can’t handle as once he puts down the 3 of diamonds, the seven of spades disappears. And then that 3 vanishes when he puts down the ace of hearts. (Cheaters never win because they literally can’t!) Alas, the rooster should have found a better place to sit as he is well within B.D.’s leash length and is cymbal’d. (After the hound misses at first. Love the smile he wears when he succeeds the second time.)

This doesn’t set Foghorn back for long, as he swipes a pie from the windowsill and smushes it into the dog’s face. Then he plays barber, shaving the pie off and giving the dog a hot towel. (Love the expression of fear he wears when he sees it coming. This dog makes great faces.) The small stuff is not quite good enough, and Dawg sharpens up an axe. (Drama-queen.) Henery shows up and just decides the dog is a chicken. (Huh. Usually he has to be misinformed.) The dog points him toward Foggy. That’s his chicken.

In turn, Foghorn gives a sob story about how afraid he is of going into a dark oven. (Henery [with genuine concern]: “Would you rather be fried on top of the stove?”) Foghorn tells him that chickens ain’t worth a 99-cent value meal. (I’m paraphrasing of course. Those weren’t around at the time.) Now pheasant, that’s a tasty dish. Foghorn is even willing to give the kid a lift to pheasant territory. (They’re cute when they sing together.) Wouldn’t you know it, Henery had been talking to a pheasant earlier and didn’t even know it!

Foggy give the hawk some glass so he can enjoy the pheasant under it. (I want to say that the handle of which changes color, but since it was already transparent, maybe it’s the background behind it changing color?) Henery gets the “pheasant” under the glass, but has to run from the angry “bird.” The leash keeps it away, and Foghorn uses the opportunity to do like he did in “Walky Talky Hawky,” and use the dog’s stasis as an excuse to hurt him in comical ways.

Eventually, Henery calls B.D. a pheasant right to his face. Rather than correct him, he reminds the small bird that he is a CHICKENhawk. You think ANTeater’s ever vary their diet? Stick with what humans named you. Getting the hawk to untie him, B.D. fakes the sounds he usually makes when he is strangled and Foghorn is summoned. The two engage in good old fashioned fisticuffs, while Henery cheers them both on. The winner gets to see tomorrow. The loser joins Henery for dinner. (He still thinks that dog is a pheasant.)

Favorite Part: During Foghorn’s weeping, he tells Henery to feel how gristly his wing is. That’s not an empty request. As the camera zooms in for what is sure to be a heartfelt backstory, the chicken DEMANDS the child feel it. (I didn’t make that sound weird, did I?)

Personal Rating: 3 teetering on four. It’d make a fine introduction to Foghorn’s cartoons.

The Dixie Fryer

“I’m a rooster, not a roaster.”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Tedd Pierce; Animation by Ted Bonnicksen, Warren Batchelder, Tom Ray, and George Granpre; Layouts by Robert Givens; Backgrounds by William Butler; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on September 24, 1960.

Cold is bad. Cold equals death. Foghorn is the wisest chicken this side of Aardman, so he knew enough to get south once the weather turned on him. Since he can’t fly as well as a duck, he uses one to pull his balloon basket. Taking note of the magnolia scent in the air, he figures this must be his stop and he leaps out via the Mary Poppins approach. He came well packed with all one needs for a vacation: a comfy chair, and a table to hold a drink. (The mint julep is a cute touch.)

But predators are a worldly thing, and there is a couple in that tree just yonder. If you’ve watched every Looney Tune and Merrie Melody in chronological order, then you’d recognize these guys. If not, I’ll introduce you. They are Pappy and his son, Elvis, two raptors of indeterminate species. I call them that because they were turkey vultures in their first picture, but have shrunk down to chicken hawks for this, their final appearance.

They’ve been subsisting on black-eyed peas for some time now, and Elvis is really craving a chicken. The lack of them is all that is keeping his wildest desires from coming true. They take note of Foghorn and are ready to have themselves a good old fashioned BBQ. Foghorn isn’t too pleased to wake up to someone plucking his feathers off, but he finds even more to complain about once he finds out what is on the menu for dinner. (I hate hearing people complain on their vacations.)

With their dinner on the run, Pappy chases him down telling Elvis to shoot him with the gun they have. Elvis has been trained to fire when ‘fire’ is said, and unfortunately for his father, Foghorn knows this. This calls for dueling pistols. Foggy almost immediately gets the guns into the wings of the two, and tries getting them to duel. But what makes these guys fairly amusing is that they are fairly intelligent, and they both shoot their prey.

Foggy tries to get rid of them by claiming there is a tornado on the way, and nailing them in the storm cellar. Then the actual tornado hits him. Foghorn decides to take shelter in an explosives shed. The other two follow him and Foggy leaves them in there with a light. The resulting explosion sends the raptors back to their nest. They decide that the peas will make an adequate dinner after all.

Favorite Part: When in the shed, Elvis asks his father what T.N.T. spells. A very unique way to discover and announce your doom. I hope I can go in a similar way.

Personal Rating: I want to give it a four. There are some good jokes that even manage to subvert your expectations at times. But I don’t know, are the adversaries racial stereotypes? Let me clarify: offensive racial stereotypes? I enjoyed them and didn’t think they were hurtful, but I’m naive and scared of someone accusing me of being insensitive. It’s gotta stay a 3.

The High and the Flighty

“Ace, ah-say, Ace novelty Company?”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Tedd Pierce; Animation by Ted Bonnicksen, Russ Dyson, and Keith Darling; Layouts by Robert Gribbroek; Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Music by Carl Stalling. A Looney Tune released on February 18, 1956.

Foggy’s really going to get that dog today! See, he’s made sure to clearly mark the limits of the dog’s rope, so he can stay out the jaw’s range, but still mess with him. Smacking him with a fence post is just part one. The rest relies on Foghorn’s beach ball. All the while, this fracas is being noticed by Daffy of all characters. He witnesses the rooster stick the ball in the dog’s mouth and popping it, and the dog retaliating with a watermelon to the beak.

All of this is very interesting to the duck. He’s once again in the game of novelty selling, and that chicken looks like he could make good use of his wares. Daffy introduces himself, and offers up a spring-loaded bone for $2.98. Foghorn naturally has the money. Being a rooster pays well. (No benefits, though.) He walks right up to the Barnyard Dawg and offers a bone as a sign of peace. No sooner does the canine put it in his mouth, does Foghorn undo the latch and put some spring in the dog’s step. (I hope Daffy’s clientele are all toons. That looks like it’d be horribly painful to a live-action dog.)

You know, that dog could probably make good use of Daffy’s ware as well. And Daffy isn’t afraid to play both sides in order to make a profit. The dog’s gag is an ear of corn that he deliver to Foghorn as a package. So excited to eat is he, that Foggy doesn’t take note that the cob is connected to some electric wires. All right, why don’t we call it a tie? -And Daffy is once more coercing Foghorn into purchasing another prank. A fake train that he’ll charge B.D.’s house with. The hound dodges, and Foghorn runs onto an actual track. Complete with actual train.

Daffy decides to offer up the big guns. He calls it the “Pipe Full O’ Fun Kit No. 7.” (Complete with instructions, even.) Daffy makes even more money, and Foghorn sets up what is sure to be the ultimate prank. (Bet you thought it involved “Invisible Spray.” Ignoramus.) Just as he’s putting the finishing touches together, Foghorn spies his adversary setting up the exact same prank, from the exact same company. The two put two together and realize they’ve both been played. Time for a real truce.

They purposely make loud threats to the duck, knowing full well he can hear them. Daffy probably would like to make more money off them, but he decides to cut his losses and leave while he still has his spine intact. He doesn’t notice he is walking right into the firing space of “Pipe Full O’ Fun Kit No. 7.”, (Complete with instructions, even.) until he gets the brunt of it. The gag is revealed to be nothing more than rubber band launching a poor schmuck through a pipe, and into a bottle. Despite the simplicity, the customers seem quite content with their purchase.

Favorite Part: It’s not much, but I really like that Foghorn didn’t need to be told he was getting ripped off. Let’s be honest, he’s kind of a meathead. (White meathead, that is.) Yet, he was the first one to figure out what was going on. Proving that he DOES have a brain. Peanut sized, though it is.

Personal Rating: I give it a 2. Daffy doesn’t really add anything that couldn’t be filled with some generic salesman character. But for the common folk, 3.

The Slick Chick

“Why that little monster of yorn, makes Dennis the Menace look like an angel!”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Tedd Pierce; Animation by Ted Bonicksen, Warren Batchelder, George Grandpre, and Keith Darling; Layouts and Backgrounds by Robert Gribbroek; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc and Julie Bennett; Musical Direction by Milt Franklyn. A Looney Tune released on July 21, 1962.

A hen is looking for somebody to babysit her son while she goes to a hen party. (Her words.) Her name is probably Widowhen, seeing as how the two guys who address her, refer to her as “Widahen” and “Widerhen.” I’ve at least narrowed it down to those three. But Mr. Cackle, the elderly rooster on the farm, refuses to take part in babysitting. Junior there, gives chickens a bad name. (Worse than McNuggets?)

Having heard those remarks, Foghorn steps in to defend the kid. (I’m pretty sure Mel is just using his Tweety voice for this character, they just didn’t speed it up.) In Foggy’s words, there is no such thing as a “bad boy.” To prove it, HE will take over the sitting while W-hen is gone. Barely out of sight, and Junior pokes his sitter with a pin. Foghorn is ready to strangle, but he can’t let the cackling Cackle have the last cackle. Chalking it up to simple boyhood pranks, Foghorn takes his charge to find him some fun.

Good thing Foghorn has a box of toys for the little scamp. He can play, and Foghorn can nap. (The best way to babysit. Only neglectful types talk on the phone while they’re in charge.)

Admit it. You’ve always hated her too.

Junior is upset to find this box intended to entertain little children only contains things to entertain little children. He decides to take a peek in the barn because “There’s always something exciting in a barn.” (Man, if I had couple hundred dollars for every time I saw that on a T-shirt.) To his delight, he finds a cement mixer and uses it to rig up a little trap. Then, playing phony phireman, he wakes Foghorn up with a phake emergency that sends him running right into the mix.

Once free of the concrete prison, Foggy threatens to tell the kid’s mother. Junior has blackmail of his own though, and he threatens to tell his mom about Foghorn’s crippling horse race addiction. Foghorn denies such things, but he can’t resist once the kid starts imitating one. The rooster angrily tells the kid to go play in the freeway. Which I only bring up so I had an excuse to make this:

Yes, well, anyway…

Junior finds a balloon to play with. It’s the weather variety, so he attaches it to Foghorn’s hammock and cuts it loose, lifting the big bird into the stratosphere. Naturally, Foggy wants down. The boy shoots him down, and provides him with a landing pad as well. It’s the land mine variety, so Foghorn blows up. And yet, he still claims there is no such thing as a “bad boy.” Mostly because this boy is the “worst.”

Favorite Part: The fact that Junior was upset with the toy selection, when one of said toys was a gun. I don’t care if it was still a toy, he could have modified it!

Personal Rating: 3

Space Jam A New Legacy (First Thoughts)

“You remember fun, don’t you, doc?”

As the title suggests, these are just my first thoughts about this film. A synopsis, complete with annoying jokes, limited information, and inflations to my own ego will happen someday in the future. Not today, for it is the present.

Very short version of this post: 🙂

Long version of this post: I expected this movie to be fun. Not good, bad, great, or abysmal. Just fun. And I got exactly that. Let’s be real. Even the first S.J. wasn’t really all that great. (Something I’ve come to grips with long since I blogged about it.) Neither of them have a great story, these films are just an excuse to have cartoons play basketball. (And sell W.B. merchandise on the side.)

Speaking of weak story, I won’t lie: this film has got one of those. LeBron is just playing the “father who wants his progeny to be like him, despite the kid’s protests to do something else.” Seen it. And yeah, the man isn’t a superb actor. (At least he is able to admit it in the film.) Still, I feel he does better than Jordan did. He definitely emotes more. As opposed to Michael looking dead inside. (Really. How could you not go “Looney” getting to meet animation’s greatest characters?)

But as week as the story is, (and some might disagree with me on this) it’s leagues better than the first one’s. Having the Tunes exist in a digital world makes much more sense than being underground. And for that matter, LeBron’s actor/son’s conflict actually gets some sort of payoff. Unlike Michael’s actor/son who mopes a bit, cheers up upon finding his dad was kidnapped by animated characters, then disappears until the denouement.

And the crossover aspect! If you can fathom the idea of someone never seeing “Ready player one” or any “Avengers” movie, then you can probably believe me when I say I was getting goosebumps when all of Warner’s properties gather to watch the game. But there’s a downside to that too. After they assemble, they don’t do anything. Yes, they’re the audience, but the original film let its audience react a bit more. (The most we get here is a pout from King Kong.)

For that matter, the original utilized the Tunes universe just a bit better. The team you see in all the advertisements? That’s pretty much all we get. Marvin and K-9 get a little screen time, when everyone sans Bugs is coerced into seeing what other worlds they can explore there’s a group shot of many minor characters. It just goes by so fast one can’t enjoy it. (I was able to see Rocky, Muggsy and Playboy.) And Canasta appears in the “Mad Max” universe. That’s it.

Wasted potential there. Why couldn’t they join the rest of the crowd for watching?Too expensive to animate? Which reminds me, the animation was gorgeous. Not spectacular. There’s nothing on the levels of “Fantasia” or “Spirited Away.” But what we get is a real treat. Vibrant, bouncy, and looney. Just what I expected and wanted. But that’s the 2-d stuff. How was the 3-d?

I won’t lie. It looks good. And that’s a relief considering how computer generated animation trying to look like it really exists ranges from nightmare inducing:

“I’m the reason animated spider’s are drawn with simple mouths!”

To laughably pathetic.

“Did I miss the auditions for “Pan’s Labyrinth”?”

The voice acting was nice as well. Zendaya Maree Stoerme Coleman did pretty good as Lola. Heck, if I didn’t know going in, I would’ve figured Ms. Bunny was being voiced by a 25 years older Kath Soucie. And the basketball stars voicing the villains did an admirable job. And mentioning the villains, I thought they were a lot of fun. Even if super-powered mutant basketball players feels strangely familiar.

“Good news, everyone! The public no longer has to remember us via “Pixels!”

It’s a good thing they were a joy to watch, as they don’t get nearly as much screen time as the Monstars. And one of them appears too late, and disappears too fast. Why wasn’t he there from the start? Oh, and while I’m discussing the villains: I found Don Cheadle entertaining, but not Pete. He did nothing to further the story. Completely superfluous. But the Minions have made it so animated films won’t sell if there isn’t at least one tiny, annoying, comic relief character that wouldn’t be missed if cut out completely.

The weakest part of the film in my opinion? The ending. I won’t spoil it here, but it didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, and seemed to wrap up a bit too fast. Lucky for me the fun stuff starts a lot quicker than its predecessor, so I don’t feel like there was a bunch of wasted time squeezing the entertaining middle.

And that pretty much wraps up my first thoughts after my first viewing of the first “Looney Tunes” film I’ve been able to see in theaters. My rating is just a few more lines down.

Short version of this post: I quite enjoyed it.

Favorite Part: Really, I did get chills seeing such a large crossover of properties. It might change in the future, but it’s the winner for now.

Personal Rating: I’ve been seeing fairly negative reviews from other people. I however, feel that if you go in expecting to see a movie that is more “fun than substance,” you’ll have a good time. (It’s the film equivalent of a lollipop.) Therefore, I grant it a 3 for the basic crowd, and a 4 for my fellow Looney-tics. (Yes, really.)