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.)

Strangled Eggs

“Some pretty posies picked for a pretty pippin.”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Tedd Pierce; Animation by George Grandpre, Ted Bonnicksen, Warren Batchelder, and Tom Ray; Layouts by Robert Gribborek; Backgrounds by Bob Singer; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on March 18, 1961.

Foghorn and me, we agree on a number of things. Most notably, cold weather is a miserable experience that no living thing should have to live through. Especially if you’re living in squalor the way Foghorn is. But, you know, Prissy has a pretty nice place, and she is always pining for a husband, maybe pretending to be into her could allow Foggy to crash at her coop for the worst season nature ever spawned?

Not much is needed for the plan to go off hitchless. Foghorn gets in quite easily, and it looks like his cold problem is solved. (Not like Prissy would say much if given the chance. Her dialogue in this picture is nothing but her trademark “Yes.” and a few “No’s.” What a sad way to make your final film appearance.) Hark! A knock at the door. And an abandoned child. We know him as Henery Hawk, but Foghorn is convinced he is food. (Eating children left on our property. Another trait we share)

You might think Foghorn is just trying to adhere to the rule of “eat or be eaten” but he really does think Henery is a squab. The little hawk is quick to correct him, and Foghorn immediately tries to kill him for being a predator. (Who is also making his final appearance on the silver screen.) Prissy may not have a variable vocabulary, but she is smitten with the chick nonetheless. He is staying as her own. So, let’s see: Foghorn can either choose to die by beak, or die by sleet. (After which, I’m sure Henery would still eat him.) Neither sounds very pleasant.

Alternative time! What if Foghorn took the kid outside, under the pretense that he is teaching the child about how to be a chicken? Then they’d be out of Prissy’s sight, and she wouldn’t have to know if anything bad were to befall her foundling. She allows it, and Foggy takes Henery out for some training. And at first, his efforts seem sincere. He takes Henery up high for some crowing practice, and despite having an opportunity to push Henery off, and die via gravity’s hand, (because if he’s young enough to be left on doorstep, he’s also too young to fly) he actually tries to pull if off without a trick. Henery uses the height to try and hang the rooster.

Too dark? Henery quickly transfers the chicken to a cauldron, and prepares to make a meal. Foghorn escapes and berates the kid. Leading to some interesting thoughts from his tormentor. He’s not trying to kill the ones he is being raised by, but the scent of chicken is awakening his primal instincts. (And really, is it his fault that chickens are so dang delicious?) Enough philosophy, back to the original plan of trying to kill the bird. Foghorn tries to pass off sitting on grenades, and finding landmines as sitting on eggs and scratching for food, respectively. (They backfire of course.)

Well, if Henery is going to be a chicken, (which it looks like he has accepted) Foghorn is going to be the hawk. (Even managing to glide on thermals! Where was this guy in “Chicken Run?” Oh yeah, a different continent.) Henery flees to his mother, and the two take shelter, leaving Foghorn to crash face first into the coop he so desperately wanted to live in at the beginning.

Favorite Part: When Henery reveals that he is a hawk. Foghorn immediately grabs a gun.

Personal Rating: 3

False Hare

“Is he for real?”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by John Dunn; Animation by Warren Batchelder, George Grandpre, and Ted Bonnicksen; Layouts by Bob Givens; Backgrounds by Robert Gribbroeck; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Bill Lava. A Looney Tune released on July 16, 1964.

This here is the final Bugs Bunny cartoon.

Okay, fine. Released during the Golden age. *sigh* I feel I shouldn’t have to mention that, but if I don’t, I’ll either have some smart@$$ correcting me or a dumb@$$ asking why he still sees Bugs on the occasion. It’s exhausting being an expert.

His adversaries in this final short are a couple of wolves. They actually, are making their last appearance too, as they previously appeared six years earlier in 1958’s “Now Hare This.” The bigger one of the two is called Uncle Big Bad by the smaller one who doesn’t get a name. (Logically, he would be Nephew Short Annoying) They’re just your typical big predator who thinks he is smarter than he is, and the other one who has more common sense, but never gets much of a chance to prove it.

I’ve heard people say this cartoon sucks, but aside from the nephew laughing at things that aren’t funny every other minute, I don’t have any problems. It may not be much of a grand finale, but knowing Bugs, he’d prefer things be low key.

The elder wolf (who despite his name, isn’t actually THE Big Bad wolf. That guy has no tail.) has just hung a sign that advertises a club for rabbits. Deliberately getting Bugs’ attention, the two don some rabbit disguises and hype up the club. (I like the name. Even if it is the most basic it could be. The Spanish makes it sound just a smidge better.) Bugs isn’t fooled, but he’s bored. Why not see the attempts being made? He heads to the wolf’s place.

Bugs pretends to be interested in joining, and a series of “initiations” take place. First, ring the bell to summon someone who will show you to the initiation room. He… really didn’t do a good job of disguising his trap. The razor sticking out of the bell could be seen by anyone with a complex eye. (Scratch that. Even if you only had eye-spots, you could see it.) Seems once you push down on the button, the highly obvious razor will cut a rope, and a safe will crush your head. Bugs isn’t so easily fooled, and purposely rings the bell as many wrong ways as he can. Naturally, the wolf tries to show him how it’s done and the outcome is obvious as the razor. (Still amusing)

Okay. What new members need now is a photo. You pose in front of an open iron maiden. (It makes you look like a bad@$$) As long as no one comes out of the door behind it, you won’t get impaled. So, B.B. gets his nephew to hide behind the door, and wait to hear “Now!” That will be the cue to open the door, and close the maiden. Bugs pretends to play along, but does goofy poses. For the sake of the joke, I get why the wolf doesn’t get him killed, but wouldn’t it still work? (For that matter, the wolf clearly says “Now” but the nephew doesn’t respond. Not until Bugs says it. That’s gotta hurt.)

Well, initiation time. It’s rather dumb, but it gets the job done. Just climb in the hole. (It’s a cannon) Soon as the wolf is out of sight, Bugs paints another one. Asking which hole he’s supposed to enter, he has the brilliant idea of each party taking a hole. The wolf is cannoned out of the house. Bugs flips the cardboard, and gets the wolf to do it again. (See? We’ve got some decent jokes in this picture. Some people are just cartoon snobs.) The wolf finally tells Bugs to wait in a tree. In turn, he fills it with dynamite, unaware that Bugs has left the tree. One explosion later, and the wolf is out a house. Licked, he wonders if there’d be anyone interested in joining a chicken club. Cue the Foghorn cameo! No, really. Foghorn makes a cameo. Making this cartoon HIS final appearance as well.

*sigh* For the golden era.

Favorite Part: I like this quote from Bugs. “I don’t see why anybody thinks these club initiations are dangerous. Nothing has happened to me yet.”

Personal Rating: 3

The Eggcited Rooster

“Me, last of mo-hawk-ans.”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Tedd Pierce; Animation by Rod Scribner, Phil DeLara, Charles McKimson, Herman Cohen; Layouts by Robert Givens; Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on October 4, 1952.

Foghorn’s gotten married at some point! (Poor Prissy, she drank herself into a stupor upon hearing the news) However, like all marriages, the good times only lasted so long before the two began to argue more and love less. Such as today, the Mrs. (who I’ve decided to name Pressy) is off to play some bridge with her pals, and that leaves her dear husband with child duty. In other words: egg sitting. And woe betide him should he not be incubating at all times.

All this greatly amuses the local Dawg. B.D. takes great delight in heckling his nemesis and reminding him that he can’t retaliate. If the egg isn’t being warmed every single, solitary, yoctosecond, the wife will be let known, and he’s going to be very sorry. The cards are all against him, so Foghorn is stuck. If only there was someone else he could burden with the responsibility of his unborn child.

Henery is also in this short, playing the role of stereotypical Native American. Got his feathered headdress, got his bow and arrows, all he needs to win this game is some chicken. Naturally, he goes after Foghorn. Maybe he could use this little bird as a solution to his problem? He announces himself as too tough, and not worth a meal. Young chickens. That’s what makes a good meal. You can’t get much younger than freshly hatched, so why not take a risk and let the hungry predator potentially kill your unborn child? At least it will give him a chance to get a little payback on the hound.

With his trusty plank, Foggy paddles the dog’s rear before sticking him in some stocks. Add a live wire to his tail, and some light bulbs to his mouth: Voila! The first Uncle Fester cosplay! (The best part of being the first? Gives everyone else a chance to improve your work) That’s taken care of, time to see how the kids are doing. Just in time no less! Henery got tired of waiting and tried to do a c-section on the egg. (With a mallet instead of a scalpel, because that’s how it’s done in the bird world)

Okay, so if the kid is so impatient, then maybe Foghorn should give him a different type of egg to hatch. He has quick-hatching one that just needs a little heat source. Like that dog? (If he wasn’t already busy, I’d point out that Foghorn would be a better choice. It’s common knowledge that chickens have a slightly higher body temperature than dogs. No, really. Everyone knows this.) Henery doesn’t see that the egg in question is really a grenade, so he slips it under the dog, and eagerly awaits the hatching.

One explosion later…(Weird. The grenade actually had some albumen and a yolk in it? Hen grenades: “They’re nutritious and deadly!”) The dog informs the kid that they have both been played, and now its time for revenge. (Always been my favorite time.) The plan? Henery tells Foghorn to come look, and then he takes the egg when he goes to see. (It’s simple, but it works.) Foghorn doesn’t notice until the egg is gone, and by that time, the dog has already phoned the Mrs. and told her of her husband’s child abandoning ways. She comes with rolling pin in wing. Foghorn, Henery, and the dog all have a small fight over the egg, but in the end, Foghorn gets it. (Just as his wife gives him the pin) Adding injury to injury, Henery also scalps him.

Favorite Part: Foghorn describes egg sitting akin to walking into a spinning drill, It bores you.

Personal Rating: 3

Feather Dusted

“What-ah say, what you need boy, is somethin’ more excitin’!”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Charles McKimson and Sid Marcus. Animation by Rod Scribner, Phil DeLara, Charles McKimson, and Herman Cohen; Layouts by Robert Givens; Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc (and Bea Benaderet); Music by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on January 15, 1955.

Prissy is off to a party and is leaving her son at home. You may know this guy by sight already, but his name is Egghead Jr. (Although, nowadays he seems to go by Eggbert. Probably to differentiate himself from that other guy.) He doesn’t actually have a name in any of the three shorts he appeared in. Foghorn just calls him boy, and his mother tends to just calls him Junior. Speaking of Foghorn, he feels bad that the hen is telling her kid to just read while she is gone. (Also interesting is that she isn’t fawning over the rooster like pretty much every other time. Seeing him as a lazy oaf who could be a bad influence on her son) Well, since she isn’t going to be around to witness anything (and her son probably won’t tell anyway) Foghorn steals him away to play some typical little boy games. (Typical of the fifties. Mario Kart still needed a couple of decades to exist)

To start: a game of croquet. You may think that Foghorn has an unfair advantage, but you also might think that a kid named “Egghead” will at least be able to get some good shots in. He does indeed. Taking copious notes, he is able to figure out a way to hit the ball so it will pass through every wicket in one shot, and net him victory. Foghorn tries to point out how impossible the whole thing was, but he can’t argue with Jr.’s notes. (I mean, no matter how you look at it, the outcomes remains “I win.”)

Okay, how about cops and robbers? (I’ve only played that once. Is it more fun to be the cop?) Foghorn tells the boy to arrest him as he robs a bank. I love Jr.’s methods. He alerts the actual cops. (They’re all off screen because I doubt we could take the popo seriously if we saw them apprehending a chicken) Then, just to prove his intellect, Jr. marks out the spot Foghorn will emerge when he digs his way out of prison.

Playing pirates might work. (They’re both on the same side in this game.) Foghorn orders the kid to fire a cannon and the lad aims it in a rather unexpected way. Foghorn decides to fire it where he wants regardless, and the ricocheting cannonball comes back to bite him. Since they are already at a pond, why not go for a swim? Egghead refuses to get in, but does take up Foghorn’s challenge of trying to sink him. (He’s pretending to be a battleship) He unleashes a fleet of windup ships that take fire at the big bird.

Egghead is forced to fish him out, and that is where his mother finds him. Soaking wet, with an unconsciousness, wet, older man. (Always hated when that happened to me as a kid. It only looked so bad, because they were missing the context) She scolds her kid, and Foghorn too. She knows his tomfoolery won’t end well for him. He agrees, seeing as he is full of holes.

Favorite part: Foghorn first coming up to the kid and offering to play. He asks if it sounds fun. Egghead shakes his head without even looking at him. (Brother, can I relate)

Personal Rating: 3

Weasel While you Work

“That boy’s as strong as an ox. And just about as smart.”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Warren Batchelder, Tom Ray, George Grandpre, and Ted Bonnicksen; Layouts and Backgrounds by Robert Gribbroek; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by John Seely. A Merrie Melody released on August 6, 1958.

Ah, Winter. A beau… actually, it’s rather ugly. Everything is cold, wet and damp. A peace… actually, the stillness is so pronounced that it could lead to a nervous breakdown. A fu… ACTUALLY, it isn’t fun either! It just makes one tired, listless, and irritable. So why would Foghorn enjoy such a miserable season? Well, it does give him the opportunity to try out some different tricks on old Barnyard Dawg. (Rolling him up into a snowman to be precise.)

Their usual rivalry is cut short by a third party: a weasel. This guy has actually appeared in a  few of Foghorn’s shorts, with this one being his final appearance. He’s pretty much just Taz. Doesn’t say much, salivates at every moment, and desperate for food. Also, he’s tiny! Maybe it’s just how he looks when compared to the giant rooster that is Foghorn, but he looks severely malnourished. Which could also explain his never-ending hunger. (Makes him look less like a mustelid, and more like a shrew.)

Teeny weeny weasel begins gnawing on Foghorn’s leg, but he offers up something even better: venison! (But there’s no deer around. Just the dog… Ohhhhhhh.) Placing a small pair of antlers on the dog is enough to fool the creature, and he tries to feast once more. Dawg automatically knows who is to blame for this, and gets the weasel to change his mind on some chicken for dinner. The dog freezes Foggy in a block of ice and leaves him in the company of the weasel and his axe.

Foghorn escapes that somehow. (I guess it was too boring to waste time animating.) For his next move, he dresses up his adversary as a seal and has the weasel carry him off. (All this talk of gourmet meat is driving my stomach crazy! But with 200 lbs. and counting, I don’t think a snack is such a good idea.) When the dog breaks free, I guess that’s the deciding point, as once the weasel has Foghorn in a pot, he won’t be swayed by any more suggestions. Good thing Foghorn has a giant ice sculpture of himself on standby. (When did he carve that? I’m sure I know why.) Weasel takes the bait and starts eating. (Don’t worry, it’s low calorie.) Foghorn tries to pull one more over on the dog, but the hound foresaw this, and tied a fake tail to a firecracker. So it seems that chickens DO fly when it snows in July!

Favorite part: B.D.’s spelling lesson. R-A-T spells chicken.

Personal Rating: 3

Daffy Duck’s Easter Egg-citement

“You ain’t laid a good egg in months.”

Executive Producer: Hal Geer; Produced by DePatie-Freleng; Sequence Directors: Tony Benedict, Gerry Chinquy, Art Davis and David Detiege. A TV special released on April 1, 1980.

Happy Easter! My favorite holiday! And what does Easter make one think of? Eggs, Chocolate and animals returning from migrations. You didn’t say rabbits, did you? We’re discussing Daffy’s special today. We’ll get to Bugs’ another time. What does Daffy have over Bugs? Original content! Three new shorts that had been yet to be shown to the world.

Our title screen looks pretty good to me, but Daffy is not satisfied. Besides the Easter egg, there isn’t much of the spectrum being used here. (Personally, brown is my favorite Easter color) We never see the animator here. (So if you want to think it’s Bugs, go ahead.) Daffy wants to be part of an Easter parade. All he needs is an outfit. After getting painted into a scuba suit, he gets a dapper tux. He is then stampeded by hens. Foghorn shows up and sends Daffy away with a script, saying that he’ll show up in scene 49. Time for the first short!

The Yolks on You

First on our plate, a cartoon about eggs. How do you think Easter eggs are made? I’m sure you believe the old myth about dyeing them yourself. (What really happens, the vinegar causes you to pass out and you just THINK you did all the work.) They come from hens of course. Foghorn is the boss, and assigns each of the hens in his care a color to lay. Prissy is also there. She is actually able to lay eggs in this one, but they come out shaped like… I don’t know. Some kind of teeth? Her anxiety only gets worse, as she is assigned the hardest color you can make an egg: Turquoise! (Unless you are an American Robin. Those showoffs! They figured out the secret ages ago, and continue to lay that color just to spite other birds.) Prissy tries her best, but the egg comes out gold. (The short never specifies that it is solid gold, or just colored that way, but it seems to go through more abuse than an egg should, so I guess it’s real.) Not wanting to be found with this mistake, she throws it away. It rolls down the hill. At the bottom, Sylvester is picking through the trash. Tough as things are, he at least has a friend: Daffy. (Scene 49 came quick!) Daffy is not quite the friend you want sharing your food though. He helps himself to Sylvester’s fish skeletons. Daffy is first to spot the egg, and tries to keep it to himself. Sylvester isn’t fooled and they chase for it. Daffy eventually gets in a taxi, but can’t relax due to his paranoia. (Read: Sylvester tapping on the window repeatedly.) The cat gets the egg back again, and Daffy tickles him to release it. This isn’t getting them anywhere. Daffy has an idea to keep it hidden so other’s won’t find it. Paint it white, and stick it in a hen house. No one would suspect it’s valuable. And no one does. A truck takes all the eggs away thinking they’re all food. The duo chase after it. Later that night, they’re still looking through all the eggs. Cracking each one, hoping to eventually find their treasure.

During the intermission, Daffy complains to the artist again. He demands an Easter basket. The artist complies. Daffy also wants a chicken on it. He gets a chick outfit painted on him. Not finding it funny, he refuses to move. A lever is painted under him, and a rock launches him into the sky. While he’s gone, the ground is replaced with water. And with a torpedo headed for him, Daffy has no choice but to use the basket as a boat.

The Chocolate Chase

Daffy has a new job. He is to guard a chocolate factory. (Said owner is a pig in a sombrero. I’d give him a name, but he disappears after telling Daffy to keep kids out.) A nearby village of mice, is hoping to get some chocolate rabbits for their kids. They are poor, but they gather all the money they can to buy some from Daffy. He takes it all, declares it not enough and sends them away. Geez! That’s evil! (And possibly racist, seeing as they are all Mexican.) Seeing as they are all Mexican, it seems quite obvious that Speedy would be related to one of the villagers. It just so happens that Speedy is related to one of the villagers, and agrees to help out. He gets one easily, and hands it to a grateful child. (Those rabbits are tiny! I get that they are mice, but does the factory really make such small chocolate molds? On another note,) I really do like that the kids thank Speedy. He is really making their Easter special. (Don’t try and tell me that Easter is more about the religious aspects. In a poor village, the chocolate is the only thing making it different than a normal Sunday.) Daffy has pretty good reflexes, as he is able to get Speedy in a net. (Doesn’t slow him down though. And Daffy is yanked through a fence’s knothole.) And a motorcycle isn’t any help. (Not only is Speedy faster, Daffy crashes and flies into a telephone pole.) Daffy tries to corner the mouse by chasing him into the factory. He chases him onto the machinery and winds up falling into the molten chocolate. Now encased in the confection, he can’t stop the mice from taking what is rightfully theirs. They even bring Daffy’s frozen body to their fiesta. Daffy manages to break his head free, but he isn’t mad. Chocolate has magical calming powers, and his attitude has adjusted. He’s just happy to be there.

Another intermission! What does Daffy want this time? Flowers! Cue the paintbrush. Now a “Daffy-dil,” (Which looks like a daisy with Daffy’s head. Or rather, Daisy Duck!) Daffy figures things couldn’t get worse. Then a giant bee is added. (And if you’ve played “Conker’s Bad Fur Day” you know why this is bad. That bee isn’t going to eat Daffy, that’s a different kind of hunger in his eyes.)

Daffy Flies North

Well, that’s a boring title. But it is what he is doing. But he’s not enjoying himself. He decides to forgo on the whole instinct thing, and find another way to get north. Heading down to the ground he makes a three point landing! (If the pitchfork only had more prongs, he could have set a new world record.) Could hitchhiking work? Kind of. The car in question is full of hunters and hounds. How about sneaking onto a chair that is being towed by a car? Again, it kinda works. Daffy still ends up in a lake. But there is still hope! A horse! He could ride it! But it’s not willing. (A horse can drink, but you can’t lead him away from water. Or something like that.) Daffy can’t really get on the horse, and besides he really does need a saddle. He does get one on the equine, and ties it (and himself) on so they can’t be ejected. It works at first, but since he can’t hold on, he slides under the animal and repeatedly hits his head on the ground. And I guess the horse would rather die than be used as a mount, as he heads into a lake. (Daffy is forced to carry the beast out. And I guess it was really cold as he is blue upon exiting. I suppose it could be due to lack of oxygen, but that is a little too dark. Either way doesn’t explain why the horse looks no worse for the wear) His next try lands him on a bull. (Sadly not THE bull from Bully for Bugs That would have been such a cool cameo! Daffy is chased onto an airplane. He kicks back, happy to have found an easy alternative to flying, which was flying. Except, it was headed back to South America. Right back to winter. (Since I don’t live in the southern hemisphere, I guess I can’t fathom it being cold. Even in winter, won’t it be at least seventy degrees?)

Well, that’s all for the new shorts. Daffy tries to get even with the paintbrush by shaving its bristles, but it shaves him instead. He is then painted inside an Easter egg. The brush is nice enough to paint a door on it. (Despite the fact it painted a sign to not open until next Easter.) Daffy tries to escape, but seeing the brush outside, he decides its better to just wait. (Being a bird, living in an egg is probably very soothing.)

Personal Rating: 3

Raw! Raw! Rooster

“I won- I say, I wonder what the poor chickens are doing.”

 Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Tedd Pierce; Animation by Russ Dyson, Ted Bonnicksen, George Grandpre, and Keith Darling; Layouts and Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released in 1956 Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Tedd Pierce; Animation by Russ Dyson, Ted Bonnicksen, George Grandpre, and Keith Darling; Layouts and Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released in 1956

Life is good for Foghorn. As the only male in the chicken yard, he has many hens to love and worship him. But it appears that the good times will only last so long, as he receives a telegram from an old college buddy, Rhode Island Red. (Based on the names roosters have here, I can only assume that their other friends were named Chantic-Larry and Plymouth Rocky) Foghorn isn’t happy to hear this. He had enough of Red in college. (Am I the only one who would be interested in seeing some shorts based on his college days?) He barricades the place, but whoops! Red was the telegram man the whole time. And he greets Foghorn with joy buzzers and squirting flowers. Then he heads right over to Foghorn’s hens. That was a fun visit, time for Red to leave. (I feel for Foghorn here. I’ve had to put up with old “friends” from school that thought I wanted to talk to them again after all those years. How wrong they were.) Foghorn sets up a trick camera that will knock Red into a pit when the “picture is taken.” Naturally, it doesn’t work until Foghorn gets in front of it. After climbing out of the pit, Red still asks for a photo and Foghorn obliges to shoot him. Red isn’t as daft as you’d think, and puts his fingers in the “lenses” of Foghorn’s “camera.” Later, Red shows off his football skills to the hens with Foghorn’s help. Foghorn puts a firecracker in the melon they are using as a ball and throws him a pass. But the funny thing about football is, you can pass the ball back you know. But Red is a sportsman of all types and accepts Foghorn’s game of golf next. Foghorn tries to use trick exploding balls on Red. But the first one doesn’t go off until Red hits it towards him and the second one goes off when Foghorn hits it. Finally though, he comes up with a working plan. He puts on his own telegram man outfit and delivers a note to Red informing him of inheritance to pick up. While Foghorn could just win like this, he has to one up Red again by presenting him with some parting gifts. A time bomb that he calls an electric bowling ball, and an electric clock that will tell him when to bowl. With friends like him, why would Red need any enemies?

Personal Rating: 3

Crowing Pains

“Where are we taking me, boy?”

 Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Warren Foster; Animation by John Carey, I. Ellis, Charles McKimson and Manny Gould; Layout by Cornett Wood; Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released in 1947. Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Warren Foster; Animation by John Carey, I. Ellis, Charles McKimson and Manny Gould; Layout by Cornett Wood; Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released in 1947.

Still being early in Foghorn’s career, (this was only his second appearance) this short is starring Henery Hawk. In fact, Foghorn isn’t even trying to annoy the dog here. It’s Sylvester of all characters. After a chase has left the dog hanging by his neck, Sylvester readies an axe. (Geeze! Foghorn was never this bloodthirsty.) Proving to me that he finds heckling the dog all in good fun, Foghorn appears in the nick of time and takes the head off the axe. He berates the cat who, frustrated that he can’t get a word in edgewise, smacks him over the head and departs. Enter Henery. Wanting a chicken to eat, he grabs Foghorn and makes for home. Foghorn points out a mistake. He is not a chicken. As we all know, Chickens have black fur. Sylvester has black fur. Sylvester is therefore a chicken. To help him get close, Foghorn gives Henery a plastic egg to wear and sends him on his way. Finding the egg underneath his person, Sylvester is overjoyed to find he is a mother. There’s something wrong here. Males can’t be mothers. Sylvester is male. Sylvester is therefore no mother. He tries to run away, but Henery is on him like white on snow. (Not all rice is white you know) Henery shows himself when Sylvester tries to hammer him dead. He wants the chicken to come quietly but Sylvester claims to not be a chicken. I’m pretty sure he is. If he’s not, then who is? Foghorn? That’s just silly. Sylvester, Foghorn, and the Barnyard Dawg (for no real reason) all argue over who is supposed to be dinner. (Me personally, I prefer cats.) Henery then gets an idea. Roosters are supposed to crow at dawn. Those three are males. Roosters are males. Therefore, if one of them is a rooster (which is a chicken) all they have to do to find out is watch the sunrise. Come the next morn, we find crowing coming from the rooster: Sylvester! Henery drags him away. Not seeing the ventriloquism book Foghorn has. (Wait… Darn it! I had it all backwards! The dog was the chicken!)

Personal Rating: 3

Don’t expect an update next Tuesday. No, I’m not going anywhere again. My work schedule has changed and I’m sick of working around my blogging. So, from now on, I’ll be updating on Sunday’s like I should have been doing since day 1. So if you enjoy this place, (and I know you all do) you’ll be pleased to find the next post earlier than next week. Dr. Foolio, out.

Bugs Bunny’s Looney Christmas Tales

“Merry Christmas to all!”

 Executive Producer: Hal Geer; Bugs Bunny sequences Produced and Directed by Friz Freleng; Road Runner sequence Produced and Directed by Chuck Jones; Written by Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones, John Dunn, and Tony Benedict; Sequence Directors: Tony Benedict, Bill Perez, David Detiege, and Art Vitello; Voices by Mel Blanc and June Foray; Music by Doug Goodwin. Released in 1979 Executive Producer: Hal Geer; Bugs Bunny sequences Produced and Directed by Friz Freleng; Road Runner sequence Produced and Directed by Chuck Jones; Written by Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones, John Dunn, and Tony Benedict; Sequence Directors: Tony Benedict, Bill Perez, David Detiege, and Art Vitello; Voices by Mel Blanc and June Foray; Music by Doug Goodwin. Released in 1979

Happy Holidays! Here’s a Christmas special that stars all your favorites! (Except Daffy.) It starts with Bugs having some problems with his carolers. Besides Ehlmuh’s obvious speech pwobwems, we h-have P-P-P-Porky s-st-st-s-st-having problems spitting out the words, Fog-ah say, Foghorn getting off the beat. Music that is! Et Pepe chante “Alouette” à la place. The only one who wouldn’t have a problem is Sam, but for whatever reason, he declines to sing. (Why though? We clearly saw him singing a few seconds ago.) Well, whatever. We’ve got three new shorts made specifically for this program to enjoy.

“Bugs Bunny’s Christmas Carol” Not as good as “Bah, Humduck!” in my opinion, but enjoyable nonetheless. Scrooge is played by Sam with Porky as Bob Cratchit. Bugs is playing Fred. Kind of. He comes in to the establishment and annoys Sam with mistletoe. He also gives Porky some much needed coal to warm himself with. But Sam’s cat, Sylvester sees the pig warming himself, (Although it looks like Porky is smacking his butt at the cat.) and alerts his master. Sam angrily takes it back. Bugs next comes in with Elmer, Foghorn, and Pepe to sing but Sam has reached his breaking point. He throws them all out and fires Porky. (Don’t make me leave Red Hot Ryder’s head in your bed, Sam.) Grateful for Bug’s efforts regardless, Porky invites him to dinner. Porky naturally has a family of his own. (A stud like him? It was easy!) His wife is Petunia of course. (You know, according to Walt, Mickey and Minnie are married. I’m going to say that Porky and Petunia are too. It’s canon now.) They have three children. (‘Atta boy, Porky!) One I’m going to guess is played by his nephew, Cicero, from the comics, the girl is most likely Priscilla, from “Bah, Humduck”, and the last is Tiny Tim. Played by Tweety. Apparently, he’s so small because he is fed birdseed. (Porky!) But Sam’s evil deeds are not over, as he forecloses the mortgage on Porky’s house. Since I’m not born yet to let Porky’s family move in with me, it’s up to Bugs to save the day. He tries the kind way first with more carols, but Sam chases them away. Well, that was the diplomatic approach, guess there’s no other choice but the hard way. Now that he’s awake, Sam tries to relax with a hot bath. Not wanting him to burn himself, Bugs thoughtfully fills the bath up with snow. Later, Bugs dresses as a ghost to scare Sam. (Seeing as how he probably never had a partner, he doesn’t pretend to be anyone Sam knew.) While searching for the source of the noise, Sam trips over Sylvester and they both end up outside. Returning back to his warm bed, Sam agrees to let Sylvester stay with him. That’s sweet. But Sylvester and his color-changing nose, beat it when Bugs appears before them. He tells Sam that he is taking him to see the man in the red suit. (Although it’s not Santa, that guess was only one letter off) Fearing for his soul, (although I do wonder what would have happened if Sam called Bug’s bluff,) he dresses as Santa and gives money to everyone he sees. He even makes Porky his partner! A Christmas feast is enjoyed by all! (Sam still doesn’t like kisses though)

After the commercial break, Bugs compliments Sam on his acting. Sam admits that his acting was just that, and starts demanding his stuff back. Meanwhile, the feast is being watched by two sets of hungry eyes. Them belonging to Wile E. and the Roadrunner. Seeing as they’re not invited, Wile E. chases the bird into our next short.

“Freeze Frame” Wile E. is reading a fascinating book: “Everything you’ve wanted to know about roadrunners but were afraid to ask” (That’s on my Christmas list.) Turns out, being a desert animal, the Roadrunner (Semper Food-Ellus) can’t function in cold climates. So Wile E. (Grotesques Appetitus) orders a machine that can make snow. It only lands on the coyote, so he just switches some signs around. Even though the short “Beep, Beep” said that roadrunners can’t read, the bird follows the sign pointing to the desert and ends up on top of a mountain. He really is out of his element, and ends up stranded on some ice. Wile E. skates over, but ends up sawing a hole around the bird. Seeing as this a cartoon, everything surrounding the cut part sinks, and the bird surfs back to shore. He next orders some sled dogs to help him chase down his prey. The poor things are kept in a crate with no air holes! So naturally, they’re a little cranky. (That, and it appears that they love Coyote meat.) Riding a rocking horse with a lasso only gets himself tied up and landing on some train tracks, and trying to crush the bird with a snowball had him get caught in it and soaring off a cliff. He wishes us a Merry Christmas before the short ends.

Back with Bugs he has his carolers hold a note. It’s then that his nephew, Clyde, reminds him of his promise to tell him a story. (Clyde really was a character in a couple of shorts. But there he was voiced by Blanc, and here I think he is voiced by Ms. Foray, seeing as he sounds a lot like Rocket J. Squirrel.) Seeing that his carolers are gasping for breath, Bugs dismisses them and decides now is a great time to go tell said story.

“Fright before Christmas” Up at the North Pole, Santa is waiting for his suit to finish drying. (Since it is air-drying, I think he’s not going to be too happy to wear it.) Meanwhile some pilots are flying their cargo over the North Pole. Contents: One Tasmanian Devil. (Aside from the plot, for what reason are they flying this animal over the Pole? Where is he being delivered to?) He breaks free and jumps out of the plane. (Don’t worry, he grabbed a parachute) he lands in his Santa’s suit and launched into his sleigh. Scared, the deer try to run off taking Taz along for the ride. Meanwhile in an actual house, (I guess it belongs to Clyde’s parents. Or Bugs just prefers a roof over his head in Winter) Bugs is reading Clyde “The night before Christmas” Everything seems to be just like in the poem. Except there is a mouse stirring: Speedy with his cocoa. When they hear “Santa” up on the roof, Bugs sends his nephew to bed. Taz comes down the chimney, and Bugs offers him plenty of food. By sheer coincidence, he has deviled ham, deviled eggs, and devils food cake. Not really. He just has milk and cookies. Taz takes them anyway, and begins to eat just about everything else in the house, while Bugs reads him Clyde’s outrageous Christmas list. (Which among other things, contains a solid gold football, and a little brother. You’d think as a rabbit, he’d already have both. Aren’t rabbits well known to be associated with their young and karats?) Seeing as “Santa” is still hungry, Bugs offers to make him some popcorn. Impatient as he is, Taz eats it before its popped. (Probably shouldn’t have done so in front of a roaring fireplace) He then makes to open a gift that is clearly not for him. Bugs sets up a holiday gift exchange and offers him to trade for a much bigger gift. He unwraps it outside at Bug’s suggestion and finds just what he wanted: more food. (Well, it’s really a self inflating raft, but Taz has a strong imagination) He floats away and Clyde, (who I guess was secretly witnessing the whole thing) bemoans the fact that “Santa” left without giving him anything. (I hate when kids act that way. From now on, he only gets birdseed to eat.) Bugs and him then decide to return his sleigh. Not only is it the right thing to do, Santa just might let Clyde get first pick at the presents.

We end with Bugs and his carolers (Foghorn’s head is white for some reason) getting a sleigh ride from Taz. (It’s kinda weird seeing him being used by Friz, but poor Bob had been dead by two years at this point, so he couldn’t really help out) It’s a nice gesture but it still ends with Taz eating the sleigh. (My favorite part is how they didn’t notice it happening.)

Personal Rating: 3

Merry Christmas from your own, Dr. Foolio! I’ll be checking in one more time before the year ends! Enjoy those holidays!