Buddy the Gob

“I’ll save you!”

Supervision by Isadore Freleng; Animation by Jack King and Ben Clopton; Music by Norman Spencer. A Looney Tune released on January 13, 1934.

“The gob of what?” you might be saying. I can’t blame you. You have a habit of cracking awful jokes. (Which is my job.) Gob means sailor, and that’s because they are full of phlegm. (I hope you aren’t taking me seriously.) This might be one of Buddy’s better pictures, but that isn’t saying too much. We start up with some basic early thirties fare: things bouncing to music.

Buddy (the gob) is just doing some laundry. (Nice of it to help out by drying itself) What’s on the horizon? China! I guess Buddy is allowed to go visit, but I think he’s just shirking his duties. Why wash clothes when you can go gawk at a culture that isn’t your own? Isn’t everyone strange? All this stereotyping sure makes Buddy’s lack of a personality seem great by comparison, huh?

There’s a local that is reading a sign out loud. (In painfully bad fake Chinese. I don’t care how many decades later it is: on behalf of my country, I’m so sorry!) Being a simple gob, Buddy can’t make out what is written there. Lucky for us, the sign briefly translates. Looks like it’s the 150th birthday of THE sacred dragon! Wow! That IS reason to celebrate! What are the plans? A parade? Sounds good. Music? It wouldn’t be a party without that. Human sacrifice? Ummm… Is that a metaphor for anything by chance?

Nope. It’s really part of the celebration. The girl who is set to be food doesn’t seem too excited, but everyone else is all smiles and cheering. Who am I to question someone else’s culture? I’m just visiting. Buddy doesn’t share my mentality and tries to rescue her. He is easily detained. However, he finds another way to get in, and it is pretty clever. He takes a gate, see? And he pulls back like it was a bow, launching the rungs into a wall, making a staircase. Pretty cool. Makes my jackhammer look barbaric in comparison.

Buddy has arrived in the nick of time. The girl is chained to a wall, the guard has swallowed the key and left, and there is a dragon just waiting to be let out of its cage. (Wait, that’s THE sacred dragon? What a letdown. He doesn’t look like anything I imagined. He’s too fat.) Buddy’s got a plan. Since he isn’t strong enough to rip a chain off of a wall, he’ll knock on the door to get the guard back in, slam a barrel over him to keep him contained, and kick the key out! It works, but the dragon is let loose, forcing the two to escape out the window. (I guess it HAS to be a female sacrifice? THE sacred dragon doesn’t seem too interested in eating the guard)

Buddy and (forgive me for this name, but the pun is too perfect, if not accurate) Fortune Cookie flee via rickshaw. The rest of the population isn’t pleased with this, and gives chase. (The guy pulling their ride is cool with it. His mother was probably the last sacrifice)  With a bridge to cross, Buddy cuts it away so they can’t be followed. He still gets a spear thrown at his butt, though. (The short just ends here, and that’s probably good since Buddy just started a war. We need to get these guys in our good graces. They’d make great allies, and it seems like there’s there’s some other war coming up.)

Favorite part: While the two flee, they lose their rickshaw at one point and have to ride their driver as a horse. He even whinnies! (It’s not much, but this IS a Buddy cartoon.)

The Miller’s Daughter

“Hiya, Big Boy!”

Supervision by Isadore Freleng; Animation by Rollin Hamilton and Charles M. Jones; Music by Norman Spencer. A Merrie Melody released on October 13, 1934.

Two little statures decorate a room. It’s not the most exciting job, but with a lovely (whatever gender you, the reader, is attracted to) by your side, things can’t be all bad. Wait, there’s a cat in the house? Okay, things CAN be all bad. My proof? The cat tries to get at the bird in the room, (Okay, that one’s on the owner. Never put predator and prey together unless you WANT one to die. ) but he misses and ends up breaking the female figurine. The lady of the house isn’t pleased, but there’s no use in crying over split statues, so she scoops up the pieces and takes them to the attic. (I guess she intends to fix her. She just leaves, though)

Little boy shepherd statue (and sheep) do not like to be separated from their soulmate, and head off to rescue her. She’s found and the damage doesn’t look that bad. Just a couple of broken legs. The common procedure is a little glue, and who better to perform the operation than your boyfriend/husband/brother/best friend/co-worker/neighbor to help you piece your life back together after a break-up? This is a couple who sticks together! (Ever the gentleman, he averts his gaze when she glues her rump back in place. Maybe someday she’ll let him touch it.)

Well, I think we’ve gone long enough without the title song playing. The duo dance while other attic dwellers provide the music. A spider on the piano, the three (monkey stooges on vocals) and some pretty silhouettes on a lampshade. The girl statue starts getting a little more frisky and does some conga dancing, while the boy conducts a bunch of clocks. (Why are their so many clocks in this attic? One or two, sure, but eleven? Are clock fetishes real? I’m staying away from this lady’s house.) There’s even a rotoscoped couple in a picture. Fascinating.

Remember the sheep statue I’ve barely mentioned? She (I’m just guessing, but the lack of horns point toward the fairer sex) has disturbed a lion statue, and is now on the receiving end of a hunt. (Hold everything! This cuckoo clock lady knew not to keep the artificial predator/prey  apart, but leaves the ones capable of bloodshed together? I’m sending the ASPCA to this lady’s house) The resulting chase has the sheep going through a pipe and coming out black, and they resist the temptation to have it call for “mammy.” Impressive. (Although, is it wrong that I feel they should have made it cry “lammy”?)

Boy statue fires an arrow on loan from a cupid statue. (Why are there so many statues in the attic? Because they are clearly seasonal. Cupid for February, Angry Lion for March, etc. I have SOME answers) It gets the felines attention, (although, do ceramic lions feel pointy objects?) and it gives the trio a chance to make a get away. (The lion crashed into the door and crumbles.) They get back to their spot, but break a lamp in the process. The clock fetishist is not pleased. (And doesn’t notice the repaired statue or the black sheep.)

Favorite Part: The lady blames the cat for the lamp assault, and chases after it broom in hand. Sooooo…maybe I’ll wait a bit before calling those authorities.

Sunday Go to Meetin’ Time

“Get your hands off me.”

Supervision by Isadore Freleng; Animation by Bob McKimson and Paul Smith; Music by Norman Spencer. A Merrie Melody released on August 8, 1936.

Here we go. The first one of the censored 11 I’m featuring here. Is it worthy of that title? In some spots, yeah, but there’s SOME good things in here.

As it is Sunday, (as I type this and in the short) it’s also time to go to church. Everyone in the community puts on their finest clothes and heads for some sweet, sweet, gospel. (I won’t lie. I’m a little uncomfortable seeing young children having their heads shined like shoes. Luckily, that’s probably the worst this picture has to offer. The big lips hardly phase me after witnessing that.)

One lady is set to go, but has misplaced her husband, (Or he could be her son. It’s never established.) Nicodemus. Since he’s black, the cartoon thinks that he’d most definitely rather be playing craps than going to church. (I’ll just pretend that it just happens to be his favorite game.) He’s found and dragged off to the building. (Talking in that kinda dopey tone of voice Hollywood was fond of having black people use. The tone that I doubt was ever THAT noticeable? Okay, okay. I’ll stop. )

Once there, he of course ducks out. All that talk of the bible can make a guy hungry, and since everybody is at church, nobody can catch him trying to take a chicken. (I love how he tries to prove to the bird that he isn’t holding anything in his hand. The bird ain’t fooled.) Giving chase, he hits his head on a fence post and Nicodemus begin to see things that will scare him straight.

Now standing before a judge, he has his life history looked over. Seems he sinned plenty. All stereotypical sins no less. (The craps, and chicken snatching weren’t obvious enough. That’s why he was also had to be guilty of watermelon theft.) Fate’s sealed, he’s going to hell. Satan and his demon minions are quite happy to have a new soul to torture. (Satan and his followers also have uncomfortably large lips. I’m not sure how I feel about this. Isn’t making fun of Satan totally fine? Then again, those lips aren’t really funny on anybody. I’m conflicted.)

As the imps began his torture with some pitchfork pokes, he wakes up to find the chickens pecking him. With the threat of hell fresh in his mine, Nicodemus repents and heads back to church without further hesitation. I knew he was a good guy, deep down.

Favorite part: Say what you will about the visuals in this cartoon, but the music is awesome! Very catchy and a treat for the ears.

 

Mutiny on the Bunny

“He’s not long for this world.”

Directed by I. Freleng; Story by Tedd Pierce; Animation by Gerry Chiniquy, Ken Champin, Virgil Ross, and Arhthur Davis; Backgrounds by Paul Julian; Layouts by Hawley Pratt; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on February 11, 1950.

What a great start to this cartoon! A man escapes from a ship known as the “Sad Sack”

Aren’t you clever? Smarta$$.

It’s his line that lets you know you’re in for a good time. “I was a human being once.” One of the best things said by man or toon on screen. (I’ve used it before. Sadly, instead of laughing, people ask what I mean. I hope whoever lives on my home planet rescues me someday.) Said man was the prisoner of Shanghai (Yosemite) Sam. A man who likes to have a one-person crew to do everything on the ship that he feels is beneath him. With the guy gone, looks like Sam will need a new one.

What luck! Bugs Bunny is hanging around this place. (I’m calling it the “Whaztup Dock” Applaud now.) Sam, acting like a barker, offers a free cruise around the world. Seems legit. Bugs accepts and happily boards the ship. As he waves farewell to the crowds. (Read: one mouse) Sam strikes, and a dazed Bugs ends up rowing the ship (the sails are just for show) with a ball and chain on his leg.

He complains. The best joke in the picture happens right afterwards. Words do it no justice, so I’ll let you watch for yourself.

You seen it? It was a gut-buster, right?

As the crew, Bugs is ordered to swab the deck. He does the classic “Oh no I’m not” bit, and, surprisingly, loses. (It always helps to shake up the formula a bit. Well done, everyone!) He gets his revenge by writing unflattering comments about his captain on the deck. Angered, Sam takes the mop himself to remove the graffiti. Bugs enjoys his short break before Sam wises up and points a gun in his face.

Bugs claims the ship is sinking, and since Sam is the captain, he has to go down with the ship. As captain, Sam makes Bugs captain. Under the new command, Bugs still refuses to let Sam escape. Women and children first, you know. (Why is that the rule? Is it just common courtesy? Or are men not worth saving? *thinks about the various guys I’ve met in life* Yeah, it’s a good rule.) Sam has to sacrifice his dignity, and dress in a wig to get out alive. Bugs also insists he take a baby along with him. (It’s an anchor, but Sam doesn’t realize that until he is in the water.)

Once back on board, he steals what Bugs claims is a treasure map. Sam follows the clues to the promised riches. (Keep your eyes open and you might see one of Sam’s disappear for a millisecond. I love these tiny errors.) He finds the spot and digs. On a wooden ship. In the middle of the ocean. Which is going to cause it to sink. Which it d-

He fixes the hole, and shoves off once more. Bugs is clearly not worth the trouble, so Sam is going to cannon him to death. He takes aim, but Bugs moves. The ship gets another hole that Sam has to fix. So the solution is simple: aim UP this time. It works in theory, but gravity ruins things and the ship goes down for the third time. Sam fixes it again, but Bugs attaches a rope to the vessel. This strips most of the wood, and it sinks again. Sam calls it quits. In turn, Bugs gets the cruise he wanted via a rowboat. Sam is the one doing the rowing this time. I bet they’ll end up great pals.

Favorite part: The joke I wouldn’t spoil is tempting, but I think I love that one fellow’s quote much more. It could be used in several literary classics.

Saps in Chaps

“Go west, young man!”

Supervision by I. Freleng; Story by Sgt. Dave Monahan; Animation by Manuel Perez; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on April 11, 1942.

What a time it was expanding the west! There was so much untapped land just waiting to be claimed. (I’m pretty sure there weren’t already PLENTY of people living there, otherwise I’d feel guilty for living where I do.) Things were plenty different back then. Not only were the states in more irregular shapes, but every president on Mt. Rushmore was still a baby.

Not everybody had the luxury of crossing via covered wagon. A few had to make do with crawling desperately through the desert. It was dangerous too! Hungry vultures kept their eyes peeled for any living being that couldn’t cope with the heat. Luckily for the guy we’re following, he comes across a fill-up station that is happy to supply him with water. (His thirst may be quenched, but he is still stuck crawling the rest of the way.)

Towns seemed to grow like fungi, and the people who populated them all walked with a dumb cowboy gait. Even the horses. Even the mice! (When they aren’t being hunted by lasso twirling cats, that is.) At a nearby saloon, you could not only escape the midday heat, but converse with other people. You had to watch out though. Villain types came in rather frequently, and you were pretty much dead unless you were the hero type. (The one who can laugh off gun shots. I wish I could be so bass)

Entertainment? Sure, rodeos exist. Where the men show off how tough they are by riding animals that DO NOT want to be mounted. One of which in particular throws everyone out of its pen. Still, as tough as he is, he can’t cope with an audience, and quietly slinks away to get his much needed privacy. Oh! I nearly forgot! Mail was delivered via pony express in those days, but that doesn’t mean everyone was suited for the job. What to do if you just can’t mount the horse? Simple. Let HIM ride YOU. (It’s good for the back)

Favorite part: During the rodeo, one horse is told that he can’t throw off his rider. He bluntly grabs the man and throws him down. (Sticking his tongue out at the narrator)

Porky’s Hired Hand

“Yuh can depend on me!”

Supervision by I. Freleng; Story by Dave Monahan; Animation by Richard Bickenbach; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on November 30, 1940.

Porky’s farm has seen better days. Lately, a fox has been stealing a good number of hens, and Porky has had enough of the robbery. Good thing that the Cornstalk Employment Agency has sent him some assistance. Gregory Grunt. He looks like Goofy got hit by a severe case of swine flu. And if I’m allowed to judge by appearances, (which I totally am) he doesn’t really look like the best man for any job. I’m guessing the agency was just sick of him and wanted to make the guy somebody else’s problem. Porky’s a better man than I’ll ever be, and gives the lunkhead a chance.

Despite the very clear instructions of “do not fall asleep”, Gregory does just that. Enter the fox. He’s got some clothing, so it’s not like he’s just a wild animal trying to find an easier solution, he’s just some random a-hole who would rather steal than work. (And he dies if he crosses my path. Nobody messes with my pal) With the guard asleep, the fox helps himself to the choicest morsels. He’s even willing to take babies! (Dipsh*t! If you don’t leave anything to repopulate your theft, you won’t be able to return next year. And then where will you be?) He’s all ready to leave, but someone bars his path: Gregory?

Well, it appears I have to eat my words! (Good thing I write so tastefully) Looks like Greg was just pretending to sleep in case the fox was stupid enough to come back. (Thieves should really never hit the same joint twice.) Of course, the other possibility is that the fox just woke him up. (So that means I can upchuck my eaten words) Told to put the birds back, the fox laments that the two of them can’t be partners. I mean, clearly Gregory is a master businessman who could help make a chicken monopoly. Yeah, Gregory is all for it, but what about Porky?

And there’s a random fade out to what seems like half a second later, but the fox knows Gregory’s name by now, so I have no clue what we missed. Either way, he convinces Greg that Porky would WANT him to succeed and stealing from him is a good start. (That’s what I did while working at my local zoo. Strangely, no one wanted to come see penguins in my backyard, and now I’m out of goldfish) Give the fox some credit, he’s even willing to let Gregory’s name go first in their company’s name. (That explains why I haven’t given the fox a name. According to himself, his name IS Fox. I guess his last name is Mc Loud. I mean, he DID wake Mr. Grunt)

Telling his new partner to grab some feed, Fox makes an exit. It was a scam all along! (You know, going into business might still be a good idea. Just some chicken for thought) In his rush to escape, Fox didn’t look where he was going. It wasn’t the exit he left through, but the incubator! He fears for his life as he is no doubt going to roast! (The birds he has don’t seem to mind. They’re not even moving…oops. That’s going to set Porky back a bit) Being a nice enough, dumb guy, Gregory tries to help his partner get out. Unfortunately, his head isn’t hard enough to break the door down.

Still, his banging does alert Porky to all this, and he brings his gun down to investigate. Maybe Gregory IS a little smart, because he refrains from explaining his “business partner” is trapped, and refers to him as a fox once more. Giving him the gun, Porky instructs him to shoot as soon as the door is open. He does, but they didn’t get the fox. Seems he was aiming a bit too high. Being in the incubator so long, Fox has shrunk. (His tail didn’t though. And I’m sure it would fetch a decent price. Heh heh heh!)

Favorite part: Fox is describing the things that Gregory will obtain from this partnership. Including a secretary to sit on his lap.

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)

Lighter than Hare

“We’ve been invaded!”

Directed by Friz Freleng; Animation by Virgil Ross, Art Davis, and Gerry Chiniquy; Layouts by Hawley Pratt; Backgrounds by Tom O’Loughlin; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on December 17, 1960.

This is a weird one. By that title and that quote, you’d be sure this was a Bugs/Marvin picture. But it’s Bugs and Sam! Sam is an alien now. And you can’t claim he’s someone similar in voice and appearance, he flat out calls himself “Yosemite Sam of Outer Space.” (Because there’s a Yosemite outside of Earth?) Sadly, it’s just a generic Bugs short. I think Freleng just liked Jones’s martian and decided to do something similar.

So, we’ve got spaceman Sam; what is he doing coming down to our planet? Just the typical “bring back an Earth creature” thing every alien species that doesn’t want us dead, does. He chooses a rabbit, that lives in a garbage dump. (Not sure WHY Bugs is living there. I suppose it is a place hunters won’t try to bother him) Sam (who looks a bit like a pikmin) sends a robot to bring the rabbit back. In turn, Bugs uses it as a trash can. Which I guess destroys it, as Sam immediately tries a new tactic.

His next plan is to send a demolition squad to destroy the creature. (Good thing Earth has millions of species to choose from. Might I suggest a potato?) Bugs now notices he is having a close encounter of the second kind, and ducks into a shelter. The robots load it up with bombs, but Bugs managed to escape and sticks a magnet in the shelter, leading the bots to their doom. Robots are clearly going to be of no help. Sam decides to try his own luck.

He has an indestructible tank, but I don’t know what he was planning to do with it, as Bugs uses his own contraption to stick him with a TNT stick. Time to make a getaway! Good thing there was a set of rail tracks next to the dump. Bugs leaves on a handcart with Sam in pursuit. This is also one of those times that Bugs is able to spin in ears to possess the power of flight. Sam can keep pace with his jet-pack, but only as long as Bugs doesn’t replace it with another explosive.

When he hits his limit, Sam aims all his firepower at Bug’s hole, and demands his surrender. Bugs instead sends out a decoy with a bomb attached, and Sam takes his leave. Later that night, Bugs has his radio tuned into the frequency of the aliens and hears his prank pay off. Having had his fun, he tunes in for a little “Amos ‘n’ Andy.”

Favorite Part: One of Sam’s robots is clearly on loan from Marvin. It sounds just like him. And if you could give a robot a voice, you’d choose your own. Wouldn’t you?

Goo Goo Goliath

“He’s a heavy one, isn’t he?”

Directed by I. Freleng; Story by Warren Foster; Animation by Art Davis, Manuel Perez, Ken Champin, and Virgil Ross; Layouts by Hawley Pratt; Backgrounds by Irv Wyner; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on September 18, 1954.

Time for another delivery, courtesy of the stork. (Did you think babies came from outer space? What idiot told you that?) The bird in charge of the latest baby doesn’t look like he’s the best candidate. Having recently finished one delivery, and given glasses of champagne for his troubles. Nonetheless, he takes his bundle and flies off. It’s a rather large baby, as he is intended for the giant couple who lives at the top of the beanstalk. The inebriated bird gives up by the time he reaches Greentown and opts to just drop the child off at the only pink house located for miles.

Luckily for everyone, the stork’s logic of “never seeing any couple not want a baby” pulls through and our couple (Ethel and John) happily take the kid in. (We’re never explicitly told whether or not they actually were supposed to have a kid) And the majority of this picture is showing the hi-jinks that ensue with a baby who is born large, and soon grows larger.  Bouncing him on your leg will break every bone in said leg, he feasts upon gallons of milk and when he moves on to solid food, it is delivered via cement mixer, and they sidestep any tasteless gags they COULD make by just showing a delivery of a diaper that needs two men to carry. Although I must admit, I’ve always wondered similar things about Clifford the dog. I can’t help it, I’m a zoologist! And going back to that last point, isn’t it a little TOO big? How much is needed? I’m no expert on kids!

Dᴀᴅ? I ᴛʜɪɴᴋ I’ᴍ sɪᴄᴋ.

Just wait it out. If you die, that means you were too weak to survive.

More gags follow. The baby (who does look cute, I’ll give him that. But I’m not naming him. That’s a job for his parents.) gets bathed in the pool, uses tires as teething rings, and can push his dad to work when the car doesn’t start. (I guess it just gets towed home each night?) But babies will be babies, and our outstanding parents leave the gate open one day, so he wanders off on his own. (At least they do have the sense to call the police.) It’s like “Honey, I blew up the kid.” (Going off on another unrelated tangent, that movie annoys me. The kid was a danger to countless people as well as himself! Why shouldn’t people be allowed to tranquilize him? Plus, shooting annoying children is always a plus in my book)

Tʜᴀᴛ ᴇxᴘʟᴀɪɴs ᴀ ʟᴏᴛ ᴀʙᴏᴜᴛ ʏᴏᴜ.

*gunshot*

Despite the fact it’s been several weeks if not months by now, the stork is just BARELY going after the kid. (And apparently is going to keep his job. I bet you could write a fascinating book about the stork’s labor union.) And I think they sneak in a subtle reference to why some people are infertile, as the stork says no more babies are to be delivered until this is fixed. He finds the kid asleep in the arms of lady liberty. Impressively, he manages to hoist the titanic toddler up to his real home. (Mr. Giant has been having to make do with a miniature baby. It’s like trying to raise a Lego figurine.) The stork then finishes up by giving the smaller baby to what his still tipsy body identifies as its new home: a kangaroo. (Despite how slimy it probably is in there, the baby seems happy. What a trooper!)

Lights Fantastic

“It’s Swell!!”

Supervision by I. Freleng; Story by Sgt. Dave Monahan; Animation by Gil Turner; Musical Supervision by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on May 23, 1942.

Light is pretty fantastic stuff. I don’t mean the natural kind you can get from the sun. (That stuff causes cancer!) I mean the artificial kind that people use to give nature the finger, and turn night into diet day. And apart from Vegas, I’d say the best place to experience such a marvel, is New York City. What types of gags might we find just marveling at billboards?

One ad is typed out to us as if on a typewriter. But whoever is in charge of things, sure as heck can’t spell “stewpendaus.” And while you’re enjoying the sights that are lights, why not take a trip to Chinatown? (The bus is built like a rickshaw. At least it’s not as racially insensitive as it could have been.) One ad gives a free sample of what it’s promoting: an eye test! Being able to read the first line means you’re average. (Crap. I can make it out, but I can’t read that mess. Guess I need new contacts.) The next one means “above average” and the one below that is “exceptional!” And if you can read the bottom one, you clearly are a foreigner. (Who would bother to learn another language?)

What would a “Merrie Melody” be without a song number? (Still entertaining.) The ads come to life to serenade us. The featured song is “My High Polished Nose.” (“My Wild Irish Rose”) Next on the playbill: “Laugh, Clown, Laugh” performed by the mascot of Clown cakes and cookies. And as many can jokes as they can make! Coffee cans doing the can-can, while frequently showing off their cans! (Can there be anymore? It just can’t be! So I better can it, lest I get canned.)

One ad tries too hard. It tries to grab your attention with as much neon as they can afford. All for a tiny “Eat at Joe’s” message. (Freleng would use a similar gag in “Holiday for Shoestrings.” (Even using the same music piece.) And since this wasn’t the most story driven short, what better way to end it than with a music party? The dripping of coffee, the shaking of peanuts, and the dinging of a cowbell make an irresistible beat that has the rest of the ads dancing. Ending up with the same shot we began with. (What a bright idea.)