Jungle Jitters

“Oh, for goodness sakes!”

Supervision by Isadore Freleng; Story by George Manuell; Animation by Phil Monroe; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on February 19, 1938.

It’s only number three of the censored 11 that we’ve covered, and this one just might be the most offensive. I’m getting ahead of myself, so lets take a closer look.

The picture takes place in some sort of tribal village. The natives here are black, so that means:

A.) Their lips are grotesquely huge and the whole concept is rather disgusting

B.) They have nose rings that are large enough to jump through, and that is distasteful

C.) The rings around their neck actually ARE their neck, and that’s (admittedly, kinda cool but…) ultimately, rather insensitive

D.) It’s the 1930’s so how about ALL OF THE ABOVE!

We’re just in that sort of era, I get it. Doesn’t make it any more okay.

Enter another character. A salesman of some species. (I…think?) I can’t tell what this guy is! As offensive as the tribals are, I can at least tell they are humans. This guy… Well, he kind of looks like Goofy combined with some sort of dinosaur. We’ll call him Doofy.

As stated, he’s a salesman. Selling (and I quote) “Assorted, useless, utensils.” (At least he’s honest.) If their door slamming wasn’t indication enough, the natives aren’t interested in his wares. Still, they could get SOME use out of the guy. He does look… delicious? (I’m not agreeing, but maybe whatever this guy is, is their natural prey. I seriously doubt eating him counts as cannibalism.) They place him in a cooking pot, and (giving another point to humorous, here) he looks less afraid, (or relaxed, which has also been done to death) and more, confused. In the meantime, the locals are absconding with his merchandise. (Dinner and toys? Christmas reaches all corners of the globe!)

News of the upcoming feast, reaches the queen. I would like to know how she got the position. Not only is she white, but she too is some sort of humanimal. Instead of a proper mouth, she has what looks like some sort of pelican beak, but unless it matches her skin color, than it’s inside of her lips? Excuse me, Mr. Freleng? What are you letting your unit put to screen? It’s unholy! Unnatural! I would even be inclined enough to suggest it as evil! I’m scared, and I don’t scare easily. (Unnerve, sure. But not scare!) And to make things even more disgraceful, one of her black guards has a bad, offensive, over the top, Asian accent. (It’s the culmination of unfunny stereotyping! All that’s missing is a Jewish witch doctor! Which probably was included in the first draft.)

(Wow. That’s off topic, even by my lax standards.) Queenie asks to see the meal, and Doofy is brought before her. As much as her people see a roast bird, she only sees celebrities. Even ignoring his toaster that butters the toast for you. (It’s every American’s dream! Gimmee!) She decides that they are meant to be, and organizes a wedding that would even be a record by Disney movie standards. Doofy, (still keeping that clueless look about him. It’s starting to get old.) agrees, but the deal breaker is being told he has to kiss THAT face. I don’t blame him for hopping back in the pot. He ends his life with the hope that they’ll all get indigestion from him. (I’m sure that’s fairly apt to assume.)

Personal Rating: 1. (Yeah, this might be the low point of the series.

Favorite Part: To be fair, there was one point that I found enjoyable. A bunch of the natives start riding a makeshift merry go round. As to be expected, some of the others actually whistle “The Merry-Go-Round broke down.” Always a pleasure to hear.

Stork Naked

“I’LL GIVE THAT STORK A RECEPTION HE WON’T FORGET!”

Directed by I. Freleng; Story by Warren Foster; Animation by Arthur Davis, Virgil Ross, and Manuel Perez; Layouts by Hawley Pratt; Backgrounds by Irv Wyner; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Music by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on February 26, 1955.

A sober stork in a Warner Brothers Picture? It’s unthinkable! And yet, that’s how this one starts out. The stork may have a clear head, but that’ll soon be fixed. He doesn’t have just one bundle to deliver. The first one offers him a toast to the baby. As does the second. And the third. There we go. That’s more like the stork we know. He needs a name that I will claim as canonical. From now until the end, he is Tipsy the stork.

Just one more delivery to go. It’s an egg, so it must be headed for some birds. That is correct, specifically, a couple of ducks. Daffy and his wife, Daphne. (Which is a perfect name for her. It’s what I call the wife Daffy has every time he’s married.) Daphne knows he’s coming, as she is already knitting a sweater. (It’s a little known fact that all ducks get one piece of clothing. Hence Daphne’s bow, and her husband’s slippers) Once Daffy catches on that the sweater isn’t intended for him, he realizes that the stork is on the way again. (Again? So, Daphne has had more than one miscarriage? That’s hard. No wonder she spends the rest of the short off camera, grieving.)

It’s never stated why Daffy is so adverse to being a parent, but it’s pretty obvious. Kids are whiny, greedy, egotists who think they can get away with everything. (I would know. I was one, once.) So, Daffy really has no other option than to kill the stork. (Or at least just chase him away.) He’s got quite the impressive armory at the ready, but Tipsy just walks right past him and heads for the chimney. Daffy’s trap-oline works wonders and sends the bird right back up. Too bad Daffy misses his chance to hit him on the return.

Chimney didn’t work, so Tipsy heads for the front door. (Drunks always try and start with the chimney. Why do you think Santa has a red nose?) Daffy has another trap planned: a trap door that leads to an alligator basement. Tipsy walks around the pit, and when Daffy tries shoving him back out, he falls down himself. (He does manage to get away, but at the cost of a good chunk of his plumage.) When Tipsy tries a window entrance, he accidentally enters one of Daffy’s cannons and is fired back into the sky. (Little note, but I like how pleased he is to see the egg is okay. It’s not his kid, but he still wants it to be safe.)

I don’t know how long the egg must be in Daffy’s possession for it to count, but the cartoon is still going, so I guess things are in his favor. Still, Tipsy hasn’t given up either, so Daffy starts chasing him down with an axe. (I never thought about it before, but being a stork must suck. On a different note, someone should make a cartoon about a stork trying to deliver a baby to a teenager, while they, in turn, try to keep it hidden from their parents. I’m sure it would be a hit at a film festival.) When the stork creeps onto a telephone wire to evade the psycho, Daffy chops the wire his adversary is standing on. (It makes his pole fall, and he lands back in the reptiles company.)

Finally, the egg starts to hatch, so Tipsy gets it to deliver itself. It manages to get inside Daffy’s house, and hatches just as Daffy gets his wings on it. Why, it’s not a duckling after all! It’s a stork chick. And if the hat is any indication, it really IS Tipsy’s child. Daffy is delighted as he flies the chick back to where it belongs. Not only because he’s ducked out of responsibility once again, but the stork is finally going to see what it’s like on the receiving end.

Favorite Part: It’s another little thing, but when the egg starts to hatch, look at the legs. They actually foreshadow the twist, by not drawing webbed feet. They took the time to be consistent. I’m so proud!

Personal Rating: 3

Ant Pasted

“You wascuwls!”

Directed by I. Freleng; Story by Warren Foster; Animation by Virgil Ross, Art Davis, Manuel Perez, and Ken Champin; Layouts by Hawley Pratt; Backgrounds by Irv Wyner; Effects Animation by Harry Love; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on May 9, 1953.

Elmer is all excited for an Independence day picnic. What separates those from their boring everyday counterparts, is the fireworks, naturally. Elmer is just a big kid/arsonist at heart. Even if it’s light out, he gets started lighting the explosives and  flinging them away. One lands near an ant, who despite having antennae, sniffs at the device much like a dog. (Because making animals do things they don’t do is instant comedy.) Poor thing is caught in the blast. (It’s a pretty big ant too! Must be of the “bulldog” variety. Oh! I just got the sniffing!)

I wouldn’t find any fault in Elmer if he just laughed it off with a “whoops” but he actually takes delight in tormenting these innocent animals. (Picnickers are just savage) In fact, he tosses all that he can at the insects, destroying their hills. Not pleased, an ant declares war on Elmer in plain English. (They have chipmunk voices.  I don’t care what anyone says, It’s a gag that never stops being funny.) The war is officiated by presid-ant Harry Truman, and the drafting begins. (Sending the chosen ones to a literal boot camp.)

Elmer is sleeping now. (Probably saving his energy and remaining fireworks for tonight.) This gives the ants the perfect opportunity to sneak over and steal some of his fireworks to use against him. They send him a warning shot to wake him up. Based on the animals that he has faced before, I don’t find it odd, that Elmer doesn’t find it odd, that he is surrounded by literal army ants. He is willing to go to war, and suits up. (With saucepan.) The ants might be strong, but they can’t really heave, so they use mousetraps and “kazookas” to launch their attack. (Not so funny when you’re on the receiving end, huh, Elmer?)

Despite the fact that this is Elmer we’re talking about, he is actually able to put up a decent fight. He sticks his fireworks in the hills, and down the periscopes looking at him. But the ants aren’t only not killed, but they have plenty of numbers. I mean, for every one of Elmer, there’s a million of them. So, he better stock up on troops/supplies. The ants are pretty smart, too. When Elmer tries launching a firework via pipe, the ants rubber band it back into his stomach. Elmer tries to put it out with the water cooler he brought along, (and to think we all laughed at him) but it just causes him to end up inside it. (Which not only makes us all laugh at him, but reminds us of the time this exact thing happened to Sylvester.)

The ants really mean business, and call out the “Royal Flying Ants.” (An obvious nod to the “Royal Air Force” but I like to think that Freleng and his team knew that the royal ants really are the ones who can fly. It’s also another returning gag.) The navy too! Elmer is just a one man army, and knows enough to flee when he is clearly fighting a losing battle. (Nope! I couldn’t type that with a straight face!) Still, he takes what’s left of his supply, and bolts. Unbeknownst to him, many of his fireworks are leaking gunpowder, and the ants light his trail. This leads to a rather spectacular explosion, as the insects celebrate their “Indepen-ants day.”

Favorite Part: I’m sorry, did you miss the fact that Ant Harry Truman is in this picture? He’s one of the most hilariously terrifying, and terrifyingly hilarious creatures I’ve ever seen!

Personal Rating: 3

Porky’s Pastry Pirates

“G-Get out and stay out!”

Supervision by I. Freleng; Story by Dave Monahan; Animation by Gerald Chiniquy. A Looney Tune released on January 17, 1942.

No doubt you’ve heard, but there’s an epidemic going around. COVID-19 they call it. Me personally, I don’t think it’s worth raising such a fuss over, but the whole world is going crazy! Use some common sense! Don’t worry about what COULD happen and practice basic hygiene. Seems like I need to use Porky as an example, again.

In this picture, Porky runs a bakery. (The title’s even spelled out in icing. That’s cute.) Naturally, where there is a scent of sugar in the air, there’s going to be flies. Rather, just one fly. You see, Porky knows that flies are pretty  unsanitary creatures. (Much as it pains me to say) He can’t afford to let any in, lest they transmit some pathogen to his mouthwatering goodies. If he has to, he’s got a swatter and he WILL use it. The poor insect can’t do much more then watch sadly from outside the window.

Enter another possible pastry pirate. (The title promised us as least two) It’s a bee that sounds like James Cagney. (Henceforth, he shall be known as Jimmy.) Jimmy the bee is going to show the little fly how to get some sweets. He heads inside. He’s clearly some sort of super bee, as just one tap of his stinger causes the doorknob to fall away from the door. Porky is as of yet, unaware because he is busy adding the cherries on top to his cupcakes. He does take notice once the bee swipes one.

Porky is all set to swat, but falters when he realizes the insect in his shop is not a fly, but a bee! You might think that Porky would still swat this creature, but as I’m sure many can attest, it takes a lot of nerve to swat a bee. Not just because they are rapidly becoming endangered, but more so the knowledge that, should you miss, the animal is going to get angry and probably use that venom injecting stinger on you. I don’t fault Porky at all for hiding. Besides, can he help it if he makes delicacies so delectable that all animals want to taste?

Jimmy seems to have a particular fondness for cheesecake. And seeing as how there are no factories named after such a dessert yet, he’s eating his way through Porky’s. As true gourmet chef’s know, you can’t just make the same things day after week after month, etc. You need to improvise! Experiment. Try something new. Why else would he be selling a Limburger cheesecake? Jimmy is not amused. (Thieves should always have their thefts be perfect. It’s just uncouth, otherwise) He slams some eclair cream in Porky’s face. Porky in turn finally decides to fight back, but Jimmy’s super powers are still quite potent. Stinging the swatter somehow delivers an electric shock. (You don’t f*ck with Jimmy.)

That’s the demonstration. Obviously, the fly isn’t going to be able to do that, but Jimmy has an idea. Giving the harmless insect a striped shirt and a nail, he is able to pass him off as a bee. This should keep him safe from Porky’s murderous rampage. He wishes the fly luck and they part ways. The fly (who I’ve not bothered to name since he appears so little compared to Jimmy) dives into some icing and begins the kind of feasting I can only dream about. (I wish my food was big enough for me to climb on top of.)

Porky is not fooled. (Because he has I, a zoologist, as his best friend.) Despite the fly’s threats, he has to flee the swatter. Porky throws him out. (Learn to bathe!) Later Jimmy comes back for another snack. He briefly wonders about “that jerk fly”, but shrugs it off. (I really like that line. Adds to his character. He wasn’t helping to be nice, his actions were based on pity.) Getting inside, he suddenly notices the shadow of the swatter on him. Before he can act, he gets his “just desserts.” Porky isn’t the one doing the swatting, it’s the fly.

Favorite Part: When Jimmy notices Porky was trying to reach the swatter at one point, Porky sheepishly smiles and hands the angry apoid a cherry. Jimmy swats it away and storms off. He still comes back to eat it, though.

Personal Rating: 3

Buddy and Towser

“Hold ‘im, Towser!”

Supervision by Isadore Freleng; Animation by Jack King and Bob McKimson; Music by Norman Spencer. A Looney Tune released on February 24, 1934.

All the greatest Toons have dogs. Mickey has Pluto, Bart has Santa’s Little Helper, and Norville has Scoobert, just to name a few. And why shouldn’t they? Dogs are obedient, loyal, friendly, cute and warm. Am I biased? Sure, but it doesn’t change the fact the dog is the best choice of pet for humanity. Never let a thing like allergies hold you back. I’m rambling again.

With all those positive traits, is it any wonder that Buddy too, has a dog? Towser, (for that his the pooch’s name) has the essential job of guarding Buddy’s poultry house. Chickens and ducks don’t make you money if you have to replace them every morning, and replace them he might if the fox on the way has any say. (Looks like a non-anthropomorphic Foxy. At least this way nobody will get sued.) He’s quite the resourceful one, as he rather easily slips into the building. (Towser! You had one job!)

Actually, the birds seem to be handling themselves just fine. Eggs make great ammunition. (Umm… Please tell me they aren’t fertile.) Rather than just eating the free yolk, this is enough to make the fox leave.  Now Towser wakes up, and sounds a warning. While Buddy gets his gun, Towser gives chase around the coop. (I love how the fox just rides on the doghouse being drawn along. It’s not just humorous, but smart. Always try to tire out your pursuer. It makes escaping easier.)

With Buddy on the alert, the fox decides it’s a good idea to flee. The two could just let him leave, but it won’t guarantee him not coming back. They have to kill him. It’s the only way. Towser thinks he finds his target, but it was only a bear. He seems quite unhappy to be woken up in winter, so he gives chase. And you gotta give Buddy credit, he actually fires his gun. Strangely enough, it doesn’t get rid of the bear. On the contrary, it multiplies him. (And they all told the inventor that a bear making gun wouldn’t sell. Now who’s laughing?)

Non-anthro Foxy is still pissed that Buddy has a career (struggling, though it is) and he doesn’t, so he gets the two to chase him again. They follow him up a hill, and he makes the ever common mistake, of turning to look at them. BOOM! He crashes into a tree. Thus causing snow to fall on him and encase him in a snowball. The two try to escape, but are scooped up. When they crash and are freed, they try to clobber the fox with some fence posts, but are so dizzy that all they his is each other. Foxy escapes and his evil plans will continue! (Or, you know, they won’t.)

Favorite Part: The last time Warners does the “chick needs bathroom” bit. There’s a twist this time: the mother doesn’t want to get out of her nest, so she makes one of her older chicks take him. Look at that disgusted face, reluctance to comply, dragging the younger by the arm, and still sulking while being thanked. (Boy, is it all relatable!)

Country Boy

“♫Teacher’s gonna get’cha cause she’s not a fool…♫

Supervision by Isadore Freleng; Animation by Bob McKimson and Paul Mith; Musical Score by Norman Spencer. A Merrie Melody released on February 9, 1935.

Morning time is the time that all well behaved bunnies go to school. (To learn how to make clothes. Living naked is a sin!) So, for fun’s sake, let’s look in on the one naughty rabbit. You can tell he is naughty because he tries to avoid school by hiding amongst the poultry. That and his name is Peter. The universal name for naughty rabbits. Yes, this is essentially a retelling of the classic story. More importantly, Beatrix Potter was still alive at this time of time. And I wonder, did she ever watch cartoons? Was she a fan, with how much she loved animals wearing clothes, and having adventures beyond the typical mate/survive/end up dead lifestyle they usually have?

Yeah, yeah, off topic. Peter heads off after being caught by his mother, but on the way, he spots a delicious looking garden. But before he can sneak in and have a feast worthy of the best salad bars, he is caught by three of his goody-goody classmates. (Heck if I know the genders. Bernice Hansen uses the same voice for all of them. And girls don’t wear nothing but dresses.) They warn him that not only will he end up as a stew ingredient should he trespass, but they will do the most horrible thing they can do to him: tattle. (All in song form, too) Before things get too ugly, they hear the school bell and rush off. Clever little Peter, though, he doubles back at the last moment and heads off to what I want to call “Vegetable Valley.” (If only it was a valley.)

He starts with the carrots, and then heads to the peas. Well, at least they seem like peas. Really, they’re jumping beans. (Which makes me wonder what they were originally, before the farmer just gave up and let the animals rule this part of the garden.) Maybe he should stick to things his body can actually digest? Beets! Even the bull is feasting here. (Is the farmer okay with that?) A tug of war between the two herbivores ends with the bovine in the well, and its cries alert farmer McGregory of the intrusion. Chase time! (Just like in the original stories, he never questions how a rabbit was able to make/purchase clothing and put it on without hands or a complex brain.)

Peter could run, but why not take the mower? Not only does it mean he can run without using energy, but he can tear up the area. (That’ll teach that farmer for his lack of sharing! Sucks to your hard work!) Still, it doesn’t end especially well for the rabbit. He ends up flying through the farmer’s syrup harvest, and his hen house. Once more, he can hide amongst the poultry. And if he wants to keep his body unstewed, he’s going to have to. (If this Peter wasn’t a child, I’d say this is the untold story of how Peter Sr. ended up in a pie. Mcgregory: “Why does this chicken taste like rabbit?”)

Favorite part: The rabbit children’s song. (It’s catchy)

Buddy’s Trolley Troubles

“All aboard!”

Supervision by Isadore Freleng; Drawn by Ben Clopton and Frank Tipper; Music by Norman Spencer. A Looney Tune released on May 5, 1934.

I don’t know what it is about trolleys, but if you drive one, there will be trouble. Doesn’t matter if you’re a lucky rabbit, a fox, or a purple dragon. Then again, it wouldn’t be very entertaining if nothing happened. Then again, (again) if the main character is Buddy, it probably still won’t be TOO entertaining. (I love ya, Buddy. But you are rather boring.)

One fine day, Buddy awakes wearing that same wide smile he always wears. Isn’t life swell? Nothing can go wrong, and if it does, one can solve any problem with a sunny disposition. Golly! Aren’t we in for boatloads of fun! Buddy keeps his trolley in his garage, and gets it to the tracks by using his fence. (Yeah, that is pretty clever, but it must be a pain to replace each day.) Be it that it’s a nice trolley, or the only trolley, Buddy gets some riders. A fat lady, (always has to be at least one) and a guy who hangs on to the outside before getting in. (And it must be larger on the inside, because we never see the two again. Then again, (part 3) I never did see Buddy eat breakfast today…)

The passenger Buddy is most happy to pick up, is his girlfriend. He even has a scissors lift installed so he can reach the floor of the building she lives on. (And he just…stares at her. It’s rather creepy, but she seems to enjoy it. I’ll never understand couples.) This causes trouble for Buddy, as he holds up traffic. (Go on then, show us that smile!) The cop isn’t too patient with him, punching him in the face, and telling him  to shut up. (Something I’m sure many of us would love to do.) They get moving.

As they ride along, they eventually come to a part of track that a convict is hiding under. A trolley would be just the thing to cut the chain on his ball and chain. It works, and Buddy hops out to see what the damage is. The smart thing to do in this situation is to lay low, maybe disguise yourself. Then again (I’m saying again) this guy probably got arrested in the first place for charging people for a game of punch the cop’s balls. (Fun game, disastrous consequences.) So it doesn’t surprise me to see him take off with Cookie in tow.

Buddy manages to chase the brute down with a hand cart, and even get some licks in. He even gets Cookie back without too much of a struggle. Still, he might want to look into a new line of work as the thief can’t slow down in time, and hits a truck of dynamite stuck on the tracks. (Yep, that’s Dumbasp Mcgee, all right. What a pathetic excuse for a criminal)

Favorite part: Me being me, I like what Buddy uses to ring his bell: a cat. (I’m probably going to hell)

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.