Buddy Steps Out

“Blow your nosey.”

Supervision by Jack King; Animation by Charles Jones and Robert Clampett; Music by Bernard Brown. A Looney Tune released on July 20, 1935.

Well, somebody looks like they’re getting ready for a good time. It’s Cookie looking way more like Betty Boop than Cookie Phudd. Definitely makes her look more grown up than usual, but she’s got that counterintuitive Bernice Hansen voice that just begs to belong to child characters. Speaking of children, Buddy looks way, way, (P.S. WAY) too young for her. She’s got a full head of height on him, and mixed with his baby face, he just looks like her little brother playing grown-up. (Whatever did happen to him?)

As the title suggests, they step out. And it would be really rude of us to follow along on their private time, so let’s stay behind. Cookie’s got a canary. What more do you need to be entertained? (I’m so boring, but I’m… happy?) Too bad Cookie couldn’t bother buying a better cage for the little guy. I don’t care how “great” a depression is, buying an animal is a commitment. If you can’t guarantee a comfortable, enjoyable, meaningful life, then you shouldn’t have a pet. (And yes, that’s why this animal lover doesn’t have a parrot, tortoise and rat.)

In other words, the bird slips out of his cage and out the open window. (Burglars love Cookie’s place. She even leaves out plates of her namesake for them.) He could potentially get in, but its cold outside and the picture of Buddy on the desk can’t stand it. So, for the second time in the picture, Buddy steps out. With some extra muscle from an Atlas figurine, (or whatever you wanna call what he has) the house returns to warmer times. The poor canary realizes how good he had it by this point, but can’t enter a closed window! Buddy has moved on from torturing lower life forms, it seems.

Good thing the picture isn’t really the real Buddy. He brings the bird back in, and not a moment too soon. Little fella is frozen solid. Little Buddy solves this by placing the canary in an ash tray, and igniting a lighter underneath. Because he has all the evil thoughts of the original Buddy! Why should Cookie share her love with any other creature? I know this is killing the bird because its starting to hiccup. Just like everything does on deaths door.

Fine, it works. Sue me. (You do know how to contact me, right?) The bird is all better which means its party time. Original Buddy shouldn’t be the only one allowed to have a good time. Let’s have all the printed mascot characters in the house join in! Don’t you wish you could join in the joy of suddenly having a new dimension to move through? The girls on the soup can sing, and so does a Proto-Porky on a ham. Fittingly though, he does so in his native tongue: (say it with me) Pig Latin! Even an insect joins in the singing sesh. Quick, Henry, the Flik! It’ll teach him to join in things he wasn’t invited to.

Jiggers! The couple! Everybody had better get back to their places because Cookie is going to have a fit if she has to look after so many little ones. That means canary goes in cage, and Little Buddy gets back in his frame. Original Buddy has to see his girl off with nothing more than a kiss on the hand. Little Buddy, on the other one, gets way more action. Cookie plants four times the kisses on the picture version. On his face, yet. Being a photograph rocks. And we have Beans seeing us off. A subtle way of telling us that Buddy’s days are numbered. (Proto-Porky actually appearing in the story says the same thing about Beans.)

Favorite Part: The animals that “Flik” is said to kill include bugs, ants, slugs and snails. Oddly specific, but it’s like the animators were looking into the future saying: “Yes, Dr. Foolio, we DO know that ‘bugs’ ISN’T supposed to be a catch-all term for insects. Our made-up product won’t cause any lasting harm to beetles, roaches, flies or caterpillars.”

Personal Rating: Well, I was going to give it a 3, for being fairly entertaining as far as Buddy cartoons go, but realized that it’s just another “products coming to life” picture that W.B. has no shortage of better ones. If you only like the best in that category, then it’s a 2.

 

Tokio Jokio

‘REGRETTABLE INCIDENT PLEASE’

Supervision by Cpl. Norman McCabe; (He was drafted. This was his final short. He never got to play with technicolor.)  Animation by I. Ellis; Story by Don Christensen; Musical Direction: Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on May 15, 1943.

Oh, boy. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. And three more. This is not a good cartoon. It probably brought some smiles to faces in a long bygone era, but today? Oh, boy. I am not Japanese. I’ve never been to Japan. The most I can say is that I took a cooking class with an exchange student from there. (He was a cool guy.) I don’t know how anyone who is Japanese would take this short today, but I wouldn’t be upset if they, were. This is wartime propaganda and nothing more. Even if it wasn’t problematic today, it wouldn’t be funny. There’s no smart jokes here. They’re all either weak puns, or just plain mean jabs. It gets my lowest score, so you can leave if you’re ready. I’ll press on. Not like I do anything else with my life.

This short is presented as, and I seriously quote, “Japanazi propaganda.” (Closest we’re getting to clever today.) Enemies or not, they are still humans and deal with problems during war as well. Sadly though, they all have the same unfortunate look. Squinting eyes, overgrown teeth, and ears that suggest they are members of the Ceboidea family. If you saw “Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips“, you’ve seen these caricatures. If you’ve seen these caricatures, you may understand how uncomfortable I feel describing them.

We start with a segment on civilian defense. (Given what we’re given here, I’m surprised they didn’t spell it as ‘civillain’.) Their air raid siren comprises of two guys who take turns poking each other’s rears with a needle. Since they’re Japanese, they are very polite throughout the process, tipping hats and bowing between turns. (Kill me. Go on. I won’t be missed.) We also see a tip on how to handle incendiary bombs. What you want to do is stay clear for at least five seconds. Then you can use them to roast franks. (Still kills a man though. At least he’s getting out of here early.)

Kitchen hints comes closer to a joke than many here. It’s a gag I could see done with American folks: Making a sandwich out of ration cards. If there wasn’t another hurtful caricature, I’d name it as my favorite part. Oh geeze. I’m going to have to supply one of those as well. Ohhhhhhhhhh, boy. In other gags, clothing is one of those topics we can all familiarize with. The latest Japanese fashions have no cuffs, pleats or lapels. In fact, it’s little more than a diaper. Let’s all mock our adversaries in the style of 5-year olds. (Really. Death. I welcome it.)

Headline personalities is spelt as ‘poisonalities’. And really? Even the little skull has to have squinty sockets and oversized mandibles? Well, look at the general run during an air raid. Isn’t worrying about your life cowardly? And look, when he runs into a skunk, (In Japan?) its the Mephitidae donning a gas mask. (Do you want to make fun of his weight next? I don’t think you picked a low enough hanging fruit.) We even get a look at what Hitler and Mussolini are up to, courtesy of Lord Hee Haw. Having a donkey head is actually the least offensive design we’ve seen. (His left eye whites out.)

We finish up with pokes about their navy. Ships are launched before finished, aircraft carries are loaded up with shot-down planes, and a literal mine sweeper blows up. Blegh. Finally. It’s over and… No. NO!  I’d know that drum anywhere! Please, don’t. Buddy, pal, the one guy I’m always willing to defend. Don’t do it! Don’t show yourself! Don’t- AUUUUUUUUUUUUUURRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Porky, why? Why, Porky, why? Why can’t I pretend my favorite character of anything is a real breathing, living person, who was under contract and could choose to say his line, or find a new job? *sigh* Because I’m the brutally honest type. I’m crying myself to sleep tonight.

Favorite Part: *you serious? glare followed by an even bigger sigh* I choose Hitler getting a ‘wish you were here’ card from a concentration camp. At least I can agree with that.

Personal Ra- 1. You’re not surprised, I”m not surprised. This was a guaranteed 1 from 3/1/2011. I feel bad for Norm. None of his shorts are anywhere near the best, but this one aged like botulized milk.

Porky the Gob

“All hands on deck!”

Supervision by Ben Hardaway and Cal Dalton; Story by Melvin Millar; Animation by Gil Turner; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on December 17, 1938.

“The Gob of…” Wait, I’ve already made that crummy joke once before. It’s interesting that two different characters each got a shot at the title. Too bad it quit here, because I’d have loved to see ‘Sniffles the Gob’, ‘Inki the Gob’, and ‘The Tasmanian Devil the Gob’ as well.

Well, we’re already going to get more of the gob experience than Buddy ever gave us, as Porky’s short takes place just as shore leave is over. Back to your stations, gobs! We’ve got a navy to run here! Our captain goes by the name of Skid. He’s sleeping, and that raises an interesting question. Namely: if you dream about your legs disappearing, does that cause the same reality? My guess is yes. When he wakes up, we see he’s the usual type of commander. All gruff and guff and stern-type stuff. Smacking his crew if they’re not up to snuff.

Mess call! Skid, cruel as he can be, let’s everyone know that the last one in will be, and I quote, “a softie.” Game on. Captains have fragile egos, so he demands everyone freeze while he gets to the front of the mob. This is how winners get made. One guy can’t go eat because he is in charge of getting the incoming messages. (I didn’t see him actually enter the mess hall. Ladies and gentleman, I give you our softie.) There’s bad new afoot. There’s someone dangerous in these waters who has a bounty of fifty grand. The dreaded pirate, submarine.

Sorry. I just meant the pirate submarine. (I really did think that was his name at first.) That cash reward gets Skid excited and he orders his men to help him lay claim to it. Porky, naturally tries to go where the action is, but Skid kicks him off. The polite reason is that someone has to stay behind and guard the place, but since he is accusing Porky of rocking his plane, I think he’s using the rude reason: saying Porky is too fat. The a$$hole. Porky sulks while a certain sinister sub set on subterfuge spots the solo sailor ship. Surefire success!

Direct hit! But the ship doesn’t seem to be sinking quite yet, so Porky can fight back. (With his cute hat, he kind of looks like the Piggly Wiggly logo.) And that he does. Returning shots and letting the enemy know that yes, they’ve bitten off more than they can chew. Speaking of, one guy fights dirty by lobbing his ABC gum at Porky’s cannon. That is gross times a gross! Now with Porky’s main defense gone, they can start boarding his vessel. I hope they bought the best insurance stolen money can buy.

Porky ain’t beaten! Using a rope to swing, he kicks all the ruffians out of the cartoon and harpoons the pirate sub with a plunger, bringing it aboard. Hey! I think he’s just earned himself a reward. Fade to the ceremony where he gets his dough. Even Skid is showing proper respect now that he knows Porky can make people vanish if he’s mad enough. Before things get too serious though, it’s time to visit the mess hall again. Come on! You don’t want to be labeled as the softie, do you?

Favorite Part: When Porky is returning shots fired, a mechanical arm gives him a cigar for trying. After Porky tries again, we don’t see the results, but the arm rescinds the gift. Soreheads.

Personal Rating: 2. It’s just “Little Beau Porky” but on the sea this time.

The Million Hare

“He probably thinkth he’s miles ahead of me.”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Dave Detiege; Animation by Ted Bonnicksen, Warren Batchelder, George Grandpre, and Keith Darling; Layouts and Backgrounds by Robert Gribbroek; Effects Animation by Harry Love; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Bill Lava. A Looney Tune released on April 6, 1963.

Bugs was quite the wealthy actor, back in the day. Just look at the setup on his TV antennae! Probably has ever channel available at the time. When he invites Daffy over for a vacation, all the duck wants to do is vegetate in front of the tube. That’s sorta like I was as a kid. Just replace ‘watch TV’ with ‘read all their books.’ Don’t look at me that way! They had more “Calvin and Hobbes” collections than I knew existed! Bugs is kinda against brain atrophy, but Daffy isn’t budging, so Bugs just joins in.

The program airing at the moment is called “Beat Your Buddy.” Don’t worry! It’s only as violent as one makes it. It goes like this: the host reaches into what is called a buddy barrel and pulls out D̶i̶d̶d̶y̶ K̶o̶n̶g̶  two names. The two mentioned on those scraps of paper must then race each other to the studio to claim their prize. Beautifully showing off the follies of man and how any one of us would probably kill our best pal for financial security. If networks could afford a show that would get sued every week, there’d be new episodes to this day.

Surprise, surprise! The two names drawn are Bugs and Daffy. And Daffy wastes no time getting started. He’s been preparing for this day all season. Bugs is slower, more amused than anything that the two were picked. And maybe confused? How are they getting the names? Just pushing a phone book through a deli slicer? What if you weren’t aware your name was called? Do they have cameramen that could fill you in? What if you really didn’t want to compete? What if one of the names drawn belonged to someone who was working on the show? What if I continued with the plot?

First obstacle is a lake. Daffy takes a motor boat, and when Bugs arrives he reattaches the rope tied to it to the pier. Maybe sabotaging Daffy intentionally, or not. Daffy and the motor rip through the boat, and go along under the water and ground before blasting into the air. Trying to work with this, Daffy tries to go forward, and immediately crashes into a tree. (Great timing.) By this time, Bugs has crossed the lake as well and hops along with springs on his feet. Does that count as cheating? Can you cheat at all if you started from the same place? Well, almost the same. Daffy was slightly farther from the finish then Bugs was.

Daffy takes a shortcut, which probably also isn’t cheating. And neither is trying to sabotage the other racer. Boosts those ratings. I do like how there’s just a key stone to remove in case you need to start an avalanche. You know, to make sure the rocks don’t fall on anybody? Except yourself, of course. Whoever thought this brilliant idea up, made sure the rocks would fall on top of the key stone puller. Bugs is ahead again. Daffy tries to use a tree to sling himself farther, which works for about all of two seconds before he crashes into a cliff face, and Bugs catches up again. Daffy is still able to run ahead, but because he doesn’t take his eyes off Bugs, he runs off the road. Bugs addresses the question I was asking the first time I viewed this: why doesn’t Daffy fly? (He’s forgotten he can.)

Bugs manages to get to the building the studio is in first. Just needs to make it to the top floor. Daffy plans to use a jet pack to get him up there first, but I think they still made it roughly the same time, as when Daffy flies back out, he’s got Bugs in his clutches. They fly through a china shop, hilariously breaking nothing, before they turn right around and do it properly. Emergency hos-pit stop…al. (Almost was clever.) Hey, I just thought of another question about this show! Does it have a time limit? I mean, I don’t know how long it would take to dress their injuries, but Daffy has a cast and cane, and Bugs is now in a wheelchair. Were viewers at home still enthralled?

It’s a good thing the studio building has elevators, so Bugs still has a chance. It’s a close call photo finish, but, yes, Daffy wins! He actually won! Actually… Bugs doesn’t really have a good “track record” for races, does he? Daffy asks for his prize and he gets it: it’s called a ‘million box.’ It’s called that because it has 1,000,000 little boxes inside! (Although, I did some multiplication and estimating, and have concluded that there’s really only a little more than 7,000 in there. Better get your lawsuit on.) Daffy proves what a good friend he is by opting to donate his prize to Bugs. That’s the sign of a real, honest and true buddy, seeing as each of the little boxes had a dollar inside. When asked to say more, Daffy can only bray. Looks like Bugs can upgrade his television again!

Favorite Part: Listen closely to the host when he explains what little rules this show has. I purposefully didn’t mention it earlier, but he really does say you stand to win “the million box.” It’s not his fault Daffy misheard.

Personal Rating: 3

Joe Glow the Firefly

“ZZZzzz-ZZZzzz”

Supervision by Charles M. Jones; Story by Rich Hogan; Animation by Philip Monroe; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on March 8, 1941.

Let’s say I asked four different people to draw up a firefly for a piece of media and these were the results:

Which one would get the highest scoring grade?

That’s right, none of them. For you see, I didn’t say “firefly” like a beetle from the Lampyridae family, I said “firefly.” You know, an insect version of a fireman. That’s what I’m choosing was going through Chuck and co.’s heads when designing the title character. That way, I can say that for once in my life, someone made one of these animals actually look remotely accurate to real life.

In these early, pre-Smokey Bear days, the job of keeping aware of potential threats to the forest fell to the smaller animals. Rather, that’s what I think Mr. Glow is doing here. His motivation isn’t really explained. He just enters a tent and explores therein. He doesn’t want to disturb the camper though, so he’s being extra quiet. We’re “light” on laugh-out-loud moments as this is short is in the vein of Chuck’s Sniffles’s pictures: tiny creature exploring the larger world. Hi-jinks ensue.

The man Joe lands on (awkward cut!) is indeed asleep, so that means Joe can make the rest of his rounds in peace. Relative peace, anyway, for this man snores. What’s a minor nuisance at best to fellow humans, becomes a mixture of wind tunnels and earthquakes to those at Joe’s scale. Shaken, he lands on the chest area. Things are a little more stable there. Making his way to the closest finger, he stops to make sure the wrist watch is set correctly. (Lovely shot from inside the timepiece.) Joe then sees another thing he’d better check out: a flashlight. That could possibly cause a fire! It’s had a troubled past!

Nope. Checks out. It’s in perfect working condition, too. The man briefly awakes at the brightness, but Joe is quick to turn it off, taking cover in the dark. Camper goes back to sleeping, and Joe decides to keep on. Even though the man isn’t a light sleeper, he is a sound sleeper, as Joe walking across a cracker doesn’t even make him stir. Better see how the rest of the food is doing. Looks like all the salt is still here, there, and entirely coating Joe. At least now he knows not to open the container that way.

Where there’s salt, there’s pepper. Joe checks that too. And he sneezes of course. Got a hefty set of lungs for an animal that doesn’t possess any. It rockets him out of the shaker, and into a catsup bottle that is now teetering on the edge of the table. But Joe earned that hat he wears. He knows just what to do in situations like this. He grabs some string (which looks kind of out of place, doesn’t it?) and is able to lasso it, and safely lower it to the ground. I’d say everything seems to be on the up and up. His work done, Joe flies out.

It’s then that he remembers the most important part of the inspection. Flying back he wishes the man “goodnight”. Making sure to shout it directly into his eardrum of course. It’s the only way to be heard at that size.

Favorite Part: When Joe is flying away at the table, the background artists remembered to show the spilled salt. I love when details aren’t forgotten like that.

Personal Rating: You know, I could see many casual viewers thinking this short is boring. It’s not. It’s charming. Still, for those who aren’t mature enough for this one, they can see it as a 2. Me though, I think us true fans can give it the 3 it deserves. This is a beautiful picture! The grayscale world really illustrates that the camper is miles away from civilization and its overabundance of light. Things are dark here, and the only source of light is Joe’s lantern. You just wouldn’t be able to sell the idea as well with technicolor. In fact, I’m giving it a 4 for me. Maybe you can do the same.

Bosko’s Mechanical Man

“Oh, suh-wish.”

Animation by Isadore Freleng and Thomas McKimson. A Looney Tune released on September 27, 1933.

It’s the final Harmon/Ising film with this studio, which means it’s also the last Bosko short with them. Coming out just a few months after a certain mouse’s “…Mechanical Man”, it feels original enough due to robots not being exclusive to Disney. (Just Blue Sky, who wasn’t around yet.)

Honey does some window washing, giving Bosko an opportunity to trace “I love you” in the water. (From the wrong side mind you. Oops.) He even picks the flowers in front of her house as a gift. Usually in cartoons, that’s what the villain trying to marry for money does. (I was hoping Honey would thank him and plant them right back.) Honey is very happy to see the kid, as he can help her wash some dishes. Bosko laughs at the very idea. I mean him? Doing a woman’s work? Let’s all laugh as the scene fades.

Fade in to see Bosko helping out like a good boy. (Love his sour face.) Of course, being a man means he’s going to eventually do something dumb to catch his crush’s attention. In this case, carrying too many plates at once and heading outside. Honey angrily stomps outside once she hears the crash and glares at him. Just glares. But she’s disappointed and that’s really the worst punishment. She’s not going to forgive this one easily.

Bosko catches sight of the daily paper which is kinda light on the “news”. The top story is just the technocrats of the world proclaiming that robots will one day be doing most of our work. (It’s like that time I made the front page predicting that everyone older than me was likely to die before I did.) It doesn’t matter if I think it’s a waste of ink and trees, Bosko’s got an idea. And he doesn’t even need any sort of engineering degree to put it together. Just a some irons here, a stove there…

Honey demands he get back inside which is confusing. Wouldn’t she want him as far away from her china as possible? Like in China? But Bosko is sure about about this. His positivity is instantly challenged when Bosko Jr. is brought to life. It’s got no reason to be, but angry and murderous it is. It runs amok and you’d be smart to lock your doors, but only if you lived in Fort Knox. It can break down doors. Piano music can calm it, but only if you keep playing. And why would Bosko do that if his life depended on it? He’s got no future at Warners.

Honey to the rescue! She realizes that what this robot needed all along was a phonograph in its butt. Why are you making that face? Do you need to read the sentence again? She realizes that what this robot needed all along was a phonograph in its butt. Happy? He sings along to the record, but it has a crack and he skips a lot. He’s not placated and chases the two out of the house. They pass the sleeping Bruno (Who’s just been outside the whole time. Guess they just wanted to show him one last time, too.) but the robot stops to shock the dog awake letting the doorbell wiring go through his body. And he has pupils now. (And your eyes would dilate too if you had what he had crammed up there.)

The three are chased, but Bosko is able to keep his loved ones safe by hurling some dynamite down his creation’s throat. The robot is dead which is a shame since he wasn’t really alive at any point. And I’m still wondering why he was motivated to act like he did. Did Bosko program him to feel pain? I figure having a stove potbelly does give you eternal heartburn.

Favorite Part: A small thing, (as most of my favorite parts are) but I love the robot’s grinding teeth being the teeth of gears that are grinding. Clever.

Personal Rating: 2. Not a horrible film to end on. (Hint. Develop some new characters at MGM, guys. I’m begging ya 91 years late!)

China Jones

“Me, dragon lady.”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Tedd Pierce; Animation by Tom Ray, George Grandpre, Ted Bonnicksen, and Warren Batchelder; Layouts by Robert Gribbroek; Backgrounds by William Butler; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Milt Franklyn. A Looney Tune released on February 14, 1959.

Daffy is Irish, but they call him China Jones. A nod to the series “China Smith” but not a very clever name. How about China Schmidt? Or China Smithers? Or… I don’t know, China Shmith? Actually, that one wouldn’t work as Daffy is actually lisp free in this cartoon. As he finishes the meal he was eating, he cracks into his Chinese fortune “cakes”. There’s no fortune in it, and that really is the worst feeling in the world. They’re not called advice cookies! I mean, “cakes”.

It actually isn’t advice either. It’s a plea! A plea for help! Someone is being held prisoner in a bakery with a reward of 150 pounds. (Do tell. They must have been in there decades to think that joke is still clever.) But as the parody suggests, Daffy is a detective and should probably solve this case. All he needs is a hot tip, and those tend to be supplied at Limey  Louie’s tavern. But as he prepares to depart, he is approached by another famous detective, Charlie Chan, er, Chung. (See? This one makes sense.) And no squinty eyes/Fu Manchu mustache can hide my beloved Porky from my fanboy/stalker eyes. Man, do I want to wallpaper my room in his autograph.

Chung is here on some matter of money. He’s not really elaborating for the sake of a punchline, but a good detective like Jones can figure it out. The most obvious reason is the most likely. Chung is just trying to get himself a piece of the pound pie. Jones brushes him off so he can get to Louie’s. Now, Louie and Jones have a bit of a history. Jones is kinda, sorta the person who sent Louie to prison. And unbeknownst to Jones, Louie is already released and has set this whole prisoner thing up to get some delicious cold revenge. Donning a disguise, he awaits the P.I.

Louie introduces his self to Jones as the Mrs. and gives a sob demonstration of how the cops treated her husband, on Jones. But once that thrashing is over, “she” is willing to give Jones the tip he needs. Pick a card, any card, specifically the card being subtly pushed onto you. These are bad leads that just lead Jones to a couple of painful mishaps, but it doesn’t seem like he’s catching on until after the second attempt. Fun’s gonna have to be cut short Louie, go on and reveal yourself.

Revealing his true identity, and revealing the hoax, Louie is ready for a Peking duck dinner. Jones bravely runs into the backroom. He trips a trapdoor that leaves him dangling over a pit of Chinese alligators. Louie does Tweety’s “piddy” shtick, to feed his pets. (It is a pretty funny change up with the thick cockney accent.) Jones barely manages to escape this familiar situation, when Chung reappears. Can he help out? Well, I wouldn’t doubt Porky is capable, but he never said he was a detective at all. He’s a laundry man. And that money matter he wanted to discuss? Jones’s bill.

In the end, Louie gets away with assault and Jones is forced to work off his tab. Shouting for help, in mock Chinese, about his ironic punishment of being trapped in a Chinese laundromat. (This ending was cut during the 90’s. Probably a good call for impressionable minds. I mean, I definitely used mock Chinese myself as a kid. I really didn’t need more encouragement.)

Favorite Part: Jones, trying to “duck” out on his bill, quotes Confucius. Chung quotes right back, calmly pulling out a club as he does so. Bass. There’s no other word for him.

Personal Rating: I’m giving it a 1. It’s loaded with stereotyping that can not; should not be considered funny in today’s day and today’s age. If it doesn’t bother you as much, I believe you can consider it a 2.

Curtain Razor

“I killed them in Cu-… camonga.”

Directed by I. Freleng; Story by Tedd Pierce; Animation by Manuel Perez, Ken Chapin, Virgil Ross, and Pete Burness; Layouts by Hawley Pratt; Backgrounds by Paul Julian; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on May 21, 1949.

Hope you enjoyed the green rings in the opening because they’re gonna be the iconic orange from here on out!

Today’s role Porky finds himself in is a talent scout at the Goode and Korny talent agency. It really is one of the world’s more entertaining jobs. You get to see the beginning of the greats, total failures embarrass themselves, and best of all: send the worst down a trapdoor. The operatic grasshopper that was singing over the opening titles wasn’t too shabby! Can any other acts top that?

We aren’t off to a promising start. Clara Cluck’s sister, Sara, instead of trying to develop a talent on her own, tries to copy her sibling’s opera shtick, seeing as how said sibling has been retired by now. Here’s a tip Sara: close your eyes when you do that. Makes you look more operatic and less “I’m being goosed by a poltergeist.”. She  stops her performance short upon laying an egg during the performance. Literal or figurative, that’s earned you a trap door ride. (Her egg hatches before it follows her, revealing Tweety’s stepbrother, Tweeter.)

A fox enters the room boasting about what a sensational act he’s got. Porky is willing to see it, but the fox totally cut the line. He’ll have to wait his turn. Next up for real is Cecil Turtle’s nephew, Sessile. He’s this universe’s Mel as he claims to have 1,000 different voices. (Of which, I can make out Bugs, Foghorn, Durante, and Rochester.) Despite his claim, Porky only counted 999. The poor reptile leaves, hoping he’ll remember the last one. (Isn’t it your normal speaking voice? Sessile, get back here! You need to be discovered!)

Next up, a parrot named Bingo, (who you can also see in Arthur Davis’s “Catch as Cats Can”) a chicken named Frankie, and a duck named Al, collectively known as the Three Cavalheiros! They sing just like their namesakes and I think they’re rather swell. Porky thanks them as they leave, but confines to us that that kind of stuff is only going to appeal to the bobbysoxer crowd. (Porky, pal, I can see your socks. Don’t be ashamed of what you like.)

And now a man with two heads enters. Porky is sure this act is going to be awesome, but the man angrily states that he is only the janitor. I figured two heads meant there was two of you. I guess me and Porky are both guilty of facial profiling. That poor guy! He’s just like every tall person who has to tirelessly tell everyone that no, he doesn’t play basketball. When will we learn as a society that we need to ask what other people are into. Oh, and the fox still tries to jump the queue.

After a couple more acts, including a regular old human using the same pigeon act Daffy tried in “Show Biz Bugs“, Porky finally gets tired of the pushy fox, and sends him down the trapdoor. Just in time for a dog to enter. He’s not a dog act. He’s merely the transportation. (Porky? What did we just learn from Double Header‘s son?) The dog’s got a flea circus act! And by that, I mean the fleas build a circus. (And judging by the musical accompaniment, they commissioned the  Rubber Band to join.)

Finally, finally, it’s that foxes turn to perform. This better be nothing we’ve ever seen before, considering how much hype he gave it. The act in question? Ingesting several flammable substances, before swallowing a lit match while dressed as a devil. … Well, I suppose back in 1949, people wouldn’t have yet seen this ending in a different cartoon by Freleng’s unit. I’ll give it to him.

Favorite Part: The scowl Porky gives after Sara’s performance. He’s all “B*tch, don’t you be having no babies on my floors. I just got these carpets cleaned!”

Personal Rating: 3. It’s a shame the aforementioned “S.B.B.” did this sorta idea better, mainly by having established characters with an established rivalry front and center. If you were watching this short before 1957, then it was a 4.

Porky’s Tire Trouble

“D-D-Don’t hurt that d-d-dog!”

Supervision by Robert Clampett; Story by Warren Foster; Animation by Norman McCabe; Music by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on February 18, 1939.

Starring Porky Pig! (Look at that doofy smile he gives at the beginning. I love this dope!) And yes, it is vital to remind us, as most of the focus will be taken by Porky’s dog of the picture: Flat Foot Flookey. (Don’t you just love names that are tongue twisters? Cause I don’t.) He’s a strange looking one, as dogs go. It’s like Clampett wanted his unit to get Pluto and Goofy for a cameo in one of his shorts, Disney obviously said “Screw off.” (with that charming smile of his), Clampett managed to get a D.N.A. sample off both of them, but accidentally put the two into the same cloning jar. So why do YOU think the dog is wearing shoes?

Porky is heading off to another workday at Snappy Rubber Co. (The scenery is  jumpy today), with the loyal Flat right behind. (I’d really rather not type his entire name out again.) Porky doesn’t notice until the dog enters the building.  Porky yanks him right back out because his boss has some asinine rule that makes no sense to me: No Dogs Allowed. I mean really, what if Porky needed to hug something warm and I wasn’t around? Are you willing to be there when your employee needs you most, boss?

Okay. Tone it back. I’m letting my fanboying take over again. Rules are still rules and Porky has to tie Foot to a car. (Look at the poor dog’s face! Why would Porky do this to him?) I guess it’s a good idea; his walrus boss is another Billy Bletcher role, so he probably can be a pretty nasty foe. But he does his job competently. He uses a machine to chew up rubber trees, and pour the pulp into the giant, novelty waffle irons that Porky mans. Turning out rather handsome tires. How are they considered trouble? Porky handles them like the champ he is.

Flookey (Wait… Lessee… ‘Flat’… ‘Foot’… Aw crap.) doesn’t heed the sign because he can’t read. He digs into the factory, dragging the car along I might add. I do so hope it was the boss’s. (I kinda want to dub him ‘Bletch’ but I’d rather make less references to “The Feebles” than Disney has. He’s not getting a name.) Porky directs his dog to the exit, but the pup steps into a barrel of rubberizing solution. His body absorbs the properties, essentially making him a superhero. Eat it Krypto and Underdog! Before you both existed there was Plastic Pooch!

With the power of rubber, Plastic Pooch does the most obvious thing: turn his face into caricatures! (His Edna Mae Oliver could use some improvements in the eyes, and his Hugh Herbert’s nose changes color. Or maybe it’s just a change of the light?) He can now take on his nemesis: Porky’s boss! He’s fully aware there’s a dog on the premises now, and he aims to eradicate him. (I can tell Mel is doing the shouting for him. That guy was born shouting.) But the dog is rubber, he’s not glue, Plastic Pooch will defeat you! If you grab a hold of him, he can stretch far enough to bite your rear! If you throw him away, he’ll just bounce back! He’s. Gonna. Rub. You. Out!

The boss learns all too well that he can’t rid himself of the Tuniverse’s newest hero. Plastic Pooch ends up knocking him into Porky’s tire press. And now we’ve just witnessed the supervillain origins of P.P.’s greatest nemesis: Snow Tire! Don’t miss the exciting next issue! Our villain continues to get thwarted, and he sure is tired of that! (Wait… “He’s not getting a name!”… Mm-hm… “Snow Tire!”… … Doh!)

Favorite Part: Porky is so chipper, that he even does a little dance on his way to work. Even more adorable is mild mannered Flat Foot copying him. (Oh yeah, Porky is the only one who knows Plastic Pooch’s secret identity.)

Personal Rating: 3.

Porky’s Pet

“Tickets, tickets.”

Supervision by Jack King; Animation by Cal Dalton and Sandy Walker; Music by Norman Spencer. A Looney Tune released on July 11, 1936.

*Sigh* I was really hoping some sort of Christmas miracle would bring back my lost work. I promise, that’s the last time it’ll be brought up. Now, let’s discuss the first short to have Porky’s name in the title.

Porky’s just received a telegram from someone named J. Botts. (Jo Botts?) We never see the person, but they’ve got a great offer for my pig pal: A job that’ll pay seventy-five cents a week in New York, so it must be Broadway related. But it’s not just Porky who’s going to be big, so will his titular pet, Lulu. He rushes to her cage to tell her the good news. How cute! She’s a canary, then? She’s an ostrich.

Now, I’ve always loved ostriches. Probably my first favorite animal before I moved on to yaks, then bats, then newts, then goblin sharks, then hermit crabs, then hamsters, before making pigs my final choice. So I know a fair amount about the largest extant birds. For example, I’ve never known one to speak in a strange garbledygork of insane laughter and English mumblings. And her size and appetite mean that she must be a heck of a hassle of a pet. But I see genuine love in her eyes for the Porkster, so I can’t and won’t interfere with the heartwarming bond between them. (Though I COULD give her a good home…)

Well, with the future calling, P. and L. traverse to the train station. Climbing aboard, it appears that Mr. Pig can’t take a trip with a pet in tow. (Dogs are allowed but not ostriches?) Well, Porky just tells Lu to run ahead of the train and he’ll sneak her on. (Why not just ride her? How far is your journey, anyhow?) She may look like a birdbrain, but she understands and the plan works great. Porky was able to pull her into the moving train by her neck. He is our new god.

But now comes the difficult part: keeping her hidden. She’s a big girl, and is quite noticeable. Lucky all the other passengers are willing to stay mum on the subject. Still, she’ll have to stay out of the conductor’s sight. Porky stuffs her under the seat with some difficulty, but she’s a wide-open spaces kind of bird! She doesn’t stay put and decides to put her special ostrich talent to good use. That’s her appetite. She roams around the area eating whatever catches her eye. Toupees, toy planes, musical instruments. She’d probably eat a baby if she came across one.

Crap! The conductor approacheth! In a panic, Porky hides Lulu into the only thing big enough he can get his mitts on: a cello case. (Why did someone bring an empty one along?) This hardly works before Lulu stands up, giving the conductor quite the ride and interesting story to tell later on. When she’s revealed, he doesn’t need to react with surprise or fright. He grabs her without so much as a flinch, and throws her out the window. Porky is next to go, though he gets the more dignified exit via the back door.

The two are still a long way from Broadway, but their ingenuity sees them through. Tying a nearby handcart to a nearby cow gives them a means of transportation that’s even faster than train! Bet the conductor feels embarrassed now!

Favorite Part: A small thing, but I like how the concertina Lulu swallows is labeled as such. So many people think they’re accordions, but here you’ll have no excuse for the mix-up. (Unless you can’t read.) Together, we can help raise awareness.

Personal Rating: 2. I think I preferred Donald Duck interacting with an ostrich. Hortense was way cuter, too.

(And yes, I know female ostriches don’t have black plumage. But since this isn’t “Fantasia” I can use the grayscale to my advantage and blissfully believe that Lulu is just a very dark shade of brown.)