Big Man from the North

“Get your man!”

Animation by Isadore Freleng and Robert Edmunds. A Looney Tune released in February of 1931.

No, the title isn’t referring to someone like Santa or Michael Moore. We mean “big” in the figurative sense. Bosko is a member of the “Mounted Police.” He may be small, but he’s also timid. (Which makes him braver than I.) Who might the villain of this picture be, anyway? Some fellow who looks a little like a cross between Peg-leg Pete and a homeless ursine. (What do you want from me? I’m “creative clever”, not “funny clever.”)

Snow time like the present! (I’m ashamed I said that.) Bosko heads out to serch with his mismatched dog sled team. Yuppy, Yoppy, and Yahoopy. They may not be the best dogs around, but they don’t give up. Don’t matter how bad the weather gets! They stay on their course, despite all the contortioning their bodies go through. Even getting smushed against a building and becoming one single, horrendous, abomination creature doesn’t faze them all that much. (I’m so proud and nauseous.)

Said building is a saloon. Seems like there’s people inside it too. Looks like Bosko will have to suck in his fear, and check to see if his adversary has chosen such a place to hide out. Why! This place isn’t scary! In fact, I’d say it’s downright merry! Everybody is smiling, dancing, and enjoying the entertainment that Honey is providing. And since Bosko IS dating her, he has every right to hop up next to her and perform a little as well. (You’ll never find a better hand-blower-player in the world. I’ll see to it.)

Unfortunately, all that did was whet Bosko’s appetite for applause. Time for some ivory tickling! (He even has some backup provided by the angriest beavers this side of Nickelodeon.) Either nobody wanted to hear Bosko play, or they just knew his music would attract an antagonist. Either way, they leave just in time for Leg’s a peg Zeke to waltz in like he owns the place, and fire every which way. This looks like a job for the Mounted Police! Bosko has a gun at the ready, and a hand that can change from black to white. (I wish I could do that. Ladies can’t resist such a cute trick) Too bad his gun is a pop gun. Things look bad.

BLACKOUT! It really is Bosko’s only option. Dousing the lights gives him a bit of advantage, as his chromatically challenged skin blends in perfectly with the absence of light. (Zeke however, is a rather bright shade of black, so he is always visible. Can’t you see him?) With the thug disoriented, Bosko is able to get a hold of a machine gun and unload it into the big guy’s posterior. Then, all it takes is a little action with a sword, and a rifle to reveal that under his fur, he was as naked as the rest of us. With his source of power gone, the brute flees into the distance as everyone conveniently comes out of hiding to cheer Bosko on. (Including Mickey clones 540 and 176. They might be my favorites.)

Favorite Part: That sword I mentioned? Bosko doesn’t just poke the guy. He freakin’ impales him with it! Seriously, I don’t think it could go in any further without sticking out the other end! The Mounted Police don’t f*ck around.)

Personal Rating: 2

Robot Rabbit

“I’ve got a pest I want contwolled.”

Directed by I. Freleng; Story by Warren Foster; Animation by Virgil Ross, Arthur Davis, Manuel Perez, and Ken Champin; Layouts by Hawley Pratt; Backgrounds by Irv Wyner; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on December 12, 1953.

(I like the off-kilter theme song. It sure sounds like something robot themed.)

Farming is hard enough work as it is. You’ve got to wake up too early, work constantly, and even then a lot of your production is up to pure chance. If you grow terrible crops, you will get no profit. Growing delicious ones just attracts pests. So we find farmer Elmer, irate about the rabbit eating all of his crispy, mouth-watering, glowing, orange carrots. (It’s funny how often we perceive Bugs as the protagonist.)

Elmer is not giving up. He gives the ACME pest control company a ring, and learns about their newest means of dealing with pests. It’s all robotic. You’ve got your basic, build-able robot body, and all the instructions it requires is a picture. Just stick one in the slot, and it will remove the problem itself. (Barring a few mistakes. God shouldn’t have given donkey’s long ears if he didn’t want them mistaken for lagomorphs.)

The robot does catch sight of Bugs and manages to give him a pretty decent punch to boot. He even excavates Bugs out of his hole. (And the animators forgot to animate Bugs’ mouth while he speaks here. Oops.) Could this thing actually be the one who can put a stop to Bug’s mischief? (Chelonians notwithstanding, of course) You might think so, but like many an early model of robot, this one can’t abide water. It’s too bad that Bugs leads him for a merry chase through the sprinkler. Stuck with rust, the bot must wait for Elmer to give him some oil before he can continue the chase.

Drag time! Using a bucket, and an old pot-belly stove, Bugs makes a rather fetching fembot. Pesty sure thinks so! He even offers “her” a box of nuts. In turn, Bugs throws a literal wrench into things, thus sending the robot to pieces. (I’ve never seen a guy take a break-up so hard. Because I don’t have any friends.) Once he pulls himself together, the robot chases Bugs onto a construction site. Surprisingly, BOTH of them avoid getting smashed into pieces. At least at first.

For you see, back at home, Elmer wonders how things are going. If Bugs returning a bucket of scrap metal is any indication, A.I. was no match for the real deal. (Mother Nature: 1, Father Tech:0)

Favorite Part: Bugs fakes his death on Elmer yet again. Unlike every other time, Elmer is ecstatic, and even shares a dance with Bugs before catching on. (Always good to shake up the formula.)

Personal Rating: 3

 

Dog Tales

“Now, here’s a Newfoundland. With his grandfather, an Oldfoundland.”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Tedd Pierce; Animation by George Grandpre, Ted Bonnicksen, Warren Batchelder, and Tom Ray; Layouts by Robert Gribbroek; Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas. Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterizations by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Milt Franklyn. A Looney Tune released on July 26, 1958.

I’ve said it several times before, dogs are amazing animals that deserve all the adulation they get and more. (Lots more.) And I’ll continue to say that. (With the loss of a Grandfather in my imminent future, my dog is likely the only thing that will keep me going.) With that said, I can’t really fault McKimson for releasing a gag-centric short full of reused and obvious canine jokes, but as late as 1958? Was there any demand?

Not only are the jokes pretty tired, but we aren’t even given a lot of original dogs to carry the gags. This does lead to a fun game of “Which Looney Tune did I hear that one in?” (Not now, not ever with a home edition.) Not only that, but the animators even sneak in half the cast from Disney’s “Lady and the Tramp!” Lady, Jock, Peg, Boris, Pedro, Bull, and Dachsie all appear to illustrate a small sampling of the various “flavors” the wonderful animals can come in. (All with a slight paint job, so Disney’s lawyers don’t get too upset.)

Those gags? They’re the kind of ones you’d see in a Kindergarten level joke book. The Chihuahua shivers because he really IS cold. The French Poodle is a canine Casanova. (Mel uses his Speedy and Pepe voices for them, respectively.) A Pinscher pinches Private Doberman. (A “Sergeant Bilko” reference? That’ll hold up great in reruns!) Heck, Charlie Dog makes a cameo even! (Sadly, doing a near word for word repeat of his “50% various breeds” bit from “Often an Orphan.”)

I won’t lie, I do get a sick sense of pleasure seeing a boy drop a cat into a dog show. (Leading to ANOTHER cameo. This time of the large mass of hounds who chased Bugs in “Foxy by Proxy.”) And before any of you say it, that child looks NOTHING like me. (I don’t wear hats.) So, how should we end a mediocre short full of mediocre table scraps that even your loyal dog would feel insulted to be offered? Another obvious joke! How about the one about the dog who travels across the entire United States, not to reunite with his family (that live several time zones away for what reason, I’m not sure, exactly) but to get a bone buried under a tree? (It’s a classic.)

Favorite Part: The narrator unable to tell if the dog on screen is a “setter pointing,” or a “Pointer sitting.” Ultimately showing a “Pointsettia” instead. (I honestly can’t say I’ve heard that one before.)

Personal Rating: 2 (I’d give it a one if humanity didn’t love dogs so much. So I think every Homo sapiens on the planet will agree with my rating.)

Porky’s Hotel

“Hello.Where’dyagetthefunnylookin’foot?Gee,that’sthefunniestlookin’footinthewholeworld. I beeet’cha.”

Supervision by Robert Clampett; Animation by Norm McCabe and John Carey; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on September 2, 1939.

If you’ve ever driven through the scenic two-toned gray lands of America’s navel, you might have seen a bumper sticker for Donut Center. It’s not important enough to be listed on any maps, and most people who have heard of it, tend to erase it from their memory as soon as something slightly more exciting occurs. It gets to a point where a good number of people start to wonder if it wasn’t just some mass hallucinogenic…hallucination. It’s out there, though. You just need to keep your eyes open at all times. No blinking.

Apologies to Alex Hirsch. It’s hard not to be inspired by his world.

Donut Center is a quaint little town. It’s only got one hotel, but the guy running the place is Porky. No rebuttal. Porky is already a great guy, he naturally has a great hotel. (And it’s small enough for him to run it all himself. No employees.) During his mid-morning sweep, he sees a fancy type car approaching, and it looks like it’s making a beeline for his establishment. Of course it is! No questions. The car’s occupant is a goat. He has gout. Good thing his name is already Gouty, or I’d be calling him that myself. (No guilt.)

Old Gouty wants a rest. Porky’s hotel is the best. It’s logical that he would come to this hotel above all others for his need of a calm getaway. While Porky attends to the goat’s luggage, Gouty makes himself comfortable. All too soon, conflict rears its infuriating head. (No peace.) Enter Gabby the goose. (I think. He’s at least some member of the anatidae family.) If you are one of the highest types of cool, and watch every Warner Bros. cartoon in chronological order, you’ll be aware of this kid. He’s made a couple of appearances before this, his…swan song. (No laughs.)

Gabby is suitably named. (Though if his dialogue is any indication, it’s not his birth name.) The kid does not shut up. (No shortage of breath.) He talks and gabs and yaks and blabs until you are all for Gouty trying to scare the little turd off. (I have my own Gabby at work. Even if the pest calls me “Daffy” I still want his vocal cords gone. No speaking.) It fails. The only way one is going to get rid of Gabby is if something else catches his attention. Thank goodness for bees. The kid grabs a hammer and tries to end the threat to his status as “Alpha Vex.” (No mercy.) I wonder what comedic escapades this might lead to?

Lunch time! Porky’s hotel may not have the five stars it deserves, but the food doesn’t lie! Mouth watering options like lamb, turkey, and coconut custard are but a sampling of the journey’s your taste buds can expect to endure. Can’t decide? Porky recommends the blue plate. Even Gouty is interested, and requests some for his midday meal. Oh wait. He’s a Toon goat. He’s just going to eat the plate, isn’t he? (No calories.) Oh well, if there’s one guy I trust to make ceramics delectable, it’s Porky. (Gouty loses half of his mouth when he chews Old age can be such a b*tch.)

BANG! Of course! You knew it would happen! Gabby, in his bee is for blood lust, has just brought the hammer down on Gouty’s poor foot. He’s been pleasant for far too long. The kid must die. No objections here. The chase begins, but things start to get out of control, as Gouty, Gabby, and a door I’ll name Gertie, all end up on a collision course with the wall up ahead. Even knocking Porky into the bill of the pelican he is escorting. (The poor bird has been to Katz Hotel? I wonder if they ever got that spider problem fixed.) The crash ends with the two rivals’ heads caught in a painting. Fittingly, Gouty’s head plays the part of executioner, while Gabby plays executionee. (No greater joy.)

Favorite Part: During Gabby’s bee chase, he gets a door slammed on him by an oblivious Porky. If only I could do the same to my “Gabby.” (And if you think I’m being too harsh, the guy is clearly in his mid-thirties. I’m not hating some overly obnoxious child.)

Personal Rating: 3 (I don’t really have a problem with this Gabby, despite what I may type.)

Buddy the Detective

“Ahhh! Such beauty!”

Supervision by Jack King; Animation by Paul Smith and Don Williams; Music by Bernard Brown. A Looney Tune released on October 17, 1934.

I really want to like this short more than I do. The atmosphere is full of macabre merriment and a decent villain to boot. We’ve seen this guy before, (since blogging in chronological order would have made too much sense) in “A Cartoonist’s Nightmare.”  where he was going by the alias of “The Mad Doctor.” (Because if you’re going to change your name, you might as well be inspired by one of Mickey Mouse’s best works.)

Why is this musician mad? Well… I guess he kind of sucks at his profession? I think it sounds rather nice, but I will admit the tree is doing a better job than he is. Of course, maybe if he bothered to practice, he could improve. Instead, he uses hypnotism to get others to play in his stead. (Which makes you the complete opposite of a musician, but hey, at least we get to see a frog play the piano.)

(Who knew originality was so hard?)

It may be specific, but I suppose what he’s doing IS illegal. Even if it isn’t, he must have broken out of some sort of prison, seeing as we randomly cut to some girl reading such a headline in the paper. Enough exposition, who’s the Mad Musician going to force to be his next performer? He’s literally going to pick a name at random from the phone book. (After all, he is a MAD musician. Rational Musician doesn’t have any kind of catchy ring.) The name he has selected is: Cookie! (No last name given.) You’re the next contestant on: “Hypno-Tease”! Come on down to our studio, now! (And don’t think I didn’t see Clampett’s name in the book as well. I’d love to see what he could have done with this picture.)

M.M’s powers don’t need eye contact. He can summon you over the phone. (Does hypnosis make a sound?) Either way, the girl who is only Cookie in name falls to his “charms” and begins making her way to his place for some piano practice. (Really though. That’s Cookie? Why the redesign? She looks like a a five year old girl!) Buddy, meanwhile, is actually in the cartoon as well. He’s busy staring at a picture of the (probably underage) Cookie. (This is the real reason Buddy is forgotten today. Big, big scandal.) Her dog (that I will call “Crumb.”) alerts the creep that something is wrong and he suits up in his detective outfit, so he can save her. (It’s not really a mystery. Seeing as Crumb knows where to go, it’s more of a confrontation. See, Clampett would know better.)

He makes it there fast enough, but has to contend with…skeletons. (Well, I guess if I had an evil music obsession, and hypnosis powers, I’d reenact “Silly Symphonies” too.)

They really aren’t much of a threat. They don’t hurt Buddy or even seem to scare him much. He even follows one around instead of trying to rescue the minor he was longing for. (He’s the hero?) The skeletons have more reason to be scared, as Crumb is liking what he is seeing. (You ever think about that? Without your skin, your dog would eat you for breakfast, dinner and tea. And we let them sleep in our beds!) Oh, and Buddy jumps around the cel at one point too. (Clampett needs that director chair NOW! I won’t wait until 1937!)

I guess the hypno power wears off, as Cookie is no longer playing and screams for help. Buddy is able to get to the room she’s being held in, by use of a portable door, and the final battle commences. While they do that, I better give Cookie the character bio I promised.

Cookie

Generic love interest for bland as rice character.

And the tussle is over. Maddy isn’t competent as a fighter. As soon as Buddy gets a hold of his head, he immediately ceases any attempt to struggle, and lets Buddy toss him around. (I didn’t know Buddy had such strength.) He flings the fiend around, and gets him trapped under a foot stool. Time to celebrate with some more music! (It’s all we got. It’s the depression.)

Favorite Part: I like how Buddy enters the villains lair. He shines a flashlight through a magnifying glass, making a blow torch. The simplest solution really is the best.

Personal Rating: 2. (Animation error and clumsy storytelling aside, horror imagery is always a fun time)

Plane Dippy

“Get a load of this!”

Supervision by Fred Avery; Animation by Sid Sutherland and Virgil Ross; Musical Score by Bernard Brown. A Looney Tune released on April 30, 1936.

As my tribute to dads everywhere and my love of over complicating things, I choose this picture as today’s subject, because many people consider pigs as food, I.E., fodder. (And I’ll submit to that mentality when said food flys.)

Well, what’s Porky up to this time? Enlisting in the armed forces? A noble pursuit. What sounds like a good fit for my man? Infantry? Nah, too much walking. Navy? That’s for ducks. How about the air corp? That’s the ticket! Porky heads right on in, eager to join. Too bad this is back in the Dougherty days, so I hope you had nothing planned for the rest of your life. That’s about how long one conversation with the pig will last. (Don’t try and cheat by giving him some writing utensils. His stutter affects handwriting too)

Still, everyone deserves a fair shot at things, and Porky is given a uniform and tests. Beans makes a cameo to help set up a dizziness test. (I’m sure that’s the correct term too.) Porky spins all over the room, and when he is tested on firing a gun, he takes out the whole building before even scratching the plane. Looks like he’s ready to me! (I don’t care if I’m looking at him through a fanboy’s eyes. If I could swap someone else’s eyes with mine, I would. And I’d still think how I do. Eyes aren’t brains.) The guy in charge must want my fist in his gut, as he just gives Porky a feather duster. (Prick.)

Porky’s orders have him assisting a scientist by the name of Professor Blotz. He’s got something in the works that will revolutionize the airplane: a voice controlled robot plane! It’s very easy to operate. Just speak into the microphone, and tell the plane what you want it to do. No training required. (OH! So that’s why Porky was sent here! Now he can fight! It’s no different than my dream of having a self driving car in the Indy 500.) Porky even gets to give it a try. (If Mel was here, the plane wouldn’t be shaking so much. Must we really wait another ten months for his otherworldly skills?)

Porky sets to work cleaning off the plane, but Blotz doesn’t properly secure his command console, and just leaves it on the windowsill. Coincidentally, Kitty has just noticed a dog belonging to that weird looking dog child I made fun of so many years ago. Wait… Kitty made at least five appearances, didn’t she? *sigh* Here we go again

Kitty

Another character who was often used as a love interest. (Although, she sometimes was just a friend) She was voiced by Bernice Hanson.

I don’t look forward to the day when I have to do that with Cookie…

Being the only anthropomorphic dog in the relationship, the bigger one gets to force the smaller one into doing various tricks for his amusement. Even worse, since the voice command module is still on, it picks up the children’s voices and transmits them to the plane. Poor Porky. He picked the wrong time to be cleaning the inside of it. He gets taken along for the ride, doing hundreds if not thousands of dollars in property damages to the rest of the countryside. Demolishing buildings, destroying shipments of hay, and even sending the clouds into a panic. (And even then the children aren’t innocent! The bigger dog actually sics his smaller counterpart on some non-anthropomorphic cat. Kitty is oddly okay with this.)

Things get worse before getting better, as the amusing pup attracts a whole throng of children. All of them act as inconsiderate as children usually are, and all yell out countless tricks for the innocent animal to do. Poor thing! (Never give most children a pet. They’ll abuse it.) At least large dog (who I should’ve just called Rover this whole time) decides the exhausted creature has had enough and tells him that they are going home. Luckily for Porky, the plane follows suit. (And it still looks like mint condition! Blotz, you ARE impressive.) Still, this whole experience has been quite harrowing, so Porky immediately calls it quits and reconsiders joining the infantry. (Being able to admit you can’t do something. Another very adult mindset! I’m prouder still!)

Favorite Part: We get to learn Porky’s full name in this picture! Bet you didn’t know it was “Porky Cornelius Washington Otis Lincoln Abner Eleanor Aloysius Casper Jefferson Filbert Horatius Narcissus Pig” *Sniff* So… beautiful.

Personal Rating: 3

The Pest that came to Dinner

“I thought there was a ch-chair, there.”

Directed by Arthur Davis; Story by George Hill; Animation by John Carey, Basil Davidovich, J.C. Melendez, and Don Williams; Layouts by Don Smith; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on September 11, 1948.

Before we begin, I’d just like to say that I’ve been viewing the new Looney Tunes that have been airing on HBO Max. They’re okay, but are they as good as the classics? Well, they say there are no stupid questions, but that one alone disproves it. Of course not, but they are entertaining. I’ll give them a post of their own; about a decade or so from now. I’ve got a lot of other shorts, movies, and the occasional T.V. series already planned before then.

Relaxation time! My favorite kind of time, and probably Porky’s too. But, there’s a problem: all of his best furniture disappears before his buttocks can make contact. Seems like as bad as we have it in this year, things still sucked back then. Only instead of virus outbreaks, they were stuck with the termite variety. Luckily, Porky only has to deal with one. Unluckily, that one is Pierre. The biggest, hungriest termite on the face of the Earth. And because he is a termite, he is also dressed up like an adorable lumberjack. Because he’s Canadian. Because he’s named Pierre. (And if you want to go full circle: “Pierre” sounds like “pear”, pears are sweet, sweet things are what you want to eat, eating is what a termite does.)

Pierre is also an “artiste” as the Canuck’s say, as not only does he eat the wood, but he makes it into fanciful designs as he does. Of course, Porky TRIES to kill him, but Pierre can eat his way out of any problem. (Shame that all of Porky’s weapons are made of Pierre’s favorite food.) Time to call on the professional: an exterminator by the name of I. M. A. Sureshot. (Oh boy. Another game of initial deciding. Let’s go with Ignatius McAloysius. Sureshot for short.) He’s a dog who wares less clothing than Porky (who rocks a sexy robe in this picture) and has a permanent grin on his face. (He’s either a termite in disguise, or a shark.)

He comes over to help my pig pal. He’s not actually going to do any exterminating, but he does at least provide the tools. Among their attempts: Porky tries to vacuum up Pierre. (The termite eats the handrail Porky is standing on) The two try to flood Pierre out of the wall. (He brings the hose into the room with them, flooding that) and the cartoon classic:  TNT. (Not only does Sureshot not stick around for this one, but he loses his voice for a bit. His mouth moves, but nothing comes out. What is this? Dingo Pictures?)

After the explosion, Porky shows up at Sureshot’s place. He is fed up with the guy’s help, and he and Pierre are teaming up to teach him a lesson. (Before I forget to mention, I like Pierre’s mustache. It’s probably his antennae.) They eat the dog’s desk. But how will they live together in peace? Easy. Porky opens up his own furniture store, filled with Pierre’s artistic talents. (Turning your problem into a solution. That’s quite the grown-up way of handling things. I’m proud of you, Porky.)

Favorite Part: Sureshot gives Porky some poison that is guaranteed to send the target to “Termite Heaven©.” It really works, as when Pierre redirects the spray to Porky, he gives said afterlife a visit. (24/7 wood buffets!)

Personal Rating: 3

Buddy of the Apes

“Go get ’em!”

Supervision by Ben Hardaway; Animation by Paul Smith and Sandy Walker; Music by Bernard Brown. A Looney Tune released on May 26, 1944.

Good old Buddy. Boring, bland, basic Buddy. What’s this I hear about him being “of the Apes” all of a sudden? Well, there’s no backstory to explain any of it. Buddy lives in the jungle now. Deal with it.

You may think that a jungle is a frightening place for someone like Buddy to live, but it actually seems quite pleasant. None of the animals even seem interested in killing each other for food. Or, maybe that happens later in the day. As for right now, it’s time for nature’s morning routine. Even if he is a wild man with nothing but a loincloth and shoes, Buddy understands the importance of good hygiene, and takes a shower under an elephant’s trunk, before b-rush-ing his teeth.

As stated, the animals are there too. Crocodiles take excellent care of their dentures, using a porcupine to scrub them. Hippos, however, can’t brush properly with hooves, so they have a monkey on hand to scrub their teeth clean. And mother gorilla is giving her young one breakfast. You can’t turn your back on baby apes for more than a second. This one, for instance, starts rocking his cradle too hard, and falls out of the tree, cradle and all.

He lands in the water, and unfortunately, the current is part of a proud waterfall, that has dragged many an innocent infant to their demise.  In standard tradition, the baby is enjoying every moment of it. (I don’t like that cliche. I’m pretty sure majority of babies would not be pleased if they were out of their comfort zones) Seeing as he is “of the apes” and therefore, “for the apes”, Buddy has to make the save. He fashions a grappling hook out of his knife, and all is well. (That dancing tiger killed any chance of this being an African jungle) I’d say that was an okay picture, but that was only the first act. What’s next?

Racial stereotyping! An abundance of it! Buddy has been sighted by a native. (Is that the right choice of words? For all I know, Buddy is a native too.) He alerts his leader, and I suppose they are cannibals, as they look ready to eat the little man. (But then, I’m not sure they are the same species as Buddy. At least two of them have lips larger than any human being ever had! It’s actually kind of disgusting. Not to mentions how many jokes are being made about nose piercings as well.)

The tribe heads out, but because of his brave ape heroics, the animals side with Buddy for this fight. They don’t need so stinking weapons, they are the stinking weapons. (I didn’t see any of them bathing.) Elephants use their trunks as (elephant) guns. And hippos are being used as cannons. Even a kangaroo joins in the fray. (Now, really. Kangaroos don’t even LIVE in jungles. Why does that keep happening?)

Things really aren’t in the king’s favor, so retreating is the only sensible solution. (Fighting to the death isn’t smart, it’s brave.) Buddy sees the fleeing monarch, and swings down to beat him to a pulp. Having proven his superiority, the animals grant Buddy the kings crown. (Enjoy it Buddy. You certainly aren’t the king of cartoons.)

Favorite Part: The whole morning routine bit. I particularly enjoyed the animation of the crocodile putting his teeth back in. His lower jaw just hangs limply until he pulls it into place. That’s unusual for cartoons.

Personal Rating: 1

Angel Puss

“Four bits is four bits.”

Directed by Charles M. Jones; Story by Lou Lilly; Animation by Ken Harris; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on June 3, 1944.

Poor Li’l Sambo! It’s not enough that he is portrayed as some sort of fish lipped person, (as was what white’s thought many a black looked like at the time) and having an annoying Stepin Fetchit-esqe voice, (as whites thought blacks possessed) but he’s been asked to partake in a most terrible job: namely, Cat Drowning. He doesn’t really want to do it, but he IS getting paid, and naturally, if he doesn’t go through with it, he’ll have to return the money. (We never see the woman who hired him to do her own dirty work, but if she hates cats, she’s my kind of lady.)

The cat, for some reason, isn’t too keen on dying, and slips out of the sack. (Replacing his weight with some bricks.) Even though Sambo tries to talk himself out of it, for some reason, the cat pretends to be his conscience, and tells him to do the deed. (But why, though? You have an escape means! Use it you imbecile!) But no, then he wouldn’t be able to screw with the boy, so Sambo goes against his own common sense, and throws the phony sack into the water.

Time for that aforementioned “screwing with.” The cat paints himself white, and adorns himself with phony wings. The perfect striking point? The cemetery, naturally. Just as Sambo passes by, the cat appears and takes his time in building up some great atmosphere. No fooling! He knows he’s scaring the living crap out of the kid (or he could be a teenager) and he does it quite well. It’s probably the best part of the short!

Before  Sambo can run home, the feline beats him there, and moves his gate in front of the place next door. Of course, Sambo enters. He tries to make a retreat, but seeing as how this is one of the censored eleven, the cat is able to easily lure him back with some shaking dice. (It’s probably the worst part of the short.) The chase goes on, but the two aren’t paying enough attention, and run off a balcony, and into the water below. Water doesn’t remove paint, does it?

It does, and the cat is unaware. (Wait, I forgot I’m supposed to name him! Is Peter okay? Too bad! It’s what I’m going with.) This results in another pretty darn good scene where Peter is trying desperately to frighten Sambo again, unaware that he’s been revealed. He doesn’t sound scared, but more frustrated with his failure to horrify. Which makes sense, he doesn’t yet know he’s been exposed. Sambo is pissed. This cat has been playing him for a fool, so he’ll pay with his life. Good thing there’s a gun on the wall. Blammo!

Whoops. Maybe that wasn’t the best idea. Because the cat comes back, the very next second. Yes, the cat comes back. You thought he was a goner? Nah, the cat comes back. He’s not one to stay away. Sambo thought he had it bad earlier, but now there’s not just one ghost here to screw with him for the rest of his life. The other eight are going to join in the fun too!

Favorite Part: Like I said, the Peter’s initial reveal of himself is handled perfectly! Like the best ghost stories, he doesn’t just pop out and shout “Boo!” right away. He hides, letting his eerie harp music be all of him that is revealed at first, THEN he shows up. He really knows what he’s doing!

Personal Rating: 2 (Maybe if this wasn’t so offensive today, it could reach a three)

Clippety Clobbered

Space Science.

Directed by Rudy Larriva; Story by Tom Dagenais; Animation by Bob Bransford, Hank Smith, and Virgil Ross; Layouts by Don Sheppard; Backgrounds by Anthony Rizzo; Film Editor: Al Wharman; Musical Direction by Bill Lava. A Looney Tune released on March 12, 1966.

This here is the first Roadrunner cartoon I’ve talked about that wasn’t directed by the creator himself, Chuck Jones. (Golden age, I mean. Theatrically, too.) It’s also clear that Chuck was a master who could not be replicated. The whole short might seem fine to the common folk, but Looney-tics (like me) can tell it’s not as good as the others.

Wile E. isn’t wasting energy chasing his prey this time. He calmly waits by his mailbox for a package. Since he ordered it airmail, he really doesn’t have anyone but himself to blame for it landing on his head. So, what’s in this wonderful box? A chemistry set! Chemists are the unquestionable experts when it comes to bird trapping! Or, you know, Wile E is just trying out new and unique ways to catch some food.

Just mix the right ingredients together, and you’ve got paint! A special kind of paint that only comes in one color: invisible. Paint it on yourself, and you can’t be seen by anybody. (Including yourself, since your eyes no longer will gather the light needed for sight, but I digress) This does indeed include roadrunners, but this also means that they won’t slow down if you happen to jump in their way, so you’ll probably end up knocked off the road. A cliff, probably wasn’t the best testing grounds.

Wile E falls, and the impact knocks his paint off. (I guess? There’s not really much of a reason as to why he is suddenly visible) Then, something that should never happen in a Roadrunner cartoon happens. The bird paints a boulder invisible, and pushes it off the cliff, and onto his pursuer. WRONG! NO! UH-UH! That doesn’t happen! It goes against Chuck’s own rules for these cartoons: namely, the bird doesn’t hurt the coyote! It was one of the things that made these pictures different from the endless chase cartoons that people watched. Now I’m upset.

Fine, I’ll keep going.

Wile E invents a new thing with his kit. It’s bouncing capabilities mixed with the viscous consistency, lead me to believe that he invented Flubber. But since this is 1966, (and the substance is blue) what he really made is Phlubber. Coating himself in it, (but first giving us a completely unnecessary thought bubble. I mean really, if we weren’t going to guess what he was going to do with his concoction, his actions would show us) he gains a coat that allows him amazing bouncing properties. Too bad he misses his catch. He bounces all around the desertscape. He eventually bounces straight up (with very unfitting music, I might add. That’s the tune that accompanies a jaunty walk. Not deadly plummet) and comes down. (His protective coat getting snagged off by a rather ugly tree branch. It really looks out of place. Go back to Snagglepuss, where you belong!)

Next up, some type of jet fuel. It’ll be perfect for chasing down the bird. But instead of building an actual jet pack, Wile just pours it into a small seltzer bottle like container. (Again, why? It doesn’t add much to the comedy. You could still have an inevitable crash with a full size model) Either way, this actually gets the Roadrunner to… show fear? It’s not wrong, but it’s kinda werid to see that bird anything other than blissfully happy.  The chase leads to a railroad tunel. (First the bird has a spasm. I think he meant to go “Beep-beep.” but nothing comes out.)

Wile E. turns back upon seeing the approaching light, but it was the bird with a miner’s hat. So he turns once more, and doesn’t flee from the next light source he sees. It is a train, and he ends up pinned against it. We zoom into his stressed eyes and see that his pupils are the Roadrunner. The end.

That was the ending? Call it seven days because it was WEEK!

Favorite Part: When Wile E first gets the package, the bird runs by. Because of the speed, the resulting wind catches the parachute that came with it, and Wile E is dragged off a cliff. The animation of him landing in a cactus patch is rather nice. It builds the tension reasonably well, and the punchline is fast and funny.

Personal Rating: 2