Beau Bosko

“Snap out of it!”

Animation by Rollin Hamilton and Norm Blackburn. A Looney Tune released on July 1, 1933.

Today, we find Bosko in a Foreign Legion outpost. The troops are pretty close as at least two of them share the same bed. However, it is time to wake up and get to doing whatever it is these guys do. That includes Bosko, who is heavily sleeping. In fact, his uniform wakes up before him. It’s up to his clothes to wake the sleep-ink kid, who once he does awake takes his place amongst the troops. (Considering the guy in front of him has a sink in his backpack, it seems that Bosko can afford to sleep late every day.)

The general approaches. I don’t know why he singles Bosko out, but it appears that he is the best person to apprehend the picture’s villain, Ali Oop. So, he gets his camel and heads out. His search leads him to a town. To his delight, his girlfriend is also there. (I can’t quite make out what he’s saying. My best guess is it’s “Oh, boy!”, or “Oh, baby!” but it sounds like “Oh, boobies!” But that can’t be. Honey is flatter than newborn infants)

Before Bosko can do more than kiss her, Ali and his troops show up. Bosko and Honey take refuge in a building, and luckily for them, someone just left a gun hanging around. Just begging to unleash its majestic killing power on those down below. Good thing Bosko is trained to use such a device. Firing at the men below, he manages to take care of most of them. Not by actually going through with any bloodshed, but more knocking coconuts and pots into the thugs. Even Ali ends up dazed on a cart. Seizing his chance, Bosko seizes some spears and throws them towards Oop. He’s still not aiming to kill, though. The projectiles make a cage around the criminal. Having trapped the scoundrel, the two lovers cart him away.

Favorite part: When the troops are told to wake up, they respond by singing “Good morning to you.” The little smart alecs.

Punch Trunk

“I did see an elephant in my birdbath.”

 

Directed by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Lloyd Vaughan, Ken Harris, and Ben Washam; Layouts by Maurice Noble; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on December 19, 1953.

Welcome. New year. Yadda-yadda. From this time on, I’ll be listing my favorite part of each short. We’re getting into the territory of cartoons I’ve seen few times or not at all.

At the harbor, a ship has just come in. (I like that it’s called the “S. S. Michael Maltese.” You have no choice but to remember the name now.) But there is something stirring in the bananas. Normally, it’s a rat or a wandering spider, but for once, it’s an elephant. He’s a full grown bull, but he’s only five inches tall! He’s adorable! Evidently though, people don’t seem to agree as the bulk of this short’s jokes are seeing how everyone freaks out at the sight. Doing what introduced species do, he heads off to explore his new home. (Seeing as how there is only one of him, he probably won’t do TOO much damage.)

A man spots the petite pachyderm in his birdbath and calls the police. The elephant meanwhile is acting like an elephant at a crowded watering hole, and hogs it all. (How’d he even get up there?) The police in turn sent some people from the psych ward to take the man away. A different man walks out of the optometrist with a new pair of glasses. Seeing the little guy, he heads back in to give a punch. (No trunk)

Nights are sure to be unpleasant, so it’s not surprising to hear the elephant makes his way into a penthouse. (Okay, how did he get up there? Did a falcon pick him up and drop him?) A little girl discovers him and christens him Teeny. (Which is a cute name. I’m declaring it canon.) Due to her childhood innocence, she is not afraid of him and even tries to fill his tummy. (Elephants eat cake, right? It’s like 45% of their diet.) Because of the fainting mother though, Teeny continues being a drifter.

A really good joke is next. A drunk stumbles out of a bar and sees the animal. (And a great detail is how the background is drawn warped and surreal. Like we are seeing the way he is.) Seeing the animal doesn’t make him scream, faint, or lose his sh*t in any way. Instead, he just scolds the beast for being late. (Also musing about how he isn’t pink this time. Genius.)

Even his own kind freaks out at the sight of him. Finding a circus, he joins a parade of elephants. (Okay, maybe not his own kind as that would make these Asian elephants, but they look just like him, only bigger. Seems ole Chuck doesn’t know as much about elephants as moi. On another note, Teeny is just as cute dangling off the ground.) Even those who are trained to handle fears aren’t immune, as a psychiatrist (or psychologist. I’m pretty sure they’re interchangeable) switches places with his patient upon seeing the cutie.

People all over the city now have claimed to see the beast. So, is it really there? Scientists say no. In fact, one goes on TV to explain why it isn’t real. He doesn’t go into the fact that an elephant could not survive being so small. (Freezing to death I mean. Not being eaten by a cat) Instead, he just blames our troubled times. (Considering my parents weren’t even born as of his saying this, I’ll have to ask Grandpa if the times were really that bad.) Not very happy to be told he doesn’t exist, Teeny takes the microphone away. (If this short has taught me anything, it’s that if science could make a teacup elephant that could survive at such a size, I would get one.)

Favorite part: It’s not especially funny, but it IS sweet. A woman is doing her laundry and Teeny comes over and HELPS! He hands her the clothespins! So precious! Keep up the good work, sweetie!

Martian through Georgia

“MONSTER!”

Directed by Chuck Jones and Abe Levitow; Co-Director: Maurice Noble; Story by Carl Kohler and Chuck Jones; Animation by Tom Ray, Ken Harris, Richard Thompson, and Bob Bransford; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Dilm Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc, Ed Prentise; Musical Direction by Bill Lava. A Looney Tune released on December 29, 1962.

Way, way out in space there is a planet. Even though it is yellow, I think we call it Mars. I mean, the indigenous lifeforms are called “Martians.” (I guess the universe is big enough for two Mars’s) They are really interesting. Like humans, they come in two genders: male and female. The males seem to be quite comfortable in their birthday suits, while the females are clad in purple jumpsuits. (Or they just have a purple coloration that covers their entire bodies, save for their faces.) They are a happy race. Well, except for one. And we’ll call that one: Al.

Poor Al. He is depressed. And he is depressed because he is bored. Both activities that martians typically partake in (levitating and though projection) bore him. (How can you be bored when you have constant access to pig pictures? And do martian pigs really resemble our Earth ones?) His depression must be really bad, because a woman tries flirting with him and he doesn’t give a crap. (And given by her heartbroken reaction, I think she was really into him.)

Al goes to a doctor. No martian speaks in this short, (which makes sense if you think about it. If you had thought projection abilities, what use would talking be?) so they communicate via their antenna. The doc thinks that traveling would be a good way to relieve his boredom and though Al doesn’t really think it will help, (I mean, he is still sulking as he leaves) he leaves. As he travels, he comes across a new planet. One full of simple, ignorant, life forms. (I’m stumped. What planet could that be?) Looking at this sad excuse of civilization, he finds a new purpose within him. He will shares his gifts with them! Finally feeling something close to joy, he heads down.

Things don’t seem to be off to a great start. Many people run away in fear, and those that don’t take him away for parking in a “no parking zone.” They send him to his new house, (a prison cell) but he has no time to stay. He must continue his mission! So he easily leaves. This gets everyone in a panic, and soon everyone knows of a monster that is on the loose. (The letters seem to be coming off that newspaper) Everyone except Al. When he does hear about it, he decides this is a good place to start helping these folks, and he soon finds the creature that everyone must be afraid of. I mean, it’s eaten a guy! (I think they are called “eggskahvayters”) He uses his atom re-arranger that he always had on him, and turns the beast into a cow/dragon/ cat. (Don’t worry, it’s friendly)

Satisfied, he begins to look for more wrongs to right, when a youth speaks to him. The child seems friendly enough, but he drops a bombshell: Al is the monster that everyone has been afraid of. According to the kid’s comic book, monsters are easily identified by their lack of noses. (That’s it, huh? So… birds, reptiles, fish, amphibians, mand\y mammals and every invertebrate are a kind of monster? The people of this planet are self-entitled pricks!) Al can make his antenna look like a nose, but it doesn’t change anyone’s opinion. (I think that kid is also a monster. His hands temporarily turn green) Even more miserable than before, he finds no other option. Suicide is the only answer. I mean, what else can one do when no one loves you?

Wait! Someone clearly did love him! (Although, after that cruel rejection of his, would she really still want him? Actually, the martians seem like quite the nice species. But I bet if they were both like the people on this planet, she wouldn’t give him another chance.) Realizing that as long as someone loves you, life is indeed worth living, he heads home. Seems the trip really did help him. (And that goes for non-romantic love too. No more suicide! You’re just hurting others.)

Now Hear This

“QUIET!”

Directed by Chuck Jones; Co-Direction: Maurice Noble; Story by John Dunn, and Chuck Jones; Animation by Ben Washam, and Bob Bransford; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Sound Effects Created by Treg Brown; Musical Direction by Bill Lava. A Looney Tune released on April 27, 1963.

Oh boy. This is a hard cartoon to describe. It’s kind of like if UPA directed “The Beatles Yellow Submarine.” And that just describes the style. Strange as it may be, it is an artistic masterpiece! And it was rightfully nominated for an academy award. (The last Looney Tune to get such an honor!) What could have beaten it? Another abstract short made by Mel Brooks? I suppose that makes sense, much as I hate to admit it. It’s also where we get the first use of the abstract opening that was used during the sixties. (A shame it is now remembered as part of the weaker shorts.)

So the plot. Unfortunately, the twist is spoiled as soon as it starts. (That’s pretty much my only gripe.) So we’ll just pretend like we never saw anything. An old British gentleman strolls along. Ironically, he is hard of hearing and carries around an ear trumpet. Clearly, it has gotten much use. The poor thing is battered and beaten. So we aren’t surprised to see him trade it for the red, shiny, pristine and perfect one he finds on the ground.

He gives it a test run. And not a moment too soon! Sounds like there is an automobile approaching! Or rather, it was some sort of animal. (As an animal expert, I’m saddened to find I can’t identify it. It resembles an insect, but has a telescoping neck and shoes for feet. It defies all nature.) Well, that was odd. But it seems to be working now, as the man delights in listening to a songbird. But the insanity is just getting started. Part of which is caused by some little man dressed all in pink, and lacks facial features. (Save for a nose)

I’m not sure if he is real or not, but in this short, I’m not sure if anything is real. Even our main character is started to get nervous, judging by the sounds his heart is making. And then? The scariest thing I’ve ever seen in animation. That is no exaggeration. In total darkness, the man is watched by several sets of angry eyes. That’s it. And that horrifying image is awesome. (Part of why it’s scary is that it’s a perfect metaphor for how I view the world. All alone. The only ones who look at us, silently judge.)

Why doesn’t the man just get rid of the thing causing all this trouble? He can’t! The little pink man won’t allow it! And the trumpet begins entangling the old man in music. Eventually leading up to a “Gigantic Explosion!” Happily, the old man is still alive. (If a bit bandaged.) Better yet, his old horn is still in the trash can. Tattered it may be, it still works fine, and the gentleman once more can hear the the lovely sounds the world has to produce. And the owner of the red horn? Satan. (Wish they hadn’t showed him at the beginning) At least that explains the creepy as hell imagery. He happily puts his horn back on his head, and leaves.

This short is something else. A treat for the ears as much as the eyes. (Just like the best cartoons) I think it’s one of the studio’s best, and think it belongs right up there with “Porky’s Preview” as one of the “100 best.”

The Hole Idea

“Inventive genius makes great discovery!”

Directed by Robert McKimson (One of his favorites, in fact); Story by Sid Marcus; Animation by Robert McKimson; Layouts and Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc (June Foray); Music by Milt Franklyn. A Looney Tune released on April 16, 1955.

Of the many great scientists that have existed throughout time, (and for that matter, the ones who have yet to exist throughout time) I think the greatest is: Calvin Q. Calculus. Because he specializes in making paradoxes a reality. In the past, he’s made everything from dry water to round squares. (There wasn’t much of a market for them, so they can no longer be found today, but it’s fascinating to imagine) And he did all of that without the support of a loving wife. (Gertrude is not the patient type. But she has good qualities. I mean, there must be SOME reason he married her)

His latest breakthrough is really a wonder: portable holes! (And it’s hard to be impressed in the crazy city he lives in. I think one of the bridges has a row of buildings on top of it) Nevertheless, he is granted instant acclaim! This hole thing is really a marvel! You can duck out of responsibilities, cheat at golf, and get the children you locked in a safe, out before the authorities arrive! (That’s an interesting picture on the wall. Not really a picture, but random farm related words and even a math equation. 4×4=4, huh? Math never was my best subject.)

Calvin has only one hope for his invention: that no one shall use it for nefarious purposes. (Minor mistake, but his award pokes out of the screen he is projected on. Minus one point) Ah, but you see, temptation is a powerful thing. And if there is an easier way to get what one wants, you can bet at least one person will try and ruin things for everyone. In this case, a (Man? They could be a very ugly lady.) person takes the professor’s case of holes while he sleeps and begins committing crimes. Using the holes for easy access into banks, jewelry stores, and Fort Knox. They begin calling this mystery person “The Holey Terror.”

They eventually move on to living targets, and break into a burlesque house. (Based on how sexuality is, that still gives no concrete evidence to the gender) But the cops are on their tail, and the thief is running out of holes to use. Down to one left, they use it to escape through a wall, just as the cops grab it. Said wall lead into a prison. (Never panic in these situations, it’ll always spell your undoing) Calvin is pleased to see things right in the world. (His sleeves are red in one scene then white in the next. Minus two points) Gertrude is still being a b*tch, and her husband finally decides to be rid of her. (Love his smile.) He tosses a hole in her path, and it must have been pretty deep. She ends up in hell. Satan sends her right back. (Even he doesn’t want to put up with her crap.)

 

It’s Hummer Time

“I tawt I taw a putty-tat.”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Warren Foster; Animation by Rod Scribner, J.C. Melendez, Charles McKimson, Phil DeLara, and John Carey; Layouts by Cornett Wood; Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas; Effects Animation by Harry Love; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on July 22, 1950.

The plot for this picture: a cat trying to catch a hummingbird of all creatures. (It’s like chasing a chicken nugget. I want a short where a spider tries to catch one of these birds, as flies won’t cut it anymore.) The bird isn’t dumb enough to swim in the birdbath the cat is holding, and flies off after squirting him in the face. The cat (who can also be found in “A Fractured Leghorn” and “Early to Bet.”) gives chase, but ends up sinking his claws into a dog. Much like in the latter of the two shorts up there, the dog subjects the cat to various punishments. Only here, the cat doesn’t get any say in things. First up: being pulled through a hole in a fence.

As the cat hunts with net in hand, the bird flies close to the dogs head. With them both being on one side of a wall, the cat swings but gets the dog. Now he must attend a birthday party for himself. He doesn’t even have to share the cake! (The candles are explosives though) Next, he ties a flower onto a balloon and tries to fish for the bird. Said bird paints the cats face on it and brings it to the dog’s attention. When he pulls the string, the cat reels him in. This earns him a trip down a drain pipe.

Is this really worth all the trouble? Well, given a hummingbird’s diet, I suppose they are the cat equivalent of candy. (Like a flying Bit-O-Honey) So the cat chases the bird over near the dog’s house. There, he makes the mistake of laying a paw on the dog’s bones. That’s earned him a trip into a cement mixer. (Normally, that would be horrific way to go, but here it just freezes him in cement.)

Now really, in a universe where a dog can collect monetary rewards, why can’t the cat just go BUY something to eat? You know, that is an excellent question. So, the bird sticks one of his feathers into the dog’s mouth and so the cat has no other option but to take a peek inside and see if there is anything left. (He’s not dumb enough to open the mouth on his own. He uses sneeze powder. But really, why is he afraid of the dog? Notice how he phases out of existence when doing this.) The dog has had enough, and prepares to subject the cat to “the works.” Here, the cat has a rope tied around his tail, that will take him through the fence, through several other obstacles (including a drainpipe) and landing him in the cement mixer once more. Neither of them notice the bird who ties some extra rope to the dog’s leg and the cat’s body. Unaware, the dog ends up dragged into the machine with his victim. The bird then sets it to birdbath, and gets a nice new place to bathe.

 

Chow Hound

“I’ve gotta get more food!”

Directed by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Phil Monroe, Ben Washam, Lloyd Vaughan, and Ken Harris; Layouts by Peter Alvarado; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc (Bea Benaderet); Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on June 16, 1951.

One of the hundred greatest, and possibly Jones’ darkest picture ever!

Butch the cat is put out for the night after a nice steak dinner. But as soon as he is outside, he appears terrified. And he has good reason to be. A dog demands the steak that it turns out, he didn’t eat. You’d think that’d be it, but the dog (who I will name after his voice actor, John T. Smith, who we’ve seen in “Water, water, Every Hare”, “Homeless Hare”, and “Bunny Hugged”.) is not through with him.

They stop at a different house. John pretties up Butch and sends him to the door. The woman living there identifies the cat as Harold. (Which leads me to wonder what his name REALLY is. And while I’m on this tangent, if animals could talk, would they name themselves?) Despite how loving the lady sounds, she must secretly want the cat dead as she gives him some chicken bones with his dinner. He doesn’t get a bite, John takes it again.

What’s the next stop? Some crummy place where John has another animal held hostage: a mouse. Now the cat (now going by Timothy) will get another meal for his master, by pretending to be a mouser. The mouse doesn’t like this arrangement anymore than the feline, (although he actually begs to be free. Unlike the cat who just takes it) The old man living in the building gives the cat more food, the dog takes it, and the mouse is put back in the can.

The next part of the plan requires it to be daytime, as the local zoo isn’t open at night. (A very pretentious establishment, as they use the term: “Zoological Park” Nice touch guys, wanna give the animals actual environments next?) Feeding time is going on and a keeper tosses various meats to various cats. There appears to be a newly discovered species today: The Saber Toothed Alley Cattus. (Felidae chuckmeat) The keeper isn’t entirely sure about this, but he is paid to feed, not think, so the cat is given another steak. (He tries to hide a firecracker in this one, but it only registers a burp with John)

Seems this has been going on for weeks, and it’s finally getting to John. He’s not getting a conscience or anything stupid like that. He’s just annoyed with how little meat each place actually gives. (In the case of the zoo, I agree. A 10 oz. steak won’t do much for a full grown tiger) I guess this “zoological park” has a history of animals trying to find greener pastures, because they actually have a sign offering rewards for missing animals. This gets John thinking…

The four places mentioned notice their lack of cat and soon they are offering money for its safe return. Read the paper carefully. Not only does the park offer a “liberal” reward, but the first guy is apparently animator Lloyd Vaughn (living at Termite Terrace of course) and the old guy is animator Ken Harris. (Which just strikes me as hilarious for some reason) John puts his master plan into action and returns the cat to each place, and taking away when he leaves. (And these people don’t bat an eye at giving a dog money. I love cartoons) John is clearly enjoying this too, as he returns the zoo animal in the guise of a hunter. (The mouse is humiliated to be roped in again. This time as a racially insensitive pygmy. On another note, John looks awesome with that mustache.)

Success! That liberal reward really must have helped, as the dog now has enough money to ensure he never need worry about food again. His purchase? A meat market of course. Self control? Never heard of that. A cut to an animal hospital reveals that John couldn’t control himself, and ate as much as he could fit in his belly and then some. He is now nearly obese as Piggy Hamhock. The doctors leave, and the dog receives two visitors he really doesn’t need: his slaves.

See, if forcing them to collect food wasn’t enough, he was also constantly berating them for not bringing him any gravy. Well, they got plenty of it now. And John can only stare in horror as they stick a funnel in his mouth, and force feed him the stuff. Ooh! Deliciously dark! No better way to end things. (Not surprisingly, that dog never made another appearance. Dead hounds don’t appeal to many audiences.)

A Cartoonist’s Nightmare

♫The tables are turned, and now you’re in, our clutches!♫

Supervision by Jack King; Animation by Don Williams and Paul Smith; Musical Score by Bernard Brown. A Looney Tune released on September 21, 1935.

Before we move on to today’s short, it’s time for another rendition of “Something that actually happened to me, that I didn’t make up and is still related to our source material.” I was at work, and a little boy saw my Marvin the Martian shirt. Somehow, he knew that I was someone who actually watches the source material of what he wears, and not only complimented my attire, but asked what Looney Tunes DVDs I had. He had several of the same ones and I sent him away with some ideas about what others he should get. I’m just glad that SOME parents are making sure their kids watch true art. Wouldn’t be great to have a little pal to watch cartoons with?

Yᴇᴀʜ! Tʜᴇɴ I ᴄᴏᴜʟᴅ ʜᴀᴠᴇ sᴏᴍᴇᴏɴᴇ ᴛᴏ ᴘʟᴀʏ ᴡɪᴛʜ!

Too bad that will never happen. Now leave! The adults are talking.

Today’s short is a creepy good time! Definitely one of the more underrated shorts. It begins at Animated Cartoon Studio. (A subsidiary of Generic Products United.) Another day of work is done, and everyone goes home. (Keep your eyes open, and you’ll find that Clampett works here.) The night watchman begins his rounds. This looks like a fun place to work. There’s a staircase that leads to a door too small for anyone to enter, and a sea star in a water cooler. Those rascally artists!

There seems to be a cartoonist still here. He’s working on the latest short for their newest star, Beans. (Making this the first “Looney Tune” to not feature Bosko or Buddy. Warner’s was just all about those B’s.) Yes, by this point Buddy had been abandoned, and I Haven’t got a Hat had come out, so it was time to see if this new character had what it took to be the star. (Porky won.) I will admit, it would have been cool if all this stuff that happens in the short was in live action, but the technology wasn’t there yet, and even if it was, we don’t need another “Coolworld.”

I don’t know what part of the short the man (Name time! I’ll call him Bob McClampet.) is working on, but it is a part where Beans had just been threatened by a beast, but had bars put in front of him, keeping him safe. I guess the short is done, because even though he said he needed to finish, Bob decides to sleep. (Sleep is best often enjoyed at your work) Seeing his chance, the beast grabs Bob and yanks him into the world of cartoons. With Beans still safely locked away, no one can save Bob. Oops.

Bob is dragged down to a room where all the cartoon villains are kept. (Which is right next to where the cartoon heroes are kept. You know them, they are what they’re supposed to be. Illusions of your fantasy.) And in a brilliant move, some of these guys actually appeared in previous Warner shorts. The “Mad Doctor” was the “Mad Musician” from “Buddy the Detective,” “One-punch Otto” the octopus appeared in “Mr. and Mrs. is the name;” even the beast who pulled Bob in appeared once. (Naturally, in 1934’s “Beauty and the Beast.”) They’re are plenty of original faces there too. Including Battling Barney the gender confused kangaroo. (Males don’t have pouches. Females aren’t called “Barney”) And Spike the spider. (Who doesn’t have the right number of legs. And has a beetle’s shell. And a nose. And… Oh wait! “Spike the spider” is probably just his wrestling name. Of course, that must be it.)

So why all the kidnapping? Seems they’re angry at Bob. In every picture he makes, they are the villains. Don’t get them wrong, they love doing what they do, but they don’t like how they are always the losers. So, they are going to make Bob kill himself. (Dang! A cartoonist’s nightmare indeed! Imagine being hated by your creations! Sure, this kind of situation would come back in “Fairly Odd Parents,” and the “Goosebumps” movie, but being forced to end your life? That’s harsh.) Seeing as how if he doesn’t comply, the rouges are probably just going to kill him themselves, Bob complies and begins drawing a pit.

Remember Beans? He is still in this short too. He’s just been given a loaf of bread by… somebody. Seriously, who is that? We never saw them! (I’m not using gender specific pronouns because I legit don’t know what gender they are.) They came from where Bob was taken. Are they one of the cartoon heroes? The ones who will last forever? I doubt it because we never see them again! Also, I guess Beans wasn’t too upset about his creator probably dying, as his face lights up at the thought of a snack. It’s a pretty comfy cell. As long as someone feeds him, he could stay there for years, no problem.

Okay, okay, back to the plot. Random character in a dress and bonnet hid a saw in the bread, and Beans begins to make his escape. Bob meanwhile, has drawn the pit, and is thrown in. And there is a crocodile in there, so he’s pretty much screwed. When Beans arrives, he finds the villains watching the action. They’re smart enough to make sure their plan works out. (Impressive!) Beans sends some boots to kick the beast, and the whole lot chases after the cat once he is spotted. (Well, at least they look evil. Brains don’t matter much.)

Beans sends the pencil down to Bob, who draws a ladder to get himself out. Then, with the use of a grease gun, Beans sends all four villains (no idea where all the rest went) sliding into their own trap. Bob then erases it. (Which is also pretty harsh. They’re trapped in a enclosed space with a dangerous reptile. Even if they manage to fight it off, they are going to starve. I hope the two heros are proud of themselves.)

Considering the smiles are their faces, I guess they are. They shake hands, which is really the night watchman shaking Bob awake. When the title said “nightmare” it meant it literally. Still, Bob is grateful for Beans’ help. To reward him, not only does he remove the beast and cell from the scene, but he draws him up a giant plate of dessert. (Ice Cream? Pudding? Custard? Maybe it’s all three.)

 

Buddy’s Circus

“Get your tickets for the big show!”

Supervision by Jack King; Animation by Bob McKimson and Ben Clopton; Music by Norman Spencer. A Looney Tune released on November 8, 1934.

Can Buddy buy your support with a circus? Would that make this the greatest short on Earth? He’s certainly going to try. I will give him points for arriving via balloon. But said balloon also becomes the tent. It has greatly increased in size! But no one seems interested in the magic cloth, as they only go inside to see what racially challenged “freaks” Buddy has to exploit. (After he has made music by pulling on elephant tails.)

Buddy tries to dodge any future controversy, by claiming these people are a race known as “Ubangis.” (They look a lot like what white people thought black people looked like at the time, to me) Naturally, having dark skin means your lips are gigantic. One poor fellow is forced to sacrifice his dignity, and perform as a human phonograph. Other “interests” include a rubber man, (who is kind of disappointing. He barely stretches! And in the field of animation, you really have no excuse for following science’s rigid rules of how much a human body can stretch.) There is also a fire swallower. He actually bothers to make more of an impression, and swallows a pan and raw egg, and cooks breakfast for himself, in himself.

But that’s just the sideshow! The REAL entertainment is inside the tent. Buddy leads a parade of animals, and some guy hangs by a rope by his teeth. He doesn’t last long. (I hope those really were dentures, or that looks much more painful than King had intended.) One baby in the audience is munching on some popcorn. When he drops it beneath the stands, he naturally goes after it. An elephant beats him to the punch, but happy for the snack, she makes a friend out of the infant. (Do you see any tusks on that full grown elephant? No? Then she is a she.)

Friends go places together, and the baby joins his pachyderm pals in the ring. It takes a while, but the baby’s mother does finally notice the kid has become part of the show. If he keeps the kid around, child-labor laws are going to be on his @$$ for quite awhile yet. So, Buddy joins the mom in chasing the kid down. A circus tent is not the safest place to run around unorganized, so it is isn’t weird to see the three get tossed around by the various performers. The three are flung out of the tent. The two adults, (actually, I’m still not entirely sure of Buddy’s age) land on a giraffe. But the kid lands in the hippo’s cage. If this was reality, he’d be dead about 8 times by now. (Hippos anger easily. They’re like 900 pound wasps.) Since this is a cartoon though, the kids is safe and sound and in one piece inside the animal’s mouth.

 

Buddy’s Beer Garden

“Give the girl a great big hand!”

Supervision by Earl Duvall; Animation by Jack King and Tish Tash; Music by Norman Spencer. A Looney Tune released on November 11, 1933.

The idea of prohibition really amuses me. To think we actually had the 18th  amendment of our constitution forbidding alcohol consumption. (Even funnier is the later Amendment 21, stating to ignore number 18.) To celebrate the end of such an era, Buddy has opened a place for people to happily get drunk.

It seems to be pretty popular. (Although identical twins must sit on opposite sides) Buddy uses devious means to make his beer more appealing. He adds shaving cream to the tops to make it look extra foamy. He even has employed his girlfriend. Cookie takes more pride in her work. She hand knits every pretzel. There’s more meaty dishes too. Tongue sandwiches specifically. (They happily lap up mustard)

Another one of Cookie’s jobs is being the smokes person. Cigars and cigarettes. (That’s all they’ve got. Hookahs are for caterpillars.) One patron buys from her and makes a remark about her looks. (He looks like King Hippo with more clothes and a terrible shaving job) Also, Cookie has a third gig at her boyfriend’s eatery. She dances to Latin music wearing a see through dress. (Though, all we can see is her legs. They’re not bad. But Turkey legs? OHHHHHHH! That’s the creme da la creme of legs.)

I’d like to say that everyone is enjoying the show, but what is with the guy on the far right? Not only does he keep looking at the table, but he keeps rubbing his head against it. Does that turn him on? Also, Buddy is a liar. I quite clearly saw a sign advertising free food, but he still charges a patron for his sandwiches. (I guess the cheese is too expensive. You may not know this, but during the depression, cheese was valued over platinum.)

Buddy announces a surprise guest to perform next: Mae West! King Hippo is still around, and loves what he is seeing. He just has to get a little closer. But because of the alcohol and maybe a little shyness, he can’t do much better than greeting her from under a table. He is spotted by a poster for beer with a goat on it. (Both the goat’s horns and Hippo’s hat change color briefly in this short.) As you’d expect from a goat, it butts the butt in front of it, and Hippo is thrown forwards, knocking Mae into the air and crashing himself into a mirror. We then see Mae was really Buddy in drag the whole time. (Which might be the first cross-dressing in a Warner Bros. cartoon. I’ll have to double check.)