Porky’s Super Service

“At the sound of the gong, it will be, exactly, ten gallons.”

Supervision by Ub Iwerks*; Animation by Charles Jones and Robert Clampett; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on July 3, 1937.

*Yes. THAT Ub Iwerks. The very same man who animated Mickey Mouse’s first cartoon, all by himself. As it turns out, the studio had planned to outsource some cartoons to Ub’s studio, but he only directed two before a newly promoted to director, Bob Clampett, took over the second half. (Of course, according to Chuck Jones, the two supposed Iwerk’s shorts were directed by Chuck and Bob, themselves.) Either way, this was the second of the two.

As the title suggest, we find Porky at the owner of his own service station. I’d say he is well worthy of the “super” part of the title, as sells gas for only three cents! (Sure, that comes attached with a tax ranging from state to unemployment to carpet, but a pig’s gotta make a living.) Porky is also quite the friendly type. He’s not afraid to ask where a gas tank is located, or let someone know of a flat tire.

It ain’t all sunshine and pleasantries, though. One customer has a bump in car that he’d like removed. Porky and his trusty hammer can remove the bump, but the cost is having it reappear elsewhere on the car. Standard procedures say to just keep hammering away at it until it is removed. This comes back to bite Porky when the bump decides to appear on the windshield. Actually, no. That’s good news. Not only does smashing it get the bump gone, but now Porky can charge the guy for a new windshield. And when Porky wins, everyone wins.

The meat of the picture begins with the arrival of a very ugly woman. She wants Porky to fix up her car, but this also means he can’t disrupt the child sleeping in the backseat. Kid’s a butt, but really, I too would be rather sore if my mother just abandoned me in a vehicle. (It’s always sad when parents don’t love their children enough to hold them.) Porky tries to do his job, but Junior isn’t making it easy on him. He plays with the various car functions when Porky is in prime “pain locations.” Turning on the ignition to give him a shock, or honking the horn in Porky’s ears. Porky can’t even proof that the little snot is responsible, as he feigns sleeping whenever the pig checks.

Until Porky checks on him from the opposite window that is! Caught, the kid rolls the window up, and gets Porky’s nose caught. Now at the baby’s mercy, Porky has an air hose placed in his pants, which lifts him up into the air, and gives the kid a target to shoot at with a grease gun. After a few shots, the gun appears stopped, and the kid takes a peek up the barrel. Karma decides to give him a dose, and he is as greased as the pig. Porky has no sympathy, but unfortunately, the mother comes back at this time, finding the two of them covered in muck, the kid in tears. It doesn’t look good for my pal.

Yep The mother not only drives off without paying, (b*tch) but she threatens to tell the authorities. Making matters worse, her kid ties a hose to her car’s tire, and when she drives away, she ends up dismantling Porky’s whole operation. (Actually, this also works in his favor. Now he can have her charged with stealing his business. See you in court, sucker!)

Favorite Part: Apparently, even the awful woman can’t stand her evil offspring. As when she is telling Porky off, and her kid won’t shut his yap, she slaps him. (I’d watch a ten hour loop of that.)

Well, a week from now is another anniversary for here. Number 9. I’ll be continuing the tradition of adding something new to all future posts. Hope anybody is interested.

False Hare

“Is he for real?”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by John Dunn; Animation by Warren Batchelder, George Grandpre, and Ted Bonnicksen; Layouts by Bob Givens; Backgrounds by Robert Gribbroeck; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Bill Lava. A Looney Tune released on July 16, 1964.

This here is the final Bugs Bunny cartoon.

Okay, fine. Released during the Golden age. *sigh* I feel I shouldn’t have to mention that, but if I don’t, I’ll either have some smart@$$ correcting me or a dumb@$$ asking why he still sees Bugs on the occasion. It’s exhausting being an expert.

His adversaries in this final short are a couple of wolves. They actually, are making their last appearance too, as they previously appeared six years earlier in 1958’s “Now Hare This.” The bigger one of the two is called Uncle Big Bad by the smaller one who doesn’t get a name. (Logically, he would be Nephew Short Annoying) They’re just your typical big predator who thinks he is smarter than he is, and the other one who has more common sense, but never gets much of a chance to prove it.

I’ve heard people say this cartoon sucks, but aside from the nephew laughing at things that aren’t funny every other minute, I don’t have any problems. It may not be much of a grand finale, but knowing Bugs, he’d prefer things be low key.

The elder wolf (who despite his name, isn’t actually THE Big Bad wolf. That guy has no tail.) has just hung a sign that advertises a club for rabbits. Deliberately getting Bugs’ attention, the two don some rabbit disguises and hype up the club. (I like the name. Even if it is the most basic it could be. The Spanish makes it sound just a smidge better.) Bugs isn’t fooled, but he’s bored. Why not see the attempts being made? He heads to the wolf’s place.

Bugs pretends to be interested in joining, and a series of “initiations” take place. First, ring the bell to summon someone who will show you to the initiation room. He… really didn’t do a good job of disguising his trap. The razor sticking out of the bell could be seen by anyone with a complex eye. (Scratch that. Even if you only had eye-spots, you could see it.) Seems once you push down on the button, the highly obvious razor will cut a rope, and a safe will crush your head. Bugs isn’t so easily fooled, and purposely rings the bell as many wrong ways as he can. Naturally, the wolf tries to show him how it’s done and the outcome is obvious as the razor. (Still amusing)

Okay. What new members need now is a photo. You pose in front of an open iron maiden. (It makes you look like a bad@$$) As long as no one comes out of the door behind it, you won’t get impaled. So, B.B. gets his nephew to hide behind the door, and wait to hear “Now!” That will be the cue to open the door, and close the maiden. Bugs pretends to play along, but does goofy poses. For the sake of the joke, I get why the wolf doesn’t get him killed, but wouldn’t it still work? (For that matter, the wolf clearly says “Now” but the nephew doesn’t respond. Not until Bugs says it. That’s gotta hurt.)

Well, initiation time. It’s rather dumb, but it gets the job done. Just climb in the hole. (It’s a cannon) Soon as the wolf is out of sight, Bugs paints another one. Asking which hole he’s supposed to enter, he has the brilliant idea of each party taking a hole. The wolf is cannoned out of the house. Bugs flips the cardboard, and gets the wolf to do it again. (See? We’ve got some decent jokes in this picture. Some people are just cartoon snobs.) The wolf finally tells Bugs to wait in a tree. In turn, he fills it with dynamite, unaware that Bugs has left the tree. One explosion later, and the wolf is out a house. Licked, he wonders if there’d be anyone interested in joining a chicken club. Cue the Foghorn cameo! No, really. Foghorn makes a cameo. Making this cartoon HIS final appearance as well.

*sigh* For the golden era.

Favorite Part: I like this quote from Bugs. “I don’t see why anybody thinks these club initiations are dangerous. Nothing has happened to me yet.”

Riff Raffy Daffy

“What a sthet-up.”

Directed by Arthur Davis; Animation by Don Williams, Emery Hawkins, Basil Davidovich, and J.C. Melendez; Story by William Scott and Lloyd Turner; Layouts by Don Smith; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on November 7, 1948. (In Cinecolor)

That’s right, Cinecolor! The precursor to the much more celebrated Technicolor. They’re might look similar, but the former can have a bit of problems having certain colors appear in their full glory. (Green and purple, for example) So, why the switch? A Technicolor strike led to some of the cartoons at this time having no choice but to go the other option. It didn’t last too long, and things would return to normal. (As normal as cartoons get, that is.)

Officer Porky is quite the responsible cop. It may be the middle of the night, but he happily patrols whistling as he does. He has to act tough though, as he finds a sleeping Daffy on a bench. The law says that he is not supposed to be sleeping in any of the locations within the park, and he is thrown out onto the streets. Cue the snow! There’s just gotta be a place where Daffy can rest, and his answer comes to him in the nearby Lacy’s department store. He makes himself comfortable in a display window, and it looks like his problems are over.

Cue Porky! This is even more illegal then the park loitering and the two have a shouting match. Half of which is kept muted, (as we are hearing things as they are) The other is comprised of indistinct shouting. Looks like Porky is going to have to remove the duck himself. Seeing as he is a policeman, he gets in, no problem, thanks to his skeleton key. Daffy invites him to sit down, offers him a smoke, and even a drink. (Which he uses as an excuse to spray soda all over his face.)

Seeing as they are in a department store, and those tend to sell sporting goods, Porky grabs a bow and arrow. Daffy glues his hand to it, so when Porky fires, he sends himself into a grandfather clock. (The cuckoo inside sends him back out) Daffy isn’t above letting his greed out either, (why do his eyes get rings? It’s scary! Save me, Porky!) as he is willing to sell Porky a gun that would be perfect for shooting ducks. (“The thingsth, sthome ducksth will do for money.”) He manages to avoid the bullets, but it looks like Porky found the cannon the cashiers stored behind the counter, (only available by personal request, and you’d better have the I.D. to back it up.) and it looks like Daffy can’t escape anymore.

He admits defeat, but points out that the only reason he did any of this, was to provide for Aphonse and Rodrigo, his…children? AWWWWW! Daffy is the father of the cutest wind-up ducklings! Porky, too, instantly regrets his actions. He allows Daffy and the kids to stay as long as they want, and Daffy finally gets the relaxation he wanted. You might think he’s being too soft on the duck, but Porky knows too well how hard it is being a father. He has three wind-up piglets of his own. (That’s my pal! He’s a champion advocate for single fathers everywhere!)

Favorite part: The ending for sure. But since I already mentioned it, I’ll pretend it’s the part where Porky finds a sobbing gopher sitting amongst his furniture. He immediately knows who evicted the rodent.

Rover’s Rival

“You old antique!”

Supervision by Robert Clampett; Animation by Charles Jones; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on October 9, 1937.

This short is very important to the history of Warner Bros, and yet, unless you’re a full fledged “Looney-tic” (like me.) you wouldn’t know that. I’ll get to why, but the summary comes first.

Porky is excited over his latest read. A book full of great tricks one can teach to their dog. Not only are they sure to build some great social bonding exercises with your hound of choice, but it surely is fun. Porky rushes to share some great times with his dog, Rover. Unfortunately, Rover is quite old and shaky. He’s at that age where one should really just let him sleep all day, or put him down. Still, Rover is as loyal as you’d expect a dog to be, and despite his lack of hearing, bad back, and possible rheumatism, he does his best to share in Porky’s joy.

Enter our titular rival. He’s chubby, he’s a puppy, his catchphrase is “Yeah, man!” so we’ll call him “Chuppy.” He’s also quite the prick. Witness event A, where Rover tries his darnedest to roll over, but Chuppy blows him back once he’s halfway. He’s also here to steal any glory he can, as he jumps through the hoop Porky is holding. He pulls it away before Rover can attempt the jump, and the old dog leaps into a washtub. (Tragic AND hilarious.)

Chuppy flat out tells Rover that he’s finished. He’s through. (Yes, both dogs can talk.) Mel even shows off his vocal prowess again, by having the little stinker imitate Rover and Porky. Porky still loves his dog, and wants to prove to everyone that he’s no has been. Why, surely he can fetch a stick. A classic! So sure of him self, Chuppy gives the old dog quite the head start before he runs off to get it himself. (Maybe he’s such a douche because his stub-tail keeps disappearing?) Porky tells the young dog to let Rover give it a try, and he half succeeds. His dentures get left behind with the stick. Chuppy retrieves both.

Porky throws again, and this time restrains the pup from stealing Rover’s thunder. Seems he threw the wrong way, as it lands next to a box of dynamite. Rover still brings it back, and Porky panics. He throws it away, and Chuppy runs after it. Rover, however, rushes to a dictionary to see what exactly this “dynamite” is. (He may be old, but the brains are there.) Chuppy, meanwhile, found the rest of the explosive stockade and brings it all back to Porky. Poor guy tries to throw it away, but the dog sends it right back. And I can’t say he just doesn’t know any better, because the little b*stard lights it all. (He’s a literal, figurative S.O.B.)

Rover finally learns the meaning of the word, and rushes to save the day. (Meanwhile, the little dog is actually laughing as Porky says his prayers. So unfair! Why’s he gotta be so adorable! Keeps me from kicking him.) Rover to the rescue! He gets the dynamite, says a silent farewell to his best friend, and gets it away from the two. Porky and Chuppy rush to his side, but it looks like they are too late. Chuppy sobs and admits that this is all his fault, and that not only CAN you teach old dogs new tricks, but he concedes that Rover is the best stick retriever there is. That’s all Rover wanted to hear, and he reveals that he’s fine. Maybe they can all be a family now.

Oh, and as for that important tidbit? This is the first time Porky did his take on “That’s all folks!” Cementing his place in Pop culture for all eternity. *salutes*

Favorite part: There was plenty of great Clampett action and comedy here, but my favorite part was when it looks like Rover died. They drew him to look like he’s been torn into pieces! There’s no blood, but it looks like there should be! Clearly neither dog has been fixed, because this picture has BALLS!

Buddy and Towser

“Hold ‘im, Towser!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buddy’s Trolley Troubles

“All aboard!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lumber Jack-Rabbit

“I keep smelling carrots.”

Directed by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Ben Washam, Lloyd Vaughan, Richard Thompson, Abe Levitow, and Ken Harris; Layouts by Maurice Noble; Backgrounds by Philip Deguard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on November 13, 1954*.

It’s Warner Bros. first cartoon to be produced in 3-d! (And the only one from the golden age!) And why do it? Honestly, because everyone was. Donald Duck with Chip and Dale. Popeye. Woody Woodpecker. Even Casper! Sadly, they did very little to take advantage of the fad. All it amounts to is the shield smacking us in the face at the beginning. (Careful! You’re liable to knock loose my fillings!) Even without the gimmick, it’s kinda your basic Bugs short. Not their best.

The title references the fact that Paul Bunyan is in this picture. (Ironic, that the only cartoon of Bugs’ to win an Oscar beat out an adaptation of Paul’s story.) Some people may not believe in ole’ P.B. (which is weird since he can’t really hide that well) but Bugs had first hand proof as he actually wandered into Paul’s country once. (Yes, Paul has his own country and everything there is set to his scale. I guess he had to come from somewhere.)

Bugs isn’t initially aware as he’s singing “Jimmy Crack Corn.” (Yes, I know that all of us who are old enough to know that song, are aware of it’s unfortunate origins, but screw it, it’s a catchy song!) Bugs takes a nap against a giant carrot, and flips out once he realizes what it is. He immediately starts mining. (And just dumping away all the part’s he is digging out. Such a waste. If I was mining through a candy bar, I’d eat the “dirt”) Trouble is on the horizon. (Literally, given the size) Paul is heading out to do more lumberjacking off somewhere. (Go ahead and giggle. I know you want to.) He leaves his dog behind to guard things.

Said dog looks an awful lot like Frisky, but he takes things more seriously. (Also, the tag clearly reads “Smidgen” Kind of a mean name. Was “Speck” too cruel?) Dog plucks Bugs away from his work, and tries to rid the vegetables from the rabbit. When Bugs uses a feather to his advantage, the dog’s sneeze sends Bugs into the house and inside a large moose call. When the dog blows Bugs out. (No laughing this time, it’ll be forced) he unwittingly summons a moose. Poor creature flees once he sees who made that call. (Why even have a call if it only attracts normal moose?)

Bugs winds up in an apple eventually, and Smidgen eats it, thinking he’s won. Shouldn’t have picked his teeth, or he might have succeeded. Time to make peace! Bugs scratches the beast, and that’s all it takes! (Dogs are so wonderful. Always willing to forgive.) Now in the hound’s good graces, things actually seem worse as the pup won’t stop following Bugs. (Plus, you could drown in that tongue.) Bugs is able to solve the dilemma by pointing out something even better: a redwood tree. (Which is probably only slightly bigger than the animal, but dogs will be dogs.)

Favorite part: When Bugs is first taken away from his new mine by the dog, he let’s loose this gem of a line: “I’ll be scared later! Right now I’m too mad!” That’s just awesome.

*Correction: it was originally released on September 26, 1953. The release date up there was when it was released in regular format. Thanks to SJC for pointing it out!

Big Hearted Bosko

“Bruno, where are you?”

Animation by Isadore Freleng and Rollin Hamilton. A Looney Tune released on March 5, 1932.

Really, that doesn’t sound too healthy. Is it like a tumor? Or maybe he just has bad cholesterol or-OH! It’s meant figuratively! And here I thought it might be a clue as to why we don’t see Bosko much anymore.

As I’ve stated many times before, I don’t get the love for the cold. So I really can’t fathom why Bosko would want to be outside in it. (I guess it really doesn’t bother him any. He’s not wearing anything different than his usual get-up.) Bruno has tagged along for this trip, and the two spend some time skating on ice. (They have the whole pond to themselves as nobody else seems to want to skate on ice that has large holes in it. Cowards.)

Okay, sure. Bruno nearly falls in a couple of times, but that doesn’t mean he will-oh, d*mn it. Bruno! How are we to enjoy your escapades if you end up in the death water? I suppose you best be saving him, Bosko.

Bosko is afraid he is too late, as his dog doesn’t surface. He’s fine, though. He comes out via a frozen log. Angry that his dog could have actually died, Bosko throws a stick in frustration. A stick? Bruno loves those! He goes to retrieve it. The stick landed next to a basket, and there must be something inside because noise is coming from within. (It’s a little known fact, but baskets don’t make noises.) This is clearly a job for a man! Or better yet, a talk-ink kid! We’ve got one of those! Bosko is hesitant, but he takes a peek. Why, it’s a baby! Whoever left it out here to die is long gone, but Bosko won’t be viewed any better if he just leaves it. Better adopt the child. It’s what Jesus would do.

At home, the baby continues to wail despite Bosko’s violin playing. (Yeah, I’m not surprised this kid was left to freeze.) The only thing that seems to cheer it up ever so slightly, is a frustrated Bruno being unaware that the seat he is taking is a hot stove. (Clever way of dousing the flames. Pouring the water IN his body. Haven’t seen that method. I should try it on this spare cat I have.) Obviously, burning dogs is something even Satan wouldn’t stoop to, so we need an alternative plan. Music didn’t work before, maybe we should try it again.

Hey, what do you know, that seems to be working! (I guess the child just hates violins and flutes. All the cool babies listen to piano music.) Bruno even decides to keep being entertaining, and puts a lamp shade on like a skirt. Even Bosko’s dinner squawks a note. (Chop the freaking head off, man. What’s the matter with you?) Yes, I think this family just might work out after all. Even if Bosko’s dancing has ended with him getting his head stuck in the fish bowl.

Favorite Part: When Bosko asks the kid what the matter is. Surprisingly, the kid responds. It’s “Crying for the Carolines.”

Buddy the Gob

“I’ll save you!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hocus Pocus Pow Wow

“The president of the railroad will hear about this!”

Directed by Alex Lovy; Story by Cal Howard; Animation by Ted Bonnicksen, LaVerne Harding, Volus Jones, and Ed Solomon; Layouts by Bob Givens; Backgrounds by Bob Abrams; Film Editor: Hal Geer; Voice Characterization by Larry Storch; Musical Direction by William Lava. A Looney Tune released on January 13, 1968.

Merlin (the magic mouse, not that wizard guy) and Second Banana are on their way to Pow wow city to perform. Shouldn’t be too much of a hassle. Then the conductor asks for some tickets. Merlin tries to oblige, but the only thing his hat chooses to produce is flowers. (You know, I don’t think they actually HAVE any tickets.) The conductor doesn’t put up with the shenanigans for long before kicking the two off the train. Seems like walking is their best bet. But first, why not kick back and relax with one of Merlin’s patented magic hat dinners? Featuring great choices such as: Beef Wellington, Pumpkin soup, and the featured attraction: Turkey for two.

Eating all alone in the middle of a desert? Hungry eyes are going to be able to find you easily. It’s not vultures that are eyeing the dead animal on which the mice munch, but a Native American. The credits have credited him as Lo, the poor Indian. (He’s clearly not Indian, and I can’t say that he’s poor, but one CAN greet him with “How, Lo.” It’s not very PC, but in 1968, what Caucasian would care?)

If he really is poor, that might be why he wants Merlin’s hat so much. Or maybe the thought of a never ending food vessel would entice anyone. Regardless, Lo takes the hat and tries getting some food. He actually is able to bring some animals out, but doesn’t manage to take any bites before they flee. Merlin takes the hat back and runs. Lo, in turn, tries firing some arrows at the two, but only manages to hit himself.

Merlin tries a couple tricks to help himself and sidekick escape. Conjuring up a railroad crossing with an actual train attached, wearing a disguise, (Lo isn’t fooled. He can tell mouse feet from human.) and taking the man’s tomahawk and making it disappear. (He can bring it back. But one should really know better than to say “Give it to me!” in  a cartoon. Lo brought that pain on himself) Still, he is insistent that Merlin relinquish the hat. Merlin agrees, but figures they should smoke a peace pipe first. Said pipe is a firecracker, and Merlin is able to escape at last.

Making it to their destination, the mice are all set to perform at the local theatre. So, what are the locals like? Actually, they are all Native American, and I don’t think they are taking too kindly to all the racial stereotyping this cartoon contained. Maybe they just really liked Lo? Whatever the reason, they chase the mice out of town. (Drat. I was really looking forward to the show)

Favorite Part: How Merlin greets the audience. “Greetings ladies and gentlemen! Or whatever the case may be.” It’s always a good idea to put the theatre-goers in their place.