Sunday Go to Meetin’ Time

“Get your hands off me.”

Supervision by Isadore Freleng; Animation by Bob McKimson and Paul Smith; Music by Norman Spencer. A Merrie Melody released on August 8, 1936.

Here we go. The first one of the censored 11 I’m featuring here. Is it worthy of that title? In some spots, yeah, but there’s SOME good things in here.

As it is Sunday, (as I type this and in the short) it’s also time to go to church. Everyone in the community puts on their finest clothes and heads for some sweet, sweet, gospel. (I won’t lie. I’m a little uncomfortable seeing young children having their heads shined like shoes. Luckily, that’s probably the worst this picture has to offer. The big lips hardly phase me after witnessing that.)

One lady is set to go, but has misplaced her husband, (Or he could be her son. It’s never established.) Nicodemus. Since he’s black, the cartoon thinks that he’d most definitely rather be playing craps than going to church. (I’ll just pretend that it just happens to be his favorite game.) He’s found and dragged off to the building. (Talking in that kinda dopey tone of voice Hollywood was fond of having black people use. The tone that I doubt was ever THAT noticeable? Okay, okay. I’ll stop. )

Once there, he of course ducks out. All that talk of the bible can make a guy hungry, and since everybody is at church, nobody can catch him trying to take a chicken. (I love how he tries to prove to the bird that he isn’t holding anything in his hand. The bird ain’t fooled.) Giving chase, he hits his head on a fence post and Nicodemus begin to see things that will scare him straight.

Now standing before a judge, he has his life history looked over. Seems he sinned plenty. All stereotypical sins no less. (The craps, and chicken snatching weren’t obvious enough. That’s why he was also had to be guilty of watermelon theft.) Fate’s sealed, he’s going to hell. Satan and his demon minions are quite happy to have a new soul to torture. (Satan and his followers also have uncomfortably large lips. I’m not sure how I feel about this. Isn’t making fun of Satan totally fine? Then again, those lips aren’t really funny on anybody. I’m conflicted.)

As the imps began his torture with some pitchfork pokes, he wakes up to find the chickens pecking him. With the threat of hell fresh in his mine, Nicodemus repents and heads back to church without further hesitation. I knew he was a good guy, deep down.

Favorite part: Say what you will about the visuals in this cartoon, but the music is awesome! Very catchy and a treat for the ears.

 

Busy Bakers

“We must work fast before he wakes, and fill his store with pies and cakes.”

Supervision by Ben Hardaway and Cal Dalton; Story by Jack Miller; Animation by Richard Bickenback; Musical Direction by Carl Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on February 10, 1940.

Before I begin with the summary, I insist that you watch this:

One brilliant person made this work of art, and if you come here, then you’re the kind of person who’d enjoy it. (I was only going to put this up with permission, but I was told to just do it regardless. I guess civility really IS dead.)

Back to what I normally talk about on Sundays…

Poor Swenson the baker. He’s got no customers, because he’s got no products to sell. He can’t sell any products, because he has no ingredients. He can’t buy more, because has no funds. Funds that could be given to him by the customers he doesn’t have. (A vicious cycle) I’m not sure how things ended up this way. Maybe he spent all his dough (tee hee) on the premises. Or he could just be terrible at his chosen profession.

Enter an old man. He appears to be blind, hunchbacked, and nearly toothless, so clearly, he’s seen better days. (Figuratively, what with being blind and all) He asks for some crumbs. Even if Swenson is the world’s worst purveyor of pastries, he is a kind man and gives his sole patron the last doughnut. Free of charge. (Not like selling it would be much help anyway. He’d probably be able to afford half a stick of butter at most) Still, the old guy is grateful for the kindness and heads out.

As it turns out, this was all a test. In reality, the old man is… some random old man dwarf. He lives with others of his kind in what’s left of Disney’s “Old Mill.” (Which is the greatest Silly Symphony says I. Go watch it to celebrate the series turning 90 this year!) Because of Swenson’s generosity, the dwarfs are going to supply him with their own ingredients, and bake him a stores worth of goodies. (They will do it while he sleeps. Not only because surprises are fun, but people who run failing businesses tend to force smaller beings into being slaves. This is why cobblers no longer exist.)

So, we get gags about making pastries. They’re…honestly, not the best Warner Bros. has cooked up. (Tee hee) They put egg shells into batter, try squeezing whole pumpkins into pie crusts, and get trapped under unrolling jelly rolls. I don’t know if I’d want to eat their wares. What does one put into dough to get it to stick to a table like that? It may look pretty, but the eyes can be deceived. (I once tried to eat a poison dart frog because it was beautiful. It dissolved my colon)

Despite the mix ups, the little guys seem rather adept at what they are doing. Still, noise is noise, and Swenson wakes up and sees what is going on in his kitchen. With the jig up, the dwarfs flee. Word travels fast, as the store is already packed with people wanting to purchase the pastries. Since they weren’t made with high fructose corn syrup, I’m not surprised to see them sell like hot cakes. (Tee hee) When the day is done, Swenson has a good amount of gold coins in his possession.

Now comes the true test! The old man comes back to once again beg for scraps. (Gotta see if success has changed the baker for the worse.) Happily, he is still a rather nice fellow, and gives the beggar a whole pie. (Maybe he knows the old guy is related to his booming business somehow, and doesn’t want to lose his luck. A little food for thought. (Tee hee.)) However, when Swenson mentions that there is a five cent deposit on the pan, he gets the pie heaved in his face. (I don’t understand. Doesn’t that mean if the old guy returned it, he’d get payed? Why so angry?)

Favorite part: Like I said, the gags were sadly a little weak. (Though the art is very nice) I suppose my favorite part is the song they sing while they bake. It’s catchy.

Wild Over You

” Le ha-ha.”

Directed by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Ken Harris, Ben Washam, and Lloyd Vaughan; Layouts by Maurice Noble; Backgrounds by Philp DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling; Orchestrations by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on July 11, 1953.

Before we begin, a couple notes.

1. I met the nicest woman at work the other day. She really knew her Looney Tunes. We spent a few fun minutes quoting them. There was only one thing that kept me from asking her out. (It wasn’t because she was married. We could have worked around that) No, it was because she was at least 40 years too old for me. Such a shame.

2. I ask you to raise a glass in honor of Richard Williams. Possibly the greatest animator that will ever grace this planet. His work on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” is right up there as one of the pinnacles of human creation. He will be missed and never replaced. (And he shouldn’t)

Thank you for your time. Let’s get the 500th post underway.

Back in 1900, when the world still had world fairs, (man, it would be fun to attend one of those. It’s too bad we don’t really have much good as a species to show off, anymore) one was held in France. Even by this time, zoos were nothing new, but a chance to see exotic animals is always a sure way to draw in the crowds. (And my lord, the cages here are horrifying. The giraffe is poking out of the top. The elephant is pressed against the bars! Aushwitz isn’t being topped here, but things are close.)

Such horrible living conditions, its no surprise to me that one of the animals has made their escape. It’s a wildcat, and although that’s not the worst case scenario of animal escape, the crowds go into panic. (Probably smart. Fear, while often an overreaction, does keep us alive) Immediately, a zoo keeper and dog begin the hunt. Poor creature. She means no harm, but a lifetime of imprisonment is hers unless she can find someway to avoid detection. What ho! Could those cans of black and white paint be the answer?

One coating later, the answer is yes. Decked out in the years finest skunk model, she has the hunters fleeing. This is usually the time in Warner Bros. shows that Pepe shows up. Right on cue. He’s quite happy to find not only find a female, but a LARGE female! (Bigger is better!) He makes his move, but seeing as how this time his target is a much more dangerous animal, he gets a bit mauled. (Now, obviously, this is meant to show sadomasochism as a good thing. That’s why Pepe is so into it. Why would we be expected to just think its funny? Cartoons ALWAYS have deeper meanings to them)

The chase begins. You know the classic formula, chasee hides and chaser is already there. Like in a fortune telling booth. The feline is told she is to meet the male of her dreams. (Nightmares are technically dreams) When she flees, she finds this man. (He looks an awful lot like that swami. Could they be… brothers?) There’s a good number more places to hide inside. Wax statues, (the cat hides as Marie Antoinette’s stole, Pepe as Daniel Boone’s cap) a suit of armor, (the cat’s mauls rearrange it into something you’d see in a modern art museum) and a replica of Madame Pompadour’s carriage. (Where Pepe asks himself if this is all worth it. And answers himself that it is worth it.)

The chase continues, but it seems that the cat is starting to wear out. No longer is she fleeing as fast as she once was. Pepe is using this to his advantage, taking his sweet time to catch up. There’s clearly only one option: escape via hot air balloon. She leaps in, cuts the ropes, and says farewell to dwelling on terra firma. Sure, it will quite the adjustment. (She can no longer stalk prey, but the sky is full of birds and water particles, so she won’t want for sustenance) In fact, the only downside I can see is the lack of company. Good thing Pepe also made it aboard. She can maul him all she wants, he’s not going anywhere.

Favorite part: The fortune telling bit. Especially when Pepe calls her existence drab. How come when I tell girls they have the same problem, I get hit?

The Foxy Duckling

“I gotta get a duck! I gotta get a duck! I gotta get a duck!”

Directed by Arthur Davis; Animation by J.C. Melendez, Manny Gould, and Don Williams; Layouts by Thomas McKimson; Backgrounds by Phil DeGuard. A Merrie Melody released on August 23, 1947.\

Night is probably my favorite time of day. Things are still and quiet, soothing and peaceful. Perfect for slipping into sleep and forgetting your troubles in the blissful state of unconsciousness. The only problem is when insomnia rears its ugly head. Such is the fate of poor A. Fox. (A for Adam) He can’t, and I mean can’t, sleep. He’s tried near everything too. Boxes of sleeping pills litter the floor, there’s a whole bucket of milk, and he’s tried every possible sleeping position. Even clamping his eyes shut don’t make a difference.

Falling out of bed causes one of his insomnia books to land on his face. I guess he didn’t read this one much, as it states a solution he never thought to try: a pillow full of duck down. (His is full of various metals. Not comfortable, but… actually, I can’t think of a “but” after that.) Well, if that’s what’ll help, the only solution is to get a duck. So he heads out with a mallet. (I like that he isn’t just hunting for some food. There’s already so many cartoons like that)

He finds a duckling and readies his weapon. (It’s interesting that Daffy was not used in this picture. Not bad, just interesting.) He takes a little too long to swing, so the duckling escapes to a lake. Adam follows, but is reminded that he can’t swim. (Despite the fact he should be able to, and adult ducks also have down. There you go. The two animal facts I’ll teach you today.) He tries some tricks. Blowing a duck call gets him shot by hunters, and when he throws an anvil from a boat, the bird just drags him into the firing line. (It frightens the fish, so I guess he won’t be sleeping with them either.)

Maybe this swimming thing could work. All he needs is a flotation device, and a diving board. (With all that preparation, the duck has plenty of time to aim the board towards a tree) Okay, maybe the heavy object trick could work if one was to throw it from a tree. (Since their is a rope tied to the thing, I guess it was an anchor) Duckling ties the rope to Adam’s leg, but the fox is smart enough to cut the rope. (But dumb enough to keep holding it afterwards)

The duckling climbs a strangely placed mountain, (When God gets drunk, he just places them any old place) and when Adam catches up, the duckling flies over the edge, just out of reach. (I’d tell you that the bird hasn’t yet grown the feathers for that, but I’ve already given you your two facts. Don’t be greedy.) Our fox isn’t going to have that, and begins nailing many planks together to catch up to the fowl. Once he’s out a ways, the bird saws through most of his work. It’s just barely hanging on, and Adam freezes in place to not upset it further.

Sadistic duckling that he is, the little guy plucks out a single feather, (his feet flash yellow) and lets it drops on the frightened fox. (The tension is wonderful here!) No fake outs either; once the feather makes contact with the fox, his structure collapses and he falls to his death. You’d think that now he’d be able to rest. (In peace) But forget that! Being an angel means he has wings of his own! And he’s going to use them to chase that duckling! Iris out.

Favorite part: It’s small, but a great touch. When the duckling walks around in the air with his wing/hands behind his back, he still flaps them to keep aloft. Being a cartoon, nobody would have to animate that and everyone could just accept it. But they did. I’m very proud of them.

Chimp and Zee

“Peanut?”

Directed by Alex Lovy; Story by Don Jurwich; 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 Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by William Lava. A Merrie Melody released on October 12, 1968.

A pretty late entry, and it kinda shows. Seems there wasn’t a lot of heart put into this one, as we aren’t given a lot of information. I’ll do my best to explain, but most of it is based on guesswork.

In the jungle, (the mighty jungle) a… and we already have our first guess. I’m not sure what this guy’s profession is. All he tells us is that he is looking for a blue-tailed simian. Apparently, it’s the rarest species of monkey in the world. What he won’t tell us is why he wants one. Fame? Money? An exotic pet? We’re not even given his name! I suppose this could be like a mad-lib, so I’ll “happily” oblige.

His name is “Dexter” he is a “professor” at “Lovy University” and wants a monkey so he can “have his students dissect it to learn how much in common man has with fellow primates.”

So, why the title of this short? Again, I have to guess! Luckily, this one is a bit easier to figure out. There is indeed one of these monkeys in this jungle, but he is accompanied by some type of jungle boy. Neither of them talk, so…

The boy’s name is “Chimp.” (because he looks more like an ape than the monkey does) His parents were “tourists” who were “looking for a way to abandon their offspring.” He was adopted by a “family of monkeys” who “gave him his name, due to a lack of tail.” His brother is named “Zee” because he was the “26th child” his family had.

That should do it. Let’s return to the “plot” so you can “be entertained/educated.”

Dexter takes a shot at what he believes is his monkey prize. It was only a coconut. Hey, a free snack is a free snack. Despite the college degree I gave him, he can’t seem to figure out how to open the fruit. Chimp pulls the pull tab off for him. Dexter drinks before realizing the boy has a monkey in tow. He’s not civilized, so he gets no say in what happens to his “brother” and that is why Dexter chases them down. Chimp shoots a suction cup arrow at the professor’s head, and ties the other end of the rope it is tied to, to a boulder. Dexter plummets.

As the chase gets going, the two come to a river. The camera begins zooming in on the wrong side of the screen for half a second, leaving more evidence that this cartoon was made for a paycheck and nothing more. (Which is too bad. The slapstick isn’t terrible) Zee asks a crocodile to help scare Dexter off. *Sigh* Here we go again…

The “animals” all “respect Chimp” because he has a “highly developed brain.” Therefore, they will “do anything” he or his family ask. (That, and blue-tailed simians have got to be poisonous. The blue tail has to mean SOMETHING!)

What else can fail? Dexter aims a blowgun around a boulder to shoot at them. (He gets himself. Hope there weren’t any toxins in the dart. For his sake) He reaches into a log and finds two arms exit. He bites the one that was hitting him, and finds it was his. Pulling on the other drags out an elephant. UGH!

The “elephant” lives in a “hollow log” because “her husband threw her out for daring to look at another bull.” It was a hippo, but the loophole didn’t make him any happier. (And why do the pachyderms in this jungle have gross looking pompadour-esque growths on their heads? It can’t be healthy.)

The professor’s final plan is to simply dress up as his prey. Not only that, but he will lure him out with a mating call. It works, but a little too well. He attracts every male blue-tail in the jungle, and they clearly have no qualms about initiating a 17 way with the “female.” (Although, if they are as rare as he says, it would probably make sense for the females to do as many males as they could. Gotta rebuild that population.) As Dexter flees, the title characters swing off. (Zee was “not affected by the call” because he is “gay.”)

Favorite Part: As Dexter falls off the cliff, he lands in a raptors nest before falling the rest of the way. Emptying her next of crushed eggs, she finds one intact. In retaliation for the infanticide, she throws the final one at him. (It survives, but the very idea was so dark, that I loved it)

Feather Dusted

“What-ah say, what you need boy, is somethin’ more excitin’!”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Charles McKimson and Sid Marcus. Animation by Rod Scribner, Phil DeLara, Charles McKimson, and Herman Cohen; Layouts by Robert Givens; Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc (and Bea Benaderet); Music by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on January 15, 1955.

Prissy is off to a party and is leaving her son at home. You may know this guy by sight already, but his name is Egghead Jr. (Although, nowadays he seems to go by Eggbert. Probably to differentiate himself from that other guy.) He doesn’t actually have a name in any of the three shorts he appeared in. Foghorn just calls him boy, and his mother tends to just calls him Junior. Speaking of Foghorn, he feels bad that the hen is telling her kid to just read while she is gone. (Also interesting is that she isn’t fawning over the rooster like pretty much every other time. Seeing him as a lazy oaf who could be a bad influence on her son) Well, since she isn’t going to be around to witness anything (and her son probably won’t tell anyway) Foghorn steals him away to play some typical little boy games. (Typical of the fifties. Mario Kart still needed a couple of decades to exist)

To start: a game of croquet. You may think that Foghorn has an unfair advantage, but you also might think that a kid named “Egghead” will at least be able to get some good shots in. He does indeed. Taking copious notes, he is able to figure out a way to hit the ball so it will pass through every wicket in one shot, and net him victory. Foghorn tries to point out how impossible the whole thing was, but he can’t argue with Jr.’s notes. (I mean, no matter how you look at it, the outcomes remains “I win.”)

Okay, how about cops and robbers? (I’ve only played that once. Is it more fun to be the cop?) Foghorn tells the boy to arrest him as he robs a bank. I love Jr.’s methods. He alerts the actual cops. (They’re all off screen because I doubt we could take the popo seriously if we saw them apprehending a chicken) Then, just to prove his intellect, Jr. marks out the spot Foghorn will emerge when he digs his way out of prison.

Playing pirates might work. (They’re both on the same side in this game.) Foghorn orders the kid to fire a cannon and the lad aims it in a rather unexpected way. Foghorn decides to fire it where he wants regardless, and the ricocheting cannonball comes back to bite him. Since they are already at a pond, why not go for a swim? Egghead refuses to get in, but does take up Foghorn’s challenge of trying to sink him. (He’s pretending to be a battleship) He unleashes a fleet of windup ships that take fire at the big bird.

Egghead is forced to fish him out, and that is where his mother finds him. Soaking wet, with an unconsciousness, wet, older man. (Always hated when that happened to me as a kid. It only looked so bad, because they were missing the context) She scolds her kid, and Foghorn too. She knows his tomfoolery won’t end well for him. He agrees, seeing as he is full of holes.

Favorite part: Foghorn first coming up to the kid and offering to play. He asks if it sounds fun. Egghead shakes his head without even looking at him. (Brother, can I relate)

Hare We Go

“A-nobody believes-a the world, she’s round.”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Warren Foster; Animation by Phil DeLara, Charles McKimson, John Carey, Rod Scribner, and J.C. Melendez; Layouts by Cornett Wood; Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on January 6, 1951.

Christopher Columbus has a new theory! The planet we live on, is not flat as many people suspect, but round! (Although, didn’t most people by 1492 KNOW it was round, but thought that the opposing side was nothing but danger water? Correct me if I’m wrong. Please. That means someone reads these) The king of Spain (who has a voice that I’m guessing helped inspire McKimson to create Speedy) is one of those “flatters” and throws Chris out of his palace.

Bugs is just outside, and he believes Chris. (All his underground traveling has taught him much about the globe. Did you know it is composed of layers?) In fact, he can prove it! He just throws a baseball over the horizon, and waits for it to come back adorned with various stamps. (A trick he must have learned from Porky who did the same thing in “Kristopher Kolumbus, Jr.”) The queen herself is a little more believing than her husband, promising Chris plenty of riches should he succeed. 3 ships with crews later, and they’re on their way.

Since Bugs was the first to believe, he is made mascot and brought along. For some reason, this gets the crew upset. Rabbits are jinxes?

 

Huh. Whod’ve guessed?

Chris is the man in charge though, and he says the rabbit stays. They’re good luck! (Well, their feet are. The rest is just tasty.) The days go by and the crew only grows more restless. Surely the lack of land is because of the mascot. It’s not like the ocean is a really big place. Actually, that probably isn’t true at all. Columbus is certain that they will reach land by the ‘morrow and Bugs relays the news. The crew is elated.

Weeks later…

Oops. A little miscalculation. Still no land. And since the mascot was the one saying that, guess who the crew blames? Someone has gotta leave the ship, and Bugs is too beloved by the rest of the world, so the crew better know how to swim. Using a painting of an island, Bugs is able to get all of his pursuers off the ship. And the other two ships leave. Bugs says they were fired. Chris isn’t too happy with this, but Bugs is confident that the two are more than enough people required.

With no other crew, Bugs takes up the job as cook. Since they’ve been at sea this long, the food is rather slim. (I guess they ate all the rats. Should’ve left a couple to keep breeding, boys.) Bugs serves a bean, and tells Columbus that imagination can help. Chris tries it. Apparently, imagination also makes rabbits look like poultry.

     

Wow. I’m learning so much today!

The two are so caught up in the chase, that neither one notices they actually HAVE hit land. Naturally, Columbus takes all the credit. Cool as he is, Bugs lets him have it. (No use changing the history books. Bugs is a time lord)

Favorite part: The debate Chris had with the king. He claims the world is round like his head. The king smashes it and claims it is flat like his head.

At Your Service Madame

“Can’t you ever try and behave yourself like the others?”

Supervision by Isadore Freleng; Animation by Don Williams and Cal Dalton; Music by Norman Spencer. A Merrie Melody released on August 29, 1936.

You know, my grandparents once bought me a DVD set that was said to contain all of Porky’s cartoons. Looking at the cover, I could tell it wasn’t a licensed product. But hey, a gift is a gift and I DID want to see every Porky cartoon. Sadly, it was shoddily made. First off, it was clear that whoever made this, did so by just filming Cartoon Network. Therefore, some of the cartoons had jokes edited out, and ugly recolorings of black and white shorts. The idiot even left snippets of the episodes of Toonheads that were airing certain cartoons. Second, he didn’t include “Dime to Retire” (I only was able to notice this, because it was one I saw as a kid and was looking forward to seeing again) Lastly, (and the reason I’m bringing this story up at all) two of the cartoons didn’t star Porky at all. Instead, it was Piggy Hamhock.

Moral: Don’t lie to a Looney Tune fanatic. You’ll get caught.

Now then, on this day every year, we salute all mothers for what they do for us. However, sometimes, even they need a little help. Such is the case of Mrs. Hamhock, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Our story begins on a tranquil morning. The Hamhock matriarch calls her children to breakfast. One of whom, is Piggy. (This is before his more well known short, “Pigs is pigs.”) He pretty much behaves the same way we last saw him, but he wears pajamas this time around. (Ironically, his mom doesn’t wear anything under her apron. And that makes me uncomfortable)

Enter our villain of the short. Why, it’s W.C. Squeals! Making his first appearance as well! He’s a bum here, that gets his news by reading street newspapers. What a headline that captures his interest! Mrs. Hamhock is a widow with a fortune. (R.I.P. Mr. Hamhock, Piggy Sr.) Well, when you you live on the streets, and are a bachelor yourself (and your nostrils light up, and your snout changes color) wooing a lonely (rich) lady is the gentlemanly thing to do. Good thing he’s right outside their house.

The Mrs. (who, if my logic is correct, (and it always is) is named Fluffy) is happy to let some random person she doesn’t know, but knows who she is, into her house. She maybe well versed in manners, but it was her husband who had all the common sense. Squeals admires her home. To his credit, he doesn’t try to marry her on the spot or anything. Instead, his plan is to distract her while he robs the safe. Asking for a little piano music, he serenades her with the title song, using the noise to drown out his safe opening.

Piggy may be a piggy, but he isn’t one to let his mother be swindled. Squeals keeps pushing the kid away, so he has to get some help from his siblings. They are quite the team, and manage to not only rough Squeals up a bit, but eject all the money from his pockets as well. She is quite grateful and gives them all kisses. (Although she never thanks Piggy. This is why he had to steal her pies later on) Having been caught, Squeals has no other option but to be on his way. He acts rather calm though. Much like Nixon did, he leaves with dignity.

The Hamhocks themselves were planned to have a series of cartoons. Each of the children were going to have one where they showed an example of one  of the deadly sins. Only the gluttony one made it. With how deliciously (hee hee) creepy it was, I’m saddened to know there could have been more.

Favorite part*: When one of the piglet’s pajamas comes undone, another one helps put it back into place. Helps enforce the fact that they are family, and will jump in to help each other when needed.

*(An honorable mention goes to Piggy pretending to brush his teeth by wetting his toothbrush. A tactic I used to pull as well)

Weasel While you Work

“That boy’s as strong as an ox. And just about as smart.”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Warren Batchelder, Tom Ray, George Grandpre, and Ted Bonnicksen; Layouts and Backgrounds by Robert Gribbroek; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by John Seely. A Merrie Melody released on August 6, 1958.

Ah, Winter. A beau… actually, it’s rather ugly. Everything is cold, wet and damp. A peace… actually, the stillness is so pronounced that it could lead to a nervous breakdown. A fu… ACTUALLY, it isn’t fun either! It just makes one tired, listless, and irritable. So why would Foghorn enjoy such a miserable season? Well, it does give him the opportunity to try out some different tricks on old Barnyard Dawg. (Rolling him up into a snowman to be precise.)

Their usual rivalry is cut short by a third party: a weasel. This guy has actually appeared in a  few of Foghorn’s shorts, with this one being his final appearance. He’s pretty much just Taz. Doesn’t say much, salivates at every moment, and desperate for food. Also, he’s tiny! Maybe it’s just how he looks when compared to the giant rooster that is Foghorn, but he looks severely malnourished. Which could also explain his never-ending hunger. (Makes him look less like a mustelid, and more like a shrew.)

Teeny weeny weasel begins gnawing on Foghorn’s leg, but he offers up something even better: venison! (But there’s no deer around. Just the dog… Ohhhhhhh.) Placing a small pair of antlers on the dog is enough to fool the creature, and he tries to feast once more. Dawg automatically knows who is to blame for this, and gets the weasel to change his mind on some chicken for dinner. The dog freezes Foggy in a block of ice and leaves him in the company of the weasel and his axe.

Foghorn escapes that somehow. (I guess it was too boring to waste time animating.) For his next move, he dresses up his adversary as a seal and has the weasel carry him off. (All this talk of gourmet meat is driving my stomach crazy! But with 200 lbs. and counting, I don’t think a snack is such a good idea.) When the dog breaks free, I guess that’s the deciding point, as once the weasel has Foghorn in a pot, he won’t be swayed by any more suggestions. Good thing Foghorn has a giant ice sculpture of himself on standby. (When did he carve that? I’m sure I know why.) Weasel takes the bait and starts eating. (Don’t worry, it’s low calorie.) Foghorn tries to pull one more over on the dog, but the hound foresaw this, and tied a fake tail to a firecracker. So it seems that chickens DO fly when it snows in July!

Favorite part: B.D.’s spelling lesson. R-A-T spells chicken.

 

Lighter than Hare

“We’ve been invaded!”

Directed by Friz Freleng; Animation by Virgil Ross, Art Davis, and Gerry Chiniquy; Layouts by Hawley Pratt; Backgrounds by Tom O’Loughlin; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on December 17, 1960.

This is a weird one. By that title and that quote, you’d be sure this was a Bugs/Marvin picture. But it’s Bugs and Sam! Sam is an alien now. And you can’t claim he’s someone similar in voice and appearance, he flat out calls himself “Yosemite Sam of Outer Space.” (Because there’s a Yosemite outside of Earth?) Sadly, it’s just a generic Bugs short. I think Freleng just liked Jones’s martian and decided to do something similar.

So, we’ve got spaceman Sam; what is he doing coming down to our planet? Just the typical “bring back an Earth creature” thing every alien species that doesn’t want us dead, does. He chooses a rabbit, that lives in a garbage dump. (Not sure WHY Bugs is living there. I suppose it is a place hunters won’t try to bother him) Sam (who looks a bit like a pikmin) sends a robot to bring the rabbit back. In turn, Bugs uses it as a trash can. Which I guess destroys it, as Sam immediately tries a new tactic.

His next plan is to send a demolition squad to destroy the creature. (Good thing Earth has millions of species to choose from. Might I suggest a potato?) Bugs now notices he is having a close encounter of the second kind, and ducks into a shelter. The robots load it up with bombs, but Bugs managed to escape and sticks a magnet in the shelter, leading the bots to their doom. Robots are clearly going to be of no help. Sam decides to try his own luck.

He has an indestructible tank, but I don’t know what he was planning to do with it, as Bugs uses his own contraption to stick him with a TNT stick. Time to make a getaway! Good thing there was a set of rail tracks next to the dump. Bugs leaves on a handcart with Sam in pursuit. This is also one of those times that Bugs is able to spin in ears to possess the power of flight. Sam can keep pace with his jet-pack, but only as long as Bugs doesn’t replace it with another explosive.

When he hits his limit, Sam aims all his firepower at Bug’s hole, and demands his surrender. Bugs instead sends out a decoy with a bomb attached, and Sam takes his leave. Later that night, Bugs has his radio tuned into the frequency of the aliens and hears his prank pay off. Having had his fun, he tunes in for a little “Amos ‘n’ Andy.”

Favorite Part: One of Sam’s robots is clearly on loan from Marvin. It sounds just like him. And if you could give a robot a voice, you’d choose your own. Wouldn’t you?