Joe Glow the Firefly

“ZZZzzz-ZZZzzz”

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

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

Which one would get the highest scoring grade?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Hick a Slick and a Chick

“No time like the present.”

Directed by Arthur Davis; Animation by J.C. Melendez, Don Williams, Emery Hawkins, and Basil Davidovich; Story by Lloyd Turner and William Scott; Layouts by Don Smith; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on December 27, 1948.

This post would not have been possible without contributions from readers like Carl Hunt. Thank You.

Elmo Mouse will be our titular “hick” this evening. He’s in a good mood as he’s off to visit the resident chick, Daisy Lou. Upon arriving at her place, he thinks he’s made a mistake of addresses as the doe inside is busy making out with someone who isn’t Elmo. Sadly, he’s at the right house. Her make out partner was the third part of our puzzle, Blackie the prick. The two at least have the decency to take a breath now that they’ve got company, and to be fair D.L. is polite enough to let both guys stay. Oh, yeah. I meant “slick” earlier. Honest mistake.

Elmo has some (mouse-scale) flowers and Daisy does seem happy to receive them, even if Blackie already bought out a florist shop for her. Elmo’s flowers are so embarrassed, they regress back into seeds. Elmo tries to play her a song on his mouth organ, but Blackie can play piano. Particularly, a familiar piano piece that leads me to believe Blackie’s father was the mouse in “Rhapsody Rabbit“. About the only other good trait Elmo has is muscles and to his credit, I agree that Blackie could not make his arm go limp like that. His biceps look too healthy. Feel healthy too, seeing as they knock Elmo out of the house.

When Elmo returns, he finds Uncle Blackie (as I think I’m allowed to call him) presenting Ms. Lou with a fur coat. Elmo isn’t impressed like she is, claiming that he could get her something better. As Uncle B. points out, the only thing that feasibly could be better is ermine. Elmo agrees but it’s only once he’s out of the hole that he reveals he’s dug himself into another; he doesn’t know what an ermine even is.

Searching the premises, he looks in a bottle of champagne which really doesn’t help much. What it does do is remove his common sense. Most creatures his size would try to avoid creatures like the dozing cat in the house, but he’s actually approaching. It might have something to do with the fact that the cat’s name is Merman, but he can only see the last five-sixth’s of the word. And yes, the cat’s name probably really is ‘Herman’ but it doesn’t look like it at first glance! (Does this mean Blackie’s real first name is ‘Katnip’? No wonder he changed it.)

The cat isn’t fazed by the punch drunk rodent, and tries to eat him. Elmo escapes and falls into the milk bowl, which is good news since milk is nature’s natural sobering agent. He flees, and the cat chases, taking a swing at him as he runs on a table. This makes the leaf smack him in the face, knocking himself out but good. Well, well. Just look at all that fur just practically begging to be taken! Good thing Elmo’s a furrier! He presents the goods to Daisy and he totally wins. She’s got no problem being a trophy, because she gets things out of it. What a good moral.

Hick and Chick leave together, leaving the Slick to wonder where he managed to get the stuff. The cat tells him to mind his own business, showing us Elmo used his @$$ hair to make the coat. (Why to the you to the sea and kay.) Even the iris-out is coat shaped. And when you get pancakes tomorrow, they’ll probably be coat shaped too.

Favorite Part: Jealousy running rampant in Elmo’s mind, he imagines certain instances of bad luck Blackie could befall. Like Elmo mounting his head over a fireplace.

Personal Rating: 3

Bingo Crosbyana

“You ain’t seen nothin’, yet.”

Supervision by Isadore Freleng; Animation by Cal Dalton and Sandy Walker; Music by Norman Spencer. A Merrie Melody released on May 30, 1936.

Who just leaves a perfectly edible plate of spaghetti all alone in a kitchen? A friend of the flies, that’s who. They like this meal because teeth aren’t required to eat it. Two flies each slurp one end of a noodle, but since Disney hasn’t yet made something to parody, they just clonk their heads together. This really is a fly paradise. Sure, it could use a little rotting flesh and festering feces for the maggots, but these are yuppie flies. They’re still courting.

And the one that all guy-flies want to be and she-flies want to have is Bingo. He’s got a nice hat, a smooth Crosby voice and is a master at the one-stringed guitar. Such a happy gentleman, that you could even call a gay caballero. (Wow. Freleng beat Disney to the punch twice? If only Friz had made a theme park increase awareness. Isadore Isles… Freleng Fjords… I can see it now!) A fun song is sung, where Bingo continues to make the girls fawn, and one of the chorus singers has a brief hair dying.

But Bingo isn’t just artistic! He’s one of those animals that is such a master at what they do that humankind decided they could just be named after a verb. Like the skate and the leech. But even by fly standards can this guy fly. He’s fast, he’s agile and he can steal the buttons off your Mickey Mouse style pants. (Finally! Something that could be considered a reference at the time.) Fact is, Bingo is so talented that girls all immediately break up with the guys they promised they would always be faithful to and love forever. Bingo is just that awesome.

But he is also pretty low on the food chain. Mantids, toads, even some plants would all consider him a tasty snack. But the biggest threat (relatively speaking) is your common house spider. The kind with a Billy Bletcher laugh and only six limbs. (I’d make a fuss, but he still has more limbs than the flies so… sure.) Bingo flees, bur really, what is he supposed to do? Throw up in the predator’s face? His kind evolved their amazing aerobatic prowess to avoid danger, not challenge it. So I’m not upset he left the ladies to die.

What is deplorable is him pushing all the girls out of the roll of wax paper they’re hiding in to save himself. That’s a genuine dick move. Doesn’t help much anyway, as the spider saw him enter and tries following. If he wasn’t so big, that spider would be enjoying a Bingoburger right now. But he’s stuck, and that gives the previously rejected guy-flies a chance to prove that they’re worthy as potential mates. What does strength and talent matter when you’ve got courage and heart? The spider is corkscrewed, cork popped and cork electric socketed without the cork.

And after all that, the spider falls onto a sheet of flypaper. Oh, the irony? Yes, the irony. Now that the immediate threat is taken care of, Bingo reappears on the scene, playing cool once again. Now aware of what kind of fly he is, the others fling him into a coffee. Try flying now!

Now, if it weren’t for the voice and name, you’d never guess Bingo was actually a parody of Bing Crosby. (I know, right?) It’s worth bringing up though because the real Crosby’s attorneys weren’t very happy about this cartoon. They demanded that Warners cease distributing/exhibiting the film immediately. They also felt the need to let people know that the real Bing was NOT providing the voice and it was a poor representation of the guy. This fly was a “vainglorious coward.” (But really, I would be too if I was a fly.)

Favorite Part: While flying (read: showing off) Bingo sky-writes  ‘How’m I doin’. Totally in character, and just cheeky enough to be worth a smile.

Personal Rating: 2. It might have been funnier if the fly even barely resembled Bing.

Hop, Skip and a Chump

“Expectoration’s essential, you know.”

Supervision by I. Freleng; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Cal Dalton. A Merrie Melody released on January 3, 1942.

This short’s off to a bumpy start, as the camera decides to follow a grasshopper. Try not to get motion sickness until he decides to stand still. He looks only slightly more like an Orthopteran than Jimminy did, what with the antennae. Hopalong Casserole’s his name, and just like his title suggests, he’d make a tasty dish. Two birds have been trying to catch him for years, he says. They better be modeled after a great comedy duo for me to believe they can’t catch one grasshopper.

Two little blackbirds, watching what they will. One’s not named “Jack” the other’s not “Jill”. They don’t actually have given names, but that’s what I’m here for. From now on, the pudgy one can be Bolivar, and his buddy can be Dan. Bolivar gives Dan instructions. Take a club, and hit the insect when he comes by. Let’s skip to the good stuff… and Bolivar is bonked. Classic. Not learning from this, Bolivar next sends Dan out with a sack to secure their supper. (Hopalong is definitely comprised of two servings.) He brings back a bee. Since they’re not bee-eaters, they duck into the nearby pond. (Despite not being ducks either.)

The main problem with catching Hopalong is that they can’t keep up with him. Their wings are just for show. Bolivar has a great idea: bed springs! With these on, he can match the pace of his prey! And he does, but he’s on Hopalong’s left side. There’s a great many low-hanging branches on that side. Worse yet, the two nearly go over a cliff. Instead, only one does. Just kidding! Two indeed go over once Dan asks which way his partner went. Which I know to this day doesn’t mean it’s serious, but screw you, the two are married. (Not sure which one is the better half.)

Hopalong decides to hide in a discarded clock. Does it only count as a cuckoo clock if there’s a cuckoo? Either way, this odd clock won’t chime on the hour every hour. It’s gotta be one of the fours. Or 4:00/16:00 if you insist on that confusing military time. (I don’t. I insist you don’t.) Bolivar totally botches his chance, so he has to roll the hands to the next hour they’ll chime: eleven. (No wonder this clock was thrown away.) He doesn’t mess up this time, he just forgot that grasshoppers with hammers tend to use them.

The cartoon’s ending, but Hopalong manages to leap through the iris-out. Shaken, but safe, he boasts once more about how he always escapes. Since the fourth wall will not protect him, Bolivar is able to snatch him back behind the black for more.

Favorite Part: Bolivar and Dan are hiding in a piano, but Hopalong plays the key to deafen/pound the two with mallets. There’s a nice touch in that he plays “The Storm”, the piece Oliver Owl once took credit for performing. Things are just done in reverse this time with the performer using it to mess with the inner animals.

Personal Rating: 2

Fresh Fish

Supervision by Fred Avery; Story by Jack Miller; Animation by Sid Sutherland; Music by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on November 4, 1939.

Well, the mice were a cute experiment, but let’s discuss more about what Avery really made a name for himself with: his blackout gag shorts. However, I’ll admit this isn’t one of his best ones. Simply because it’s full of fish puns. The same fish puns you’ve been hearing since you were in the womb. (Except maybe the one where a fish has five dollar bills for fins. It’s too old.) The fish comments made in Animal Crossing are fresher material! But maybe I’ve just heard them one time too many. You might not have. Yet.

We’re going on a glass bottomed boat ride and we’re all gonna like it! It is the best way to view the wonders of the water world, the scariest things to ever exist on Earth, the guys and gals with the gills, let’s hear it for the ichthyoids! While we enjoy the sights and tolerate the puns, the very one and the same Professor Mackerel Fishface will be manning a diving bell in search of a species that has yet to be captured by man, (and really, how else can we prove we’re the higher beings?) the Whimwam whistling shark. (Cephalosillyum wisling)

Under the sea, under the sea, there are sardines which aren’t a real species, listen to me! Really though; ‘sardine’ is a catch all term for small fish you can stick in a can. So while I understand the joke of the fish swimming in a packed together school, I can’t help but wonder if they’re actually anchovies or really herring. Then we get the expected “crab sounds like Ned Sparks” joke, a hermit crab that is very happy to be one, and a taxi crab. (Okay. That pun isn’t overdone. Yet.) And the animators try their darnedest to make a Katherine Hepburnesque sea star sexy. (Which is a very specific fetish, but to the one person into echinoderms, your life’s journey has concluded.)

Now, here’s a joke you’ve known about for about as long as ever: the electric eel that displays a neon sign. And the only reason I’m not bothering to mention that it shouldn’t be in saltwater is because the narrator himself calls it a visitor. I’m considering that a win. And then there’s the appearance of this thing:

A horrifying monstrosity of a being that must be living in constant agony. No doubt only wanting to see Mr. Ripley so it’s deformity can bring some goodness to the world. But our narrator wants nothing to do with it, and shoos it away. It will be known as a running joke. (Repeatus humorous).

There’s an octopus that has a mouth where its siphon should be and probably vice versa failing to catch a sun perch which means one of these animals is the very wrong habitat. (I’m guessing it’s the one with the spine.) And get this: a seahorse race. You get it? Cause land horses race so it’s a joke to suggest their aquatic (distant) cousins would do the same. I just wish someone would make a joke about how boring that would be. Slowest fish in the world folks. Oh yeah, I guess our monstrosity was female since it laid eggs at the narrator’s suggestion. I’m not sure how she did and I’m happy about that.

Want more fish puns? We’re swimming with them! (Nobody said I couldn’t get in on the act.) A “tiger” shark! A “hammer” head shark. A “shovelnose” shark! (Wait. That last one isn’t a shark.) At least the first two subvert our expectations with additional jokes; the tiger meows and the hammer is hitting himself. Okay, yeah. That’s funny. I need a gif of that. But wait… cartilaginous fish? Does that mean… Yes! That whistle! That’s the shark the professor was looking for! Good thing he came prepared with a net! He hauls the creature aboard his diving bell and is hoisted back aboard.

Too bad containing yourself in an enclosed space with a animal that can eat you means one of you has to die. Ah well. Sacrifices have to be made in the name of science. Let’s name an aquarium after Mr. Fishface to calm his wife down.

Favorite Part: A school of fish (sarcastic *ha*) is being taught how to get bait off hooks without, you know, getting drug to your demise. The teacher makes the mistake of showing what not to do, and the fry all cheer when they learn this means school is over for the day. (Funny because it’s true.)

Personal Rating: 2. It still looks wonderfully visually, but fish and fish puns both stink after three days.

Finally, I ask you to join me in raising a toast to “Coyote Vs Acme” a film I was really looking forward to viewing, but tragically died before it was even born. I try to adore Warner Bros. but its actions like this that make me think I should faun over different studios. It’s just one of those harsh lessons that never sinks in for me: just because you love something, doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to love you back.

The Gay Anties

“OW!”

Directed by I. Freleng; Story by Tedd Pierce and Michael Maltese; Animation by Ken Chapin, Virgil Ross, Gerry Chiniquy, and Manuel Perez; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on February 15, 1947.

The late 1800’s do look like an idyllic time to live. Media has told me so! It’s a shame that any cartoons at the time were on zoetrope, otherwise I’d definitely give these years a visit. Just long enough for a picnic, anyway. I’ve always wanted to go on one of those. They must’ve been the high point  of fun once. Just look at everyone high-stepping to the park to partake of food amidst the wonder of nature that mankind put a fence around and claimed as city property.

One couple has set up shop on the riverbank. Even though they look like a very healthy happy relationship, she won’t stop being so coy. She gives him the side peek of genuine interest, he responds with a mustache wave to show the feeling is mutual, (wish I wanted a mustache so I could do that) but when he tries to hold her hand, he gets a mousetrap for his trouble. I mean really, you’ll let a guy eat your food but physical contact is too much? These mixed signals are why I prefer animals to most people.

Oh goody! The local ants have heard the picnic’s call and will now take the remainder of the picture’s focus. Who likes food stealing gags? That’s mostly all you’re getting. They take the cake, the hot dogs, even the soda, too. But they’re pretty smart, so they use the goods as simple machines. Donuts make delectable wheels, and make transporting bananas much easier on the thorax. And like the old saying goes: teamwork makes the sandwich. A perfect opportunity to use the ‘hold the onions’ sign gag again. (I kinda wish they would shake things up with a ‘hold everything BUT the onions’ sign gag.)

But for their skills, you have to remember they are ants and as such, tend to be seen as nothing more than insects by humans if they’re even seen at all. The man takes the sandwich without even a thank you, angering the chef ant. But picnics aren’t just all sitting and eating I’m told. There is usually some sort of physical activity to take part in. Humans have choices like croquet, or horseshoes, or maybe even touch football. Ants are smaller than sports equipment, but they have solutions. Flowers make good dresses, corn silk can be used as hair, and olives can augment your nonexistent tats and iss. Put it all together and the you have the human equivalent of a fur suit. It’s not a fetish, it’s their lifestyle.

Some ants don’t dance, but they can sing. Being so small, their voice kind of sounds like the Chipettes with chipmunk voices. Now me, I never found sped up voices annoying like a majority of people. It seems like a majority of ants don’t share my views. They’d rather isolate themselves in areas that have little to no air, and thus, no sound. At least the one in the juice uses a straw to breathe. I hope the one in the jar is pleased with the prison she just made for herself. The singer is shut up the way most are: fruit. (Fruit that shrinks as it travels towards her. A whole banana was launched, but a chunk small enough to just cover her face hits her. What, did a fruit bat eat most of it in the air?)

Meanwhile, the chef ant has just had her third sandwich stolen by the man. (What kind of metabolism allows him to still be hungry after just sitting and ogling?) The chef sets up some karma by placing the woman’s hand in between bread and mustard. And hunger mcgee takes the bait. She slaps him into the water. Now, she could tell he was holding her hand. (Which she had no problems by now as their relationship was several minutes longer by this point.) Logically, she should have felt the handwich being constructed.  Was she expecting a very specific kind of foreplay I never needed to know about? Did she just think he was going to nibble around her fingers, and maybe lick the condiment off? (Hmm… that actually does sound pretty hot, to be honest.)

Oh yeah, the ants take what they couldn’t finish back to the nest. Humans may act high and mighty, but our insect overlords are the true rulers of the planet. How many mass extinctions have they survived?

Favorite Part: The ant dancers were actually kinda attractive, but I’m more impressed with their clever get-ups. I never would have though of using corn silk for hair.

Personal Rating: 2. It’s not terribly funny, but it’s cute enough. Too bad it can’t stand on ever footing with ant pictures Freleng’s unit had already made and would make later.

Fox Pop

“I’m practically sold already!”

Supervision by Charles M. Jones. A Merrie Melody released on September 5, 1942.

A man sits alone in his cabin. Vulnerable and alone. And some sort of wild animal is heading in his direction. A wolf? Nope, too small for a wolf. It’s a fox! And that thing could cause rabies or chicken famines! But the man is lucky this time, for the fox just takes his radio back to the forest and proceeds to hack it to bits. Two crows are stumped to this very un-foxlike behavior. He tells them his tale.

You see, whilst he was scrounging through the trash cans for food, he overheard the radio saying that foxes are what is “in” at the moment. They’re going to be everywhere and every lady will want one around their neck. This pleases the fox very much, as he imagines what a wonderful world it would be if there were foxes walking freely amongst the humans. (I want to live in such a world.) The radio doesn’t go into details about how these foxes will be in such locations, but it probably expected only humans to be listening, and they’d know.

The fox heads to location the radio said the foxes were coming from: Sterling Silver Fox Fur Farm. He gets himself trapped fairly quickly, but the owner turns him away. It’s fairly racist, but they’re only accepting silver foxes like their name says. Red ones are o-w-t, out. The fox that we will call ‘Fawkes’ is thrown into the garbage. (Which ironically, is where the racist man also belongs.)  Amongst the scrap metal, he finds just the answer to his problem. Not a gun, but silver paint. He gives his coat a good coat and badda-bing, badda-boom, Fawkes is welcomed into the farm.

He’s brought to his “room.” (It is darkly hilarious to see Mr. Sterling escorting him by the paw, rather than just carrying him by the scruff. These foxes lives in luxury for their remainder of life.) Just as he gets settled, the next door fox informs him of the jailbreak that is planned for tonight. And Fawkes is either participating with them, or dying early. His choice. He plays along, but being smaller than the others works to his favor, as he is able to lose himself in the rush and backtrack to the “comfort” of his “suite”. Look, he’s even got a tag attached to his “door”. I mean, door.

It’s here that he learns the awful truth: this place wants the skins of foxes! And I do love his childish naivete. “How will they… get it off of me?” The grindstone knows! Fawkes decides that maybe this place isn’t so great after all, and flees. The hounds are sent after him, chasing him through log and pond alike. But what’s this? The miracle of water has reverted his fur back to its original red! He happily shows the dogs that he is not silver and they have no need to chase him. They’re not racist though, they’re speciesist and pound him for daring to be born vulpine.

And that’s Fawkes’s story. Upon hearing all this, the crows join in and help the little guy smash that problem box that started it all. A kind of relationship I’m not used to seeing between these two animals.

“I’ll give you something to crow about!” “Don’t fox with me!”

Favorite Part: The next door cellmate is pretty bass. He makes a key by biting one out of his nail file. In one chomp!

Personal Rating: 3. A hilariously dark premise that thankfully doesn’t end like this:

I never know whether to laugh or grimace.

Young and Healthy

“Wake up, you chump!”

Animation by Rollin Hamilton and Larry Martin; Music by Frank Marsales. A Merrie Melody released on March 4, 1933.

Within every tapestry, there is an entire other world. In the one featured in today’s picture, it’s the 18th century life-round. And it’s also France so that means King Louie’s in charge. Prepare the royal staircase! Sound the color-changing horns! And cheer! In this universe, you might as well worship your leader because you’ll never get a different one! Hail! Oh yes, hail!

But despite our hailing, Louie doesn’t seem too pleased. Naturally, that just makes us love the jerk more. But it does make one wonder why our glorious ruler doesn’t smile. Have we failed as sycophants? Well, maybe the king will feel better after he’s taken a nap. I love that he loves to sleep. I love his color-changing coattail. I love his grotesque, ginormous, disgusting mole. I must, since I can’t take my eyes away from it.

In steps Queen Uhglii. She tells Louie that it is time for a ball. And our mystery is solved! Of course Louie is unhappy! “Balls, parties and picnics!” Day in, day out. 365.25 days a year! 4. Ever. They’re not all that fun to begin with, and as our distinguished, and perfect leader, he has to be proper the entire time. And that really starts to eat at you. And the final straw is the queen killing his Durante-flavored Jack-in-the-box. The only friend who truly understood him. The guy who was there for him when we weren’t allowed to. And he’s hacha’d his last hacha.

But Louie does see something that raises his spirits: children! Romping, and smiling and playing and enjoying life as only kids can. (And transforming into each other while they dance in a circle. I miss the days when I could do that.) That is what Louie is lacking in his life: fun. And one can’t ever be too old for that! (A message one should never get tired of hammering in.) You know what? He’s going to join them! And you know what else? The kids seem happy to include the guy. (Even white Bosko who rides in the royal pocket. Something the rest of us will never have the privilege of.) The only hiccup is ole Uhglii. She doesn’t seem too keen on kids. …. Get her.

The kids do this very well. Once her bloomers are on display, the queen runs off screaming much to Louie’s delight. So nice to see him smile once again! The kids have taken over the palace and set right in to making it their new personal playground. Too bad Louie has taken a tumble into a royal fountain and can’t join in. Even worse, since this is where the short ends, the tapestry will now forever depict the king spitting fountain water. Maybe we should find a new one to live in for the time being.

Favorite Part: The way Uhglii calls for her husband. Sounds like she’s calling a pig. And since there are no pigs in this picture, it’ll have to do.

Personal Rating: 2

 

Gopher Goofy

“LET’S NOT GET NOSY, BUD!”

Supervision by Norman McCabe; Story by Don Christensen; Animation by I. Ellis; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on June 27, 1942.

You know, I think ‘Bud’ is a great name to bequeath to the human featured in this short. He’s one of those odd types who obsess over their lawn, and therefore is probably using every child that has laid their little toe on it as fertilizer. He’s proud of his work. The grass is perfect, the flowers smell delectable (the way he’s snorting them, they probably smell like rubber cement) the gophers are eating the flow- gophers?

Well, lookie here! Two New York gophers have just arrived to partake of the this guy’s lawn. It’s gotta be healthier then the stuff they’ve been eating. The bigger one with the obstructing hair is named Virgil, and the smaller one doesn’t have a name. But c’mon! We’re all calling him ‘Ross’, just as the animators were surely doing. They are not welcome on Bud’s lawn, and he aims to eradicate them. Too bad he sucks at it. Can’t manage to decapitate them via hoe, or shoot them via gun.

Gassing them actually seems to have some effect, as not only to they get a whiff of it, but it starts messing with their heads and even makes them float out of their tunnels. (Bud? Just because the gas is labeled ‘He’ doesn’t mean you’re allowed to just use it for any random purpose.) Hilariously enough, their stupor is enough to get a drinking crow to kick his habit. They do try to flee from Bud, but crash into a tree and land in his tomatoes. He traps them under his hat, reaches for… oh, I hazard to guess. Could this end up with him mistaking fruit blood for the rodent varitey?

They don’t dwell on that for two long, as the gophers were smart enough to just tunnel away. (Burrowing species. Gotta love them.) So, since it seems like they think their tunnels are their sanctuary, the only logical thing to do is pump it full of another substance. Something more liquidy than a gas. And it should probably be something Bud already has on hand. Water! Of course! The solution was so obvious! Hope the little guys are thirsty!

They’re good thanks, but seeing as how he kind of is their landlord, the two decide they will return all the water they don’t need back to him. They burrow a tunnel leading back to him, pinching the hose until it’s finished. Once they finish and let it go, the resulting spray shoots Bud into the air. He finally snaps and upon landing, burrows himself until he runs into his fountain. We accept him, one of us! Gooble gopher, gopher gobble.

Favorite Part: When Bud says “I’m not really a mean man, folks. Honest.” between his bouts of insane laughter. He sounds like every single person who has tried to justify killing something smaller than himself.

Personal Rating: 3 that just barely passes the 2.

Behind the Meat-ball

“You’ve had this feeling before, haven’t you folks?”

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x837ol1

Directed by (uncredited) Frank Tashlin; Story by Melvin Millar; Animation by I. Ellis; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on April 7, 1945.

Fido is a dog, and like every dog I’ve ever known, obsesses about food. Seeing as he’s a proud member of Order carnivora, his dreams consist entirely of meat. (Notice how none of those visions are poultry or fish? Nice touch, guys. Being smart enough to not suggest your dog wants to eat something full of chokeable bones.) Dreams are about to become reality when his human calls him over for food.

Reality becomes a nightmare when he remembers that his human is one of those evil types who thinks because SHE’S vegetarian, so should her dog be. (Although this might just relate to my dog, but she’d be going crazy for those carrots.) He digs through his bowl to see if there’s anything he can stomach in there, and he happily locates a can of dog food at the bottom. (Because his human is one of those evil types who thinks letting her dog chew on a jagged piece of metal…)

Sadly, even this isn’t a solution as the ingredients are nothing but nutrients with no actual food contained. (Sorta like a reverse piece of candy.) It’s getting so bad that he’s starting to see pieces of the environment as pieces of delicious meat. When he sees an actual piece of meat fall out of a delivery truck, he chooses to not believe this time. But another dog takes the meat for himself, letting Fido know that yes, this one was the real deal.

He grabs a hold of the of the flesh, but since the little one (that is now called Rex) knew he’d never be able to win a tug-of-war, he hooked his end onto a telephone pole. Fido pulls hard, and gets a painful result once he finally wins the test of strength. And now a third contestant enters: a bulldog that I’m going to call Lassie. (Because she looks like a Lassie, okay?) Fido takes the meat and runs, but then does a really stupid thing: stops and taunts his pursuer. (You could’ve kept running. You could’ve eaten it while you had a chance. You could’ve made a decoy.)

He also tries to explain. Saying that the meat really IS his, but a small dog he never saw before took it from him. Lassie isn’t the understanding type, punches Fido and takes the meat back. In turn, Rex takes it from her. This leads to a chase, that leads to a tussle, that ends up with the meat inside Rex’s belly. Fido decides there is only viable option left: hitting himself and Lassie over the head and taking refuge in their dreams.

Favorite Part: Fido’s label for vegetables: “Bugs Bunny food.” (I’ve got to start doing that.)

Personal Rating: 3. And remember, it’s my two’s that equal mediocre.