The Draft Horse

Raise left foreleg!

Supervision by Charles M. Jones; Story by Ted Pierce; Animation by Robert Cannon; Musical Supervision by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released in 1942.

A short very important in the history of Mr. Jones, as it was the first time he wasn’t trying to be Disney.

A horse (Not named like we’ve come to expect. I’m calling him Stallone. It’s a clever name for a stallion) is happily plowing a field. But he then sees a poster asking for horses for the war. Feeling fully patriotic, he bids the farmer farewell, and heads to the recruitment office. (The plow still attached and driving a gap through the countryside) There, he shows off how great he’d be on the battlefield to the major. He imitates guns firing, bombs dropping and even his own heroic death. The Major even tears up before remembering that the horse is still alive. He orders it to strip. Stallone  does so as sexily as he can. (Which to another male, isn’t any. But plenty funny) He is scrubbed down by a soldier… Well I’ll be! It’s Private Snafu! Making his first appearance! Stallone is ticklish though, and doesn’t stand still. When getting a physical,he screams when told to say, “ah.” When told to lift various limbs, he does so without putting any of the previous down. He doesn’t fall until he’s told he can’t float. (Except, as a toon, he definitely can.) When all is said and done, the poor horse is rejected. As he mopes, he accidentally wanders onto a sham battlefield where a sham war is being held. (What a sham pain.) He runs around in fear from the cannons, tanks and bombs. He agrees that he is not quite ready to be drafted. So back to plowing? Hardly! Still as patriotic as ever, he takes to knitting sweaters for the troops. (And it takes a lot of patriotism to knit with hooves.)

A couple more Private Snafu shorts: Coming Snafu/Gripes

Coming!! SNAFU

“This…is Snafu.”

Directed by Chuck Jones. Released in 1943.

It’s the first short with Snafu! The goofiest soldier in the army. He’ll walk right off a dock if he’s not paying attention. It’s really more of a trailer than anything else, but we are told of what we can expect from Snafu. (Who has freckles in this short and his voice is slightly different. Still Mel though) You can find him in the infantry, tying his pack the wrong way or in the air corp towing a plane to its location. But he thinks about a stripper the whole time and doesn’t notice all the trouble the plane is being dragged into. Don’t worry though, his imaginary girlfriend’s breasts are censored, as is her naval. (Was my brother a part of this?) Naturally, his actions land him in jail. We are told of some of his coming attractions before we end, like “Spies”, “The Goldbrick”, and also…

Gripes

“If I ran this army, boy, I’m telling you. I’d make a few changes. That’s just what I’d do.”

Directed by I. Freleng. Released in 1943

Poor Snafu. He joined the army for fun and what does he end up doing? K.P. Specifically, scrubbing pans, peeling potatoes, and sweeping the floor. All at the same time. And there’s so many vaccinations. Even his tattoo is poked in the butt. He’s unhappy and wishes he could be in charge of things. Enter Technical Fairy First Class making his debut here. He uses his magic to promote Snafu to the highest position and Snafu couldn’t be happier. He spoils the men there and lets them have anything they want and lets them hang out with their girlfriends whenever they want. It’s a pretty nice life for awhile. But there is a war going on and the Germans are being a bit more serious. They are coming our way with bombs! Snafu tries to rally his troops, but they don’t listen to him anymore and he is left to fend for himself. Since he can’t win, he digs a hole and hides himself, but the bombs are equipped with shovels and end up finding their target. Luckily for Snafu, it was all a dream. And luckily for America, he’s happy to go back to his work.

3 Private Snafu Shorts: The Goldbrick/The Home Front/Censored

And they’re all directed by Frank Tashlin! Hope you’re not sick of the guy yet. Don’t worry, we’ll be taking a break after this post.

 

“The Goldbrick” Released in 1943

“I do believe I’m putting on weight”

Snafu is sleeping when he is woken up. (What else would he be doing if he was woken up?) He is naturally unhappy about this, and wishes to not have to get up for drills. A sprite shows up named Goldie and he lets Snafu in on some secrets of avoiding work. Fake illness and you can spend a day in bed with a hot nurse by your side. (Who must suck at her job if she can’t tell he’s faking) When digging a trench, Goldie advises him to dig just enough for his head, and he’s earned a well deserved nap. Instead of pushing a load up a hill, have someone help while you sit on the load and push. Soon Snafu is lazy and out of shape. This comes back to bite him when he’s actually on the field. Deciding to goldbrick, he limps towards a convenient hospital. It’s a trap of course, and he ends up smashed by a hammer. He’s okay though and gets out. More trouble is out there, as an enemy tank chases him down. He digs a trench, but as he only knows to dig enough for his head, his rear sticks out and the tank crushes him. He’s dead. (Snafu dies quite a few times in his shorts) Goldie then reveals that he was really Japanese the whole time. (Remember: we were enemies. Japanese people do not look or sound like that.) But Snafu will be remembered, thanks to his 22 karat goldbrick grave.

“The Home Front” Released in 1943

“I didn’t know you cared.”

This short begins with Snafu in a very cold location. He complains because that’s what he does. He figures that all his loved ones are enjoying themselves back home. His dad is playing pool, his mom plays bridge and gossips and moonlights as a hen, (okay, maybe that’s just a joke) and his grandpa is being a pervert at a burlesque show. Worst of all, his sweet Sally Lou is no doubt dating someone else. (Isn’t that how women are? If you leave them, they replace you? I’m kidding) Out pops good ole’ Technical Fairy First Class. He has a tv and lets Snafu see how much fun his family is having. Turns out, that Snafu is the black sheep of the family, as the rest are working real hard. His dad’s building tanks, his mom’s planting a victory garden, and gramps is reinforcing battleships. And dear sweet Sally Lou? She joined the W.A.C.s. (I hope you feel like a dope Snafu) He tries to give her a kiss, but since she’s not really there, he kisses the fairy instead. (Hey, he lived. That’s rare.)

 

“Censored” Released in 1944

“Mail this for me!”

Snafu is trying to send the lovely Sally Lou a letter. (A wimpy, short, dumb, lazy, man gets a hot chick? It’s plausible. My cousin married someone very similar, just tall. And I can say that here, because they are never going to see it.) Only one things is preventing him from getting to the postbox. The censor. He/She/It catches Snafu and shreds his letter to nothing but “Greetings” and “Farewell.” On a train, Snafu tries again and this time folds it into a paper airplane. Tossing it at someone outside does not work, as the censor has a net. The note is returned to Snafu as paper dolls. On the ship to his next destination, he tries again with the help of a dove he has in his pants. (Not. One. Word.) The assisstant censor, (a hawk) catches the bird who points out it was not his plan. The letter is beaked this time. Snafu is getting desperate to talk to M.L. and luckliy for him his pal Technical Fairy First Class agrees to send it after Snafu tells him it’s safe. He and his girl use a code when speaking. The note delivers and Mary gets itttttt… I never thought i’d see this much skin in a Warner Bros. short. (Yes, I know these shorts were for the armed forces, but she’s not even wearing a bra.) Even though he’s asked her to keep quiet, she goes on to tell her mother who goes on to tell more people. Eventually the Japanese here of it too and prepare an ambush at Bingo Bango island, where the U.S. is heading to. Unaware of the dangers, Snafu and the others land only to get blown up. Turns out it was all a dream. (Three shorts today. 1 death, 1 live, and 1 both) Turns out T.F.F.C never sent the letter. Having learned his lesson, Snafu censors it himself.

Private Snafu Double Feature: Rumors/Snafuperman

Sorry for lack of post yesterday. Will be going on a brief hiatus for about two weeks. Now without ado…….

RUMORS

“Sounds harmless enough. Innocent stuff.”

This short starts up in the latrine. Snafu is there and one of his friends mentions that the day is “nice for a bombing.” Snafu thinks about this. Here we see the birth of a rumor. All it needs is to be released into another ear. Snafu tells another soldier that he’s heard there in for a bombing. (Okay? He heard the guy say it was a nice day for a bombing, not that it was.) The rumor gets bigger and bigger and begins to multiply. Soon it becomes sentient. (I just want to point out that these rumors are the stuff of nightmares. And it’s awesome) They soon catch up to Snafu, and they escalate more and more. From all the allies giving up, to us losing the war. But if you know the history books, then you know we won. However, Snafu and the rest of the camp are quarantined with “Rumoritis” leaving him stuck in there with those monstrosities.

 

SNAFUPERMAN

“Enemies of democracy, Beware!”

While the rest of the camp is keeping busy, Snafu is busy screwing around. He tells them that studying is a waste and that action is all that’s needed. In comes a sprite known as Technical Fairy First Class. (what a mouthful) He decides to put Snafu’s money where his mouth is, and turns him into a superhero. Snafu takes a bomb adressed to Adolf and leaves for Berlin. Since he did not take a map, he almost drops it on the capitol. (He couldn’t tell he never left the continent?) T.F.F.C. brings it back. Later Snafu sees a tank and rips it open. Only to find it’s an American tank. (While he should have known that, what was the tank doing?) Then a mess of messerschmits come and drop their bombs. Snafu grabs them all and sets them down safely. Turns out they were delayed reaction bombs, and they blow up sending him to the infirmary. There, he yells for T.F.F.C. to bring him a field manuel. (Aww, he learned his lesson.)

So next time, I’ll be talking about something I’ve wanted to talk about since I started the blog. See you after the break.

Spies

“Full speed ahead”

A thing i forgot to mention is that some of these shorts were written by the great dr. seuss, such as this one. We see snafu bragging about a secret he knows and how he will never reveal it. Although unknowenst to him he is being followed by his enemies. He walks through town and little by little he leaks more and more. (Loose lips sink ships) Eventually he comes to a bar, and to the tune of powerhouse he gets drunk. Now he could care less and he goes to a woman to tell her all about it. She is a nazi and she lets all the others know what is going on. Then when snafu is sailing he is torpedoed and killed. In hell he wonders who let his secret out. His answer comes to him in a mirror. Before the short ends his reflection turns into a horses butt.