Woolen Under Where

“Another day, another dollar.”

Directed by Phil Monroe and Richard Thompson; Animation by Richard Thompson, Bob Bransford, Tom Ray, and Ken Harris; Designed by Maurice Noble; Layouts by Alex Ignatiev; Backgrounds by Philip De Guard; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Bill Lava. A Merrie Melody released on May 11, 1963.

The last short to star Ralph and Sam begins with the two enjoying some breakfast in the same house. Probably just on a business trip. I like Ralph’s odd today, as Sam’s fur is being more of a hindrance than usual. He can barely, get his coffee mug to his mouth, and blunders into just about every tree in his path. Since Ralph is such a good buddy, he clocks the dog in for the day.

Things are just about to get started, and Sam’s lack of vision has caused him to almost walk right over his cliff spot. Ralph is on his top game and rushes to the muttony treats as soon as the whistle blows. One successful grab and Ralph rushes back just as Sam finishes struggling back up the cliff. He knocks a rock loose, and it makes contact with Ralph’s head. He puts the sheep back.

All right, let’s review what we know about these sheep: they like to graze. That means the grass itself might be a good spot to set up an ambush. Ralph uses this knowledge by slipping under the grass (but still above the dirt) to get closer. Sam does the same and punches him back out. Armor won’t help much against those punches, as Sam can grab Ralph’s raspberrying tongue, and yank him through the helmet. And we’re not even going to dignify Ralph’s half of a uni-tank. (Seriously man, what were you thinking?)

A good healthy sheep mixes up the green part of its diet with a healthy helping of fresh water. Ralph plans to dive in so he can ambush the ungulate, crocodile style. But his dive is botched when he lands back on his diving board, dislodging it and the boulder keeping it in place, (I’m loving Ralph’s “Oh, what now?” look.) and when the two land below, Ralph launches into Sam’s grasp. He drops Ralph off the cliff, forcing the wolf to swim through the dirt below.

This calls for now tomfoolery. Ralph needs serious weaponry. A guillotine, axes, arrows, cannons, bombs, dangerous reptiles. The works, really. But just as Ralph is about to pull the switch that will activate everything, the time clock blows. Well, if he’s not going to get paid, there’s no point in offing his best friend. Sam apologizes for Ralph failing again, but the wolf takes it all in good spirits. Still friends, the two walk home. (Or wherever they’re staying these days.)

Favorite Part: The fact that it didn’t end with Ralph suffering at the end. He’s ending his film career in good health, his best friend at his side, and a gorgeous sunset. Life can pretty good, sometimes.

Personal Rating: 3

Looney Tunes: Back in Action! (Part 1)

“It’s a little adventure I call, “Daffy Duck’s quest for the Blue Monkey!””

Great to be back. I’ve been waiting forever to blog about this. So let’s begin.

First: the plot. (I’m going into alot of detail here.) Our film starts with magic. Elmer hunting for “wabbits.” Daffy is of course changing the duck season signs to rabbit season. When Elmer shows up, Bugs does the classic swithc line and a quick montage of Daffy’s beak being blow off ensues. Daffy suddenly interupts. He is reading a script. The script for this movie. He tells the Warner Brothers that this is a terrible idea for a movie. Bugs appears. He drops a few names. (I’m pretty sure it’s a tribute to Bob Clampett, Chuck Jones, and Mel Blanc.) He agrees to be out of the movie, but the vice president of comdey, Kate Hottan, (Jenna Elfman) says it can’t work without Bugs. Daffy tells him to choose between them. He is promptly fired. (Look in the background. Poster’s for “Rabbit of Seville”, “Hair Raising Hare”, and “Baseball Bugs.”) Elsewhere at the studio, (see this is already an improvment of Space Jam. It goes the “Roger Rabbit” route and makes toons, real citizens. I love Space Jam, but even I can tell it’s not perfect.) A man named D.J. (Brendan Fraser) is auditioning for the role of a stuntman. (The crusher is one of two people judging his performance) He doesn’t get the job. We learn that his father, Damien, is the most popular star at the studio. D.J.’s main job is a security guard. While washing a car, he sees Kate, escorting Daffy out. Bugs is following close behind. She tells D.J. to get rid of Daffy. While they chat Bugs switches places with Daffy and Daffy escapes. D.J. goes after him in an amusing chase sequence. Daffy runs onto the set of a Batman movie and tries to steal th Batmobile. D.J. gets him but Daffy already turned the car on and it crashes into the water tower and floods the studio. (Hope the Warner’s weren’t home) Only 2003 and Bugs already references “Finding Nemo.” (Which came out earlier in the year) D.J. is fired (despite the fact it wasn’t his fault) Kate and Bugs meanwhile are at lunch. Interesting cameos here. Porky and Speedy are currently out of work due to political correctness. (Speedy i can understand. Not Porky. And unfunny? HOW DARE YOU! Heads will roll.) Shaggy and Scooby are also there telling Matthew Lillard they weren’t impressed with his live action role. (One of my few problems with the movie. It’s a good joke, but why are they there? It’s called Looney Tunes Back in Action. I know that WB owns them, but they are not part of the group. If you have to do this, go all out. Put in other Warner owned characters. Animaniacs. Teen Titans. The possibilities are endless) Bugs and Kate are discussing the movie. Behind them Ralph and Sam are eating lunch together. Sam beats Ralph up for attempting to eat a sheep. Kate tells Bugs that he needs a female co-star. (Background images: pictures of Hugo the abominable snoman (“The Abominable Snow Rabbit”) Buddy, the Gremlin, (Falling Hare) and I think Chuck Jones. There’s also a poster for “Singing in the Rain” starring Bugs Daffy and Lola. Her only appearance in the film.) Bugs tells her that he plays females. This causes Mighigan J. Frog behind him to start singing. Kate says it’s creepy, no longer funny. Wrong, woman. Bugs is one of the few guys who can do not and not look gay. (The worker takes Mighigan again) D.J. gets home and it turns out he lives next door to Granny, Tweety, and Sylvester. (Yes, she’s still June Foray) Granny is trimming her hedges and accidentally cuts off a sneaking Sylvester’s tal. Going inside, D.J. finds that Daffy followed him home. Daffy learns who his father is and believes he’s a real spy. D.J. hears a ringing from his remote and turns on a recording of his father telling him to go looking for a diamond called the Blue Monkey. He also tells him to locate someone named Dusty Tails in Las Vegas. Daffy volunteers to come along. (Because of the diamond.) They take a gremlin car that Daffy is convinced is a spy car. (The “Gremlins” theme plays) They drive off, and we learn that there really was a spy car hidden in the garage. At the studio, it’s pretty clear that the movie needs Daffy to work. Elmer actually ends up shooting him. Despite the fact that they fired Daffy, they blame Kate. If she wants to keep her job, she needs to get him back by Monday. Daffy meanwhile is constantly being thrown out of the car. He mocks D.J. for being a security guard and D.J. tells him he’s really a stunt man, and did most of Brendan Fraser’s stunts. (laugh) Bugs calls and tells Daffy that he can get his job back. Daffy is not interested and mentions that he’s off to vegas. Their conversation is being eavesdropped on by the Acme Corp. A man named Bob Smith tells the chair man of this news. The chairman (that’s his name) has many Vice Presidents. Including ones for Rhetorical question, Child Labor, and Bad Ideas. (Steve Martin is hysterical here) It’s revealed that he has captured Damian and shows his people via camera. (Accidentally getting “I Love to Singa”) He explains that soon he will be in total control of the world. (He also hits on one of his employees, Mary. Yes this is important) He also tells his men to kill anyone who dares get in the way.

DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUN! Cliffhanger! If you don’t know the plot, please don’t go look it up elsewhere. I plan to continue tommorrow. I promise. (If you are reading this at a later time, then just read the next post)

Steal Wool

“Mornin Ralph. Morning Sam.”

Directed by Chuck Jones

Good morning! Sam Sheepdog has just woken up and is on his way to work. On the way he greets his good pal, Ralph Wolf. (Named after one of the storyboarders at the time) They walk together and wish each other luck and take up their positions. Sam begins to guard, Ralph prepares to steal (wool). He crawls under a shep and carries it away, only to run into Sam, who pounds him. Digging undergound, Ralph tries a lassoe and unknowingly catches Sam. He builds a TNT bridge and taunts Sam. Sam crosses and Ralph goes back the other way, lighting the fuse. Sam is already at the other end and demands the sheep Ralph has. Ralph gives and goes back to put out the fuse, unaware that Sam lit his end too. Ralph tries a seesaw to fling Sam away, but the dog is too heavey and Ralph flies into his arms. Sam flings Ralph. Finally, Ralph gets a giant rubber band, attaches it to two boulders, and pulls back, aiming at Sam. Instead, the boulders come loose and fly after Ralph, who runs between a narrow cliff. The rocks catch on the sides and threaten to launch Ralph away. Ralph grabs onto a tree and the rocks finally squeeze through the opening, and Ralph ends up against another cliff, with all the debris smashing into him. Later as the two pals walk home, (Ralph with a sling and black eye) Sam tells him to take the day off. Ralph’s been working too hard and he can handle both jobs. Ralph thanks his friend and stumbles home.

Personal Rating: 4

Bah, Humduck! (A Looney Tunes Christmas)

“What do I look like, an ATM?”

Merry Christmas to all who visit my humble blog! With Christmas nearby, it is time to talk about this special. It starts with our narrator, Bugs Bunny. He declares that even though rabbits are associated with Easter, he still loves Christmas. (Besides remember the last Easter we saw Bugs?) He is nearly hit by a limo. The owner of said limo? Daffy Duck. Owner of the Luckyduck Superstore. He has an awesome hover scooter, and not one speck of generosity. He refuses to help a poor, homeless, (playboy) penguin, and steals the bucket of carolers egghead jr., henrey hawk, barnyard dawg as a puppy for some reason, (?) and Priscilla Pig. (more on her later.) Daffy has many employees working at his store. Including Sam sheepdog, Miss Prissy, Charlie dog, the three bears, a security guard (Gossamar) who is sitting on Santa (Cecil) Turtles lap, Foghorn Leghorn, Slowpoke Rodriguez, Claude cat, Hubie and Bertie, Mac and Tosh, Beaky Buzzard, Hippitey Hopper, and  a (Pete) Puma janitor. (Just like in Tiny Toons) He also has some employees with a bit more personality. Including Elmer Fudd, who works very hard, and is exhausted, he needs time off. Wile E. Coyote, who is constantly hungry, and needs food. Marvin the Martian who is homesick and wishes to return home for the holidays. (Martian Christmas?) Speedy Gonazales who does wrapping, Pepe Le Pew, who tries to get to know a shopper who looks just like skunk, (No really Penelope, why do you have that stripe?) and my man, Porky Pig, his assisstant manager. Whom Daffy shortly demotes to assisstant-assissant manager. Bugs warns him that greedy people tend to get visited by Christmas ghosts. Daffy has no worry and heads to his office. There he is visited by his idol, Sylvester the (cat) Investor. He was the greediest person around, before he was murdered. Daffy now has that title, and is being warned that he must change his ways. He may be spooked, but Daffy is sure this is a prank. After visited by Bugs again, (he was searching for cheap skates, and was directed here.) he gets a passage delivered by a roadrunner. (I have no idea, if he is an employee or not.) It is a gift Daffy sent to himself, a godly remote that can do just about anything for his office. His emplyoees then come asking for favors, but are are snubbed. Porky just wants to have Christmas off so he can spend time with his daughter, Priscilla. (Now let me just say, that she is ADORABLE! She is proably the second cutest cartoon character ever! Right after Bubbles of the powerpuff girls. It is no coincidence, that this is true, Tara Strong is great at playing cuties. To an extent. In my opinion “Drawn Together” is one of the worst excueses for a cartoon ever. Mostly because it looks like it might be a decent show. Animation sterotypes living together? Genius! But they screw it up and make it in really bad taste. And then insult much better cartoons as well. Rant over.) Daffy refuses and demands that everyone come in at 5:00 AM the next day. Everyone leaves discouraged. Bugs is still there with Daffy as the exits are covered in snow. Daffy demands the seperate and soon after, is visited by the ghost of Christmas past. Or rather ghosts. Granny and Tweety take Daffy back to his past, and we see how hard his childhood was. He lived at an orphanage, and was never adopted. Morons. Why wouldn’t you want to adopt the world’s funniest duck? (I said FUNNIEST, not most popular. Donald fans stop threating me.) And for that matter where is that swan? She took him in. Forget it. This does little to change his ways and Daffy just wants to use their powers “Back to the Future 2” style to get more money. He is sent back to the store. The ghost of Christmas present is played by… Yosemite Sam? I think you could have chosen a better character for that. Maybe swicth with Sylvester? Anyways, he shows Daffy how hard his employes lives are. Another adorable scene shows, that Priscilla wants two things for Christmas, a doll, and for her daddy to spend it with her. (Too. Cute. Someday i’m going to buy a pig. And it will have Mrs. Strong’s voice so help me Bob.) Daffy is not convinced quite yet, and begs Bugs to hide him. They reenact “Tom Turk and Daffy” but ultimately Daffy is taked by the ghost of Christmas future, the Tasmanian Devil. He sees his grave, and learns that his employees are out of jobs, because he tried to will the store to himself. Porky remarks that at least he and Priscilla can spend Christmas together. (With Porky! She didn’t die yet!) Being an angel, she leves some cookies for Daffy, (which look hilarious) and wishes him luck, since she knows he’s not in heaven. (Laughing) Daffy finally resolves to change his ways and the next day, gives everyone a paid vacation, as well as a rocket home for Marvin, and a personal chef for Wile. (Francois from “French Rarebit”) Even Pepe gets a kiss from Penelope. (her choice. she wasn’t bribed) Daffy sees how much his genorosity is going to cost him, and briefly tries to get it back, when Priscilla offers him a hilarious looking cookie, and calls him Uncle. (I wish she’d do that to me) Daffy remains generous to the delight of Bugs and the ghosts. We end with Priscilla saying our “That’s all Folks!” (Did i mention how adorable she is?)

Overall this short, is nothing great, but if you are a Looney Tunes fan, you’ll enjoy it.

Personal Rating: 2 for the common folk, 3 for the Looney-tics.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

What? Sure its a Disney movie, but if you know that, than I am quite certain you know that a few  Looney Tunes were actually allowed to cameo in it. I am not going to describe the plot, though, because if you have not seen this movie you should be ashamed. If you haven’t seen it and call yourself an animation lover, (Such as myself,) then rectify your crime immediately. It won’t be a regret.  What I am going to do is just point out the Looney Tunes I saw. If you have seen more please let me know. (I’m noting the character’s actual appearances. Passing mentions and still pictures aren’t fun to find. No mention of the infamous deleted funeral scene either. Just thinking about what could have been makes me cry.)

At Maroon studios: Bugs is hard to spot, but as Valiant strolls through the lot, right before the scene changes to the entrance, you can spot him. He’s on the left of the screen. Then, when the scene changes, you can see the Dodo walking into the studio. He is in his “Dough for the Do-do” color scheme.

At the ink and paint club: The infamous scene where Donald and Daffy duel with pianos. (Playing my favorite music piece, no less.)

Near the Acme factory: Yosemite Sam flies out of Toontown

Toontown: Tweety and Bugs are here. It’s hard to miss them. Wile E. and the Roadrunner can be more difficult, though. Don’t blink as Valiant ascends in the elevator. Their silhouettes, and by extension bodies, can be seen.

Ending: You can see Bugs, Daffy, Yosemite Sam, Tweety, the Roadrunner, Wile E Coyote, Foghorn, Marvin, Sylvester, Speedy, and Sam sheepdog. And of course what kid of movie would it be if it did not end with Porky saying “That’s all Folks!”

Yes I know that Wile E. and the Roadrunner, Speedy, Sam Sheepdog, and Marvin were not around at the time this movie takes place, but if you are going to complain about that, then you should also complain that all the flags in the movie have 50 stars. As for the Looney Tunes vocals,  they were still provided by Mel Blanc. Except for Yosemite Sam, but that is forgivable as Blanc was aging at this time, and he could not yell like he used to.

Personal Rating: 5

The Bugs Bunny Show

“On with the show, this is it!”

During the sixties, “Looney Tunes” was on its last legs. Also during this time, Looney Tunes got a TV show. (Why not? It was the latest fad!) The premise was simple: Bugs showing us cartoons with various bridging sequences in between, such as Bugs feeding Taz carrots or Slowpoke coming to visit Speedy. The show was black and white which may have been odd today since all the shorts in the theaters were color, but color TV was only starting to get started. Lack of pigment  was a small price to pay for the convenience of watching animated masterpieces in your own living room.

Now for the bad news. This show is gone and you’re not liable to find any full episodes. (At least, as I’m originally writing this.) If you ever have seen, or have any somehow, you are quite lucky. Maybe you’d like to make the rest of the world feel as lucky as you?

Personal Rating: (From what little I’ve seen) 3

Space Jam

“You guys are nuts.”

“Correction, we’re Looney Tunes”

I love this movie, but then again, I am a Looney Tunes fanboy. It’s sad most of the world seems to hate it. I think that is bull crap. This is a masterpiece if ever there was one. At least it did great at the box office.

The history is that people made commercials with Bugs and Michael Jordan advertising basketball shoes. So they figured making a movie was a good idea. (I think it was.) Our plot is that a theme park in outer space, (it is not specified which planet, but I think the whole park is its own planet) sucks. (How can people say that? Didn’t you ever want to ride an astro-orbiter wannabe that shoots at you? Oh yeah, me neither) The owner decides they need new attractions and figures that the Looney Tunes are just the thing. I’d come.

However, Bugs tricks them into thinking they need to give the toons a chance to defend themselves. Since the aliens are short and have tiny limbs, basketball seems like a shoe in. However the aliens have the ability to steal the ability from five NBA players. Luckily, Jordan was retired at this time. So they don’t nab him. The toons get him for their side and we get the greatest game in all history!

This also introduced us to Lola. She did not have much of a personality in this movie, save for being someone for Bugs to be attracted to. Seems she was popular though, as she appeared in “Baby Looney Tunes”, “Tweety’s High Flying Adventure”, and “The Looney Tunes Show.”

Bottom line if you hate this you have no taste and at the very least you have to watch it once. (There must be more who love this, I know it!) “Tune” in next time where I will name all the Looney Tunes who appear in the film as well as some interesting facts. Woo hoo hoo hoo! Woo hoo!

Personal Rating: 3. (Unless you’re one of those people who can’t stand anything Looney that came out after the Golden age. For you, it’s a 2.)

Don’t Give up the Sheep

“Hello, Fred.”

This is the first appearance of Ralph and Sam, and it shows. Sam is erroneously called Ralph, and the real Ralph looks less like a coyote and more like a starving animal.

It starts with Sam going to work. He greets Fred Sheepdog and they switch places for the day. Ralph shows up and plans to get the sheep. He sets the time-clock ahead and this works. Until Sam sees the village clock and runs back to the field. (One thing to keep in mind, Ralph usually gets his prey. He just does not get to eat it.)

3 more scenes deserve mention. Ralph digs under the ground to get the sheep but he gets greedy and takes them all. Sam sees this and rushes down. The wolf grabs him. POW! Ralph uses a rope swing to swing down and get a sheep, bur he grabs Sam. Finally, Sam quits for the day and Fred greets him. Sam starts pounding him and we see it’s really Ralph in disguise. The real Fred shows up and takes over Sam’s Ralph pounding.

Personal Rating: 3