False Hare

“Is he for real?”

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

This here is the final Bugs Bunny cartoon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*sigh* For the golden era.

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

Hobo Bobo

“Bobo felt very hurt when he fell down on his… first attempt.”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Warren Foster. A Merrie Melody released on May 17, 1947.

India is a delightful country. I’ve never actually been there, but the awesome Asian elephant can be found there, and that’s enough for me. Because they aren’t the more temperamental African variety, these ones can and have been used for manual labor. This doesn’t set very well with one little fellow. The calf, Bobo by name, is still in that small and impossibly adorable phase where he is mostly head. It doesn’t matter, he is SO CUTE! I want to hug him! (I guess I’m just a sucker for small elephants.)

As he is such a smart species of animal, little Bobo knows that just because he only has easy logs to haul now, they are going to get bigger as he does. A lifetime of work? That’s no way to live! It will make Bobo a dull calf! If only he could live at the circus. That’s where Uncle Jumbo lives. He’s a performer that everyone loves, and he is on the…baseball team. The circus elephant baseball team. Uh, oh yeah! The Pachyderm Pirates! Twelfth in the league… and… uh… no. It’s just weird. (Lord, I love cartoons.)

You know, why not? And since there are no circuses in India (or here anymore, for that matter) Bobo decides to board a ship for the states. However, the human supremacists won’t let someone of Bobo’s species on their boat. (Four legs bad, two legs are fine, but no birds either.) Bobo tries sneaking in on various ways, but they either fail to get him on board, or get him evicted on sight. Enter a mynah bird. Correction: THE mynah bird. A character from Chuck Jone’s Inki cartoons. (Who I’ve yet to discuss because I’m not capable of having a schedule that makes sense. In fact, I’m gonna just call it right here: I probably won’t summarize any of those shorts until, let’s say, 2024. See you then!

Oh yeah, I’m not done here. The bird has a grand idea: Bobo should just paint himself pink. People will see him, surely, but they won’t admit it. Being so young, naive, innocent, (and cute. Did I mention that yet?) the little elephant has no idea why everyone is suddenly so accommodating to him, but it’s suits him just fine. They even share there meals and beds with him. (I would. I don’t care if it would cost my bed its life. Beds are replaceable, Bobo’s aren’t.)

Land ho! Welcome to New York! I guess the people there had yet to accustom to  the wacky shenanigans on a daily basis, because everyone is still acting like they don’t see anything. Poor Bobo. It hurts to be ignored. (They’re not even giving him any freebies anymore.) As he mopes though, a street sweeper comes by, and washes off his pretty, pink paint. Suddenly, EVERYONE takes note that there is an elephant running around. (While I won’t lie calling the authorities would probably be wise, I do think everyone is overreacting. Just a tad. As long as his mother isn’t around, I think it’s safe to pet him.)

Well, he’s arrested. (Sure. When it calls for punishment, everyone is HAPPY to treat him like a human. If only I could say we’ve come so far.) Standing before the judge, Bobo awaits his verdict. He is sentenced to life. In the circus that is! Oh, happy day! Bobo is finally going to achieve his dream at last! He even makes it as the team’s bat boy. However, turns out that doesn’t make him happy at all. Finally speaking, he shows his distaste. After all that, he still has ended up carrying logs. Wah-wah-wah.

Favorite part: Such an adorable picture! I’d like to say any part with the main character was my favorite, but by my own rules, that’s cheating. I award the honor to the baby who throws out his bottle upon seeing the pink elephant. (He’s never going to trust his mother again.)

The Eggcited Rooster

“Me, last of mo-hawk-ans.”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Tedd Pierce; Animation by Rod Scribner, Phil DeLara, Charles McKimson, Herman Cohen; Layouts by Robert Givens; Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on October 4, 1952.

Foghorn’s gotten married at some point! (Poor Prissy, she drank herself into a stupor upon hearing the news) However, like all marriages, the good times only lasted so long before the two began to argue more and love less. Such as today, the Mrs. (who I’ve decided to name Pressy) is off to play some bridge with her pals, and that leaves her dear husband with child duty. In other words: egg sitting. And woe betide him should he not be incubating at all times.

All this greatly amuses the local Dawg. B.D. takes great delight in heckling his nemesis and reminding him that he can’t retaliate. If the egg isn’t being warmed every single, solitary, yoctosecond, the wife will be let known, and he’s going to be very sorry. The cards are all against him, so Foghorn is stuck. If only there was someone else he could burden with the responsibility of his unborn child.

Henery is also in this short, playing the role of stereotypical Native American. Got his feathered headdress, got his bow and arrows, all he needs to win this game is some chicken. Naturally, he goes after Foghorn. Maybe he could use this little bird as a solution to his problem? He announces himself as too tough, and not worth a meal. Young chickens. That’s what makes a good meal. You can’t get much younger than freshly hatched, so why not take a risk and let the hungry predator potentially kill your unborn child? At least it will give him a chance to get a little payback on the hound.

With his trusty plank, Foggy paddles the dog’s rear before sticking him in some stocks. Add a live wire to his tail, and some light bulbs to his mouth: Voila! The first Uncle Fester cosplay! (The best part of being the first? Gives everyone else a chance to improve your work) That’s taken care of, time to see how the kids are doing. Just in time no less! Henery got tired of waiting and tried to do a c-section on the egg. (With a mallet instead of a scalpel, because that’s how it’s done in the bird world)

Okay, so if the kid is so impatient, then maybe Foghorn should give him a different type of egg to hatch. He has quick-hatching one that just needs a little heat source. Like that dog? (If he wasn’t already busy, I’d point out that Foghorn would be a better choice. It’s common knowledge that chickens have a slightly higher body temperature than dogs. No, really. Everyone knows this.) Henery doesn’t see that the egg in question is really a grenade, so he slips it under the dog, and eagerly awaits the hatching.

One explosion later…(Weird. The grenade actually had some albumen and a yolk in it? Hen grenades: “They’re nutritious and deadly!”) The dog informs the kid that they have both been played, and now its time for revenge. (Always been my favorite time.) The plan? Henery tells Foghorn to come look, and then he takes the egg when he goes to see. (It’s simple, but it works.) Foghorn doesn’t notice until the egg is gone, and by that time, the dog has already phoned the Mrs. and told her of her husband’s child abandoning ways. She comes with rolling pin in wing. Foghorn, Henery, and the dog all have a small fight over the egg, but in the end, Foghorn gets it. (Just as his wife gives him the pin) Adding injury to injury, Henery also scalps him.

Favorite Part: Foghorn describes egg sitting akin to walking into a spinning drill, It bores you.

The Slap-Hoppy Mouse

“You and I are going mouse hunting.”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Tedd Pierce; Animation by Ted Bonnicksen, George Grandpre, Keith Darling, and Russ Dyson; Layouts by Robert Gribbroek; Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on September 1, 1956.

Wouldn’t it be great to be a pet? (Assuming you don’t have a neglectful owner of course) You could sleep all day, eat without using hands, be adored constantly, and just when the monotony starts getting to you, you die thanks to your shorter lifespan. (Certain animals withstanding. I’d hate to be a tortoise) It’s a nice life. An easy life. And that is bothering Sylvester’s son.

In this picture, the two live in a mansion. Sylvester Sr. is quite content with the way things are going, but Jr. isn’t enjoying himself. (If my nose turned black for a brief second, I might be a little grumpy. Unless I could do it at will. That would be sweet.)  Mostly because of the other cats in the area that we don’t get to see. But according to Junior, they don’t think so highly of the his father. Seems he’s soft. Weak. A has-been. That’s all it takes. Sylvester promises to show the lad the art of the hunt, and prove that he still is a great mouser.

Donning some dapper caps, the two make their way to the best kind of habitat to find a mouse in: a derelict dump of a building. That’s right next to some railroad tracks. Why is that important? Well, a circus train passes by and a crate that isn’t secured at all tumbles off and ends up in the basement. Out of the rubble comes Hippety Hopper. (You like the inconsistencies? This little guy has one in this short. One of his eyelids is white at one point. Can you find it?)

Sylvester, meanwhile, has found an actual mouse, and prepares to strike. The main problem with hunting in these crummy old places, is that the loose boards can send you down to the basement. Creepy things live in basements. Like gargantuan mice! Sylvester runs back upstairs in a panic. Junior believes his dad’s claims as the suspected mouse followed him up. Sylvester is all set to run, but his boy reminds him that cats shouldn’t fear mice. (Sweet and all, but the fact that I shouldn’t fear fish doesn’t help me any.)

The hunt begins, and Sylvester is pummeled. It’s not long before he is grabbing some firepower to aid him. Unfortunately, he can’t seem get the right order of powder, shots and wadding in the gun, and he is constantly fired up to the higher floors. (The smaller mouse from earlier even comes back to the pull the trigger once.) Ultimately, Sylvester puts some glue down to catch his target. All the joey has to do is give him a light tap to foil this plot. (He even gets some buck teeth for a moment. Nice bit of zoological accuracy) With his father out of commission, Junior has to cut the floor out from under him, and carry him home.

Favorite part: After Sylvester calls himself “broken down” at one point, Junior instead claims that he is “a real, cool cat.” Really, it’s funny the way he says it. Even his dad doesn’t quite know how to respond.

The Mouse-merized Cat

“Sleep! Sleep!”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Warren Foster; Animation by Arthur Davis, Don Williams, Richard Bickenbach, and Cal Dalton; Layouts and Background by Richard H. Thomas and Cornett Wood; Effects Animation by A.C. Gamer; Voice Characterization: Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on October 19, 1946.

Remember Babbit and Catstello? Even if Tweety managed to get their fame, the two still managed a couple more pictures as mice. (Thus making them the only Warner Bros. characters to change species.) It’s clearly them and not just some lookalikes, the names are the same, the appearance is familiar, and they are still voiced by Pierce and Blanc, respectively. Still, for whatever reason, they only got two shorts as rodents, with this being the last of them.

Catstello, (which is a rather odd name for a mouse, but not THE worst. That distinction goes to Mortimer.) is excited to see us, the audience, but Babbit has more important matters to attend to. He’s reading a book about hypnotism, and he plans to entrance the chubby mouse, so said mouse will forget any fear of a cat, and get food from the deli in which they reside.

Naturally, the loss of free will is not something that Catstello wants any part in, and refuses to participate. Starting out by simply pretending it worked. He gives himself away when he refuses to mallet his own hand. Babbit refuses to accept that either hypnosis doesn’t work that way, or that his little pal could just be immune. (And why should he accept either one in a cartoon?) Still, Catstello tries to avoid the powers, protecting his eyes, and ducking. It’s no use though, Babbit finally gets him and now its time to test these powers.

It wouldn’t be a Warner Bros. Picture if they didn’t caricature some of the most popular people of the day, so Babbit starts by making his pal be Crosby, Sinatra, Durante, and Rochester. But any Warner character could do those, so the real test is to become a chicken. Sure enough, not only does Catstello cluck, but he even somehow lays and egg. (Or he just took it off a shelf. They are in a deli.)

Okay, how about we see this cat that’s in the title? Catstello is commanded to be a dog, and sent out to get the cat. His barking sends the cat into hiding, but upon seeing its just a mouse, the feline loses any and all fear. He even snaps Catstello out of the trance. The mouse flees in fear back to the hole, but Babbit rehypnotizes him out. In turn, the cat studies some hypnotism of his own and tries sending him back again. (He doesn’t just eat him because fat mice are high in cholesterol)

This goes on, but somehow in between the dueling hypnotists, Catstello is able to get his own will back and holds two mirrors out. Now they’ll see how funny hypnosis can be! With them caught in their own trances, Catstello can get them to do anything. He decides on the cat being a horse, and Babbit being a cowboy. With that done, he sends them out to hunt some varmint, and he is finally rid of them. With the whole place to himself, he does what anyone would do with an empty deli: eat.

Favorite Part: One of the ways Catstello resists the hypnosis. He reads a book entitled: “How to resist hypnotism.”

Fish and Slips

“I hope you know what you’re doing, father.”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Dave Detiege; Animation by Warren Batchelder, George Granpre, and Ted Bonnicksen; Layouts and Backgrounds by Robert Gribbroek; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Milt Franklyn. A Looney Tune released on March 10, 1962.

Breaking news! A record sized fish has just been caught! (By Treg Brown, no less.) I can’t quite make out what the newscaster is saying. Sounds like “Shark-nosed tralfaz,” which sounds more like a name for a dog to me. Not only that, but the fish look like marlins to me. (But what do I know about fish? Oh yeah! Plenty!)

Sylvester and son saw that broadcast, and Junior is mighty impressed. Seeing as how the only other fisher”man” he knows is his dad, he doesn’t have a lot of options. Sylvester is not pleased to hear this, and takes his son to prove that he does know how to fish. Not from a pier. That’s too hard. Why, humans are kind enough to build buildings fulls of sea life, just begging to be eaten. We call them aquariums. And since the place is closed, cats get in free!

Sylvester’s biggest problem (and where all of the jokes stem from) is his inability to check the sign telling what is in which tank. Using his tail as a line is all well and good, but not when sticking it in a piranha tank. Let’s step away from freshwater and move to the salty stuff. Much more flavor! (That’s not a joke. You’ll learn lots from me. And not just about cartoons.)

This tank is much bigger, so Sylvester can dive in. He catches a good number of groupers, but they’d be a rather boring specimen all on their own. This tank also contains a shovelnose. (Which looks nothing like how they normally do for the sake of the joke) Curiosity is a trait cats tend to have, so Sylvester takes a peek at its hole. It also tends to kill them, as a hammerhead pound him in and he is buried. Junior has to fish him out.

Could Junior do better? It’s possible. He managed to catch a small fish off screen. (I wouldn’t call it a small fry. It looks too old for that. Just “a little fish” humor.) It’s not enough to fill Sylvester’s belly, but it could probably make decent bait. The sperm whale seems to think so. (Wow. Cartoons sure are terrific! My universe has never had such a large creature in captivity!) Junior laments the fact that his father has become a meal. (He also calls it a fish. Something I was sure science had disproved by the 60’s.)

Sylvester uses the classic escape: a fire. (Why was there a raft in there? What sick sense of humor does this place have? “Don’t worry ma’am. Sure, we tricked your kid into being eaten, but there’s a raft in there. If he’s done any scouting at all, he’ll come out fine. Oh. He’s four?”) Sylvester gets out, but the dolphins have gotten bored with no humans around that they can warn of impending doom. They play catch with him. (WITH him.)

One last tank. Sylvester will go in via diving suit, and Junior will pump air to him. Things don’t get off to a great start, as this tank contains such amazements as an electric eel. (So, we’re back in freshwater?) a… lobster? (Well, it could be a very large crayfish. I’m sure there wouldn’t be any more contradic-) and an octopus. (Darn it, McKimson! Unless the mollusk is suicidal, you messed up.) Things get even worse for the feline, when Junior takes a break from pumping to observe an inchworm. Realizing his mistake, he pumps harder, and all that air makes Sylvester’s suit inflate. He winds up landing in a tank of dogfish. (Junior doesn’t bother trying to save him this time. He’d rather make another smart remark.)

Favorite part: A quote from Junior that all children have said at least once in their life: “I don’t think I’ll ever understand grownups.” I know I still don’t, and I’m 24.

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)

Fistic Mystic

“One of those little, tough guys, eh?”

Directed by Bob McKimson; Story by Cal Howard; Animation by Ted Bonnicksen, LaVerne Harding, Jim Davis, Ed Solomon, and Norm McCabe; Layouts by Bob Givens and Jaime Diaz; Backgrounds by Bob Abrams; Film Editor: Hal Geer; Voice Characterization by Larry Storch; Musical Direction by William Lava. A Looney Tune released on March 29, 1969. (Also sports a unique version of “The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down” that was not used in any other shorts)

As one does when they are of the magic arts, (and are willing to let the muggles view it) Merlin is off to perform. His destination is Oshkosh, but you wouldn’t know it if he didn’t say if the surrounding desert is any indication of where he is heading. After he and his sidekick, Second Banana, lose their handcart, (and Merlin is run over by a train) they see a sign advertising the town of Rattlesnake Gulch. Seems like as good a place to take a breather as any.

As is typical of these kind of towns in these kind of pictures, there is a thug at the saloon looking for any excuse to start a fight. Merlin just being polite counts, and the brute dares him to take a punch. (The poor guy has no name in this picture, but I swear I read once that he goes by Tuff. So Tuff it shall be. Isn’t that a shame?) Second Banana takes that opportunity, and then goes on to build Merlin up as some sort of mighty mouse.

To prove it, S.B. puts a board on Merlin’s shoulder, and tells Tuff to knock it off. Hitting one end, causes the other to rise up and knock the galoot out. When he comes to, Merlin is more than willing to pass the blame onto his sidekick. Tuff can’t believe he could have been knocked out by the little fella, and Merlin decides to set up a boxing match. $100.00 to the winner. Tuff agrees. After all, beating up a mouse proves you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. (It also gets you banned from Disneyland)

That night, Merlin reveals the secret to ensure his little buddy’s success. He will be wearing some enchanted boxing gloves that will do all the hitting for him. Hopefully they hit fast enough, so S.B. doesn’t have to worry about dodging or anything, but they look like they’re up to the task. Next day, and everyone is ready to get this fight underway. In one corner, a chubby, nipple-less man without a real name. In the other, a mouse with no pants who everyone wants to see win. (It’s an interesting fight)

Those gloves are a marvel! Second Banana wails away, and Tuff doesn’t land a single punch. In fact, they might be a little too good, as Merlin can’t get them to stop once they get started. Leaving S.B.’s body behind, the gloves chase the Tuff guy out of town. I suppose that makes the mouse our champion? I mean, the fight IS still going on.

Favorite Part: When Merlin makes the wager, he asks for the ruffian to put his hundred bucks in the hat. When asked where HIS contribution is, Merlin pulls the same money out. (I saw this joke coming, but it still got a chuckle out of me)

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.

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.