“It’s a boy.”
Directed by Friz Freleng; Story by Warren Foster; Animation by Gerry Chiniquy; Layouts by Hawley Pratt; Backgrounds by Irv Wyner; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Music by Carl Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on December 17, 1955.
When a stork and an animal hospital visit each other very, very much, a baby will soon be born. (A baby ‘what’ all depends on you, the parent.) Butch J. is a bulldog, and so is his soon to be offspring. The blessed moment occurs, and the result is the same answer as this arithmetic formula: Q+T. Pappy takes his puppy home and provides the most important lessons a child can know. The kind you won’t learn in obedience schools. You know, looking tough and killing cats.
Kid is a quick learner. But there’s another kind of learning that he must teach himself: the kind you won’t learn in father’s school. You know, playing. Builds strong muscles, and teaches you survival skills. (I’ve achieved similar feats from playing “Mario 3” my whole life.) During his play, the little tyke (believe me, I’m tempted to make a “Tom and Jerry” reference) runs into his first real cat: Sylvester. Little fella is scared, but remembers his training and comes back to maim, as all good puppies should.
Since he’s small, his attacks are annoying at best. He can gnaw Sylvester’s fur off, but the short is taking place in summer. It’s actually pretty positive, if somewhat embarrassing. Sylvester knows how to deal with puppy pests: stick them under a can. Next time, maybe he’ll remember to only do this when dad isn’t looking, or he’ll replace his son with you. (Oh, don’t think your size will save you. He’ll make you fit.) Sylvester is either going to have to learn to deal with the tiny terror, or get rid of him sneakily.
But first, how about a game of fetch? The teeny dumpling can cease his endless barking for a quick round. He’s a natural! So, Sylvester ups the challenge. He throws the stick into traffic and a-dog-able runs after. (Hmm… you’re right, that is too forced. Guess we’ll just have to call him “Tick”.) You may think Tick is doomed, but funny thing about humans, some of them still possess humanity. And you better be d*mn sure that any human carrying that would rather crash than hit a sweet, teeny puppy.
He’s all right. But dad has had more cheerful days. But it’s nothing a little game of “fetch” couldn’t cure. Won’t you play, Sylvester? Toobadyoudon’thaveachoice! As expected, a cat isn’t worth slowing down for, and the poor schmuck is barely able to dodge death. He gets back okay, forgetting that the majority of street accidents actually occur on the sidewalk. (Darn those scooters.) But the death idea wasn’t that bad. So, give it another go. I’m sure Butch will eventually leave the premises to go share his happy news with Mrs. Butch. (Where is she, anyway?)
Ultimately, Sylvester rigs a bone up to a gun. When the kid pulls on the string… BLAMMO! Except, Mrs. Butch is worth putting off, and father knows best about what to put in front of guns: not puppies. Sylvester is forced to take the shots while Tick pulls repeatedly on the bone. It’s then that a knock on the gate catches the putty tat’s ears. It’s Stupor Stork! Clearly just starting his route for the day, as he’s still sober. Someone must’ve remembered that dogs have litters, so he’s here to deliver the rest of Butch’s nonuplets. Welcome to living hell, Sylvester!
However, Sylvester still has a gun, and while Butch will flay him if any of his nine angels become angels, Stupor is fair game. Cat chases bird, and dogs chase cat. Just like nature intended.
Favorite Part: The look of absolute glee on Tick’s face when his father is demonstrating cat killing techniques. It’s the same look that says “That looks like fun!” and “I’ve found my purpose!”
Personal Rating: 3, unless you’re like me and think Tick is precious and bumps it up to a four. I’d understand if you don’t feel the same way. He sounds like a wheezing chew toy.