Norman Normal

“♪ He looks a lot like you. ♪”

Directed by Alex Lovy. Story and voice Characterization by N. Paul Stookey and Dave Dixon; Animation by Ted Bonnicksen, LaVerne Harding, Volus Jones, and Ed Solomon; Layouts by John Freeman; Backgrounds by Bob Abrams and Ralph Penn; Film Editor: Hal Geer; Musical Direction by William Lava; Produced by William L. Hendricks and N. Paul Stookey. A Cartoon Special released on February 3, 1968.

Yep. This short isn’t technically a Looney Tune or a Merrie Melody, but it was produced by Warner Bros. so it is one of their cartoons. It’s an interesting one. More of a satire on social behavior than anything else. It was also a collaboration with folk singer, Paul Stookey. With a musical origin, it’s no surprise that our short opens with a song. The main character, Norman, shuts the band in a room, promising us we’ll hear them again at the end. (I hope so. That was catchy)

Norman seems to exist in world of doors. Entering one, he comes to his boss’s office. Seems that the ball-bearing company Norman works for is having a hard time getting a potential client interested in their product. Said client has a weakness: alcohol. It will be Norman’s job to take the man and get him drunk so they can get a signature out of him. Understandably, Norman is a bit uncomfortable doing this.

As the boss argues with him, they both get younger. Reflecting how immature this whole thing is while the argument shifts to Norman having to do something to be part of the boss’s gang. (He doesn’t have a name. Unless Boss is his name.) Seeing as Norman is a child now, the boss reverts to his original age and plays the reverse psychology card. Norman is clearly not mature enough to handle such a responsibility. This ploy works and Norman agrees to it while growing back to normal Norman. The boss sends him on his way.

Back in the dimension of doors, Norman once more resolves to not do it. It’s not right, but who is to say what is right? In such puzzling situations, turning to a parent is a good way to at least think things out. Luckily, Norman senior can also be found in a door here, so Norman enters and asks for advice. His dad chooses to instead waste time telling stories from his youth. It’s too bad he’s not being more helpful. Norman is having some serious thoughts about what is right and what is wrong, and how others have differing opinions on it. His dad ultimately disperses some half decent advice: that being to not make waves and fit it. (Translation: Conform. Society is never wrong.) Norman exits.

Rather than exiting back into the door area, Norman finds himself at a party. (Where some guy repeatedly says “Approval?” over and over like some kind of Pokemon. Since he has a lampshade on his head, we can assume this is purely alcohol based behavior.) Seems that this party is taking place later, as one person congratulates him on the sell. (We don’t get to find out if Norman did the morally sound option or not) The man also tries to tell a joke, but we miss most of it because Norman has to ask if it’s a joke about minorities to make them all fell superior. From the punchline, I’m guessing it was a pretty crappy joke, but everyone seems to find some humor in it. Even Norman.

The bartender tries to give Norman a drink. Norman doesn’t want one, saying he’s had enough. (Not sure if he really had any or not.) The bartender gets hostile and begans accusing Norman of not liking himself when drunk. The true him, that doesn’t have to abide by society’s rules and isn’t ruled by his common sense. Angry, Norman storms out.

Back in the familiar door land, Norman apologizes for getting us mixed up in his problems, and as promised, lets us hear the band once more. Before the short ends, we see the whole thing has been taking place in Norman’s mind. How existential. Stookey wanted to have Norman appear in more cartoons, but the studios closure the following year prevented this from happening.

Apologies to anyone who might have wondered where this post was last week. The website was down, and so was I. So down in fact, that I didn’t feel like updating for the rest of the week. While nothing has changed, I don’t feel you should suffer for my personal problems. (Then again, with all the comments I get, nobody probably even noticed my absence.)

Page Miss Glory

“Call for Miss Glory!”

Supervised by Tex Avery; Words and music by Warren & Dubin; Modern Art Conceived and Designed by Leodora Congdon. 3/C. A Merrie Melody released on March 7,  1936.

Another one of the 100 greatest. The oldest one in fact.

Hicksville is a pretty slow, country town. It’s the kind of place where one can’t open their mouth without a yawn jumping out. So, the slightest event will really catch the populace’s attention. In this case, a celebrity is coming to town. Her name is Miss Glory, and since this is such a big occasion, the entire town is pitching in to make the place worthy. She will be staying at the only hotel in the place, where the staff is also prettying up for her.

The bellhop is a young man named Abner. He is excited to be a part of everything and practices bellhop manners. Everything is ready, now all we need is the guest of honor. If the clock is to be believed, several days have passed without her showing. (Pft. Celebrities.) As the time passes, Abner sleeps and dreams. In his dreams, not only is he less ugly, (Getting some clothes that actually fit, a haircut, losing his ugly buck teeth) but the hotel becomes an art-deco place of beauty. And Miss Glory is here in Abner’s dreams too.

Being a bellhop, he is asked to page the titular woman. While we are treated to the title song, we do get some gags thrown in as well. After Abner stands on a guest’s train, it tears off of her. She rolls with it and does a fan dance. (If only she was 50 years younger, it would be okay to be turned on by this) Another highlight is the patron getting served a mountain of food, but only eating a bite of an olive.

Abner is not having much luck finding the woman, and things only get more complicated as the hotel announces that Glory is at the hotel. This attracts the attention of every single man in the place, who storms in her direction. Clogging the elevators, Abner is unable to follow and perform his duties. He does eventually get in one, but the operator heads out on his lunch break. Abner decides to send himself up, but due to coming from a world where hotels are not more than one story high, he doesn’t know what he’s doing, and sends the elevator up and down at a high speed. Eventually popping out of the building, and landing him in front of a streetcar.

But that bell isn’t just part of a dream! It’s his boss! Miss Glory has finally arrived! (She must be a big deal. If the crowd is any indication, Clampett, Avery, Jones, and Melvin Millar have all shown up to catch a glimpse of her.) Abner prepares to do what he was meant to do, but the question remains: Is Glory as hot as he dreamed? Not unless you’re a pedophile. Miss is an appropriate title, as the woman in question is at max, six years old.

Martian through Georgia

“MONSTER!”

Directed by Chuck Jones and Abe Levitow; Co-Director: Maurice Noble; Story by Carl Kohler and Chuck Jones; Animation by Tom Ray, Ken Harris, Richard Thompson, and Bob Bransford; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Dilm Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc, Ed Prentise; Musical Direction by Bill Lava. A Looney Tune released on December 29, 1962.

Way, way out in space there is a planet. Even though it is yellow, I think we call it Mars. I mean, the indigenous lifeforms are called “Martians.” (I guess the universe is big enough for two Mars’s) They are really interesting. Like humans, they come in two genders: male and female. The males seem to be quite comfortable in their birthday suits, while the females are clad in purple jumpsuits. (Or they just have a purple coloration that covers their entire bodies, save for their faces.) They are a happy race. Well, except for one. And we’ll call that one: Al.

Poor Al. He is depressed. And he is depressed because he is bored. Both activities that martians typically partake in (levitating and though projection) bore him. (How can you be bored when you have constant access to pig pictures? And do martian pigs really resemble our Earth ones?) His depression must be really bad, because a woman tries flirting with him and he doesn’t give a crap. (And given by her heartbroken reaction, I think she was really into him.)

Al goes to a doctor. No martian speaks in this short, (which makes sense if you think about it. If you had thought projection abilities, what use would talking be?) so they communicate via their antenna. The doc thinks that traveling would be a good way to relieve his boredom and though Al doesn’t really think it will help, (I mean, he is still sulking as he leaves) he leaves. As he travels, he comes across a new planet. One full of simple, ignorant, life forms. (I’m stumped. What planet could that be?) Looking at this sad excuse of civilization, he finds a new purpose within him. He will shares his gifts with them! Finally feeling something close to joy, he heads down.

Things don’t seem to be off to a great start. Many people run away in fear, and those that don’t take him away for parking in a “no parking zone.” They send him to his new house, (a prison cell) but he has no time to stay. He must continue his mission! So he easily leaves. This gets everyone in a panic, and soon everyone knows of a monster that is on the loose. (The letters seem to be coming off that newspaper) Everyone except Al. When he does hear about it, he decides this is a good place to start helping these folks, and he soon finds the creature that everyone must be afraid of. I mean, it’s eaten a guy! (I think they are called “eggskahvayters”) He uses his atom re-arranger that he always had on him, and turns the beast into a cow/dragon/ cat. (Don’t worry, it’s friendly)

Satisfied, he begins to look for more wrongs to right, when a youth speaks to him. The child seems friendly enough, but he drops a bombshell: Al is the monster that everyone has been afraid of. According to the kid’s comic book, monsters are easily identified by their lack of noses. (That’s it, huh? So… birds, reptiles, fish, amphibians, mand\y mammals and every invertebrate are a kind of monster? The people of this planet are self-entitled pricks!) Al can make his antenna look like a nose, but it doesn’t change anyone’s opinion. (I think that kid is also a monster. His hands temporarily turn green) Even more miserable than before, he finds no other option. Suicide is the only answer. I mean, what else can one do when no one loves you?

Wait! Someone clearly did love him! (Although, after that cruel rejection of his, would she really still want him? Actually, the martians seem like quite the nice species. But I bet if they were both like the people on this planet, she wouldn’t give him another chance.) Realizing that as long as someone loves you, life is indeed worth living, he heads home. Seems the trip really did help him. (And that goes for non-romantic love too. No more suicide! You’re just hurting others.)

Now Hear This

“QUIET!”

Directed by Chuck Jones; Co-Direction: Maurice Noble; Story by John Dunn, and Chuck Jones; Animation by Ben Washam, and Bob Bransford; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Sound Effects Created by Treg Brown; Musical Direction by Bill Lava. A Looney Tune released on April 27, 1963.

Oh boy. This is a hard cartoon to describe. It’s kind of like if UPA directed “The Beatles Yellow Submarine.” And that just describes the style. Strange as it may be, it is an artistic masterpiece! And it was rightfully nominated for an academy award. (The last Looney Tune to get such an honor!) What could have beaten it? Another abstract short made by Mel Brooks? I suppose that makes sense, much as I hate to admit it. It’s also where we get the first use of the abstract opening that was used during the sixties. (A shame it is now remembered as part of the weaker shorts.)

So the plot. Unfortunately, the twist is spoiled as soon as it starts. (That’s pretty much my only gripe.) So we’ll just pretend like we never saw anything. An old British gentleman strolls along. Ironically, he is hard of hearing and carries around an ear trumpet. Clearly, it has gotten much use. The poor thing is battered and beaten. So we aren’t surprised to see him trade it for the red, shiny, pristine and perfect one he finds on the ground.

He gives it a test run. And not a moment too soon! Sounds like there is an automobile approaching! Or rather, it was some sort of animal. (As an animal expert, I’m saddened to find I can’t identify it. It resembles an insect, but has a telescoping neck and shoes for feet. It defies all nature.) Well, that was odd. But it seems to be working now, as the man delights in listening to a songbird. But the insanity is just getting started. Part of which is caused by some little man dressed all in pink, and lacks facial features. (Save for a nose)

I’m not sure if he is real or not, but in this short, I’m not sure if anything is real. Even our main character is started to get nervous, judging by the sounds his heart is making. And then? The scariest thing I’ve ever seen in animation. That is no exaggeration. In total darkness, the man is watched by several sets of angry eyes. That’s it. And that horrifying image is awesome. (Part of why it’s scary is that it’s a perfect metaphor for how I view the world. All alone. The only ones who look at us, silently judge.)

Why doesn’t the man just get rid of the thing causing all this trouble? He can’t! The little pink man won’t allow it! And the trumpet begins entangling the old man in music. Eventually leading up to a “Gigantic Explosion!” Happily, the old man is still alive. (If a bit bandaged.) Better yet, his old horn is still in the trash can. Tattered it may be, it still works fine, and the gentleman once more can hear the the lovely sounds the world has to produce. And the owner of the red horn? Satan. (Wish they hadn’t showed him at the beginning) At least that explains the creepy as hell imagery. He happily puts his horn back on his head, and leaves.

This short is something else. A treat for the ears as much as the eyes. (Just like the best cartoons) I think it’s one of the studio’s best, and think it belongs right up there with “Porky’s Preview” as one of the “100 best.”

The Hole Idea

“Inventive genius makes great discovery!”

Directed by Robert McKimson (One of his favorites, in fact); Story by Sid Marcus; Animation by Robert McKimson; Layouts and Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc (June Foray); Music by Milt Franklyn. A Looney Tune released on April 16, 1955.

Of the many great scientists that have existed throughout time, (and for that matter, the ones who have yet to exist throughout time) I think the greatest is: Calvin Q. Calculus. Because he specializes in making paradoxes a reality. In the past, he’s made everything from dry water to round squares. (There wasn’t much of a market for them, so they can no longer be found today, but it’s fascinating to imagine) And he did all of that without the support of a loving wife. (Gertrude is not the patient type. But she has good qualities. I mean, there must be SOME reason he married her)

His latest breakthrough is really a wonder: portable holes! (And it’s hard to be impressed in the crazy city he lives in. I think one of the bridges has a row of buildings on top of it) Nevertheless, he is granted instant acclaim! This hole thing is really a marvel! You can duck out of responsibilities, cheat at golf, and get the children you locked in a safe, out before the authorities arrive! (That’s an interesting picture on the wall. Not really a picture, but random farm related words and even a math equation. 4×4=4, huh? Math never was my best subject.)

Calvin has only one hope for his invention: that no one shall use it for nefarious purposes. (Minor mistake, but his award pokes out of the screen he is projected on. Minus one point) Ah, but you see, temptation is a powerful thing. And if there is an easier way to get what one wants, you can bet at least one person will try and ruin things for everyone. In this case, a (Man? They could be a very ugly lady.) person takes the professor’s case of holes while he sleeps and begins committing crimes. Using the holes for easy access into banks, jewelry stores, and Fort Knox. They begin calling this mystery person “The Holey Terror.”

They eventually move on to living targets, and break into a burlesque house. (Based on how sexuality is, that still gives no concrete evidence to the gender) But the cops are on their tail, and the thief is running out of holes to use. Down to one left, they use it to escape through a wall, just as the cops grab it. Said wall lead into a prison. (Never panic in these situations, it’ll always spell your undoing) Calvin is pleased to see things right in the world. (His sleeves are red in one scene then white in the next. Minus two points) Gertrude is still being a b*tch, and her husband finally decides to be rid of her. (Love his smile.) He tosses a hole in her path, and it must have been pretty deep. She ends up in hell. Satan sends her right back. (Even he doesn’t want to put up with her crap.)

 

Much Ado About Nutting

“Brazil Nuts”

Directed by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Lloyd Vaughn, Ken Harris, and Ben Washam; Layouts by Maurice Noble; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling; Orchestrations by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on May 23, 1953.

A brilliant little silent short from a brilliant man who knew exactly how to tell such stories. Not only considered one of the greatest, but the picture’s star would go on to at least have a cameo in “Back in Action.”

On a lovely warm summer day, a little squirrel crosses the street and heads towards a nut store. Unlike how it usually is in these cartoons, this squirrel doesn’t speak. In fact, he acts quite a bit like a real life squirrel. For the most part. For example, I don’t think he read the sign saying “Nuts” judging by how his nose twitches, he acted like most squirrels do and simply smelled the food. Luckily for him, (I’m just assuming the squirrel is a male. Everything I’ve read about this short says so.) all humans have mysteriously vanished from the picture, so there is no one to stop him from heading straight to the peanuts. (Which aren’t really nuts. I claim false advertising)

It’s not long before he spies the walnuts for sale. (An actual nut this time. Good for them.) Since they are bigger, he doesn’t hesitate to ditch the peanuts for a more abundant food source. But there’s always a bigger fish and he ultimately lays eyes on the coconuts. (Which really aren’t nuts, but nobody cares at this point.) They’re big enough for the squirrel to just need one, so he heads back across the street to enjoy some lunch.

But here’s where the conflict really begins. Despite being a rodent, his teeth don’t make so much as a crack in the fruit’s shell. He decides to act smarter than the average squirrel, (which to be fair, is still rather smart.) and uses some tools. Seeing as he is an animal, he starts with one of the tools chimps swear by: a rock. Upon slamming it onto the fruit, the rock snaps in two. And dropping it from a tree just embeds it in the ground. Time for the human tools. (There are too many obvious jokes for me to use here, so just use your favorite one.)

First up: a saw that loses its teeth. Then a jackhammer that is weathered away by the coconut. Eventually,  the squirrel is forced to take drastic measures. It’s time to drop the thing from the highest building he can. We get some great shots here. Several fade-ins to show the squirrels progress as he slowly, but surely hoists the heavy load up the countless stairs. The poor thing! I would gladly carry them to the top. But the squirrel is determined, and does ultimately make it. And he drops his meal. Wouldn’t it be great if this worked? Instead, the fruit just makes a chunk of the street lower than the rest.

That’s it. The squirrel gives up. And he is thoughtful enough to return the thing to where he found it. (Besides, there are many more things to choose from. Those walnuts looked pretty tasty.) But just as he puts it back in place, it slips and lands back on the ground. And it finally is cracked! The squirrel hurries over and pries open his prize. Alas, this appears to be a rare subspecies of matryoshka coconut, as there was another one inside it. Adding disbelief upon stress, the squirrel passes out.

Termite Terrace Gag Reels

“You’re the god-damnest thing!”

I don’t know about you, but I for one am not too fond of work Christmas parties. Too much unwarranted joy for my tastes. (I can’t fathom the idea of being happy while cold) But say you worked at Termite Terrace back in the day? If these two glimpses into their place of employment were any indication, these people were a blast to work with. Both of these films were shown at the Christmas parties that were held there. Our first one comes from 1939.

Things start off great! Schlesinger himself is having a grand time with a Porky doll. (NEEEEEED!) For all the horror stories I’ve heard about Mr. Schlesinger, it seems that he was quite the ham and loved to be part of all these. Everyone was a ham! (Which means they have to eat kosher, lest they be labeled cannibals) Next is a shot of the happy employees coming to work. (Treg Brown, Chuck Jones, Ben Hardaway, among others) You might think they aren’t pleased to be there, because of the grumbling. That’s just because Henry Binder is marching them in with a rifle. When it’s time to leave, they sadly do. (They mask their pain well) And yes, this part is seen in “You ought to be in Pictures.” 

Binder does a bit dressed like Groucho, Carl Stalling plays a clarinet (or maybe it’s an oboe.) in his head, and one man asks another a question. He in turns asks a woman. She asks another woman, who asks another man, who asks Leon. He knows the answer to this question we weren’t allowed to hear: “yes.” The answer travels back to the original asker who is pleased to hear it. He heads to the restroom.

I guess Dave Mohannan isn’t too pleased with his job, as he tries to escape to Fleischers. Henry and his gun keep him on the winning team. And Tex Avery drinks too much. In the Inking department, the ladies are hard at work. They look a bit like men in drag to me, but then, I hardly have conversations with women. Maybe they all look like this up close? The one who looks like Tex thinks he is cute, and the one who looks like Bob Clampett drinks paint. (And Binder comes around to check their rears out)

Speaking of Binder, he is also in charge of interviewing potential new talent. One woman comes in to show off some of her stuff. By which I mean what the job actually calls for. Binder keeps looking down her blouse. Eventually he pulls her into his lap. Seeing as how she was a married woman, he soon gets reacquainted with his gun pal.

“Gwate stuff!”

This next reel came out a year later. And everyone here is playing themselves, so apologies in advance if you thought you were being made fun of. (Believe me, if we WERE making fun of you, we’d make sure you’d know) Those rascally employees are still at it. Can’t go wrong with giving each other a hot foot. (Even Leon joins in this game) Stalling composes music for upcoming “Merrie Melodies” and we get another glimpse at the ladies of the place. (The year has been kind to them. They look a lot more hot! The downside is they cluck now)

Binder still takes care of interviewing. He’s really reeled things in since last time as he hardly reacts to the woman stripping for him. (This woman was rotoscoped and her likeness would be used in Avery’s “Cross Country Detours.”) When her butt is revealed, Binder finally pays attention. (He has a lot of tongue. I knew non-toons could do that) 3:00 is relaxing time for the employees. Some play ball, others fence. (Don’t worry about the sword in his chest. I’m sure he can still work) But most of the employees play a game that everyone can play: face sucking. (Mel, I love ya, but fake kissing noises REALLY irritate me. Knock it off.) And in case any of you are trying to play “shipping” with these people, just know that couples one, three and four did actually end up married. So you can take the the holidays off.

The film is so self aware, that it can show the viewers footage of themselves at the actual party. Many people are dancing. (Poor Ted Pierce. He loses his pants) And they couldn’t resist having people of varying heights dance with each other. (Friz Freleng makes up what he lacks in height with his future Oscar wins) Someone tries to flirt with Tex, but the poor guy just can’t give in to temptation. (But he will abandon us for MGM.) And in the true meaning of Christmas, those who refused to actually give gifts, still at least wish some season greetings to everyone.

And of course, we end on the most tasteful joke ever imagined. Leon says he is off to the bowl. By which he meant the toilet. (Judging by the sign he puts up, I think it’s best to put the commode out of its misery.) Enjoy your holidays!

Wild Wife

“A giant chocolate malt, please.”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Tedd Pierce; 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; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling.  A Merrie Melody released on February 20, 1954.

Our week long commercial is finally over, now back to “Amazing animals, exciting encounters, interesting ideas, obscure oddities and unique uh…ther things!” With your host, Gabby Yacksby.

Welcome back to our show. Today, we have been fortunate enough to obtain a transcript sent in by my creator, Dr. Foolio. In it, he recounts an encounter he had studying wild Homo sapiens in their natural habitat. His words, are as follows:

In a lovely house, the matriarch of the group has just collapsed from a very stressful day. (I won’t lie. She is hot! She definitely matches my description of a MILF. That means, a “mother I’d like a sandwich from”, right?) Having had followed her through out it, I can confirm. Her mate arrives shortly afterwards, and they exchange pleasantries. In this species, all members of the family have certain jobs to do. While the adult male goes out into the world to secure the means necessary for food and shelter, and the children prepare their minds for their own futures, the adult female is left in charge of many much smaller, but no less important tasks. Seems she forgot to do one: mowing the lawn. Upon hearing this, her mate flies into a rage and accuses her of never contributing to the upkeep. Standing her ground, she regales him with what transpired earlier in the day.

6:00 A.M.: After a night of trying to sleep through her mate’s constant snoring, the adult female awakes to prepare breakfast for the family. It is also her responsibility to wake all the members of the family up. Her offspring do not thank her for the sustenance, and her mate hardly looks her in the eye. He must leave to fulfill his role in society. He leaves while kissing his offspring, mate, and dog. (And the mailman.)

7:00 A.M.:  A clean habitat is a healthy one, so the female gets out a vacuum that was a gift from the male. It looks too complicated for me, what with all the attachments. She manages to get it running, but neglected to attach a bag, and now must sweep up all that she sucked up.

9:00 A.M.: She leaves the house and heads to a bank. She is to deposit some checks for her mate. Upon arriving, she finds a massive line leading up to the teller. To her luck, a new line opens up. Unfortunately, she doesn’t make it to the front in time, as an elderly female beats her to the punch. Said woman plans to deposit $200.00 in pennies. It takes so long that the other line diminishes. By the time she tries to take advantage of the now empty other line, she finds herself behind another woman depositing pennies.

12:30 P.M.: Having just finished purchasing a few things, the subject goes to eat. Her diet of choice is simple sugars served in liquid form. Like the noble hummingbird, she needs all the energy to keep up with her demanding workload.

1:00 P.M.: Not forgetting the rest of the family, she buys enough to keep them well fed for the upcoming week. After filling up her automobile, the food empties onto the pavement when she opens up the other door.

2:00 P.M.: To keep her mate attached to her, the female of the species regularly pretties herself up so he won’t be attracted to younger species who have larger breasts, and rounder buttocks. She pulls up to a beauty parlor, (doing a much better job at parallel parking than I could ever hope to achieve) and learns all the latest gossip. A pivotal skill that all her kind must learn. Of course, she must make repeat trips outside to feed more nickels into the parking meter.

3:00 P.M.: Unbeknownst to the female, two guys from the city have arrived to remove the parking meter. (One of which is capable of teleporting himself out of their vehicle) They put a fire hydrant in place of the meter. When the female exits, she finds her vehicle being ticketed by a police officer.

5:00 P.M.: And so we come back to where my notes began. Despite her tough day, her mate does not cut her any slack. As it turns out, she also bought him a present: A rolling pin that she whacks him with.

Conclusion: This species seems dangerous when provoked. (Just like the best animals) Seeing as how I scare easily and provoke on a daily basis, I doubt I shall ever attempt to take a mate of my own. End notes.

That was interesting. I don’t think I’ll ever show up again. I didn’t really contribute anything, and have my own things to do on Sundays. Good night.

Goo Goo Goliath

“He’s a heavy one, isn’t he?”

Directed by I. Freleng; Story by Warren Foster; Animation by Art Davis, Manuel Perez, Ken Champin, and Virgil Ross; Layouts by Hawley Pratt; Backgrounds by Irv Wyner; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on September 18, 1954.

Time for another delivery, courtesy of the stork. (Did you think babies came from outer space? What idiot told you that?) The bird in charge of the latest baby doesn’t look like he’s the best candidate. Having recently finished one delivery, and given glasses of champagne for his troubles. Nonetheless, he takes his bundle and flies off. It’s a rather large baby, as he is intended for the giant couple who lives at the top of the beanstalk. The inebriated bird gives up by the time he reaches Greentown and opts to just drop the child off at the only pink house located for miles.

Luckily for everyone, the stork’s logic of “never seeing any couple not want a baby” pulls through and our couple (Ethel and John) happily take the kid in. (We’re never explicitly told whether or not they actually were supposed to have a kid) And the majority of this picture is showing the hi-jinks that ensue with a baby who is born large, and soon grows larger.  Bouncing him on your leg will break every bone in said leg, he feasts upon gallons of milk and when he moves on to solid food, it is delivered via cement mixer, and they sidestep any tasteless gags they COULD make by just showing a delivery of a diaper that needs two men to carry. Although I must admit, I’ve always wondered similar things about Clifford the dog. I can’t help it, I’m a zoologist! And going back to that last point, isn’t it a little TOO big? How much is needed? I’m no expert on kids!

Dᴀᴅ? I ᴛʜɪɴᴋ I’ᴍ sɪᴄᴋ.

Just wait it out. If you die, that means you were too weak to survive.

More gags follow. The baby (who does look cute, I’ll give him that. But I’m not naming him. That’s a job for his parents.) gets bathed in the pool, uses tires as teething rings, and can push his dad to work when the car doesn’t start. (I guess it just gets towed home each night?) But babies will be babies, and our outstanding parents leave the gate open one day, so he wanders off on his own. (At least they do have the sense to call the police.) It’s like “Honey, I blew up the kid.” (Going off on another unrelated tangent, that movie annoys me. The kid was a danger to countless people as well as himself! Why shouldn’t people be allowed to tranquilize him? Plus, shooting annoying children is always a plus in my book)

Tʜᴀᴛ ᴇxᴘʟᴀɪɴs ᴀ ʟᴏᴛ ᴀʙᴏᴜᴛ ʏᴏᴜ.

*gunshot*

Despite the fact it’s been several weeks if not months by now, the stork is just BARELY going after the kid. (And apparently is going to keep his job. I bet you could write a fascinating book about the stork’s labor union.) And I think they sneak in a subtle reference to why some people are infertile, as the stork says no more babies are to be delivered until this is fixed. He finds the kid asleep in the arms of lady liberty. Impressively, he manages to hoist the titanic toddler up to his real home. (Mr. Giant has been having to make do with a miniature baby. It’s like trying to raise a Lego figurine.) The stork then finishes up by giving the smaller baby to what his still tipsy body identifies as its new home: a kangaroo. (Despite how slimy it probably is in there, the baby seems happy. What a trooper!)

Rocket-Bye Baby

“Somebody goofed.”

Directed by Chuck Jones; Story by Tedd Pierce; Animation by Ken Harris, Abe Levitow, and Ben Washam; Layouts by Ernie Nordli; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Effects Animation by Harry Love; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Musical Direction by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on August 4, 1956.

Back in the year of 1954, the planets of Earth and Mars got a little too close to each other. Because of this, two babies, both of whom were heading towards the planets got intercepted and each ended up heading to the other one. (That’s right! Babies come from space. You didn’t really think a stork delivered them, did you?)

Enter Joseph Wilbur. He’s about to become a father. While nervous, he is also quite happy. So when he is called to see his new child, he is quite excited. His kid is really cute. (When Jones draws something that is supposed to be cute, it is DANG cute.) Chubby body, little eyelashes, big smile. Oh yes, and green skin and antennae. (Perfectly normal for that age. I’m sure it will clear up by his teens.)

Father is a little bit ashamed to of his offspring. But Martha, the wife, won’t have any excuses and sends the two off for a afternoon stroll. Those antennae are marvelous things! They allow the infant to communicate with insects and act as an extra pair of limbs. Perfect for taking an old ladies glasses off, and giving them a try. For some reason, the broad goes into hysterics. Maybe Dad had a reason to be so wary?

Martha also soon sees that the kid is much more different than your usual baby. He does income tax, builds molecule models, and predicts the possibilities of hurricanes thirty years into the future. You’d think most parents would be over the moon to find their kid gifted with such intelligence, but they are more in the “worried” camp. Considering we humans don’t especially like strange things that can’t be explained, it’s probably for the best that they try to make him take up more age appropriate activities: like TV watching. Seeing “Captain Shmideo” holding up a toy spaceship inspires the lad to make his own. (I’d think that the parents would freak out again, but this time they are more impressed than anything. Hypocrites.)

Later, they get a message. From Mars of all places! Turns out, they have the wrong baby. The Martians would like to exchange the two. (Given how self-sufficient the Mars variety is, they are probably going insane with all care they have to supply the Earthling with. On another note, at least the Martians bothered to give both babies names. Joseph and Martha couldn’t even be bothered to do that. So from now on, our green baby is Mot and the one we never see is Yob)

Wouldn’t it be interesting if it turned out that the Wilbur’s actually decided they loved the kid they were given? Well, that’s not happening. It’s the 1950s! What makes you think a white suburban couple would want to look after a child who dared to be part of a different race? Sign them up for the exchange! Only one problem: Mot’s ship he was building actually works, and Joseph has to chase after him. The Martians aren’t going to give him squat if he doesn’t hold up his end of the bargain. Despite Jo’s efforts, the chase ends with him missing his chance to grab the baby and falling out of a open window several stories up. Mot meanwhile, makes his way aboard the (in this case probably literal) mother ship. They got what they came for, they leave. (They’re probably just going to eat Yob)

But Joseph doesn’t die, because it was all a dream. He is back at the hospital and goes to look at his normal human baby. But before you get upset for the use of the most cliched of twist endings, do note the band on the babies wrist. It must be in some kind of foreign language. I mean, what on Earth does “Yob” mean?