Friday, 16 September 2011

31. Goopy Geer (1932)

Hiya folks - I should point out that I may not be posting much reviews next weekend because I've been led to a possible compulsory choice of staying a school weekend, there are personal reasons to this, that I won't mention, but I'll do my REAL best to post as much as I possibly can.

Warner cartoon no. 30.
Release date: April 16, 1932.
Series: Merrie Melodies.
Directed by: Rudolf Ising.
Producers: Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising and Leon Schlesinger (associate).
Cast unknown.
Animation: Isadore "Friz" Freleng and Rollin Hamilton.
Musical Score by: Frank Marsales.

The short starts off inside a bar, with a crowd shouting for an encore, "Bring Goopy Geer!" There is also a gorilla bartender who walks down the pub holding the drinks, and it's REUSED FROM Lady, Play Your Mandolin!! My goodness, I never expected such an obvious reuse from that cartoon, and it really doesn't work to me. Except a little bit of animation of the gorilla was original animation in this short. The whole concept of this shot was reused, though. The hippo screaming in the table was also reused from Lady, Play Your Mandolin! but there is new animation, once he shouts "Bring Goopy Geer!", and then a little mouse pops out of his beer mug and shouts in a falsetto voice, "Bring Goopy Geer!"

 As soon as there is different layers of curtains that are risen, Goopy Gear is shown from a long-shot distance, but the crowd obviously recognize him alright, and then he starts to walk down the stage to his piano. I can obviously tell that he's putting on a pretty lame Jimmy Durante impression, by using the lines, "I have not studied music; I do not know my notes!" Goopy Geer plays some tunes in the piano, and by saying "I do not know my notes", he's obviously playing them right - unless he's trying to create an Andre Previn moment when Andre says to Eric Morcambe on stage "I'm playing the right notes on the piano, but not necessarily in the right order!" My saying, "I haven't studied music," - then he must be a natural.

Goopy Geer appears to be dancing and prancing around the piano, and then playing some funky tunes on the piano, and continues the line "I have not studied music - I do not know my notes!" I thought the piano notes were quite good but the impressions of Jimmy Durante were just pathetic to me, even though it's a parody. It's pretty obvious that it's a parody of Durante when Goopy sings the line, "I play piano, and I play by ear." ToonZone confirms that the song is called "I Have Not Studied Music". For some reason, even before watching the Goopy cartoons, I've always thought that Goopy Geer resembled Goofy in the Disney cartoons, I don't know - I guess it's the name and the design that's similar enough.

There appear to be three cats (reused from Freddy the Freshman) and they are slurping soup, and then Goopy Geer starts to play the piano to Sidewalks of New York in which the slurping turns into music rhythm as well. One cat grabs a piece of bread, the second cat chews the bread, and the third cat swallows it - sounds like an eating pattern is going on as well.

We then go to a shot of a cow eating spaghetti, and he uses the spaghetti as part of a "string" instrument to play to the music as well. He pulls his tail behind him, in which the spaghetti lets go, and he slurps the last part into his mouth.

Goopy laughs at what is going on, and then he starts to use his talent again by playing the piano. It appears to be that Goopy is so talented at the piano, that he can take off his gloves, and play a different part of the piano; while his gloves are playing the piano itself - it seems that Goopy isn't just an entertainer, but a SORCERER. 

Meanwhile, the gorilla walks down the hall of the bar, and into the canteen doors (Gee, also REUSED from Lady, Play Your Mandolin!) The gorilla asks a sleeping chicken inside the kitchen for "one soup", and it appears to be that it's chicken soup that is being ordered. All the chicken has to do is dip inside the soup, swim around in it for a while, get dried and the soup is all ready. Now that appears to be a safe way of putting it that the younger audience doesn't see a bird being cooked alive.

There appears to be an excited fan of Goopy Gear that leaps into the stage, (Wait a minute, it's the same character who was Freddie's girlfriend in Freddy the Freshman - looks like Freddie lost his luck as he was probably dumped, Ha!). The girl screams that she's "got a new baby in our house" - wait a minute, does that scene Freddie's a FATHER?! Goopy asks for her name, but she says that she doesn't know the name. The girl dog then starts to sing I Need Lovin' on stage. 

There is dancing going on, while there appears to be a young puppy with a party hat on, and blowing a balloon. Until he lets go of the balloon and chases after it. The balloon goes through between the hippo's legs in which it tickles - the hippo appears to slap the boy thinking he had been involved in some sexual innuendo or something.

So, Goopy Geer and the girl dog start dancing, until a turkey in the bar starts performing ballet, and two hatstands that come to life (Huh, the hatstands were also reused from...Lady, Play Your Mandolin!). What's up with the whole reusing from Lady, Play Your Mandolin cartoon - did Rudolf Ising need inspiration or something, was he using too much money?

There is now a drunken horse (*sighs* reused from Lady, Play Your Mandolin!) and starts drinking a bottle of booze, in which he breathes flames out from the taste. The horse starts to hallucinate with monster images from the mirror, and also an image of Gandhi. Oh my God, they actually had to reuse that!! The horse spits on the piano that Goopy is playing on, but the piano explodes, with only the piano strings and keyboards surviving, Goopy too - and that's all folks!

I thought that this cartoon was awful, because of so many of the crummy reuses that were used for this cartoon. They had to reuse a lot of it from Lady, Play Your Mandolin or Freddie the Freshman. True, this saved money, but I don't care; I still find this cartoon terrible, even if no-one else agrees. Not only do the reusing kill me, but I always thought the Jimmy Durante impressions were quite pathetic. Overall, it's a strange cartoon, and I didn't like it.


  1. I see no relationship between the starring character and Durante, other than they both play a piano. Durante never sounded like Goopy, either in voice or cadence.
    The chicken gag was used elsewhere but I can't remember where.

  2. And you've got the Geep slide-step to the piano that Bosko used in at least two cartoons.

  3. Steven, I have read that Pinto Colvig (the original voice of Goofy) voiced Goopy in this cartoon. While I don't know if that's fact, I am sure that later Colvig would voice the main character in ''Hop & Go'', which you haven't posted a review on yet. Another thing to note, Goofy's original name was Dippy Dawg, which bears more than a passing resemblance to Goopy Geer. I'm 100% certain H&I were trying to copy the idea of Goofy.

  4. Actually, it was the other way around... three weeks after this short's release, Goofy officially debuted in "Mickey's Revue" (May 25, 1932).

    Goopy fell off the map and was lost for some sixty years until he re-appeared in the TINY TOON ADVENTURES episode "Two-Tone Town", with fellow forgotten stars Foxy and Roxy.

    I wonder if this is where the Three Stooges cribbed the chicken soup gag they used in shorts like "Busy Buddies" and "Shivering Sherlocks"?

  5. Audiences must have had some intense deja-vu over the egregious reused sequences. I think Goopy Gear would have been more interesting if they'd gone with the typical black-body, white-face design that he had in the prototype drawings. Gag theft was really common in the early days. I can't even count the number of gags I've seen reused between Ub Iwerk's Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and his later creation, Flip the Frog.

  6. The hippo who hits the Dog with the balloon is from smile darn ya smile

  7. The hippo that hit the Dog is from smile darn ya smile