Release date: July 8, 1933.
Series: Merrie Melodies.
Directed by: Rudolf Ising, Friz Freleng.
Producers: Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising and Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Johnny Murray (Old Man, Little Boy) and The Rhymettes (Singing Babies).
Animation: Isadore "Friz" Freleng and Paul Smith.
Musical Score: Frank Marsales.
"Shuffle Off to Buffalo" was a famous song in the film 42nd Street and another song featured in there was Young and Healthy which was released earlier. Some shots of this cartoon remind me of what was reused later - in Baby Bottleneck.
The next shot we see is an old timer (manager), who is sitting on his desk writing in some accounts, and we has a very busy hotline of telephones on his desk that bring very constantly. Often, he brings "Hello", and we hear a gibberish voice going on that leaves the manager's reply "Okay". The next reply show the manager taking the next call and he says "Yeah", (gibberish voice), then "Yes sir" with his reply "What a man!". This is already similar to the Baby Bottleneck scene of Daffy Duck on the telephone who is very busy - but it is much more loose, wild and also better.
The manager then goes to his next writing and he sees a piece of paper that appears to be written in some Hebrew writing. The manager then places the letter on the basket that sends him on a wire to the "Stock Room", and then the basket returns with a Hebrew baby in the basket. They seem to both speak Yiddish, and the manager stamps the baby's bottom that has Hebrew writing on it.
The song itself, is a very good song, but yet again - much of the songs written in 42nd Street is very good, too. Devon Baxter has told me that the song that the Jewish boy and Father Time speaking Yiddish and other, and the underscore for that sequence is called, Koshn Kale Mazel Tov. English = Congratulations Bride and Groom.
Then another assembly line shows a baby being fed milk in which it is being fed from a long tube where the baby sucks milk. After that the baby is then placed on the crib where there is another elf with a board and writes down results of the baby in a pad, and does that to every other baby. The assembly line sequence is indeed similar to Baby Bottleneck but again - not as exciting, funny, or wild as the version Clampett did thirteen years later, but also - no POWERHOUSE!
According to Jerry Beck, Friz Freleng animated that scene of the baby being sprayed by talcum powder, and Tom McKimson did the elf that staples the baby's diaper, and that cries. The milk feeding shot is by Norm Blackburn.
I'd say that this cartoon was very fun to watch - there was great music, and it was just great entertainment. It looks great to watch when it was released on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 6 DVD set. The musical score by Frank Marsales was great, but the song from 42nd Street was even better. It's also great that Jerry Beck provided some great commentary in the short, and identifying some of the animator's scenes there. Overall, a great cartoon - one of the best early Merrie Melodies cartoons.