Sunday, 27 November 2011

63. The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon (1933)

Warner cartoon no. 62.
Release date: August 8, 1933.
Series: Merrie Melodies.
Director: Rudolf Ising.
Producers: Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising and Leon Schlesinger.
Cast unknown.
Animation: Rollin Hamilton and Bob McKimson.
Musical Score: Frank Marsales.

The cartoon begins on a rainy night, inside an old shop that reads, Ye Olde Bank Shoppe and the title song The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon is being sung by various voices. Inside the shop, we see some pots and teapots inside that are moving and dancing. We see a group of dishes that inside the sink and washing themselves (without the humans using a cloth or their hands to scrub them), instead they like to dip inside the water. The dishes and spoons are also drawn with hands and legs. We see a shot of a fork that is covered with soap (the sharp points are the legs), and the fork uses a spray of water to rinse the soap off. Creative gag.

More washing gags are seen when there are dishes coming out of soapy water, and the spoon uses a grinder to spray the water on the dish to clean it all up. The dish then jumps inside a toaster, and then the toaster warms up the plate. The dish jumps out of the toaster and jumps onto the stack of plates, where it is completely dry and spotless. There are some great ideas going on, with inanimate objects such as plates and cutlery coming to life, and washing themselves. There are even more great ideas with the plates being dry, by even using a sandwich toaster, with help from a spatula. We then see another type of cutlery, that is in the bowl using a spoon as an oar to row in the sink. He then sees a mixer, and places it in the water, where the bowl moves like a speedboat.

We then see some type of duster who is caricatured with wavy hair (is it meant to be Leopold Stokowski who had wavy hair, but I'm really unsure). Anyway, it plays a type of piano by using spoons inside a cutlery case. There is a small song that is being sung by a salt and pepper shaker (with face figures), and then the duster does an impression. This is very much a dated reference, but I'm still unsure on who that is. Anyway, during the song there are dishes that are dancing around, with plates using macaroni as skip rope.

As the music is going, we get a singing duo from a spoon and a dish - they are both wooing each other by singing the Shuffle Off to Buffalo song. Another shot shows a baby spoon crying on a high-chair. The spoon then goes off to a kettle that is steaming, and he plays music with it - like making the kettle whistle. I wonder if Bob McKimson did the dancing scenes, but I don't think McKimson animating the spoon playing the drums would be him. There is then a line of cups that are dancing, and the teapots goes to the end, where they all bump into each other by shaking their hips. All the dishes then clash together, with the teapot in front and they demonstrate on how a steam train would move.

The spoon has finished playing percussion on the pots, and this time goes over to the srawberry jam jars, and he uses his drumsticks at the top part of the jar, in which it plays Native American drum music. We see a duster, who is doing an impression of a Native American Indian, and is walking through the fire place doing a type of war dance, and the war call that Indians do. The next scene we see is some strange Swiss cheese that yodels, the next part we see a bottle of bluing that is singing "Am I Blue?" - and the potato that is near a stack of onions sings a verse but cries because of the onion scent.

More dancing is seen, when there is an egg inside an egg box, and even has a smiley face on it. The egg dances, and skates through grease, but reaches the edge of the shelf. The egg falls, cracks and a baby bird is born. The bird then starts to sing Young and Healthy.

Suddenly, there is a whole tub of dough that comes to life, and it is very rubbery and very loose. I would imagine that Rollin Hamilton had some involvement with the dough forming to life - maybe Bob McKimson. Since Rollin was the Harman-Ising of Norm Ferguson (a Disney animator who drew Pluto), and Rollin probably had involvement. The dough then sees a packet of yeast, the dough then squeezes it into a glass, and stirs it well in which it starts to fizz. The dough then slowly starts to react from the yeast, and it gets slightly bigger, and even more meaner. The dough is the villain of this short.

The dough then approaches the singing dish, and the other cutlery that were dancing then run away with fear. The dish them screams and the dough captures her. The dish cries for help, and all the other cutlery volunteer to do so. A spoon uses a spatula and the fork launches cans for the can to shoot at the dough. The dough is then attacked by cans, and starts to run away. By the way, I must say that some of the animation of the dough running away from the cans is pretty shoddy stuff, and with volume changing. The dough then turns back into normal blobby dough, and its a wall, but forms back into an evil dough-monster again. There are then cheese graters charging at the dough's crotch, and the grind his crotch that causes the dough to scream.

A duster and a spatula are using popcorn as weapons, they place it inside a boiling pot and place the lid on top. The duster then uses the handle as a gun weapon to shoot popcorn at the dough, and it does work itself. There are spoons charging at the dough with their rolling pin, in which they make it extremely flat, but the dough is STILL moving. 

The flat dough continues to daze and walk, but then ends up caught inside the fan that is moving, several blobs of dough all end up in a cake bake tray, and then parts of the dough end up inside the holes of the baking tray. The rest of the dough then fill up pans, where they form pastry, and even inside a waffle iron, in which all of the plates, spoons and other kitchen equipment cheer on the nasty villain gone, and it turns out the spoon was the hero of the day - and that's all folks.

The cartoon had some great ideas, particularly early on where we saw some creative gags used for the cutlery, like when they wash themselves, or even a toaster to warm and dry up the plates. Parts of the animation was pretty good to look at (Bob McKimson himself), but at times the animation was a little bit sloppy, pretty much the part where the dough is running away after cans are being thrown at him. The singing sequence was pretty lame and boring to me, so I had nothing really much to say about it.

Just to let you know that three more reviews, and I will have completed the entire Harman-Ising era of the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, I figure that I will reach the Buddy cartoons and the Leon Schlesinger as producer regime, in say - two weeks.

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