Sunday, 11 December 2011

69. Buddy's Beer Garden (1933)

Warner cartoon no. 68.
Release date: November 18, 1933.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Director: Earl Duval.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Cast: Jack Carr (Buddy) (?).
Animation: Jack King and Frank Tashlin.
Musical Score: Norman Spencer.

Tom Palmer has been kicked out of the Studios due to his poor cartoons, and ex-Disney employee Earl Duval takes over the cartoons for a short period of time. Buddy has an even better look, but I feel that Tom Palmer must've started early production work on that cartoon, but was fired right at the start, with Earl Duval taking over production. Interesting to find Frank Tashlin animating in this cartoon, as he would later become a great director for Warner Bros. and even a live-action film director for Jerry Lewis.

The cartoon begins with as we see the entrance to Buddy's Beer Garden (also the title name), and they are all swining their mugs singing, and Buddy walks into the scene singing the song 'Auf Wiederseh'n (We'll Meet Again)') and the patrons at the beginning were singing 'Ach, Du Lieber Augustine'. Buddy is holding onto a tray with two glasses of beer with his dachshund walking with him carrying pretzels on his tail (is that meant to be Happy)? Buddy drops the glases of beer onto the table - with the beer flying right on the glasses. He then pulls the table cloth off in which the beer doesn't tip, shaves the cloth and swishes it back in there. It seems that Buddy must have skills to do something like that. Buddy then walks back singing.

Notice that Buddy has changed through his original Tom Palmer design, he looks even better than the Palmer one - when it was extremely bland and unappealing. Here, the version designed by Earl Duval; Buddy looks more appealing, and has a style look - although the character animation still seems to have Palmer influence (where the humans look very rubbery and comic-strip like, I wonder if Tom had any involvement in that cartoon, and started off production but was fired with Earl Duval taking over.

We see some German band members playing some music (with notes attached to a trombone - and a flute player moving its head to follow the notes). There is a tuba player playing, and then a clarinet player pops out of the tuba playing it's part. We then see a bartender, who is pulling different beer taps on different mugs, and as he places them on the table, there is a trombone player who moves the fotolia of the trombone in which the beer glasses slide down the left side of the table. Buddy is putting some foam on the beer as the beers come by, and it's sort done like in an assembly line. Cookie is making pretzels while the dog salts them with his tail, with all the pretzels coming to life and all jump onto the dog's tail.

We see another shot of these tongue sandwiches with actual tongues sticking out, and these inanimate mustards come to the tongue sandwich and sit. The tongues then lick on the mustard - lovely. From what I've seen in these shots and the looks, the setting looks as though this was set in Germany, with the band playing members, and the bartender - but I know that beer gardens were originally from Germany.

Meanwhile, there is a thug who is banging loudly on his table "Where's my beer?!", and then a small waiter runs into the scene with a huge glass of beer for him. The tough guy grabs the waiter, and guzzles the entire beer in one gulp. I believe that Frank Tashlin animated on all the scenes that showed the tough guy. At least there is some character in that scene.

More singing is coming from the patrons who are having a good time at the beer garden. We then see an entertaining gag that was from a patron who blew the foam off his beer mug, and the foam gets stuck on a bald man's head, in which he starts to comb his hair. Another shot features a guy who takes off the spaghetti off his plate and plays them like a harp. These two beer mug faces come to life and they kiss each other - which is just extremely odd to me in my opinion. Buddy then plays some music by playing on the beer lids, that makes it sound like some xylophone sound he's playing.

Cookie is working as a waitress for Buddy's beer garden, and she seems to be doing other jobs such as acting as a cigar lady, who is asking for any guys for some cigars. As she is walking, the tough guy from earlier asks what's her name, with her reply saying she's called Cookie. He replies that it is a sweet name, and he tosses a coin to Cookie, and takes a cigar and puffs. Did you see that? I actually thought that he was going to try and steal her (just like in Bosko cartoons), but instead he acts like a gentleman.

More music is being played from the band, but the genre of music changes when a guy coming out of the tuba plays the maracas. Cookie enters the spotlight in the middle of the beer garden and performs a sexy dance to the guys. Personally, I don't think it's very erotic, since she isn't quite as attractive, but her design hasn't changed, but her animation is better. Other creatures come to life and enjoy the entertainment, such as a goat in a poster that shows it's horns, the dachshund (Happy?) bouncing pretzels and even a piano that is dancing - which I meant is a good cartoon piano. Even the tough guy is intrigued with the music, and copies the movements of Cookie, which makes him look like an idiot.

Buddy continues to do his job working as a waiter, and playing around with the beer inside the bottles, and performing tricks, such as these barrels that are whistling to "Hi Lee Hi Lo". We then see a random shot of the tough guy who is chewing on these olives and spits them into a spittoon, with the last olive hitting the drum before landing on the spittoon. Buddy is busy with chopping some knives such as baloney and bread, and stacks them neatly together into a sandwich.

Buddy walks out with a tray of sandwiches balanced on his head, and is carrying two bottles of beer. He lowers his head, and the tray slides down his bottom and onto the gentleman's table, in which he gets a coin in return. While walking along, there are these two mugs come to life, and call each other "mugs", which is meant to be a joke. As Buddy is walking, another man walks past and the tray of mugs is swapped to his head, which surprises Buddy. The animation of the mugs speaking to each other was gone very well, and some neat timing on Buddy here, the hookah players.

Buddy enters the scene, and shares his spotlight, and announces: "Hold it folks, a big surprise. This will open up your eyes, introducing someone grand - give the girl a great big hand!" The audience clap, and Buddy runs out. We see a model of Mae West who is walking past (drawn with huge breasts and a huge bum, obviously a caricature), she is singing the song: I Love my Big Time, Slow Time Baseball Man the voice of West isn't very good, and completely out of tune. The tough guy is extremely interested her, and used his hands as if she's the perfect figure for him.

The tough guy walks extremely drunk, and Maw West is still singing, but the tough guy ends up hiding under the table. After the song is finished, the guy shouts "Ah, hello baby - give me one great kiss." He puckers up his lips, and the goat poster comes to life with the goat stabs the tough guy in the behind, in which he goes off flying, that sends Mae West stuck up in a tree branch dangling. The tough guy keeps flying away, and crashes into a window. What I find extremely weird is that goat coming to life, and overall the gags were very weird, and Duval seemed to be very influenced by Harman-Ising here, but I guess it is slightly more lively than their cartoons.

After falling down the tree, it turns out that Mae West was in fact Buddy dressed in disguise, with the wig falling apart, and Buddy is wearing a birds' cage strapped to his behind and some type of fake bra, he walks off very embarrassed. The parrot looks around and says, "Am I mortified?" and pulls on a Jimmy Durante voice, and then the caricature that features his big nose - and that's all folks.
Well, from watching this cartoon - this is a slight improvement from the first two cartoons by Tom Palmer. There is in fact some influence in the animation from Palmer, such as the rubbery-balloon like animation. Earl Duval made a slightly better cartoon, but this was just extremely weird, with some bizzare gags and he seemed to have been heavily influenced in Harman-Ising gags. I wonder if he created this cartoon due to his love for alcohol. Well, it was a nice Pre-Code cartoon that featured drinking, and acting drunk - as well as Buddy dressed as Mae West. 

There were some animation expressions from the tough guy that were slightly amusing, but the animation was only alright - to say the least. Personally, I feel that in the next Earl Duval cartoons he made, he had potential and promise to make good cartoons for Warner Bros. this was his first cartoon, so there wasn't much to say about his directing, even though it was some Harman-Ising influence, but he gave Buddy a much better design, and even had some style for the characters. The dog went into a different design and being a dachshund, notice that baby Elmer is no longer here in the cartoons, and Happy. Anyway, let's see what Duval does in the next following cartoons.

Sanek has created a mosaic with his claims on who animated what in Buddy's Beer Garden and with animation estimates, and I will post that sometime during the week.

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