Warner cartoon no. 70.
Release date: December 16, 1933.
Series: Merrie Melodies.
Supervision: Earl Duval.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Animation: Jack King and Don Williams.
Musical Score: Norman Spencer.
It's been a while since I reviewed a Merrie Melodie (well, last week) but this is the last review of 1933, and as Sittin' on a Backyard Fence was released on December 16, 1933 - it turned 78 years only yesterday. Pretty spooky, huh?
They are then being chased by a type of bulldog, and the female cat catches them from up in a telephone pole looking rather curious on what's going on. They run to a fence, where they open the door with the bulldog running past it. They block the door, and the bulldog comes out of a narrow part that is missing a plank of wood, and the bulldog then beats up the cats. After the bulldog walks past, the door opens with the female cat who seems to be engaged to another striped cat but it looks an awful lot like a tiger, it is revealed that they made babies (had sex so quickly?) and there are kittens that comes out. One of the kittens blows a raspberry at the cats. The two cats then look at each other, shake hands, faint and that's all folks.
There is then a scary looking cat who says "So long, folks" to us audience - but truth is that back in 1933-1934, each character who played a role in a one-shot Merrie Melodies got a chance to say "so long folks", but that cat is so freaking creepy.
Well, I thought that this cartoon was particularly strange and bizarre. Of course, it's interesting to find out what cats are up to when the adults and owners are asleep. There is certainly a plot going on - while the other cartoons in that era had really no plot. It's definitely more coherent that watching I've Got to Sing a Torch Song. The whole cartoon was just bizarre to me, but I guess that Duval was experimenting. The animation was in fact quite good, and there certainly was character personality gone on here, such as jealousy.
If Earl Duval stayed longer, then he would've probably been the guy who starting kicking things up, and showing potential, but don't forget if he stayed longer, the Looney Tunes would've probably been very different if there was no Tex Avery or Bob Clampett around. But for what the Looney Tunes used to be, the cartoons would've hopefully improved with Duval stayed longer but it would be completely different to what we know. This was Earl Duval's first Merrie Melody and the final year in 1933 - it was a pretty poor end, as Harman-Ising did turn in some fine cartoons (a few fine) but as Leon Schlesinger took over with a completely new staff - it just weakened.