Wednesday, 28 December 2011

79. Buddy's Trolley Troubles (1934)

Warner cartoon no. 78.
Release date: May 5, 1934.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Supervision: Friz Freleng.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Cast: Jack Carr (Buddy) (?).
Animation: Ben Clopton and Frank Tipper.
Musical Score: Norman Spencer.

 Our cartoon begins where Buddy is stepping out of his cabin and he appears to be carrying with him some type of bucket (?) whatever the item is. He is walking gayly through the town, and he is a motorman. As he is walking through to his garage - it seems as though he placed the bucket in his garage as though he's putting his tools away, but that's not all. He puts down his fence and places them flat to the ground, where he rides his trolley car. So it gets so that Buddy has to be "very creative" to put down picket fences as trolley cars. As he's riding through in his trolley - he is singing a song, and as he rings the bell - it causes the cat's tail to ring and to move up and down - okay this is too similar gag to the Oswald cartoon Trolley Troubles. We then see these shots of the advertisements coming to life - Gee, does this sound similar? (Smile, Darn Ya, Smile).

Buddy then parks his trolley in the tracks as there is a fat lady waiting to get inside. He greets the fat lady, "Good morning, Miss Belle", and she replies, "Good morning, Buddy". Wait a minute - they know each others names - oh yes, probably a regular passenger. Well if she is a regular passenger then she's put on a lot of weight as she is practically too fat to get onto the trolley. Oh dear - looks like my memory can remember a particular animated scene such as that happening.

What could that be from - why it's Smile, Darn Ya, Smile of course. Okay but no-one should even make trolley cartoons anymore. They could only be worse, and besides Trolley Troubles is original - no-one could top that trolley short. It's almost the same sequence except there's no fox or hippo performing it, and now snobby main characters while Buddy is a gentlemen. Buddy places a stool and swings it so that the fat lady can be placed onto the train with no insults whatsoever.

Buddy shouts, "All aboard" but there is another man who arrived at the station rather late and tries to stop the coach himself by shouting "Hey", he runs into the middle of the tracks. He runs onto the track and he pulls the bell, but keeps on getting hit by the tracks. The song Turkey in the Straw which is traditional is played in the background. As the passenger is inside the trolley; he sees a jackpot in the middle of the coach, and places 5 cents in there (cos he has to say 5 cents), and he ends up winning the jackpot by placing his hat full of money.

Buddy's trolley parks outside Cookie's apartment, and Cookie looks outdoors and shouts that she'll be ready. Yep, this is definitely Bernice Hansen voicing Cookie - her voice sounds like a child considering that Bernice Hansen was in fact a child actress of her time. The trolley then extends so that Buddy can meet her upstairs and Cookie can hop aboard. But Buddy wastes his time just staring at Cookie admiring her and tickling her chin. Outside that apartment is an advertisement board that reads "Katz Beer" obviously a reference to Ray Katz, Leon Schlesinger's brother-in-law and that worked at the studio.

While Buddy is wasting his time staring at Cookie; he holds up a traffic going on. Oh great - now it all comes from distraction, thanks Buddy. Buddy looks outside to find that there are loads of cars that are parking outside trying to get a move on, all to Buddy's surprise. He lowers the trolley but is interrupted by a police officer.

Police officer: Hey you! What's the big idea, who do you think you are? What do you think this is a picnic ground! Then why don't you say something?!
Buddy: (hesitates) see, er.
Police officer: Shut up!
Cookie: (Looks out) You can't talk to him like that!
Police officer: Oh I can't, eh? (Whacks Buddy) Come on, move on, move on!

You serious? Cops can really punch some guy in the face when actually if a person who doesn't work protecting the law punches someone - they'd get arrested. *Tut-tut* Officers, big tubby hypocrites. Oh wait, as Buddy gets moving, there is a hand sticking out that whacks the officer - ah-ha that'll show him. The whole concept was similar to Mickey Mouse's Traffic Troubles except no Minnie, or violence. Dialogue's similar. Friz Freleng did use Harman-Ising's steps when they copied Disney productions.

Buddy and Cookie both giggle at what they did to the police officer, so Buddy continues to get on with his duty by driving the trolley. Gee, if this carton was made in the late 1940's wouldn't it be so better if they got to play The Trolley Song from Meet Me in St. Louis? Well, it was in production too early. Looks like this is the 2nd trolley trouble for Buddy (the first dealing with the police officer), but this time he is being chased by a steam locomotive. They try to outrun the train that comes past, and luckily they do when they ride at the top of the bridge through different rails.

Meanwhile there is a prisoner who is working near the rails with is trying to get the chains off the iron ball by bashing the chains with a rock - it seems that he must've escaped from prison. As the prisoner sees the train coming past, he throws his iron ball over the railings in which the trolley runs past and splits open the chains. If only they were aware. This comes to the 3rd trolley trouble for Buddy.

The prisoner then manages to drive off in that trolley with Cookie screaming for help. Do I really need to say this?? (Boyfriend chases girlfriend sequence) - next time I'm gonna go crazy. Anyway Buddy tries to save his girlfriend by peddling fast with his emergency vehicle. The trolley is then going in both different railways which widens the trolley - very bad gag and doesn't even work (plus reused from Trolley Troubles) but alright. Buddy is peddling fast with the emergency vehicle until he loses control with it.

Buddy manages to successfully land on the trolley but is holding onto one of the wires on the roof, in which he swings around but is hitting the prisoner on the face with his feet. Both Buddy and Cookie then land on the emergency vehicle and they both push as fast as they can so that they can get away from the criminal.

As the criminal is still controlling the trolley, but then he comes across another vehicle that is in the middle of the tracks, but it turns out that there is actually dynamite on there. He tries to control that trolley but doesn't know how to stop it. But it's too late - he could've been wise enough to jump out of the trolley, but is too scared to do - so the dynamite explodes on the trolley. The prisoner lands on the ground with the black stripes on his uniform falling back into his suit. Buddy steps out and he pulls the gate closed so that he is trapped and prisoned just like in the olden days. We see some piglets that jumps around excitedly at the prisoner - and that's all folks.

Trolley Troubles.
Smile, Darn Ya, Smile.
Toonerville Trolley

Will those trolley shorts go into the list of worth-watching animated shorts and go down in history? I'd say so. Maybe not so much on "Toonerville".

Buddy's Trolley Troubles.

Will that short join the list? Not a hope in hell.

Why? Well, the cartoon itself steals some gags from the original cartoons (although mind you Smile, Darn Ya, Smile does a little bit but it does at least have original parts in that short, while Buddy's Trolley Troubles? Nope. Hardly anything). In fact this cartoon's title even feels as though it's stealing from Trolley Troubles except that they just had to place Buddy's name into it to avoid copyright. It appears to be the prisoner from a couple of Earl Duvall cartoons was also used here in a Freleng cartoon. Well he looks alike but we don't have his voice to prove it, but only the design remains similar.


  1. Bernice Hansen is not voicing Cookie in this cartoon. And Bob Clampett said Hansen was not a child actress; she was a woman who used a baby voice.
    You can hear Hansen in "Buddy's Bug Hunt" or "Buddy's Theatre" if you want some examples. Or at the end of "Page Miss Glory" among many other cartoons.
    If you have studio documentation this is Hansen, fine. Otherwise, it's a guess on the internet masquerading as fact.

  2. Well, I don't know who is the voice actress for Cookie back then - they say Bernice Hansen, or someone else - is there even a fact?? Internet Movie Database that Hansen was born in 1925, but I have no idea about her age, but that blog can be unreliable. Is there any more clues??

  3. Yowp, what Katz doin' at Leon's at that time? I only know that he worked as supervising producer of Clampett's B&W cartoons...

  4. Sanek, Chuck Jones mentions that Ray Katz was the production manager of the Studio in the Schlesinger years, and held that title.

  5. Hi there. Nice blog. You have shared useful information. Keep up the good work! This blog is really interesting and gives good details. Helical Gear Boxes, mechanical trolley.

  6. I wonder who voiced the large woman who is seen getting on the trolley near the opening of the cartoon before Buddy and Cookie get into teh altercation with the police officer. If the voice of Cookie is not Berniece Hansel, then perhaps the voice of the passanger and Cookie belong to the same individual.