Wednesday, 4 January 2012
83. Buddy's Bearcats (1934)
Release date: June 23, 1934.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Supervision: Jack King.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Cast: Jack Carr (Buddy), (Cookie) (?) Bernice Hansen? and Billy Bletcher (Mustached baseball player).
Animation: Ben Clopton.
Music: Norman Spencer.
Jack King's first cartoon where he directed - or supervised. Somehow in the title card only Ben Clopton's name appears, since the main title "Buddy's Bearcats" hogs up a lot of the screen credits. Anyhow, with watching all these Friz Freleng cartoons and Ben Hardaway's cartoons, let's see what Jack King brings here...
The ticket man then wants to measure him because of his weight for admission. The ticket man then declares "Two seats" that he needs, so the fat man pays for another ticket and then he walks through the turnstile moderated. There are then these two type of two gentlemen that have beards, and as they are about to reach the turnstile they both shrink to they go under it, and then they go back to their normal height so they don't have to pay their ticket. Surprising no-one has noticed really, they were quite visible to notice when they walked under.
There is a guy who helps extend's the dachshund's body by using his tail. The young teenager manages to get through the stadium gates, and thanks the guy out for helping him. We then see these Scottish music players are are parading the streets outside the stadium with their bagpipes. The bagpipe then forms into a type of balloon, and ties it to the drum which forms into a hot-air balloon and they also manage to raid into the stadium without a ticket - amazing how they got away with it back then.
Meanwhile there is some hot dogs being sold by hungry customers and fans, and there appears to be some Italian speaking chef that sings a little song about how to make hot-dogs. Okay, I can totally see a style coming from Jack King - where it shows the Chef has some character. Then we see a drink vendor who is walking down the steps who is singing about his drinks. Mmm, looks like we have some whimsical songs coming.
We then see the commentator who I assume is meant to be a caricature of Joe E. Brown who did baseball commentaries back then. Buddy is the pitcher for the team against the rivals, and he throws a sing with the ball but the batter misses, which is a "Strike One" to him. The ball accidentally lands on the commentator's mouth and he swallows it. Hah, now THAT is a funny gag. He says "Shucks! It's a ball. I'm all balled up!" Now that is even a funny gag and pun. Jack King has so far made a short really worth watching from the horrors I've been watching over the past few shorts.
One of the players fielding then sees the ball that's about to go through the audience (which would've meant a "home run"), but his arm extends, and manages to catch the ball in time. We see this really great, but bizarre camera shot of the commentator who shouts "OUT", and we got right inside to see his tonsils, and then another shot slides into the screen with him in his desk - a great shot but probably hard to film. The commentator announces the score which is "49" to Bruisers and "47" to Bearcats, and Buddy's team are down by one point.
Jack King's first cartoon he fully supervised, and already it looks pretty impressive compared to what we've seen in the early 1934 cartoons. Of course, Jack King was an underrated director and often his pictures weren't anything special - but this is something special to look at. He includes a caricatured commentator and a good gag of when he swallows that ball. There are some great camera shots too, and when the animation does zoom right into the camera, something that the directors like Earl Duvall, Tom Palmer or Friz Freleng didn't achieve. Of course, I'm not too settled with the redesign of Cookie because the audience just won't recognize it, but I think this is in fact a pretty decent cartoon. This is probably the best that I have seen so far in 1934. Of course, Jack King isn't really influencing the other directors, but he's done quite good - however; nothing shakes the studio until Golddiggers of 49.