Release date: September 8, 1934.
Series: Merrie Melodies.
Supervision: Friz Freleng.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Animation: Rollin Hamilton and Charles M. "Chuck" Jones.
Musical Score: Norman Spencer.
This is Chuck Jones' first ever animation credit as an animator, by 1938 he would later become a director, and soon would become one of the greatest animation directors of all time.
The housemaid enters the scene and is rather annoyed with the mess the cat's made. She places the lamp back into position and then picks up the pieces of the female figurine with her apron and takes it upstairs. The shepherd figurine who is still alive then weeps, probably thinking "There goes my gal". The housemaid then walks up to the attic and dumps the broken pieces of the female figurine into a box and then walks downstairs. Well, at least the design of the housemaid is appropriate while in other cartoons such as Disney's Three Orphan Kittens and the Tom and Jerry cartoons; it's stereotyped - but it makes the cartoons more interesting while the housemaid looks very bland.
The young lad then walks around trying to find his gal (or shall we say that he's a shepherd figurine why not say she's a shepherdess). The male figurine then hears the noises of the shepherdess calling for him, and he notices to find her in broken pieces, "Look, I'm all broken up" she says. Of course, he's standing right next to "glue" he remarks "That's alright, I'll fix it!" He then starts to glue the pieces back but there's a lamb in a picture portrait with the sheep figurine walking into the scene baaing at it but jumps at the portrait but rips it. Now that I think is a gag that works - finally something worth looking at by Friz Freleng so far.
Another gag that we see is which rather weird but it works well I guess is that there are these pair of old shows with their tongues saying and making rather annoying sounds - and their tongues are actual human tongues which is part of the gag. The Three Stooges as monkey figurines then go back into a song, but they interrupt briefly by punching one another. Then they go back into song.
Michael Barrier wrote in his book Hollywood Cartoons that this cartoons resembled one of the Disney cartoons with its animation and rotoscoping. In a way, he is actually quite right since this cartoon has got some pretty stunning animation in there so far which was done carefully - most particularly the object animation. The attic sequence really has only got rich looking animation.
The poor sheep then climbs over a pipe and as he reaches out of the pipe he is covered in soot. He reaches a cornered part of the attic and cannot do anything to stop that lion, as the lion has more power. The boy and girl figurine then walk into the scene - the boy uses a cupid model and borrows it's bow & arrow. The boy shoots at the lion's bottom in which it jumps and roars. The sheep runs out of the scene, as do the boy and girl ceramics. They then run out of the attic, but the boy closes the door in which the ceramic lion crashes the door but breaks into pieces - which works so perfectly and really well done.
Friz Freleng was put in charge to direct all of the Merrie Melodies throughout 1934, all of 1935 and most of 1936. It was his job to only direct them as the others would be off directing the Looney Tunes. I must say that this is probably Friz's good picture that he's directed so far while the earlier ones he's worked on were pretty awful. True, there's still blandness in the animation but parts of the animation in the attic sequence looks so realistic and rich. The animation is not a close resemblance to the Disney cartoons, as their quality was higher - but this short has probably got highest animation quality since the Harman-Ising era. Of course, it was mostly rotoscoped but it makes the cartoon look better viewing. The cartoon was more coherent than the other pictures, and let's hope that Friz Freleng will make a turning point - or unless that was just his picture of luck - at that time.