Friday, 20 January 2012

92. Buddy the Woodsman (1934)

Title card courtesy of Dave Mackey.
Warner cartoon no. 91.
Release date: October 20, 1934.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Supervision: Jack King
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Jack Carr (Buddy) and (Cookie) (?).
Animation: Paul Smith and Don Williams.
Music: Bernard Brown.

Our cartoon begins with that lovely animation of a tree trunk falling - which a great camera shot. There are several lumberjacks that are cutting that trunk with their axes. But there are are two lumberjacks using a two-man saw. We PAN through to see a tough guy who is cutting off big chunks of the bark of the tree on the side. On his right is a rather lanky fellow who is only cutting useless parts off and slacking his job. He secretly prances away and chops off a small part of a tree - which must mean he's either a weakling or a slacker? You pick. Vote now.
(Ringtone music)
Thank you for voting - the popular vote was "weakling". Of course he is a weakling - he could barely cut off that small stick of that tiny, skinny tree - but as he only manages to cut it off they fly about and then they drop on top of his head that makes it look like he's wearing antlers.

We see a few gags of sawing the tree such as two lumberjacks sitting on each side of the two-man saw and they are sleeping but still cutting. Another guy is just using a blade to chop the pieces of wood carefully that looks like he's forming some type of circled-shape. Another guy is on his tractor but is also sawing the trees which are by his side. He, of course saws off the tower where a warden is sitting without noticing.

We then next see Buddy who is about to chop a tree - and as he takes a whack at the tree - we see these lines that swirl up to the top of the tree with it's bird's nest on top. Ahh, this was the era before speed-lines would've been greatly achieved, and not just "lines". The speedlines do look horrible but don't forget that this was before they had that beautiful swish brush effects. Buddy finishes chopping down that tree, in which he dances on top of the tree stump. He then starts to walk off and whistle cheerfully. He jumps on top of a chopped-down tree by getting a lawn mower and mowing the barks of the tree off - a strange idea but it's a good gag. What he was doing was in fact mowing the tree which would turn into tooth picks as he is placing them in a manufacturer vehicle.

Buddy then walks to the next part of his job as he is springs from a saw and jumps on top of a tree. He uses his two-man saw and jumps with it like playing skiprope. As he is doing that - there are big lumps of tree stomps being chopped off. Another gag that Buddy pulls out of his sleeve is when he comes across a tree trunk that is pretty high from the ground and his job is to cut it in half. He walks up to the goat and kicks it. He runs away, and jumps on top of the trunk patting his rear end encouraging the goat's anger. The goat then cuts the wood in half with his horns.

We see a random shot of a totem pole being chopped (what was the reason?). Buddy walks down to the part of the woods carrying his pile of wood. He accidentally trips on a stone in which all of the sticks then bundle up together very neatly. Buddy walks rather annoyed as though he has to pick them all up - but is happy to find that it's all been stacked together. He grabs out two axes and starts to play the piece of wood like a xylophone (Oh god, how much gags do WE need?!). The totem pole starts to dance but they all collide and appear to be Indians who are doing a Indian dance. The designs are pretty conservative in my opinion as they're just exactly the same but with different colors.

The call for "lunch" is ready and every woodsman rush to that hut for something to eat. Every worker has their head rinsed in some type of washing tool to wash their faces. They dry their wet faces by using a conveyor belt (Notice how that there is a dog inside there who is running like a guinea pig). Everybody is in the room all chanting "I Open the Old Northwest". They appear to be demanding for their lunch to arrive. Meanwhile, Buddy and Cookie are singing together while Buddy is playing the piano.

Wait a second, Cookie is back to being blonde again - but actually; I doesn't matter to me because this must've been from an earlier production number but it was somehow released late. Cookie walks in as she is tossing the fellows some spaghetti on their plates, and they immediately begin and are eating like pigs (what are they going to do with the spaghetti in the middle)?

Meanwhile, there is a bear sitting on top of a branch. Hang on a minute; what would a BEAR be doing up a tree? Do they even do that?! If so, since when??? The bear can smell the lovely scent of spaghetti and slides down the chimney and starts to sniff for some food. As the men at the table are singing delightedly, the bear then finds the spaghetti on the table. The bear stands on the table and eats the spaghetti leaving this complex gag of the men falling inside the wood planks that is TOO complicating to explain.

Cookie notices the bear trying to lick the food and asks the bear to "shoo, get out of here". From the voice I'm hearing of - it definitely doesn't sound like Bernice Hansen doing the voice AT all - another unknown actress. Buddy then walks to that bear and punches him in the face. The bear falls off the table and lands near the fireplace with a pipe stuck on his nose.

Buddy gets out a "Red Hot Pepper" shaker and starts to throw it at the pipe stuck on the bear's nose. The bear is about to sneeze but does so in which all the plates are stacked up in their shelves neatly. Another fine gag that works. We see some more gags to be shown of the sneezing bear chasing after Buddy - and Buddy is sneezed off his pants (that also runs). My goodness, this cartoon is just packing itself with gags, all these type of gags they do just get tiring throughout the cartoon, and you've got to admit that.

Cookie grabs out a shotgun in which she fires directly at the bear's anus. The bear then starts to sneeze ever so violently that the pipe then falls out of his nose, and lands onto a moose head sculpture's nose. The moose then starts to violently sneeze, but the stovepipe falls back into the right position of the fireplace.

The bear starts to chase after Cookie in which she cries for Buddy. Buddy grabs out a piano stool in which he throws it at the bear. The seat starts to heighten up and spin in which the bear falls out of the roof (but breaks it). Buddy and Cookie both play the piano as they watch the bear run out afraid - and that's all folks.

My overall output of this cartoon was that it appears to be that Jack King was just too desperate for gags in this cartoon. Although the gags do work well in those cartoons but they just suffer with too much in the cartoon that tires the audience from watching too many. No, Cookie hasn't gone back to a redesign - just made earlier than Viva Buddy (with the modern Cookie). The speed-lines on that tree swirling up earlier in the film are just bad to look it comparing today's standards with great speed-lines but maybe somebody in a 1934 audience might have liked it. I didn't mind the gags in there and all of them were pretty good, but as I said - NOT TOO MUCH in one cartoon that tires me out. Oh, and I should point out that there was a censored scene cut when a Chinese guy shouted "dinner", but we only saw a quick shot of him ringing the bell.

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