Sunday, 22 January 2012

94. Buddy's Adventures (1934)

Warner cartoon no. 93.
Release date: November 17, 1934.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Supervision: Ben Hardaway.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Cast: Jackie Morrow (Buddy), Billy Bletcher (Old Man). Cookie voice unknown.
Musical Score: Bernard Brown.
Animation: Bob McKimson and Don Williams.

Our cartoon begins with Buddy and Cookie standing at a hot-air balloon. Buddy is dropping a few pieces of equipment and why?! I don't know - probably to stop the hot-air balloon from being heavy, I guess. Buddy appears to be the captain of this balloon and Cookie is rather afraid of being up there as she is afraid of heights. (I can't tell what the dialogue is telling us, but I can imagine that's what she means - from the looks of her emotions).

All I can hear of Cookie saying properly is "I'm afraid" - I can't make out the words before that. As there is a thunder bolt that flashes near the balloon - Buddy falls. Buddy gets that up and excuses himself "Must've been what I ate", Cookie assures that something terrible will happen but Buddy denies it. But she is right when there are these clouds and thunderbolts that are beating the hot-air balloon up.

The hot-air balloon is being blown away from these cloud faces - and one of the clouds then flick them; with the hot-air balloon starting to spin around numerous times. The same cloud then does a John L. Sullivan pose by thumping the cloud many times. The hot-air balloon then starts to move slowly - but there is a swirling camera effect that takes us to a different land - I assume. Buddy and Cookie are both frightened on the balloon, and they notice a rattling-snake cloud. The rattling-snake cloud uses it's tongue as a thunder bolt. The thunder bolt strikes at the ropes that carry the hot-air balloon. Until both of them go falling, falling...

Buddy and Cookie then start to slide down the long fall as they slide through the mountains and then in the field with that rather funny looking bird. Heh, not quite Porky in Wackyland - isn't it? The burst balloon then rolls (with the lifebelt as the wheel) and they each an inanimate castle in which the bridge opens (the mouth). It seems that Buddy and Cookie have arrived at a very bizarre land. Very interesting. Buddy and Cookie crash inside a protected town and Buddy thinks that this is the destination until...

...Buddy and Cookie notice a sign that reads THIS IS SOURTOWN. Oh dear, this doesn't sound like a pleasant place to go if everyone is "sour". The sign continues to read: The following rules must be obeyed - NO LAUGHING, NO SINGING, NO DANCING, NO JAZZ MUSIC. Followed by some tiny bit of writing I can't read - thanks a lot! Well this is really bad news for Buddy and Cookie - but if I lived there I wouldn't mind except on one condition - the "no laughing" part would have to be removed. ;-)

Buddy laughs at that sign as nonsense, but Cookie persuades him it's serious. We see Laurel and Hardy who are imprisoned in stocks - Hardy's sign reads "In Ye Stocks for Laughing" while Oliver Laurel's says "For Smiling". Buddy and Cookie then walk around the streets, but they notice these rather sour looking guard walking past them. The guards then walk to a barrel and line up. They all take a squirt of vinegar (to make them more sour I guess?). They then turn to the camera and they do a type of song on why they're sour. What the hell?! I thought the rules in this town was "no singing" and they're going in rhythm in which is still a form of singing! Bloody hell.

 Buddy then walks to the guards and tells them that they're sung "all wrong" and that the way to sing a song is to be more cheerful. Buddy then grabs out a guitar and starts to sing a song (the song is a mystery to me - I can't find anything on Internet Movie Database). The song has caused a bird in it's cage from an apartment window sill to sing it but a sour woman enters the scene and shuts the bird's beak by tying it with a cloth. The same woman then places a pot over the flowers to stop them from singing the song too. The policeman then enters the scene as he sees that Buddy is breaking the law that reads in a note "No singing". The police officer then tells Buddy and Cookie are under arrest and then off they go! They are placed in a cart as the officer drives them.

Buddy here in this film sounds very different here. He sounds like a child doing a voice for him and I wouldn't imagine that Jack Carr did the voice for Buddy. Cookie's voice still remains anonymous to me. Bletcher seems to be the only known actor here voicing the policeman and the King of Sour town. Anyone able to help me out? Other than that, this cartoon so far shows some great character personalities and there is EVEN a story here. The whole Sourtown idea works very well, about the laws of no singing, laughing, etc. It reminds me of what Roald Dahl would write about.

 Buddy and Cookie are then placed in the King of Sourtown's headquarters. He is sitting in the throne rather sour as there is a squire who is giving him some lemons for him to juice with a lemon mixer. He pours in some lemon into a bowl for him to drink which makes him feel even more sour and better. Mmm, it's like as though it's as enjoyable when taking a visit to the toilet. A police officer then enters the scene in which he grabs Buddy and Cookie. The King then goes into dialogue:

King: You've broken the rules of Sourtown. Now you'll be sentenced to the spanking hand.

We see the next shot of a "spanking machine" in which is Buddy and Cookie's penalty. Cookie, rather worried asks Buddy "What'll we do?"; Buddy's reply "Leave it to me". Buddy grabs out a harmonica in which he plays it that damages the King's ears. Poor King. At times - the harmonica playing doesn't sound like a harmonica - unless this is just bad TV quality.

Cookie  is then doing a type of dance which is going to annoy the King and the guards even more. Buddy is playing the harmonica so loudly that even the candle waxes are so sour that they're melting. That's a lot of sourness. Buddy goes along to a picture frame of these bearded men and he plays the "Do-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol-La-Te-Doh" musical scale. There is some fighting going on between a group of knights (why are they being involved)? Oh hang on, it turns out that a knight is taking off another knight's foot in which he starts to play it like a saxophone - which the "no jazz" law is being broken. The music is starting to turn very chaotic that even the sour King starts to dance, which is pretty mildly amusing.

The guards are then going into song - and it turns out that the WHOLE TOWN is dancing to music and Buddy & Cookie are heroes for turning them from being sour into cheerful. A group of guys at a table raising their drinks then go into the "Do-Re-Mi" musical scale - hitting a guy in the head who is sleeping and not going into rhythm. The King then takes over the spotlight by dancing, but he slips on that rug in which he falls into the spanking machine and is getting spanked; but is laughing. Buddy and Cookie then take over the throne and are declared as leaders. They hug each other - and that's all folks.

This was a delightful cartoon to watch and it even has a strong plot compared to all the other plots we had. What a great imagination that Ben Hardaway used for his "Sourtown" concept. I love the character personalities and the idea that everyone is sour here. I certainly do like the redesign of Cookie here (which we saw in Viva Buddy). Of course what really puzzled me and it was beyond my grasp was that they were going into rhythm (which still counts as singing) and the rules were "no singing" - why didn't they get arrested. Well, since this cartoon is called Buddy's Adventures it's fair to say that this cartoon certainly was an adventure. The cast of the actors appears to be unknown to me (and probably the first time where I realized that Buddy's voice actually sounds different). But I think that Buddy had two different voices - one of whom is anonymous.

12 comments:

  1. They also de-greased Buddy's hair starting in this cartoon, taking him out of the 1920s style to give him a more 'boyish' look. That might also explain the change in voice.

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  2. Mmm. I didn't notice it until now - I just thought it happened straight on in 1935. But you've striked a good point!

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  3. In the beginning, Cookie says something along the lines of "I wish I hadn't have come along." before saying "I'm scared."

    Also, the harmonica playing wouldn't have been the bad T.V. quality. It would be the videotape that is the problem (keep in mind, these were broadcast around 1988-90).

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  4. The dialogue at the beginning runs like this:

    Buddy: Look, Cookie! In a few minutes, we'll be on Mars!

    Cookie: You and your silly inventions! I wish I hadn't come along! I'm afraid!

    Buddy: Aw, what's there to be afraid of? [lightning flash] Heh-heh, must have been something I ate!

    Cookie: I just know something terrible's going to happen!

    (...back to me) This is an inventive cartoon I want to like. But Buddy and Cookie are so damned unappealing, both physically and in terms of their voices. This is a Mickey and Minnie kind of story, and simply swapping them into the roles would make for an immediate improvement.

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  5. The sign says "Absolutely no merriment or happiness of any kind."

    Ironically, that's the result of a Buddy cartoon.

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  6. Cookie dancing in front of guards should have given made them pant just like Betty Boop's dancing or WB's own Hsrman and Ising characters like in "Red-Headed Baby" [1933]...She did go back to brunette look here..Steve

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  8. Heh, who knew Hardaway had predicted Yellow Submarine?

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  9. Thanks you guys for the dialogue (and you David Gerstein). And Steve C. for the info. Matthew Koh, I've corrected the error - silly me; I do at least made one or two mistakes sometimes.

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  10. Matt Hunter posted this one with original titles a few years ago: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x48rkp_buddy-s-adventures_shortfilms

    Several variations (at least 4) of the titles were used from 1934. The one from "Buddy's Bug Hunt" is visible for a short time on the crappy VHS copies you're reviewing cartoons from.

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  11. When Buddy sings, yes, his voice does change, and the tune is a lot of fun, although I, too, don't know the proper title of the song. I would assume it is called something like "Dig That Ladies' Man" as it is about a sailor who just enjoys being with the ladies and swingin' to jazzy music all night long, and, in this cartoon, Buddy is merely trying to lighten the gloom, wherever he has landed. Just look at how surreal the reactions are. Mickey and Minnie? I don't think Uncle Walt would have allowed a song about a cavalierly womanizing sailor.

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