Saturday, 28 January 2012

97. Buddy of the Legion (1935)

Warner cartoon no. 96.
Release date: January 12, 1935.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Supervision: Ben Hardaway.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Jack Carr (Buddy).
Musical Score: Bernard Brown.
Animation: Bob Clampett and Charles "Chuck" Jones.

The first entry of the new year (1935).

The cartoon begins with Buddy walking around the block in a street and notices an advertisement outside a book shop that reads "Boy Wanted". Buddy likes the idea of working in that job, he picks up the sign and walks in. He walks into the shop all interested and then looks at the lady at the counter who owns the shop doing some writing. He tries to get his attention, but I guess his "blandness" doesn't get the fat lady's attention. He goes up to her closely and goes "Ahem" in which she finally has his attention.

Is it me or is it that bookshop owners just happen to be stereotyped as old, fat people? The fat lady in the bookstore then starts to examine Buddy over to see if he's right for the job. Buddy turns around to be examined (even tries to show off his biceps but he's too weedy). It turns out that - he's qualified. So the woman then brings out a duster for Buddy and kicks him out of the door "Get busy" she demands. So Buddy has now got the job easily and starts to sweep up the place.

As Buddy then starts his new job by cleaning up the book shop - he is using his duster to clean up the place, and even cleans up a goldfish with a duster. As Buddy is sweeping through some unstacked books in a shelf; the large shop owner walks out and asks "Take care of the store, and be sure to put a lot of books away!" Buddy responds with a "Okay-dokey". Buddy finds a pair of books together and then tries to lift them into one big pile and does so but there is a fly in the room distracting him and Buddy struggles with it - the animation isn't so good and not very realistic. Anyway Buddy struggles as he runs off to get the fly off and loses his balance of the books.

 He crashes into a stove and all the books fall. A book falls down on Buddy in which he takes an interest in reading it - which is about Life of a Foreign Legion. Buddy has then taken interest into a book in which he starts to walk over to a desk to read - and flicks through the pages. Well this is another take of Beau Bosko and I find "legion" stories difficult to review since I don't know much about them except I think they protect deserted places.

Buddy then fades into a dream sequence in which that Buddy is a leader of a legion of the Amazons. They are marching through the desert chanting. We see another chanting leaders who are singing (and there's a small gag in which it shows someone's hat flaps are blowing out in which is annoying another soldier of the legion). Another soldier is sitting on top of the camel. Alright, I'm already confused with this story - because I don't like these type of ones with a confusing history (legions).

Meanwhile they then take a look at the private town of "Amazons" located in the desert. Here inside it appears to be that we see these group of locals who are being treated like slaves; and probably why the legions are approaching there to protect it I guess. There is a guard who is whipping a local who is pulling a stone round and round. Two slaves have to set up and use their energy for a assembly line washing machine. All these fat jerks who are guards are just sitting down with their hookahs making sure they're doing their jobs.

One of the Amazons is looking through a pair of binoculars and then sees the legionnaires. She then gets excited about and informs a lady with a hookah about it and dashes off. A black slave then enters the scene in which a lady Amazon asks to open it in which a female belly dancer (who looks really thin, stiff and rotoscoped) will do the job to --- to distract the legions I guess and that's why she is taken onto a magic carpet to go to the Sahara desert. If the legions were supposed to defend the fortresses - then the guards just wanted them out because I thought that outsiders didn't like being ruled by the French?

The belly dancer then arrives at the Sahara desert and does a belly flop in order to distract a guard. All of the other guards then take a look at the attractive belly dancer who is dancing in which their heads extend to make a wolf-whistle. Instead of approaching the fortress, they turn around to follow that belly dancer. All the other guards who are following Buddy then turn around to approach the belly dancer - Buddy is still marching. Even that bloke on the camel does the same. In fact, they're all doing it - except Buddy. The legionnaire then pulls the camel's tail in which the camel speaks in a accent "Don't ever do that!" and it is a catchphrase of Joe Penner - and of course this is a dated gag since Penner is pretty much forgotten.

All the other guards are then copying the movements of the belly dancer as well as following her. Buddy is still walking but doesn't notice as he is then calling for a "halt". He halts and turns around to find the other legionnaires walking in the wrong position. Buddy then calls his trumpet as an alarm to see if there are any soldiers about - no answer. He does it again - no answer. He then dashes off to find them - and the running gag isn't so great as he's just running straight over the desert hills.

The belly dancer then follows the legionnaires into the doors of the fortress one-by-one. Both of them enter the door one at a time, and there's a lady guard who just whacks each legionnaire away one at a time.Well, if you think that why they all women - well this is an "Amazon" fortress - which means feminine warriors of course! One of the guys who is wearing specs then tries to point to her that he's got glasses on - she takes them off then whacks him in the face. Boy, what harsh treatment. The next part then shows a man with the donkey who gets knocked out. The camel stands up and tries to start a fight.

As Buddy enters the scene the woman tries to slam him but due to his height - she slams the door in which her hand is caught on a wooden door. As Buddy punches the door - there is the same gag of a guy in a camel who is on the assembly line washing machine who remarks "I'm so tired". The Amazon leader then tries to chase after Buddy in this chase sequence.

Buddy then starts to run off and hides under the laundry chute. The Amazon leader tries to get down there but her derriere is too big to even fit in the laundry chute. Buddy then reaches out through a door and hurts her behind by slamming a gate down there to hurt her. Buddy then runs off as he is being chased by these guards who have their swords. Buddy grabs out a bucket and a circular stone through a well and spins it - knocking off every guard out of the fortress who try to capture Buddy. The Amazon leader then comes out of the well and grabs Buddy and starts to shake him until...

It turns out that Buddy was having that dream the entire time from the lady who owns the "Ye Olde Book Shoppe". She pinches Buddy's ear as she is about to lead him to the door because he was sleeping on the job. Buddy gets kicked out of the shop with a book flying out trying to hit Buddy. Buddy replies with a "Okay dokey", then he walks away from the book shop - and that's all folks.

Well, I admit that I didn't like that cartoon much mostly because of those stupid gags and that I never did quite understand the terms of a legion and fortresses - but reviewing I did manage to learn a bit more. I didn't understand why there were women leaders there until I realized they were "Amazons" and I had to do a bit of research. Dated cartoons like this are kinda challenging for me to review. The animation wasn't so good here, and that Clampett and Jones were both animating on that short. Mmm, since they were both enemies - I wonder if they had conflicts in this production? ;-) It's rather a wonder to me on why most of the Amazons just happen to be just fat women - unless it's a portrait of the fat woman who owns the book shop.

1 comment:

  1. Source on the date? OMAM has it in April. I didn't futz with the dating if it was in '35 at some point, and my copy of LTMM is off the reservation at the moment...