Sunday, 29 January 2012

98. Mr. and Mrs. Is the Name (1935)

Release date: January 19, 1935
Warner cartoon no. 97.
Series: Merrie Melodies.
Supervision: Friz Freleng.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Bernice Hansen (Mermaid) and Jack Carr (Merboy).
Musical Score: Bernard Brown.
Animation: Ben Clopton and Cal Dalton.

Alright - some folks say that this cartoon is the "only" Merrie Melodies cartoon to feature Buddy and Cookie - and is it even official. Besides, Cookie really doesn't look like that mermaid girl and Buddy is even different in designs - only the voices remain similar, and if you say that this is a "Merrie Melodies" Buddy/Cookie cartoon - I'm not gonna count that...

 Our cartoon begins with the tides coming up in the rocks - we see a shipwreck that's full of mermaids - topless mermaids. There are three mermaid singers (one of them playing the guitar) singing the song Mr.. and Mrs. Is the Name but it's substitute lyrics. From the first time I'm watching this - they're not wearing any clamshells to cover their breasts - or starfishes. Instead, we can see them. One might stare at them (if they're a moron staring at cartoon breasts), but my thought is how did this past the censorship? Well, their nipples aren't seen so I guess it doesn't make much deal - in fact; the centaurettes in Fantasia in one scene show their breasts and they seemed to have gotten away with it.

 There is a hula-dance of a mermaid on a ship standing - and of course the mermaids don't even look attractive at all - in my opinion. A sawfish joins into the music by using his horn to play xylophone music with a mallet. The singing of the mermaids then continue for a brief amount of time, until we view under the sea. Oh man, looks like Sebastian the Crab won't sing us an R/B song for us back in 1935 ;-). Well, once again we see the lobster animation from How Do I Know It's Sunday and (Cookie's dancing from Viva Buddy) and  it's gonna be like that for a while. Oh dear - well, at least I haven't got mad about that dancing crab - yet. Of course the crab just looks silly and balloony - that's why it's off-putting.

After viewing that lobster again - the sea then shows us some mer-kids in a playground part where they are playing around happily. There is a merboy and a mermaid who are then playing around with each other and no, I'm not going to count them as Buddy or Cookie because of their different design. Another thing, if that is Cookie then she would be appearing in her 3rd redesign, and her hair from the 2nd design is not even a close approach to that design. Anyway back to the review; the merboy then slaps the mermaid in the behind in which she squeals. "Tag, you're it" yellls the merboy in which he laughs.

We can see the throbbing looks of the mergirl in which she slaps the merboy and storms off. The merboy then walks out with embarrassment and sadness until he bumps himself from a shipwreck - and boy that really doesn't look like a "bump" to me as it wasn't animated so well. The merboy then swims to the mermaid   and shouts "Wait", and takes her along to the ship in which he wants to show her something. She is still rather disgusted at the merboy but she changes her mind once she takes a look at the inside of the ship with it's treasure.

The merboy and girl then look inside the shipwreck with a lot of treasure chests in there. Look at the bubble effects there - they sure don't look great but at least it makes the sea slightly more realistic - but everything the merpeople move - there isn't any bubble effects. Certainly different if you compare it to The Little Mermaid. The mermaid then looks through a treasured chest in which she is happy to see many coins and precious items - until she gets pinched by a lobster.

The merboy then takes the crab off the girl. The merboy finds another part of the treasure chest which is a "derby hat" - Mmm, I guess that they find human valuables rather fascinating. The merboy then puts some black makeup below his nose to make a fake mustache and grabs out a walking stick pretending to be Charlie Chaplin and does that walk that he does in his silent comedies.

 The mermaid then walks in with some lipstick makeup on. Where did she get the lipstick make up from? She walks down to a shipwrecked piano doing a type of lady pose. As she sits herself down to play the organ-piano she is playing the title song Mr. and Mrs. Is the Name (without the actual lyrics) and then sings the main part of the title song. A Harpo Marx lobster then enters the scene playing the harp strings to the song and sings in a low voice "Mr. and Mrs. is the Name". There is then a dance routine done by these inanimate pirate hats where the skulls inside it are doing a dance routine - well that's something special I'll say - with inanimate humans dancing.

She then sings the verse "Mr. and Mrs. Is the Name" with a fish swimming out of her mouth - gross. Notice how that the lyrics are not really being sung except for the verse. Well, it's true that at least a verse of a song HAD to be sung and this was probably when Friz Freleng was starting to get off the singing routines - but not yet since 1935 was still full of those songs and no-one got out of that routine soon enough.

Meanwhile under the sea there is an octopus that is swimming around who looks rather nasty and vicious - with those pointed teeth. The octopus then swims through the shipwreck in which that he hears some piano playing of the title song, he sees the mermaid which catches his interests - to eat her. He enters the shipwreck and captures her off-screen, leaving her to scream for help. The merboy (still wearing the derby hat) then swims off to try and rescue his girl (or should we say "Mergirl").

The octopus glances behind quickly to see if anyone is trying to get it's way past the octopus but notices the boy swimming in which the octopus uses it's eight legs as a propeller in which the gag does work well in it's way (with those bad looking bubbles, too). The merboy realizes that he would never be able to catch up with the octopus in his speed and somehow; just ON THAT spot - he finds a propeller for luck. Just a coincidence for that to happen!! He uses the propeller for HIM to speed up.

The octopus (still has the mermaid attached) reaches into the cave in which he tries to hide from the girl. The mermaid then finds an aerial on the cave and whacks the octopus on the head to try and break free. The octopus then tries to eat the girl in time only to be interrupted by the merboy's speed limit on the propellers. The merboy then takes the propeller off his body and picks up the club and tries to give the octopus a bigger beating. But it's too late since the merboy is given bigger beatings by the octopus' many arms.

More beatings continue until the merboy goes off flying and the octopus traps him by using it's arms as bars. The merboy then tries to get the octopus off (with that funny sound effect used - wonder if Treg Brown had involvement in that short with the sound effects or is that too early?). The boy is therefore being chased by the octopus in which he starts to dash off...

The merboy then lures into a pipe and swims out leaving the octopus stuck through that pipe. The merboy then starts to tie the legs for that octopus so that it won't escape - and probably suffocate. The octopus' head is stuck on the other end of the pipe and realizes he's trapped and tries to escape - but fails. The merboy then grabs out a pole attached to a string in which he hits it at the octopus and we hear some wonderful sound effects here. Internet Movie Database says that Treg Brown did sound effects (and Bernard Brown) but who knows? IMDB isn't always right.

Buddy uses the battering ram a few times on the octopus until the mermaid then swims to the merboy and gives him a kiss on the cheek for saving her life. The battering ram then slides back and whacks the merboy in the head almost making him unconscious - and that's all folks.

Buddy and Cookie - alike? Not really - but they sort of resemble each other only Buddy looks similar enough - the voices make them sound similar. I really wonder how that the topless mermaids really didn't seem to be censored by the censorship and let the kids watch it - considering that this video is from "Cartoon Network" and that kids will look at the breasts. Some of the sound effects in there were good which Treg Brown would use. The animation in it wasn't so great at times, and overall this cartoon was kind of bland at times. I liked parts of that cartoon - some of it wasn't bad like the octopus and I didn't mind the design of that octopus.


  1. The Harpo Marx lobster was the best part.
    I'd like to know who Freleng got to do the faux-Disney open.

  2. Interesting, I guess that Freleng got inspired by those Silly Symphonies and probably used it for his Merrie Melodies.

  3. The song playing when the Buddy and Cookie mermaid look at the treasure in the wreckage to when Buddy impersonates Chaplin is entitled "The Cop" (by a man named Ewing, last name unknown).

    That tune is well known for being in Laurel and Hardy shorts (even in the titles).

  4. Cof35 entry
    I wonder if someone can do an analysis to figure out why each of us chooses the screencaps we choose...