Friday, 10 February 2012

106. Buddy's Lost World (1935)

Warner cartoon no. 105.
Release date: May 18, 1935.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Supervision: Jack King.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Jackie Morrow (Buddy) and Billy Bletcher (Bozo).
Musical Score: Norman Spencer.
Animation: Rollin Hamilton and Sandy Walker.

It's not easy to say but I'm glad to see that Jack King is back on the direction spot while he seems to have been demoted to character animator briefly - probably because Hardaway was taking his place for a while - it seems. Of course Jack's cartoons at WB aren't so spectacular but was probably the best director before Tex arrived - I have to say. He was probably the best Donald Duck director, though. I seem to notice in later 1935 Buddy cartoons that he wear's a captain's hat on.

 The cartoon begins with Buddy's boat with the wind power flag reading Capt. Buddy's Expedition to the Lost World. There are a group of people on the dock all of them are waving goodbye to Buddy and good luck. Just as Buddy and Bozo have turned the propellers on - they forgot to pull the rope off the dock. The dock then starts to break apart with all the people falling into the water and all struggle to get back up to the part of the dock not broken down - see, funny gag.

As Buddy and Bozo are sailing in their exciting expedition, they somehow discover land (are you sure this was not marked in any of the maps that probably had the whole world drawn on it by then). Buddy and Bozo then approach the lost island in the middle of the ocean (and how did his boat get that far from that engine)? They park onto the island then start to explore around this lost island. Buddy has the map to the lost island (well, it couldn't be lost if it was already drawn on map - but it could've been abandoned, maybe - oh well; it's a cartoon). Buddy shouts "Oh boy, it's the lost island, hooray, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!"

Bozo then starts to bark around in excitement, and then notices man footprints on the ground. As he sniffs the footprints, the footprints move two steps. Bozo then starts to sniff the footprints as this is a bizarre world since it sniffs - I imagine. As Bozo is sniffing through for what we think is a forest. But then the creature moves, and it turns out the legs aren't trees - they're the legs of a brontosaurus. What a wonderful set-up there and some unique animation. The brontosaurus then starts to walk on and sniff Bozo who is sniffing the footprints. Bozo then turns around with a frightened look at the dinosaur and runs as fast as he could.

Bozo then starts to run around the lost world through the paths in a fast speed with the plants swaying past. Bozo then passes through a fat girl playing skip-rope (it seems there's people on the lost island already). The fat girl then looks at Bozo startled. Meanwhile there appears to be a type of caveman that is digging the ground like a dog and notices Bozo running like a fire engine. Bozo then skids and stops as he notices the caveman digging the ground. They both then start to mimic each other like actual dogs and copy the actions in a similar way. The caveman then digs up the bone and walks off. At least we saw a good use of speed in this cartoon.

Bozo then starts to dig underground as he smells some more bones, but he struggles a little bit and it turns out he pulls out a whole dinosaur fossil underground. The rib cage then traps Bozo like a cage; and the timing was done well. Bozo then starts to howl inside the rib cage begging for help from Buddy. Buddy walks through the forest in which he hears Bozo's howling in which Buddy does a flipping hat-take - one of Jack King's traits as a director. Buddy walks to the scene and finds Bozo trapped inside the dinosaur skeleton. He tries to find an idea on how to get Bozo out. Buddy then walks over to the skeleton's head and figures out how to get him out. Buddy then opens up the dinosaur's jaw in which he whistles Bozo out of the fossil and shouts "Here, Bozo". Bozo then licks Buddy's face in which he asks him to get him down shouting "What's the matter with you?".

The caveman dog-figure then starts to sniff up something, in this random shot. Buddy then looks over at the rocks and notices Bozo isn't around so; he calls Bozo over to see what there is. Bozo pops out of the rocks and licks him. Buddy tries to quieten down Bozo in which he still looks at the caveman-dog sniffling about. Huh, it turns out it wasn't a random shot overall. I like the idea of this cartoon so far in that crazy world they're in - it's creative; it makes the film exciting - at least a bit. I like the bizarre idea for a caveman who acts like a dog to be sniffing about; and that there's dinosaurs on this island stating that they're probably not quite extinct in this short.

Bozo and Buddy then start to come across the caveman again in which Bozo interfere's with it. Bozo starts to chase the caveman out of the scene but Buddy has to catch up so that he doesn't lose Bozo. The caveman and Bozo both enter the cave but Buddy hits into a rock that slides through the entrance to the cave in which Buddy is blocked from entering. Buddy steps back up on his two feet and starts to shout out Bozo's name numerous times to try and get his attention or to listen whilst in the cave. Buddy is still waving about, and doesn't notice that a carnivorous plant is standing right behind him and Buddy's in trouble.

Look at the close-up of the carnivorous plant licking it's lips - just great animation. It seems that Jack King had a knack of using close-up shots for his cartoons in climaxes; which is a good thing since Ben Hardaway and other directors had a knack of using long-shots all the time. Buddy is still shouting for Bozo's time but then he starts to turn around with his hat-take but the carnivorous plant eats Buddy. Buddy is pounding at the plant's mouth numerous times but the plant swallows Buddy before it's too late. Buddy slides through the roots and pathway of the plant's roots underground and ends up in another part of the lost world. Buddy turns to look at these group of caveman in some area that are hammering on rocks and stones.

It appears so that some of the caveman are treated as slaves where they have to pick up the stone with their mouths and ride the other cavemen or even use them to play a game of croquet. I like the conception here with the dinosaur bones as hoops with the stone being the croquet ball. The caveman on top of the other caveman then does a gay stereotype "Oh for heaven's sake". Buddy then looks down at the cavemen people in which he slides down what he thinks is a pole but it turns out to be the neck of the same brontosaurus Bozo saw. Buddy then bounces down at the top of the dinosaur's back.

Three cavemen then pop out of the rock and they are doing an impression of the Three Stooges - where they are fighting - prodding each other in the eye. Like the sound effects used so far. The dinosaur has an instant likability towards Buddy as he licks his face. Buddy then grabs out an apple from his pocket and the dinosaur eats it. Notice how Buddy completely disappears in one frame but comes back in the next frame. The three Stooge-cavemen then come up with an idea in which they plan to capture Buddy and also Bozo. The caveman then unleashes Bozo from a dog leash and walks him along to a mousetrap with spears to be the bars of a cage.

Bozo is then placed inside the mousetrap in which the caveman starts to set up a trap for Buddy to be imprisoned too. Bozo starts to howl loudly for help, and Buddy hears the sounds of Bozo as he decides to help his dog out. Buddy shouts "It's Bozo", and he takes his captain hat off the dinosaur's head and back onto his hat. Bozo is at the scene and Buddy steps in trying to unleash it aware of the trap. Buddy then steps onto the trap and the spears prison both Buddy and Bozo. The cavemen of the lost island and the three cavemen start to dance with joy. They then take Buddy and Bozo away.

The next part we see that Buddy and Bozo are inside a pot that is boiling; and a whole tribe of cavemen are hear to celebrate the moment (probably because they've been eating too much rocks or stones all the time). A caveman in the background shows his part to celebrate by playing dinosaur skeleton bones as a church organ - or some type. There is then a dancing routine going on and if I'm not mistaken - this is taken from Lullabye from Broadway - am I right? They both hit each other on the head with their cubs as part of the routine to make the dance more entertaining. They both hit each other on the head at the same time which makes the gag work - in my opinion.

Meanwhile, Buddy and Bozo are inside the cauldron and are being stirred crying for help (I feel the close-up is presented slightly dramatic) since it already expresses the feeling that they're already in danger and feels too risky to be shown - but that's just me. Meanwhile their friend dinosaur stretches it's neck to hear the "Help" noises coming from Buddy. The whole tribe are still crowded together but they all scatter as the huge dinosaur enters the scene. Buddy then bursts "Hooray! It's our friend, Bozo!". The dinosaur then starts to deal with some caveman.

The dinosaur picks up a caveman but starts to wiggle it around with his mouth until it goes flying off into the camera. I like Jack King's film techniques that he's done before in the cartoons - and certainly more interesting than what Hardaway or Freleng did in this period. The dinosaur then starts to find another caveman inside a cave but reaches it's head inside, and at the lower-ground level the dinosaur's head pops out to grab the caveman itself - and I like that gag, and sounds something maybe what Tex would use for a gag.

The dinosaur then starts to pick Buddy and Bozo out of the boiling cauldron and are being picked up slowly and carefully as part of their safety. Buddy and Bozo then start to slide down the dinosaur's neck in which it's a happy ending for all three. Buddy is liked a lot by Bozo and the brontosaurus that he gets to have lots of licks on his cheeks - and that's all folks.

Now that Jack King is back on the director's chair - he turns out a really unique cartoon that is pretty good. The animation is pretty unique like the three-quarter down shot of a brontosaurus' head coming up into frame which is some decent animation. I like the idea of the concept of being in a lost world that no-one ever goes to - but somehow it's already identified in the map of the world. There were some pretty fine gags in there such as the beginning on the dock or even the caveman who behaves like a dog was pretty weird but the feeling of a weird world Buddy has came across. At least this cartoon tells us that this world dinosaurs aren't yet extinct. Well, at least this cartoon seemed to enjoy me at least (with King gone for a while; I Haven't Got a Hat was probably the only one I quite liked). I hope this cartoon showed some very slight potential of great Warner Bros. cartoons coming - and we'll see.


  1. Just watched it on youtube just now I agree some nice close ups..that man eating plant was great..also liked the dog caveman..another good cartoon..its the first time I've seen your blog is very useful to try new toons..from your recomendations..

  2. This is perhaps the rarest of all the BUDDY cartoons and I don't know why. You certainly piqued my interest in the cartoon with your writeup and, yes, it seems that Jack King is presenting his best side here as he would in later DONALD DUCK cartoons for Disney. We need more sources of these cartoons either online or, more importantly, on standard DVD or Blu-ray disk. Warner Bros. cartoons had a long and lively history for nearly 40 decades, and all of them, even the most imfamous, should be able to be seen!