Release date: November 9, 1935.
Series: Merrie Melodies.
Supervision: Friz Freleng.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Billy Bletcher (Dave Rub-Em-Off) and Cliff Nazarro (Eddie Camphor / Worm).
Musical Score: Bernard Brown.
Animation: Cal Dalton and Sandy Walker.
Sound: Treg Brown (uncredited).
This is the first WB cartoon to use the song Merrily We Roll Along by Eddie Cantor; which would later become the anthem to the Looney Tunes.
Eddie Cantor then starts to roll his eyes (it appears to be a personality trait of his; as I've seen it on Shuffle Off to Buffalo (1933). Eddie Cantor is going into song singing Merrily We Roll Along that we ALL know - of course. The impression was by Cliff Nazarro and it's not bad; I guess. The music and song is very good; that we get to hear it for the next 30 years of the Merrie Melodies. Billy Bletcher is doing the Russian voice of "Rubie" as he is singing a verse; and I do quite like that Russian accent. They both walk together to finish off that verse of the song.
These Mexican tamales then go into song as they are singing like barbershop singers. One of the tamales has a pitchfork to use to play the guitar. I don't know what the song is as IMDB doesn't provide information in the Soundtrack part of this cartoon.
The mannequin feet on the penguins DON'T work on the penguins but at least their skating movement to the Sleeping Beauty musical piece has fine timing. But I don't see why mannequins. It would've worked better if it included mannequins I guess or ducks with roller skates. A lady in another billboard sign above shakes powder down to create a snow effect.
As this is basically the same dance; the sound effects and music are different - if I recall. They use their pants flap to play some fun drum sounds and Arabian music by using a barrel. which if some fine music but the problem is...if it's the same barrel then how come they're different sounds if they're tapping it? A female clothesline then starts to come up to life which is evidently the same design from "Ironing Board" but this is new animation. There is a wobbly gelatin desert - is that he correct spelling? The animation isn't bad of the female clothesline who appears to be attempting belly dancing.
The bird does a chirpy yell and the worm's chuckle is also by Cliff Nazarro. The bird then starts to walk back to the scene to try and get revenge on the worm. The worm then starts to blow silly faces at the bird. The bird starts to tug at the worm's skin like a game of tug of war. The worm pulls the apple off in which the bird flies off being hit on the head by the apple.
The stick that is attached to a door then moves off with the bird all pumped up with helium and now looks like a balloon. That was some pretty neat timing on that. The gag reminds me of that goat in Hold Anything is the same concept.
The cat approaches the scene and notices the canary bird. The cat walks through the moon in which we see X-ray vision of him which is a gag reused from Sittin' on a Backyard Fence and I SWEAR that it's the same model cat from It's Got me Again! or just a coincidental design. The cat then closely approaches the canary in which the bird is frightened of the close-up but the canary tries to walk away innocently or sneakily. The canary is then frightened of the cat and the chase begins. Mmm, this reminds me of an early Sylvester & Tweety prototype - if you really think about it.
So, now the cartoon is focusing on the billboards again - the story of this cartoon really doesn't make much sense and just adds random parts. An electric hand inside a billboard meets up with it's neighbour billboard which is a dog that resembles the His Master's Voice (HMV) logo. The dog is zapped by the electric hand and is ordered to go and stop the cat from chasing after the canary.
Now that is a type of scene that I really don't like looking at. Poor dog. That dog doesn't deserved to be trapped in there forever. This is kind of sadistic gags to me.
Luckily the canary is saved - by a billboard poster that comes to life. A billboard poster of a hand holding a mallet comes to life by whacking the cat on the head. The canary then jumps on top of the knocked out rather satisfied.
and that's all folks!
Overall comments: This cartoon was a rather bit of a mess in my opinion. Of course the choice of music did improve the cartoon with the famous Merrily We Roll Along song but the cartoon itself suffers apart from that. There were too many reused materials; and yes - the audience aren't going to know but for someone reviewing and reflecting the cartoons it's shown as a production that is rather flawed. I dislike how that the short seems to be all over the place at times with story points that hardly make sense. It was one of Friz's cartoons at the time to focus on "the impossible things" where it doesn't work too well in these concepts. I seem to notice that in this short; it starts off rather creative at first; but then it gets a little lazy with the reuses and rather bad. Of course, Avery arrived and gradually paced things up but Freleng and the other directors didn't immediately get influenced yet.