Saturday, 10 March 2012

126. Boom Boom (1936)

Warner cartoon no. 125.
Release date: February 29, 1936.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Supervision: Jack King.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Tommy Bond (Beans) and Joe Dougherty (Porky Pig).
Musical Score: Norman Spencer.
Animation: Cal Dalton and Sandy Walker.
Sound: Treg Brown (uncredited).

 Explosions, fireworks and bombs are trying all over the trench fields that is covering up the screen as this short is taking place in World War I. Mmm; looks like another remake of the early Bosko cartoons (Bosko the Doughboy and Ups and Downs). A lot of soldiers are running through the fields in which there is a soldier with the trumpet about to make a call but it's too late since a bomb explodes on him. The whole trench is ruined in which the trumpeter makes death music before dying - that's...dark!

More shooting then comes out from the soldiers such as a soldier shooting down on a broken down chimney shooting with a machine gun. A cannon then starts to point at the enemy on the chimney with a soldier inside the hammer slamming in the mallet. One of them safe gags that works without explosions or killing anyone.

The next sequence involves a cow soldier running away by the swarm of bullets chasing after him. There is a slow-paced gag that shows a bullet that rips up his rucksack and uniform in half until the bullet then tries to snuggle inside the helmet. The bullet shoots up to the sky in which the helmet drops back onto his head where we can feel the cow's pain - that's some pretty neat timing.

The cow is now stuck with the helmet down to his waste as he can't seem to escape as there are bullets flying past shooting straight at him. The cow then starts to hide in a secret building that is mostly ruined by the explosions and bombs.

The cow hides inside the old building in which he slams the doors. Bullets shoot through ahead as a swarm of loopy bullets are flying all over the place not keeping itself at a straight angle to shoot the soldier. There are all these gags of these bullets that Jack King's used an abundance of so far in these cartoons that are just one of the "impossible things" that don't work well in cartoons.

Since there are no more bullets flying around trying to attack the cow. The cow soldier then starts to bring out a type of xylophone in which he plays music. It appears that his luck is juts out as a bomb explodes on him. Mmm; one of them timing gags. The soldier's fate is that he's already up in heaven as an angel playing the harp. Well; at least we know that the soldier is in a happy place even though it's probably a dark presentation.

There is a dog soldier who has his gun out but it turns out to be a novelty gun with the cork whacking him back on the head. Mmm; good thing is that it's not an ACTUAL bullet that strikes him.

Another dog is all shaken from the machine gun movements in which his whole body has shaken as though he's got some seizure or something. The dog with the novelty shotgun blasts again but blocks with face with the helmet to not  get hit again. Too impatient as he lifts his helmet back up to check but the cork whacks him in the read again. There is another gag that pops up with a dog holding the hand grenade but forgets to throw it (only throwing away the top part) until he explodes. I swear that this was probably the first cartoon to use these famous explosion gags that we see in the 1940s and 1950s cartoons (I may be wrong) but probably the first of the funny gags - like that hand grenade one. The dog shoots straight up in the air until an ambulance speed up where he is dumped; so he can arrive to the hospital camp.

After about roughly two minutes of bomb gags all chucked into the cartoon; Porky Pig finally makes his part of the cartoon as this is probably the first time he's been one of the main characters in Jack King's cartoons - since earlier on he only made cameos. Porky blows the whistle for a dive bomb coming ahead at them. They dive inside the trench as the bomb dives in and BOOM. No wonder the cartoon is called "Boom Boom" - since there are so many explosions here.

Porky is holding onto his bayonet crawling quietly on the ground. Porky is very timid about the sounds of the explosions in which he does a 360 hat take. Porky is about to take a couple of new steps until he finally ZOOMS back to the trenches hiding there; and stands back up in the correct position. Now that looks like Jack King used inspiration from Avery's earliest cartoons already with that speed used.

Porky then starts to dive out the way as he dives inside a trench under a bunk bed with fear. I love the arc for Porky's dive. At least he isn't shivering like a humping dog down there (just like in Disney's "Three Little Pigs). Beans grabs Porky out of the bunk bed in which he tries to calm Porky down.

Beans: Take it easy there, Porky boy.
Porky (stuttering): I wish I stayed on a farm.
Cow Soldier: Is Mamma's little boy afraid?

The quotes stop until more firing continues but Porky then starts to hide under the table afraid of being in war. A group of soldiers sleeping then start to sing to Porky "You're in the Army Now". Porky is under the table stuttering scared. Beans asks Porky to come out of the table and to "snap out of it". Beans then grabs out a plate and a tin of (well ironically - it's beans) as he starts to eat a tin of them; that's what soldier's did back in the war.

A messenger bird is then flying out in the sky trying to dodge all the bombs and weapons flying all over the place in the air. The bird then does a dive bomber until it lands in the trenches all puffed out and exhausted.

Porky and Beans are at the table eating beans until the messenger bird arrives and gives them the letter before passing out. Beans picks up the letter and it reads:  Am Being Held Prisoner by Enemy in Old Farmhouse - Send Help. Gen. Hardtack.
Beans has finished reading the letter in which is face has turned extremely shocked; "Gee Whiz - oh my"; he grabs Porky in the wrist as they both run out the trench to save General Hardtack. They both run out of the trenches in which Beans drives in an old sidecar but forgets Porky. Porky is eventually picked up by Beans as he drives all the way to find General Hardtack.

Porky appears to have a problem as he is holding onto his helmet since it almost flies out of the way. Meanwhile there is a passing by bullet that immediately notices Porky and Beans on the vehicle trying to save their general. It appears that the bullet is an automatic one that is out to try and capture Porky and Beans.

The bullet flies down as Porky and Beans notice it in which they have to speed up as quick as they could. There is now a chase sequence going on where the sidecar Beans and Porky are riding on are trying to escape from the automatic bullet.

They almost crash into the tree until the side part that Porky is sitting on splits apart in which the sidecar is unattached. They are going at a good speed. The speed of the animation is showing some improvement in this Jack King cartoon but it's nothing like the one in Gold Diggers. As they continue to ride very fast; the sidecar then trips them and they land in another part of a trench.

The bullet is still shooting straight them going, going, going and BOOM. Beans and Porky were already safe as they jumped into a hole for safety. They both pop their heads out only to find out they're in different holes!

Beans and Porky slide back to the hole they originally were in which they carry it to move it to the next part. Yes; this may be work in cartoons like by great cartoon directors; but for something slow-paced with few exaggerated movements it doesn't work too well. It's just my taste  - I'm entitled to that. They keep moving the hole until they hear a dive bomber and they jump under the hole to find the explosion next to their hole. This repeats itself one more time as they then escape out of the hole. As they run off.

They continue to run until they find the location of where General Hardtack is located at. They stop to find that the general is tied up in knots by the enemies (voiced by Billy Bletcher) who question him "So, you won't talk eh?" Another  enemy then starts to threaten the general by lighting a match and placing it on his foot (making it similar to a hotfoot). Beans looks over there and tells Porky "That's General Hardtack". Well, duh.

Beans then comes up with a plan in which he starts to plan a way to get the general free by setting up these group of rockets. The rockets start to fly inside the ruined building in which the wire ties up one of the guards in a loop. The rocket also does the same to the other guard by tying it up. Porky and Beans then knock down the guards onto the floor and plan to take the general out of here.

The general is free as he is leaving with Beans and Porky. They both spot a plane that is left outside as they plan to fly away with it. As they are on air flying up high - their planes are almost shot down by these cannons; machine guns in which it causes their plane to go half damaged. Yep "Boom Boom" - the title explains it all, once again.

Their plane is going down, down down until it crashes to the ground. Well; the timing of the plane crash isn't so great - but if you compare it to the plane crashing Hitler in Russian Rhapsody it's a bigger improvement by comparison; and it was achieved about 8 years later after this cartoon.

If any of those watching the cartoons were worried about the fates of the characters; well they're now in hospital. They are sharing the same beds (is this in a crowded hospital - I thought Florence Nightengale already improved hospital conditions by giving patients space on their beds by that point)? Poor Porky has the most bandages on his face - looks like a horrible injury as suffered to him; or even marks.

General Hardtack is then giving Beans an award for bravery - I imagine. Of course that leaves Porky with nothing. Beans rips off half of the badge in which Porky gets his share. Beans, Porky and General Hardtack laugh together joyful as they're still alive.

Overall comments: Next time if someone tells me about this cartoon (Boom Boom) I'm just going to think about - "Oh yes; a lot of explosions and bombs in here" - as it appeared so much in this cartoon that there wasn't much of the synopsis with Beans and Porky. Okay; I'm probably exaggerating here but if you think about it -it is the main focus on the cartoon. It was nice to see that Jack King showed some quite improvement in that cartoon with the speed and the use of gags. The animation appeared to have improved but it showed his trades that he liked to use such as arcs, three-quarter shots, etc. King still used one of them "impossible things" gags that don't work too well in his cartoons.


  1. You forgot what I think is a very important subplot, laughing gas [ROcky and Bullwinkle woulkd use this in the famous 1959 Goof Gas episode]. B;etcher is also Gen./Hardtack, I believe,despite Hardtack not actually being a "villian"

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