Wednesday, 14 March 2012
128. The Blow Out (1936)
Release date: April 4, 1936.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Supervision: Tex Avery.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Joe Dougherty (Porky Pig) and Lucille LaVerne (Bomber).
Musical Score: Bernard Brown.
Animation: Charles "Chuck" Jones and Sid Sutherland.
Sound: Treg Brown (uncredited).
Synopsis: Porky helps people in the streets in order to get cash quick to buy an ice-cream soda. Meanwhile a mad bomber is terrorizing the city - before Porky encounters him.
This time it's Tex Avery's turn to direct a short as part of the "Beans" gang group and of course; he chooses Porky - since he wanted him to be a star. You may have noticed the crappy colorized version of the cartoon (well; it doesn't look bad in color) but at least I found a copy of it in black and white; so I'll stick it to its original formula.
The news hits the front headlines in the scenes of the newspapers in which has headlines such as Bomber at Large, $2000 Reward for Bomber, Time Bomb Blows up Building, Fiend Evades Capture, etc. Notice how the same newspaper with the same headline appears more than once a couple of times. The police department are sitting in their offices groaning "Calling all cars" in which they're looking for the bomber. The police animation would later be reused in later Avery shorts for WB. It appears to be that everyone has identified the bomber but are unsure of his whereabouts.
The bomber is producing more clock bombs for his next trick in which he speaks by placing in the bombs; "A little dynamite, a black bomb, a few firecracker, some lovely skyrockets, and the time bomb that will blow up the city". The bomber has finished preparing the clock in which he walks out with his disguise with the black cloth and hat. So he must be unaware of the newspapers since they've already got a picture of him - looks like he's going to be spot easily. The voice of the bomber may be grating as it sounds like a witch but at least it shows how evil he is.
The bomber then walks out of the house and it seems that he already knows how to navigate around the city. As he steps out of his basement; he hides from the sounds of people approaching. The bomber then starts to tiptoe his way with more trouble and chaos for the city as he laughs evilly until we iris out to the next part of the cartoon. If you notice that the voice sounds similar to the witch in Snow White (1937) and ironically LaVerne did the voice of the witch, also.
Porky is standing outside an Ice-cream soda cafe in which he is desperate to have an ice-cream soda himself as he's looking through the window at the delicious taste of it. This was probably a treat for Porky as he looks so happy; since this was the Great Depression where people would've had it on an occasion. Porky looks sad as the man drinking the ice-cream soda has finished it all. Porky checks in his "pocket" to see if he has any money. He stutters, "Five pennies just enough for an ice-cream soda".
Porky walks out of the ice-cream soda bar rather sad as he can't afford one. He sits down on the pavement rather bored and trying to think of an idea. A man is walking past the street in which he accidentally drops his walking stick. Porky picks it up for him in which the man was very obliged for that, "Thank you little man; here's a penny for you". The man offers him a penny as a reward in which Porky is satisfied with the penny as he does a little dance before placing it in his pocket. These days no-one would give you a penny for that as they're all tight with money.
Porky then looks to his right in which he runs to the part of the pavement where it shows a woman has dropped her glove. Porky picks up the glove for her in which the woman responds "Oh thank you son, here's a penny". Another penny for Porky; another triumphant dance he gives us.
Porky sees a cow lady accidentally dropping her purse in which Porky zooms in to pick it up for her. One penny, one dance. The speed here used in Avery's cartoons shows the improvement as though they've just made it in a second which Avery loved to use.
I do quite like that spin Porky does whilst dancing as you can see in this small picture on your right. Nice spikes that are produced here but I'm not going to guess the animator identifications - for two things: one - how am I supposed to know. Two, I don't often like to make mistakes if I attempted - but we all make mistakes.
Meanwhile as Porky was looking at his left; we PAN to our right where the bomber is about laughing evilly as he is on the side of the walls. The bomber then stands by the Blotz building.
Now that is some great characteristics of Porky; not knowing of the bomber's plan and the bomber is in trouble by Porky as he will go after him to return the clock because he's expecting a penny. The bomber is standing behind the wall of the building waiting the explosion but Porky walks into the scene in which he tries to return the bomber the clock but the bomber makes a "take" since Porky doesn't know what he's doing. The take is a pretty funny expression as he runs off.
The bomber is found by Porky again in which he tries to hand in the clock but the bomber gasps with fright as he finds Porky before running out. The bomber then tries to run up to the very top of the apartment building. Porky has already reached the top that scared the bomber which causes him to run down. This short reminds me of the Droopy cartoons where the wolf is trying to escape from him - Dumb Hounded and Northwest Hounded Police except it hasn't been exaggerated on how Avery would like to use it later in his cartoons. The musical score in this cartoon by Bernard Brown shows some great dramatic staging for this bit of action.
The bomber then starts to run on the other side of the sewage but Porky is already there. Tex Avery loved to use those type of gags in which a character had already arrived; it's his use of comic timing. It works really well in this cartoon as this is probably the first Warner cartoon to use this type of timing.
The bomber then grabs out a sign as he thinks Porky is still inside the manhole shouting:
Bomber: Now I'll fix the little pest, so he'll be blown to pieces whether you people will like it or not.
The bomber then plans to blow up Porky himself as he thinks Porky with the bomb is under there. Porky is standing behind him in which he is clinging onto his robe. One of the cops in the police car then notices him. "There goes the bomber, Mike - let's get him!" The police car then starts to chase after the bomber.
Cop #1: Look the kid's got hold of him.
Cop #2: Yeah the little fella's got plenty of nerve to tackle a mug like that.
The bomber then runs back into his house in which the cops are still after him. The bomber is then unlocking the doors in which he shouts "They can't get me now!" He then blocks the door so the cops won't get in. The bomber blocks the door with a barrel; box, etc. The officers then knock on the door shouting "Open up in the name of the law!". The bomber then notices that next to him is Porky (who was clinging onto his dress the whole time) gives him the clock which is burning up. The bomber changes his mind in which he unlocks the doors and into the police van. Porky gives him the bomb on the way. There is a funny scene of the police van driving away in which it reacts to the fireworks inside.
A group of people then crowd around questioning Porky about what will be do since he's manages to become fortunate with the money. Porky starts to stutter on what he's going to buy; as we don't know until the next scene...
Say; since Porky's reward was $2000 and yet an ice-cream soda cost him 10 cents. So; if you divide 0.10 from 2000 - it means he has enough money to buy exactly 20'000 ice-cream sodas. What a "piggy" ;-). I wonder if that's all he was buying for.