Release date: May 16, 1936.
Series: Merrie Melodies.
Supervision: Tex Avery.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Musical Score: Norman Spencer.
Words and Music: Harry Warren and Al Dubin.
Animation: Bob Clampett and Cecil Surry.
Sound: Treg Brown (uncredited).
Synopsis: A scarecrow family who live out in the fields when Junior aspires of becoming a big scarecrow.
Tex Avery directs another "Merrie Melody" this time and it's pretty clear that Tex Avery is being versatile with both series as he is directing the black-and-white Porkies also also having his share with the Merrie Melodies along with Friz.
The scarecrow then starts to yawn after having a busy day in which he gets his watch (which is a egg timer in which the sand reaches to "quit" time). The scarecrow then starts click his back so he can walk back home as he takes his lunchbox with him.
We then PAN to the house where the scarecrow lives as well as his family. I like that shot of the scarecrow walking down the hill to the house; like staging there. The Junior scarecrow then looks out of the window as he finds his father returning home from work. He's already noticed Junior by the window and is expected to get a fright as he then starts to play along with his son. A rather fatherly act. The father then pantomimes being scared as his son puts on a scarecrow impression as part of his practice. The father picks up his child in which he asks "Did I scare ya, daddy?"
Ma Scarecrow: Hello Pa, did you have a busy day?
Pa Scarecrow: Yes I did Ma, scared 10 crows away.
Ma Scarecrow: Now while I go cook your supper; give this little copper-ruppa (?). He wants to play scarecrow Pa. He's anything I ever saw.
Okay; but I wasn't sure about what the mother scarecrow said about her child (either that or I don't know what mothers would call their children well in those times). Junior slides down Pa's leg in which he drags his trousers begging to play "Scarecrow" with him.
Pa Scarecrow: I'll be the teacher.
Ma Scarecrow: (in kitchen) I'll cook the stew.
Junior: Well come on then, I'll take orders from you!
The father then points to the chart of the first pose in which he demonstrates "Now here's the first pose". Junior then copies the actions from the chart; "I'll try it too, because I'd like to take orders from you". The father scarecrow then points with his pointing stick to the second pose, "Here's one to try that will make crows fly - I use it everyday". Junior replies by singing, "When a crow flies down it'll take this frown; it'll scare any crow away". The father points to the first pose "Now you try this one". Junior does the actions, "That's what I'll do because I'd like to take orders from you" - which is the theme of the song.
Pa Scarecrow: Now son, I'll be the manager and I'll give you the dong. That is, if you get any of them wrong.
Junior: Let's go through them all, and I'll try to do well. But remember Pa, take it easy on the bell.
Junior then starts to do a pose in which Pa gives him the bell since he did it wrong. He gets a couple more bells for doing them wrong again. It gets to the point that when Pa keeps on whacking the pot where Junior keeps on doing several poses which was pretty good of what Avery was doing as there is no in betweens for the different poses; but poses for one scene which works well; but not as fast or as exaggerated as Avery would plan on using it in his later cartoons with faster and sharper timing. Ma Scarecrow then claps at the game they are playing.
Ma then hold Junior in her arms as she is placing him to his bedroom to go to bed. There is a subtle scene that we see outside the house where the blinds are drawn in which Ma takes Junior's clothes off and puts on his pajamas but it's in silhouette; which works well for this cartoon since the kids will be watching this cartoon s well. The mother then starts to roll up the duvet for her son and kisses him goodnight as she walks out of his bedroom to close the door "Sleep tight, Junior" as she turns off the lights as it's dark.
The title card then dissolves to "NEXT MORNING" in which the morning begins. Junior wakes up the rooster gives out a morning call. He quickly gets changed as he leaves his bedroom.
Junior then starts to step out of the house in which it is his big day in which he is to chase crows. Junior walks out in his own characteristic walk which I think is better animated than the father scarecrow's one. Junior walks out trying to be scary by scaring a rooster away with his pose as the rooster jumps off the fence and leaves. I like that modest walk he does where he walks as though he's got courage and confident in scaring the other animals.
It appears to be that Junior is practicing with scaring small, helpless animals until he gets to the crows. Junior then does the next post to a bunny rabbit with a good expressive look in which the rabbit runs off frightened in which it drops it's carrot and jumps in and out of multiple rabbit hole areas.
Junior then tries to stand near the crow to scare it away but the crow turns around rather bothered by him. He keeps on trying this but the crow keeps on turning away uninterested and bothered. Until the crow has finally had enough; the crow throws the corn away. The crow wipes his mouth in which he does an even bigger scarier pose in which the scarecrow opens his eyes but jumps with such a fright with a 360 hat take. Did Avery get influenced by Jack King in all sorts? Junior tries to run away from the crow in which he ends up running on the same positon where he is digging the dirt as it becomes even more useless.
Junior then starts to run around the cropfields in which the crow follows but trims most of the crops off in which they land already piled up neatly. That gag was as old as the Harman-Ising era in WB but I imagine that Avery liked it as well. The chase sequence has begun and Junior keeps on trying to scare the crow away but fails every time.
I like that point of view shot that shows the crow's claws trying to catch Junior scarecrow as they do have sharp claws. I like how that when the Junior scarecrow is running; it's a cycle but as he turns to pull faces it's full animation; I do wonder how those scenes worked on?
As we have thought that Junior scared the crow away successfully; it turns out to have been Pa Scarecrow who managed to chase the crow away. The whole point of this cartoon was for the audience to have sympathy for the Junior scarecrow to become a big scarecrow but if this was something like a Disney Silly Symphony then (as I'm repeating their trademark) his dream would come true. But here; it shows how that Junior is still unable to chase scarecrows away as he's too young which I feel is the most right way to be.
Pa then starts to take Junior home who wasn't angry but concerned, "Your mother's been on you everywhere - we better get home". We see that Pa is walking home with his characteristic walk with Junior looks at the audience and then back.
A silhouetted crow then flies into the scene in which Junior demonstrates the pose he performed but turns frightened at the silhouetted crow in which he screams into Ma's arms "Oh Mamma, mamma, mamma!". We PAN to the fireplace in which we see Pa Scarecrow with his fingers by the fireplace using it to pretend there was a crow about. Junior was tricked by this that shows he's afraid of the crow and Ma knew Pa scared it away. Pa laughs at the trick he used with fingers as the cartoon ends.